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A job for voters – get yourself ready for the details of tax reform

  • 5:46 pm Saturday, October 21st, 2017 by Jamie Dupree

As the Congress gets moving in coming weeks on the first serious effort at tax reform since the mid-1980’s, it is important for the folks back home to remember one thing – while the focus for many Americans will be on the individual tax rates and changes that impact every day taxpayers, this package is likely to be about so much more than just that, as a look back at the big tax bills of the Reagan Administration so easily demonstrates.

“I will tell you, our country needs tax cuts,” the President said in recent days, making the case that tax [More]

House aims for quick final budget vote next week to accelerate tax reform

  • 7:31 pm Friday, October 20th, 2017 by Jamie Dupree

A day after Senate approval of a budget outline for 2018 that authorizes expedited work on a tax reform plan- without the threat of a Senate filibuster – House GOP leaders set the table for a vote next week on the budget measure, instead of engaging in House-Senate negotiations that could take several weeks, as Republicans look to generate more momentum for the first major tax reforms since 1986.

Friday afternoon, House GOP leaders signaled their plan to simply accept the budget plan passed 51-49 by the Senate, setting a Tuesday meeting of the House Rules Committee, which sets the ground [More]

Senate approves budget outline, as GOP takes next step for tax reform

  • 9:50 pm Thursday, October 19th, 2017 by Jamie Dupree

The GOP push for a major tax reform bill in Congress took an important step forward on Thursday night, as the Senate approved a Republican budget outline for 2018, authorizing work on a tax reform bill that cannot be derailed by a filibuster, as President Donald Trump urged Congress to move quickly on a tax package.

“Tonight we completed the first step to replacing our broken tax code,” said Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell.

“Our tax code hasn’t been updated in over 30 years – it’s complicated and outdated,” said Sen. James Lankford (R-OK).

The Senate vote was 51-49, with only Sen. Rand [More]

Pentagon still gathering details on Niger ambush as McCain suggests subpoena

  • 3:53 pm Thursday, October 19th, 2017 by Jamie Dupree

As a key U.S. Senator said again on Wednesday that the Trump Administration was not being forthcoming about an ambush that killed four U.S. soldiers in the African nation of Niger, the Secretary of Defense told reporters that an investigation is ongoing into the October 4 incident, which military officials believe was linked to a group that is backed by the Islamic State.

“We do not have all the accurate information yet,” Secretary of Defense James Mattis told reporters at a Pentagon photo op. “We will release it as rapidly as we get it.”

Little has been said in public by [More]

Trump meets with Puerto Rico Governor, praises recovery work post-Maria

  • 2:03 pm Thursday, October 19th, 2017 by Jamie Dupree

Repeatedly praising the work of the military and federal emergency officials, President Donald Trump used a Thursday meeting at the White House with the Governor of Puerto Rico to proclaim the disaster relief effort in the wake of Hurricane Maria to be a success, pushing back against critics who say much still needs to be done to restore power and other basic services.

“I would give a 10,” the President said, ticking off a list of efforts made by FEMA and the military in Puerto Rico, as he sat with the Governor of the island in the Oval Office.

“We have done [More]

Senate moves forward on budget, still stalled on Obama health law

  • 8:02 am Thursday, October 19th, 2017 by Jamie Dupree

With the strong support of President Donald Trump, the U.S. Senate was poised on Thursday to approve a budget framework for 2018 that would authorize an expedited effort in Congress on tax reform, but the President’s public reluctance had seemingly scrapped quick action on a separate bipartisan deal involving a small piece of the Obama health law, a move that experts say will cost the federal government billions more in health spending.

On the Senate floor, the emphasis for GOP Senators has not been on their budget outline, which would bring the budget to balance in nine years, but rather on [More]

President Trump leaves both parties confused on Senate health care deal

  • 12:48 pm Wednesday, October 18th, 2017 by Jamie Dupree

A day after seemingly endorsing a legislative effort in Congress to formally approve money for insurance companies that would pay for health insurance subsidies for certain consumers, President Donald Trump indicated on Wednesday that while he backed the idea of bipartisan negotiations related to the Obama health law, he did not support a deal on “Cost Sharing Reduction” payments, which he moved to cut off last Thursday.

“If something can happen that’s fine,” Mr. Trump told reporters at a White House photo op about a plan worked out by Sen. Lamar Alexander (R-TN) and Sen. Patty Murray (D-WA).

“I won’t do anything [More]

Trump presses tax reform as Senate begins debate on GOP budget outline

  • 2:00 am Wednesday, October 18th, 2017 by Jamie Dupree

President Donald Trump urged conservative activists on Tuesday night to help lobby Senators in favor of a GOP tax reform package, as despite some infighting, Republicans seemed like they would be able to approve a budget outline this week in the Senate, a plan which would allow for future legislative action on a tax bill – without the threat of a Senate filibuster.

“Let’s give our country the best Christmas present of all – massive tax relief,” the President said in a speech at the Heritage Foundation, where his vow of big tax cuts drew large cheers from the audience.

“This is [More]

With backing of Trump, key Senators reach deal to fund health subsidy payments

  • 2:33 pm Tuesday, October 17th, 2017 by Jamie Dupree

Key Senators say they have reached a deal – backed by the President – which would fund payments to health insurance companies for two years, while also giving states more flexibility in how they deal with the underlying requirements of the Obama health law. But some Republicans quickly raised red flags, as the President again said he wants to see major changes – not short-term tinkering – in Obamacare.

“While I commend the bipartisan work done by Senators Alexander and Murray – and I do commend it – I continue to believe Congress must find a solution to the Obamacare [More]

Trump move to end health insurer payments may cost feds billions more

  • 8:40 pm Monday, October 16th, 2017 by Jamie Dupree

Even as President Donald Trump urged Senators on Monday to find a bipartisan deal on short-term fixes to the Obama health law, the consensus among health insurance experts is that Mr. Trump’s decision last week to no longer make payments to insurance companies to cover the health-related costs of some Americans might actually cost the federal government billions more in the years ahead.

At issue is the “Cost Sharing Reduction” payments that had been made by the Obama and Trump Administrations – that money helps subsidize insurance costs of some consumers in the Obamacare exchanges.

Those payments were never expressly approved by [More]

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