It isn’t a surprise, but Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell kept his health care bill a secret because it is even worse than the House passed Trumpcare bill.
HHS Secretary Tom Price testified yesterday before the Senate Finance Committee on his department’s budget, and not surprisingly, there was a fair amount of discussion of the Republican plans on health care policy. Sen. Claire McCaskill (D-Mo.) asked the committee’s chairman, Sen. Orrin Hatch (R-Utah), whether the panel would hold any hearings on the GOP’s proposal.
The Utah Republican, apparently unsure how to respond, had an aide whisper a talking point in his ear.
From THE HILL:
Congressional leaders have until Aug. 16 to name the 12 members of the newly created “supercommittee” to deal with reducing the deficit, but special interest groups are wasting no time in pushing their choices for the panel.
The debt-ceiling-increase legislation enacted Tuesday created a bicameral, joint committee of 12 legislators charged with finding at least $1.2 trillion in deficit cuts by Nov. 23.
Failure to come up with a plan will result in deep automatic defense and Medicare cuts.
One wrong pick, lobbyists on the right and left said Wednesday, could swing the panel toward a terrible compromise. So they are not taking chances.
These sources are already urging leaders to pick top lieutenants who will stick to party positions — no entitlement cuts for Democrats and no tax increases for Republicans.
We’ll have to take a little break in the continuing coverage of St. Ronnie Reagan for a different saint. I didn’t have time to photoshop anything today, but I did make a pic for Seneca Doane over at the Big Orange, so we’ll use that over here tonight. My apologies.
From Hot Dish Politics at the Minneapolis Star Tribune:
Rep. Michele Bachmann might have arrived a half-hour late for the first nationwide Tea Party Town Hall, but she got there in plenty of time to raise the alarm – Paul Revere style – about the imminent threat of a faraway government with designs on its citizens’ freedoms and liberties.
From The Houston Chronicle:
There was U.S. Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee, D-Houston, in her coveted State of the Union perch along the aisle. Wearing an eye-catching lime-green jacket, she got her brief moment of TV exposure and a handshake from President Barack Obama, as usual, as the president made his way into the august chamber of the House.
This time, though, instead of sitting in a bloc with her fellow Democrats, Lee sat beside a real live Republican, U.S. Rep. Pete Olson of Sugar Land.
The two Houston lawmakers were enthusiastic participants in the State of the Union “date night,” a bipartisan gesture prompted by the shooting of U.S. Rep. Gabrielle Giffords, D-Ariz., earlier this month.
The pre-speech curiosity was almost Oscar-night giddy — or maybe prom-night giddy — as lawmakers over the past several days paired off.
From TALKING POINTS MEMO:
Sen. Joe Lieberman (I-CT), who helped shepherd through today’s Senate repeal of Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell, told reporters after the final vote this afternoon that ending the military’s ban on openly gay servicemembers is a big step for LGBT rights.
“To me, it is a step forward to a larger societal acceptance [of gay rights,]” Lieberman said. “This is a civil rights piece of legislation in my opinion.”