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House GOP leaders may target Obamacare to prevent shutdown




House GOP leaders may wrap up a brief government funding bill with Obamacare tax delays in a bid to stand out reluctant Republicans and avoid a shutdown at week\’s end.

Speaker Paul Ryan and his team will huddle with rank-and-file GOP lawmakers in what\’s anticipated to be a contentious conference meeting Tuesday night. Senior Republican sources say GOP leaders will float several options as a measure to secure Republicans votes on the amount stands out as the fourth spending stopgap since September – an upsetting practice that Republicans say puts the military in jeopardy.

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Leaders will pitch a delay of the medical device tax, a loathed Obamacare levy on equipment such as defibrillators and surgical tools. The tax is delayed for just two years but went back into impact on Jan. 1. They\’ll also discuss again delaying the law\’s insurance coverage tax, that\’s now commencing effect from one-year delay.

One third tax potentially from the cross-hairs: the so-called Cadillac tax on high-cost medical care insurance plans well-liked by labor unions.

It\’s unclear whether such measures will win the 218 GOP votes required to pass a stopgap from the House. Defense hawks have threatened to vote against additional short-term funding measures it is said hurt the nation\’s military readiness. And conservatives already are unhappy using a looming increasing in government spending along with the direction of immigration negotiations.

Facing GOP resistance, Republican leaders also are required to also discuss an alternative choice: adding six many years of funding for your Children\’s Health care insurance Program which is designed to draw Democratic votes.

House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) is anticipated cooking her caucus against helping Republicans purchase the votes needed in view of passage. But Republicans hope the CHIP attachment may entice some House Democrats, particularly Congressional Black Caucus members, to stem.

In December, when GOP leaders attached a short-term CHIP provision to your bill funding the us government through Jan. 19, some Democrats privately hated voting about the measure. Opposing a six-year funding measure – which works well past December\’s six-month patch – could be even more complicated of these Democrats, Republicans believe.

Health industry groups have been fighting the Obamacare taxes since the law passed really, and plenty of in the taxes were delayed once or twice already.

Industry groups – while using the backing of lawmakers whose states have big medical device or health care insurance companies – were trying to find further delays to a government spending bill late recently but showed up short.

It\’s unclear how including Obamacare tax delays within a government funding bill would participate in the Senate.

Republicans oppose all of the Obamacare taxes but you\’re loath thoroughly repeal them without getting something else in return. They believe Democrats were those who enacted the required taxes, particularly Cadillac tax that hits labor unions traditionally aligned with Democrats.

The medical device tax would be the easiest to have most likely through chamber. Your house bill to repeal the tax has 262 cosponsors, approximately the 218 needed. During the Senate, many Democrats from states by using a big device industry – such as Indiana, Pennsylvania, Minnesota and Massachusetts – have formerly gone for the record to get axing it.

At the least nine Democrats will surely have to join all Republican for virtually any spending measure to overcome a prospective Senate filibuster.

The medical tool and medical health insurance taxes were delayed through 2017 but went back into effect on Jan. 1. The Cadillac tax isn\’t due to get into effect until 2020 but employer groups and labor unions say they desire more than a year to prep for the potentially big spike in costs if your tax takes effect.


Black caucus chairman pushes to censure Trump over ‘shithole’ remark





Congressional Black Caucus Chairman Cedric Richmond on Thursday introduced a solution to censure President Donald Trump over what he contends would be the president\’s racist rhetoric referring to El Salvador, Haiti and African nations as \”shithole countries.\”

The resolution – who has much more than 130 co-sponsors, including House Democratic leaders – calls over the House to publicly state its support for any nations Trump disparaged, censure and condemn the president for his statements, and demand he retract his comments and apologize.

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At a news conference announcing the resolution alongside House Judiciary Committee ranking member Jerry Nadler (D-N.Y.) as well as other Democrats, Richmond (D-La.) said Trump\’s controversial comments \”should have not been made\” and \”were factually inaccurate.\”

Richmond conceded, however, the resolution isn\’t \”privileged,\” meaning House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) might need to say yes to carry it in order with the chamber to keep a vote. It\’s almost certain Ryan will not likely do this.

\”If he doesn\’t, we then will be at other ways to just make a vote on there,\” Richmond told reporters. \”But the facts from the matter is definitely the speaker should bring it up. In the event that he doesn\’t, establishing is enabling and recurring to allow obama to perpetuate this hateful rhetoric, as well as at certain point – whether you agree or disagree – I believe this is the speaker\’s obligation to safeguard the dignity of the property.\”

If Ryan will not allow a vote, Richmond said he among others would hunt for “creative” strategies to force one.

Like most Republican leaders, Ryan hasn\’t said much for the president\’s reported comments, though he did acknowledge the other day that they are \”very unfortunate\” and \”unhelpful.\” For Richmond, however, that wasn\’t enough.

\”It\’s unfortunate when I miss my bus. Or it\’s unfortunate in the event the airlines lose my luggage,\” he was quoted saying. \”But when the president of america decides to Africa, Haiti and El Salvador which he used, which isn\’t unfortunate. That is wrong. That\’s disgusting. That is definitely hurtful. There are a variety of words because of it, but unfortunate\’s undertake and don\’t.\”

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Ryan's 2017 fundraising haul: $44 million





House Speaker Paul Ryan raised more than $44 million in 2017, an off-year record to get a House leader – a financial haul Republicans hope will shore up vulnerable GOP members in what\’s shaping up to often be a tough midterm cycle for Republicans.

In a final quarter, Ryan raised $4.8 million, his political operation will announce Thursday – down from $6.7 million during the third quarter.

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The infusion of greenbacks is a follower of Republicans passed a tax reform law last December, which GOP members said would drive support among voters and donors. But also in 2018, Republicans must defend its 24-seat majority spanning a broad battlefield, while President Donald Trump\’s approval ratings stay in the bottom 40s and Democrats hold a broad bring success the generic ballot. Nearly 24 retirements, including California Reps. Ed Royce and Darrell Issa latest research by, will force Republicans to invest more heavily to protect these open seats.

In 2017, Ryan transferred $32 million to the National Republican Campaign Committee, which announced a unique record-breaking off-year total with $85 million raised in the last year. Ryan also transferred $1.7 million on to GOP members, as well as hosting 49 fundraisers for members.

"This eye-popping number is usually a testament to Speaker Ryan, House Republicans, as well as the agenda them to led your strugle on in 2017," said Kevin Seifert, executive director of Team Ryan, the speaker\’s fundraising committee.

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Bannon won't testify again on Russia Thursday





Former White House adviser Steve Bannon declined House Russia investigators\’ request to go back for a second interview Thursday, telling lawmakers through his lawyer their own obtain him to go back just 2 days after his first appearance was "unreasonable."

"The Committee\’s subpoena provides require Mr. Bannon\’s appearance for that second deposition [Thursday] at 2pm. That may be plainly insufficient time for me to undertake precisely what the Committee has asked," Bannon\’s attorney William Burck wrote within a Wednesday letter to store intelligence committee leaders obtained by POLITICO.

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Instead, Burck told committee leaders that the former senior aide to President Donald Trump would return after reaching an accommodation when using the White House to make sure his testimony doesn\’t violate executive privilege.

On Tuesday, Bannon-citing instructions from your Trump administration-refused to reply Republican and Democrats\’ questions on his amount of the White House, the post-election transition team and in some cases about his conversations with the president after he was fired from his post in August. His stonewalling infuriated persons in both parties, who subpoenaed him immediately. But despite the subpoena, Bannon declined to reply to their questions.

Burck\’s letter told the committee\’s top Russia investigators, Rep. Mike Conaway (R-Texas) and Rep. Adam Schiff (D-Calif.), that Bannon remains ready to answer the committee\’s questions-but after striking an understanding together with the White House while on an acceptable scope of questioning.

"There isn\’t any conceivable solution to talk to the White House Mr. Bannon\’s time using the transition and also the White House, obtain their thoughts about the knowledge he previously provide, communicate those views back to the Committee, relay the Committee\’s views time for the White House, and then negotiate or facilitate a binding agreement amongst the Committee along with the White House from the time allotted by the Committee\’s subpoena," Burck wrote.

Committee members at the moment are weighing calling hold Bannon in contempt of Congress for avoiding their questions. They\’ve noted that White House lawyers haven\’t formally invoked executive privilege-they just have suggested that Bannon\’s testimony might implicate it.

White House officials have argued that it is customary for Congress to coordinate the scope of the questions with current and former officials to stop violating privileged information.

But GOP and Democratic lawmakers have questioned this argument, suggesting they see no reasonable interpretation of executive privilege that might preclude Bannon from discussing his time over the transition team, that is before Trump was president.

Burck indicated that the committee didn\’t have use of White House and transition documents that has to be relevant precursors to the questions for Bannon and suggested lawmakers and Bannon would require time for them to produce them and review them before Bannon\’s next interview.

"There are lots of lawyers over the Committee plus the Staff, and i also could well be surprised as long as they believed it becomes anything in addition to unprofessional even unethical should be expected to depose a witness that has did not have possibility for review relevant documents," he said.

Burck also indicated a potential disconnect between committee staff and lawmakers. He revealed that he had informed the employees of the committee, chaired by Rep. Devin Nunes (R-Calif.), the White House "may not permit Mr. Bannon to discuss his in time the transition and the White House unless an accommodation was agreed between your Committee plus the White House."

"Staff raised no objection to the telltale restrictions in any of such conversations," he said. "The main objection came yesterday within the Members who appear not to have been informed by Staff about our prior conversations."

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