Don’t rush vote: GOP sen

Dems fume over ‘se­cret’ health­care bill

Arab Times - - INTERNATIONAL -

WASH­ING­TON, June 19, (Agen­cies): A Repub­li­can sen­a­tor on Sun­day warned against rush­ing a vote on a GOP bill to re­peal and re­place the na­tion’s health care law, say­ing both par­ties de­serve a chance to fully de­bate the bill and pro­pose changes af­ter it was drafted in se­cret.

“The Se­nate is not a place where you can just cook up some­thing be­hind closed doors and rush it for a vote,” said Sen Marco Ru­bio, R-Florida. “So the first step in this may be crafted among a small group of peo­ple, but then ev­ery­one’s go­ing to get to weigh in.”

His com­ments come as Se­nate Repub­li­cans are work­ing hard to fi­nal­ize leg­is­la­tion to re­place the Af­ford­able Care Act, also known as Oba­macare, with­out a for­mal, open draft­ing ses­sion. Se­nate Ma­jor­ity Leader Mitch McCon­nell, R-Kentucky, has said he hopes to bring a bill to the floor for a vote within the next two weeks.

But Ru­bio said he be­lieves the process could take longer and urged the Se­nate to slow down. These are strik­ing com­ments from a Repub­li­can sen­a­tor whose party is seek­ing to push through leg­is­la­tion with­out the help of Democrats.

Pres­i­dent Don­ald Trump has been ea­ger for quick ac­tion, al­though in a closed-door lun­cheon with 15 GOP sen­a­tors last week, he de­scribed a House-passed bill as “mean.” Trump said he wanted the Se­nate ver­sion to be “more gen­er­ous,” ac­cord­ing to con­gres­sional sources.

“It is go­ing to take days and weeks to work through that in the Se­nate,” Ru­bio said on CBS’ “Face the Na­tion.”

The bill passed by House Repub­li­cans last month would phase out in 2020 a Med­i­caid ex­pan­sion to ad­di­tional low-in­come peo­ple. The Con­gres­sional

will ar­rive on Mon­day. The of­fi­cial said Kushner and Green­blatt will hear from Is­raeli Prime Min­is­ter Ben­jamin Ne­tanyahu and Pales­tinian Author­ity Pres­i­dent Mah­moud Ab­bas and their se­nior ad­vis­ers.

Trump made a per­sonal ap­peal for peace dur­ing a visit to Is­rael last month. He has cast Mid­dle East peace as the “ul­ti­mate Bud­get Of­fice has es­ti­mated the House bill would cause 23 mil­lion peo­ple to lose in­sur­ance over a decade and leave many sicker and older con­sumers with much higher costs.

Hop­ing to doom the GOP ef­fort, a con­sumer health group said Sun­day it was launch­ing a $1.5 mil­lion cam­paign aimed at pres­sur­ing five Repub­li­can sen­a­tors in the closely di­vided cham­ber to vote against the bill. It was among sev­eral groups that in re­cent weeks have an­nounced stepped-up ef­forts to op­pose the bill.

Ac­tion

Com­mu­nity Cat­a­lyst Ac­tion Fund said it will run tele­vi­sion and ra­dio ads be­gin­ning Mon­day. They are tar­get­ing Sens Lisa Murkowski of Alaska; Jeff Flake of Ari­zona; Su­san Collins of Maine; Dean Heller of Ne­vada; and Shel­ley Moore Capito of West Vir­ginia.

“The Se­nate is work­ing in se­cret and rush­ing to pass a bill,” said Robert Res­tuc­cia, ex­ec­u­tive di­rec­tor of the group. “We think it’s crit­i­cal that Amer­i­cans across the coun­try un­der­stand what’s at stake for them and their fam­i­lies if the US Se­nate passes this bill.”

Sev­eral of the sen­a­tors be­ing tar­geted have ex­pressed some con­cern about the evolv­ing Se­nate leg­is­la­tion or its process. All of them ex­cept Collins also rep­re­sent states which ex­panded Med­i­caid un­der Oba­macare.

Repub­li­cans hold a nar­row 52-48 ma­jor­ity in the Se­nate, mean­ing the party can only af­ford to have two sen­a­tors op­pose the re­peal and re­place bill for it to pass with Vice Pres­i­dent Mike Pence cast­ing the tie-break­ing vote. No Demo­crat is ex­pected to sup­port the re­peal ef­fort.

Mean­while a for­mer Obama ad­min­is­tra­tion

deal,” putting Kushner and Green­blatt in charge of the chart­ing the course.

In re­marks in the Mid­dle East, Trump called on both sides to put aside the “pain and dis­agree­ments of the past.” But he did not of­fer any de­tails on how to move for­ward and avoided is­sues that have stymied all pre­vi­ous at­tempts at a peace agree­ment,

In this July 18, 2016, file photo, Mil­wau­kee County, Wisconsin. Sher­iff David Clarke speaks at the Repub­li­can Na­tional Con­ven­tion in Cleve­land. The De­part­ment of Home­land Se­cu­rity says Mil­wau­kee Clarke is no longer a can­di­date for a po­si­tion in the agency. In May 2017 Clarke said he was tak­ing a job as an as­sis­tant sec­re­tary in DHS. But a po­lit­i­cal ad­viser to Clarke says the sher­iff no­ti­fied DHS Sec­re­tary John Kelly late Fri­day, June 16, that he ‘had re­scinded his ac­cep­tance of the agency’s of­fer’ to join DHS. Clarke says he be­lieves he could help pro­mote Pres­i­dent Don­ald Trump’s agenda ‘in a more ag­gres­sive

role.’ (AP)

na­tional se­cu­rity aide is chal­leng­ing the New Jer­sey Repub­li­can con­gress­man who helped re­vive Pres­i­dent Don­ald Trump’s health care over­haul.

Andy Kim, 34, of Marl­ton, told The As­so­ci­ated Press on Mon­day that he is launch­ing a 2018 bid for New Jer­sey’s 3rd District House seat against in­cum­bent Rep. Tom MacArthur.

Kim said he is run­ning be­cause of MacArthur’s push for an amend­ment that would al­low states to get fed­eral waivers from the re­quire­ment that in­sur­ers charge healthy and sick cus­tomers the same pre­mi­ums. The change would be for peo­ple who let their cov­er­age lapse, but MacArthur says those peo­ple would be cov­ered by high-risk pools.

“I’m run­ning be­cause I’m con­cerned about the di­rec­tion of our coun­try,” Kim said. “That leg­is­la­tion is some­thing that is go­ing to en­dan­ger tens of thou­sands in the Jer­sey 3rd ... and mil­lions of peo­ple in the coun­try.”

In re­lated news, Democrats gear­ing up for a new round of bat­tles against Repub­li­can ef­forts to do away with Barack Obama’s sig­na­ture health­care law are con­demn­ing a US Se­nate re­place­ment bill be­ing crafted by Repub­li­cans be­hind closed doors.

Sen­a­tor Bernie San­ders urged Democrats on Sun­day to do “ev­ery­thing they can” to op­pose a Repub­li­can bill that for weeks has been drafted by party lead­ers in se­cret.

“My un­der­stand­ing is that it will be brought forth just im­me­di­ately be­fore we have to vote on it. This is com­pletely un­ac­cept­able,” San­ders, an in­de­pen­dent who is a mem­ber of the Demo­cratic party lead­er­ship, told CBS’s “Face the Na­tion” pro­gram.

in­clud­ing the sta­tus of Jerusalem, Is­raeli set­tle­ment con­struc­tion and the Pales­tini­ans’ de­mand for a sov­er­eign na­tion.

For­mer Pres­i­dents Bill Clin­ton, Ge­orge W. Bush and Barack Obama all tried and failed to achieve a peace deal.

The White House of­fi­cial — who was not au­tho­rized to speak pub­licly about the trip — said an agree­ment will take time, adding that there are likely to be many more vis­its by Kushner and Green­blatt to the re­gion, as they seek com­mon ground.

The Wall Street Jour­nal first re­ported that Kushner was mak­ing the trip. (AP)

6 ex­perts re­sign:

Six top health ad­vi­sors have re­signed from Don­ald Trump’s ad­vi­sory coun­cil on HIV/AIDS, complaining that the US pres­i­dent doesn’t re­ally care about com­bat­ting the ill­ness.

In a let­ter pub­lished Fri­day in Newsweek, Scott Schoettes said the Trump ad­min­is­tra­tion has “no strat­egy” on AIDS and that he and his five col­leagues will be more ef­fec­tive ad­vo­cat­ing for change from the out­side.

Schoettes, coun­sel and HIV project di­rec­tor at Lambda Le­gal, re­signed Tues­day from the Pres­i­den­tial Ad­vi­sory Coun­cil on HIV/ AIDS, along with Lucy Bradley-Springer, Gina Brown, Ulysses Bur­ley III, Michelle Ogle and Gris­sel Grana­dos. The coun­cil can have up to 25 mem­bers. “The Trump ad­min­is­tra­tion has no strat­egy to ad­dress the on-go­ing HIV/AIDS epi­demic, seeks zero in­put from ex­perts to for­mu­late HIV pol­icy, and -- most con­cern­ing -- pushes leg­is­la­tion that will harm peo­ple liv­ing with HIV and halt or re­verse im­por­tant gains made in the fight against this dis­ease,” Schoettes wrote. (AFP)

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