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Jamie Dupree's Washington Insider
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Republicans face critical week in Congress on health care, Russia, 2018 spending

  • 8:00 pm Sunday, July 23rd, 2017 by Jamie Dupree

GOP leaders in the U.S. Senate seem ready to push ahead with a showdown procedural vote on a bill to overhaul the Obama health law, even without any assurance that they have enough votes to simply start debate, and without a final decision on what changes Senate Republicans might offer to a health care bill narrowly approved by the House in early May.

While most of the attention this week will be on the machinations involving health care legislation in the Senate, the House will take the first steps on spending bills for next year’s budget, and vote on [More]

Democrats try to block federal workers from staying at Trump properties

  • 6:00 am Sunday, July 23rd, 2017 by Jamie Dupree

As House Republicans move to consider the first bills to fund the operations of the United States government next year, Democrats are hoping to force votes on plans that would prohibit federal workers from staying at hotels and other properties in which President Donald Trump has a financial interest.

The plans are being pushed by Rep. Don Beyer (D-VA), a frequent critic of Mr. Trump, as Beyer hopes to bring them up for debate on four different funding bills that are scheduled to be voted on this week by the full House.

The format is the familiar “funding limitation” amendment, in which [More]

Republican tax reform plan may be limited by GOP budget

  • 6:00 am Saturday, July 22nd, 2017 by Jamie Dupree

Republican plans for tax reform could be less sweeping than originally envisioned by the White House and GOP leaders in Congress, as a provision in a House GOP budget blueprint would require any tax bill to be ‘budget neutral,’ which would force lawmakers to offset any tax cuts with revenue increases that could be difficult in some cases to gain Congressional approval.

Deep in the fine print of the budget resolution for next year, the Republican plan allows for a tax reform bill under budget reconciliation, “if such measure would not increase the deficit for the total of fiscal [More]

Spicer out, Sanders up, Scaramucci in, at White House

  • 3:03 pm Friday, July 21st, 2017 by Jamie Dupree

The White House communications team underwent a major change on Friday, as Press Secretary Sean Spicer turned in his resignation, Sarah Huckabee Sanders was elevated to Spicer’s job, and Wall Street financier Anthony Scaramucci was brought in by President Donald Trump to be the new Communications Director, delivering a new tone in dealing with the press.

“The President is phenomenal with press,” said Scaramucci. “I love the President. The President is a very, very effective communicator.”

While Scaramucci – known by many insiders as “Mooch” – made clear that he thinks the news media does not treat the President fairly, [More]

Still no deal in the Senate on GOP health care plan

  • 7:36 am Friday, July 21st, 2017 by Jamie Dupree

Republican Senators headed home for the weekend still at odds over the details of a GOP bill to overhaul the Obama health law, as Senate leaders vowed to press ahead early next week with a first procedural vote on the matter, though it still isn’t clear what exactly the GOP might vote on in an effort to break the deadlock on this top agenda item of President Donald Trump.

“The Democrats did their bill on their own, and obviously it’s got flaws that I think everyone would recognize; Republicans are beginning to feel like we’re getting into that same mode, if [More]

White House expresses confidence in Attorney General Sessions

  • 3:36 pm Thursday, July 20th, 2017 by Jamie Dupree

A day after a newspaper interview in which President Donald Trump raised questions about his choice for the job of Attorney General, the White House expressed public support for Jeff Sessions, saying Mr. Trump “has confidence in his ability” to lead the Department of Justice.

“He was disappointed,” White House spokeswoman Sarah Huckabee Sanders said of the President’s view of Sessions and his recusal earlier this year from any involvement in the investigation of Russian interference in the 2016 elections, and possible links to the Trump campaign.

“But clearly he has confidence in him or he would not be the Attorney [More]

After six months in office, Trump looks for legislative victories

  • 4:00 am Thursday, July 20th, 2017 by Jamie Dupree

President Donald Trump marks six full months in office on Thursday, still pressing lawmakers in the House and Senate to act on a bill to overhaul the Obama health law, as the Republican Congress continues to struggle on a variety of fronts to produce a major legislative victory for Mr. Trump, with no action yet on tax cuts, a balanced budget or government reforms.

But the President’s backers argue that while his agenda is not moving at top speed in the Congress, he has had successes in some areas.

Let’s take a look at where Mr. Trump stands:

1. Biggest Trump success remains [More]

Trump presses for action as GOP talks resume on health care bill

  • 3:56 pm Wednesday, July 19th, 2017 by Jamie Dupree

Changing his mind yet again on health care, President Donald Trump on Wednesday directly urged Republicans in the Senate to keep searching for a deal on a bill to overhaul the Obama health law, spurring a new flurry of negotiations among GOP Senators, as top Republicans vowed to hold a vote next week to start debate on the health care plan.

“There is a large majority in our conference that want to demonstrate to the American people that they intend to keep the commitment they made in four straight elections to repeal Obamacare,” said Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell.

“We came from [More]

Trump kicks off first meeting of panel on voter fraud

  • 12:02 pm Wednesday, July 19th, 2017 by Jamie Dupree

President Donald Trump gave his strong support to a special commission tasked with uncovering voter fraud in the United States, telling the first meeting of the group that it’s time to find out more about illegal votes possibly “canceling out the votes of lawful American citizens.”

“Any form of illegal or fraudulent voting – whether by non-citizens or the deceased,” Mr. Trump said, “must be stopped.”

“Every time voter fraud occurs, it cancels out the vote of a lawful citizen, and undermines democracy,” the President added.

“Can’t let that happen,” Mr. Trump said.

“This commission is tasked with the sacred duty [More]

No Senate vote on GOP health care plan until at least next week

  • 9:15 pm Tuesday, July 18th, 2017 by Jamie Dupree

With GOP efforts in Congress on hold to overhaul the Obama health law, Republican leaders threatened to force wayward GOP Senators to go on the record and publicly record their vote in opposition to plans to repeal chunks of the Obama health law, but such a health care showdown on the Senate floor was put off until at least early next week.

“As of today, we just simply do not have 50 senators that can agree on what ought to replace the existing law,” said Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, who has been unable to solve what he called the ‘Rubik’s [More]

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