Opposition from Within
The Congressional Budget Offices’ scathing review of the House GOP Obamacare replacement bill has shaken several moderate Republican congressman, potentially jeopardizing its prospects for passage in the House. Citing the high number of individuals who would lose insurance under the bill, Congresswoman Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R-FL) affirmed that she would not support it. She was joined by Congressman Leonard Lance (R-NJ) who stated he would not vote in favor of the bill because it “has no chance of passing over in the Senate.” Congressmen Charlie Dent (R-PA) and Senators Tom Cotton (R-AR) and Rand Paul (R-KY) also aired similar concerns. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) could only afford to lose two GOP senators in order to pass the bill in the senate.
As Vox reports, conflicts between the Freedom Caucus and Coverage Caucus within the Republican Party over the House GOP bill appears to be taking shape. While the Freedom Caucus opposes the bill because it fails to roll back enough of Obamacare, the Coverage Caucus is nervous the bill will leave too many uninsured. Reconciliation between the two groups will be difficult.
Partial Taxes Revealed
Part of President Trump’s 2005 tax returns were leaked to the press yesterday, revealing the president paid roughly $38 million in taxes on $150 million in income, about a quarter of yearly income. The form 1040 also illustrated that President Trump paid little ordinary income tax—$5.3 million—but $31 million in alternative minimum tax, which is required when high income individuals use a lot of deductions. President Trump also wrote off about $103 million in business losses.
Mattis v Trump
In a break with President Trump, Defense Secretary James Mattis voiced his belief in climate change as a national security threat to the Senate Armed Services Committee yesterday. “Climate Change is impacting stability in areas of the world where our troops are operating today,” Mattis told the panel. Mattis’ statements comes as President Trump moves to curtail progress on climate change policies, most evidently seen in proposed budget cuts to several climate-related programs.