Trump tries to fire up tax reform, health care agenda amid turmoil

Republicans have sought to overturn Democratic former President Barack Obama's signature domestic healthcare law since it was enacted in 2010.Whatever the White House's efforts to push ahead with policy plans, there will be a spotlight on testimony by James Comey, the FBI director fired by Trump last month, to the Senate Intelligence Committee on Thursday.Senators will question Comey on whether Trump tried to get him to back off an FBI investigation into ties between the president's 2016 campaign and Russian Federation, an attempt that critics have said could constitute obstruction of justice.

Some aides and outside observers have even floated the possibility that McConnell would bring the bill up for a vote even if he did not have all the votes, pointing to the need to move on to tax reform and the must-pass issues, like the debt ceiling and funding the government, on Congress' plate in the fall.

"While we do have a press assistant opening in the Communications Department, Sen". John Hoeven (R-ND) told reporters after the lunch. "It's a very complex system". Many states also rely on Medicaid for treatment in the opioid crisis. But the measure would not allow states to waive rules preventing people with pre-existing conditions from being charged more, a departure from the House-passed bill.

"The Senate I'm sure will follow suit and get a bill across the finish line this summer that will be great health care for Americans".

Repealing and replacing Obamacare was the primary focus of President Donald Trump's meeting with GOP leadership on their legislative agenda Tuesday.

"I am very encouraged", Sen.

Lawmakers will deal with those issues and more as Congress comes back into session, and realistically the window for action is closing fast.

"Right now it's really a scoring thing, trying to figure out what we can fit into the score we have to work with", Thune said.

Sens. Susan Collins of ME and Lisa Murkowski of Alaska are believed to have significant objections to the bill, including the plan to rollback Obamacare's expansion of Medicaid eligibility.

"Without true competition and choice in the market, we will never be able to lower health care costs for families and small businesses", Sen. Instead of giving states the chance to opt out of regulations, conservative Utah Sen. Bill Cassidy (R-La.) told reporters June 6.

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Whatever the White House's efforts to push ahead with policy plans, there will be a spotlight on testimony by James Comey, the Federal Bureau of Investigation director fired by Trump last month, to the Senate Intelligence Committee on Thursday.

The House GOP bill would permit states to opt out of both provisions, sparking harsh criticism that Republicans are backtracking on their promise to protect people with pre-existing conditions.

One of the ideas that came out of the meeting is to allow states to apply for waivers for essential health benefit coverage.

"Of course, it's not everything I want", Cassidy said of the general talks, "but that's life".

Sen. Shelly Capito, R-W.Va., called it a "good discussion with much more detail".

Other options being considered would change the tax credits the House bill offers to help people purchase private health insurance. But for McConnell, getting to 50 votes (Vice President Mike Pence could break a 50-50 tie) means losing no more than two Republican senators.

The Senate bill is expected to add a few more years to that deadline, though this is far from unanimous and some Republicans think the rollback should happen immediately. "The Democrats are destroying health care in this country", Trump said.

"And then Tuesday, Comey got fired", Kaine said. "It doesn't exist", House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., said mockingly on Friday. Still, a more moderate bill from the Senate could win over some of the House moderates who voted against their own chamber's bill. Trump has proposed a tax break to incentivise USA companies to repatriate this cash-that is, bring it back home-and use it to invest in their businesses. "We've already lost [Sen.] Rand Paul [R-Ky.], so we're down to 51". But even if a bill gets a majority of the votes in the Senate, there are still big questions about how and if the Senate and House could agree on a final version.

A spokesman for Paul said the senator hopes the bill "can be improved in the days ahead and is keeping an open mind".

(Copyright © 2015. All Rights Reserved.)
 
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