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.
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From TALKING POINTS MEMO:
Democrats are pushing hard on ending tax breaks for oil companies, linking the issue to the deficit and high gas prices, which have boosted profits in the industry to new heights.
In a floor speech on Tuesday, Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) said the Senate would target $4 billion in benefits for oil companies with the intention of using the savings to help address the nation’s growing debt.
“If we’re serious about reducing the deficit, this is an easy place to start,” Reid said. “It’s a no-brainer. Let’s use the savings from these taxpayer giveaways to drive down the deficit, not drive up oil company profits.”
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From Robert Reich:
Republicans figure that if they can’t sell the pig, they’ll just put lipstick on it and find some suckers who will think it’s something else.
That’s the proposal emerging in the Senate from Republican Bob Corker of Tennessee and also Democrat Claire McCaskill of Missouri.
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From The CHRISTIAN SCIENCE MONITOR:
In a retake recalling the film version of “Groundhog Day,” the Senate today redebated the 2010 health-care reform law – this time, in a bid to repeal it.
The measure to repeal was proposed as an amendment to the Federal Aviation Administration Reauthorization bill. It failed a procedural challenge on a strict, party-line vote, 47 to 51. On. Jan. 19, House Republicans voted to repeal the health care law, 245 to 189. They were joined by three Democrats.
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From The Fix at The Washington Post:
Evan Bayh’s announcement […] that he and 14 other Democratic senators had begun to meet weekly to discuss ways in which the moderate/centrist wing of the party could ensure its voice is better heard by the White House and Senate leadership is the latest example of the Indiana Democrat’s increased willingness to critique — and tweak — the Obama administration.
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[left to right, bottom: Mary Landrieu (LA), Herb Kohl (WI), Claire McCaskill (MO), Mark Begich (AK), Mark Warner (VA), Evan Bayh (IN); top: Ben Nelson (N), Joe Lieberman (CT), Mark Udall (CO), Jeanne Shaheen (NH)]
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From the New York Post:
Just weeks after Citigroup averted total collapse with a $45 billion shot in the arm of taxpayer cash, the bank jetted its former CEO and his family on one of its corporate jets to a posh Mexican resort for New Year’s, The Post has learned.
Sandy Weill, 75, hopped aboard the tanking bank’s Bombardier BD 700 Global Express on Dec. 26 with his wife, Joan, daughter Jessica, her husband and their children.
The holiday jaunt came the same week that Citigroup – which lost $28.2 billion over the last five quarters and cut 75,000 jobs globally in 2008 – agreed to curtail runaway corporate expenses as part of a deal to get the massive influx of federal money.
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