Today’s the day that the revised Death Panel from the Senate is supposed to be revealed. Let’s see what everyone is saying about Trickle-Down Healthcare for Billionaires Tax Cuts!
Tiger Beat on the Potomac (thanks Charlie!) morning email thingie goes classic with unsourced gossip (Katie Gluek, where are you?!):
“In a closed-door meeting of Senate Republican chairmen Wednesday, Lisa Murkowski ripped GOP leaders’ attempt to scale back Medicaid spending in their Obamacare repeal bill. The two matters were unrelated, she argued, because the Affordable Care Act did not change Medicaid spending levels across the entire program. The independent-minded Alaska senator was backed up by Sen. John Hoeven of North Dakota, a Republican generally aligned with leadership, according to senators and people familiar with the conversations. …
“GOP leaders are set to unveil a new version of their health bill Thursday, but no major changes have been made to satisfy senators concerned about winding down Obamacare’s Medicaid expansion and aggressive Medicaid cuts over the next decade. So even as Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell struggles to keep restive conservatives like Ted Cruz and Mike Lee on board, lingering concerns from moderates like Murkowski could signal the bill’s demise. McConnell needs 50 votes simply to open debate on the bill next week, and he is well short of that number, GOP senators said.”
So if I am reading that correctly, amply be-chinned Mitch doesn’t even have the votes to get it to the floor for “debate” (which with the GOP consists of armpit trumpets and fart noises). Given this as our baseline, any senator who votes to move the bill for debate means that they are voting for the bill itself. Watch the so-called moderates, this is the tell.
Meanwhile, Mike ‘Payola’ Allen places the Bill at item 6 of their morning email thingie, with a single link out to one of their stories, which tells us the obvious:
If Republicans were moving any closer to a deal yesterday, they didn’t show it. Among the rotating cast of senators most likely to keep the bill shy of 50 votes, no one seemed to be softening — if anything, some opponents seem to be hardening.
- Sen. Rand Paul, whose vote was already gone, reiterated his opposition yesterday.
- The bill’s moderate critics — including Sens. Susan Collins, Shelley Moore Capito and Lisa Murkowski — are still concerned about Medicaid, and for now, the Medicaid cuts seem locked in.
- The insurance industry’s opposition to Cruz’s consumer-choice plan won’t help it win moderate support, and if it doesn’t find a way into the bill, Cruz, Mike Lee and (potentially) Ron Johnson are likely out.
Meanwhile, Comrade Preznint Stupid talks about Little Moscow on the Potomac:
WASHINGTON (Reuters) – U.S. President Donald Trump said on Wednesday he did not fault his son Donald Trump Jr. for meeting with a Russian lawyer during the 2016 presidential election campaign and that he was unaware of the meeting until a few days ago.
“Who is this guy? I meet lot’s of guys. This guy could be anyone. Trump Junior? Never heard of him.” OK, I kid:
Asked if he knew that his son was meeting with lawyer Natalia Veselnitskaya in June last year, the president told Reuters in a White House interview: “No, that I didn’t know until a couple of days ago when I heard about this.”
…Seated at his Oval Office desk, Trump said he did not fault his son for holding the meeting, writing it off as a decision made in the heat of an upstart, non-traditional campaign.
“I think many people would have held that meeting,” Trump said.
“It was a 20-minute meeting, I guess, from what I’m hearing,” Trump said. “Many people, and many political pros, said everybody would do that.”
Time Magazine:”The most pressing question of our time might be: How bad is it?”
And let’s leave it there. Surely more to come.