US needs September 'shutdown' to fix Senate 'mess'

04 May, 2017, 00:58 | Author: Ruben Patrick
  • House passes bill that affects overtime pay

Rep. Fred Upton, R-Mich., an influential centrist who'd initially announced opposition to his party's health care bill, said he's crafting an amendment with the backing of party leaders that could gain crucial support for the languishing measure. Late in the day, the White House said he would sign the bill.

His defection brought to 21 the number of Republican "no" votes.

Most Republicans in the conservative House Freedom Caucus faction have gotten on board with the new bill, which Democrats are vowing to oppose.

Instead, funding for the National Institute of Health is increased by $2 billion, despite Trump's budget plan calling for cuts to the program, and the bill will also deliver money for clean energy and science funding.

Garrett reports that Mr. Trump is set to meet with two influential House Republicans in an effort to turn their no votes into support. House Speaker Paul Ryan, R-Wis., says there'll be no vote in his chamber until leaders find enough support to win.

Several Republicans, including Representative Brian Mast of Florida, say they're still undecided.

After Trump's fellow Republicans in Congress jettisoned his promise to build a border wall and cut environmental spending, the embattled resident lashed out, saying maybe the government should not be funded at all.

They come as the House considers a $1 trillion budget deal struck between Republicans and Democrats to avert a shutdown this weekend.

Democratic Senator Patrick Leahy called Trump's threat "a sour and shameful note to kick off negotiations" for next year's spending plan, pointing to billions of dollars of losses triggered by the shutdown four years ago. Leaving Washington whipsawed, Trump hours later praised the spending bill as a major accomplishment.

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Tennessee Sen. Bob Corker, asked about the tweet, said: "I do wish somebody would take his iPhone away from him".

"I don't think they're going to put it up and lose and I don't think they've got the votes to win", said Henry Olsen, a senior fellow at the Ethics and Public Policy Center.

President Donald Trump is touting the budget deal forged to fund the government through September, declaring: "This is what winning looks like".

"I told the leadership I can not support the bill with this provision in it", he said about changes made to requirements about covering people with pre-existing conditions. "Our country needs a good "shutdown" in September to fix mess!" the president tweeted Tuesday. But on Twitter this morning, President Trump looked ahead to the next funding fight and called for a government shutdown in September to fix the system.

"This includes swiftly replacing ineffective and failing fences and walls with an unbreakable barrier", the president said during a Rose Garden ceremony.

The certain outcome for the spending bill stood in contrast to the suspense shrouding the health care legislation, as the window for action closes for now. "It's a question of protecting those with pre-existing illnesses". Currently, they must charge sick and health customers the same premiums.

"As of now, they still don't have the votes", said Rep. Pete King (R-N.Y.) as he was leaving a meeting of GOP members Tuesday.

While this special procedure makes it easier for Republicans to pass their bill, the Senate's budget "reconciliation" process must follow a series of specific rules that exclude any provision in the bill that doesn't directly affect the federal budget. "We don't have the votes but we're nearly there". Even if the GOP secures a win in the House, the Senate is expected to change the bill. Multiple GOP members said there is no indication on vote timing on health care.

Trump told CBS's John Dickerson on "Face the Nation" Sunday that the latest version of the bill "guaranteed" coverage for pre-existing conditions. Changes to the bill have won over conservatives, but moderates are reluctant to back the measure.

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