Published: Sun, May 07, 2017
Global Media | By Garry Long

Budget not a down-payment on new border wall

Budget not a down-payment on new border wall

President Donald Trump tweeted Tuesday that the US government "needs a good shutdown" in September to fix a "mess" in the Senate, signaling his displeasure with a temporary spending bill that Republican congressional leaders - and Trump himself - are praising as a major accomplishment. They won passage only after overcoming their own divisions that almost sank the measure six weeks ago.

It also came at the start of a week in which the House is considering a possible vote on a health care overhaul that would repeal and replace Barack Obama's Affordable Care Act. They sang the pop song "Na Na Hey Hey Kiss Him Goodbye" to the GOP lawmakers as the end of the voting neared.

But the move announced late Wednesday by GOP leaders also carries extreme political risk, as House Republicans prepare to endorse a bill that boots millions off the insurance rolls and may not even survive the Senate.

"President Trump may not like what he sees in this budget deal, but it's risky and irresponsible to respond by calling for a shutdown", said Sen.

White House press secretary Sean Spicer calls on a member of the media during the daily press briefing at the White House in Washington, Wednesday. The bill now faces an uncertain fate in the Senate, where even GOP lawmakers say major changes are likely.

"We really need to discipline ourselves to get to a balanced budget, and avoid shortcuts or temporary solutions that are just once again more band-aids on a problem that we just can not continue to escape".

Leaders rallied rank-and-file lawmakers at a closed-door meeting early Thursday by playing "Eye of the Tiger", the rousing 1980s song from the "Rocky III" film.

But Office of Management and Budget Director Mick Mulvaney pushed back, saying: "The president delivered on his promises and got his priorities funded".

"This bill is far from flawless, but it's better than how we are spending our money today, better than how we were spending our money a year ago", Republican Senator Roy Blunt said on the Senate floor. "You will glow in the dark on this one".

Democrats also praised the measure as an example of bipartisan cooperation in the handling of the 12 annual appropriations bills that fund the federal government.

The statement arrived on the eve of a House vote on the measure.

"I'm hopeful we can find common ground (with the Senate's GOP majority), but we haven't gotten single smoke signal from Republicans that they're interested in doing that, " Murphy, D-Conn., said in an interview Friday.

He abandoned a second attempt for a vote last week.

China Launches First Domestically built Aircraft Carrier
Earlier reports also suggested that the ship's hangars were built large enough to accommodate between 28 to 36 aircraft onboard. The ship, which now does not have a name, is China's first domestically built and second overall carrier, the BBC reported .

But they remain short of votes.

Over the past few weeks, the measure was revamped to attract most hard-line conservatives and some GOP centrists.

The bill's supporters say it protects those with pre-existing conditions and that the exclusion would affect only some of them.

Democrats stood firmly united against the health bill. Overall, the legislation would cut the Medicaid program for the poor, eliminate fines for people who don't buy insurance and provide generally skimpier subsidies.

It would retain Obama's requirement that family policies cover grown children until age 26.

Like many moderates, Upton and Long had expressed concerns that the GOP bill weakened protections under Obama's law that prevent insurers from charging people with pre-existing conditions higher premiums.

The bill would block federal payments to Planned Parenthood for a year, considered a triumph by many anti-abortion Republicans.

"Health care providers are very nervous about this, " he said.

Republicans will "gut Obamacare and rescue the American people", said Rep. Doug Collins, R-Ga. The GOP has been trying ever since to repeal the law even as around 20 million Americans gained coverage under it. At least 11 others said they are undecided.

That's the word Wednesday night from Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy, who told reporters "yes" when asked if they have sufficient votes. Budget analysts have estimated that 24 million could be uninsured by 2026, including 14 million by next year.

Himes said he'd talked to anxious health care providers, including executives at Stamford Hospital and the Norwalk Community Health Center.

A CBO estimate for the cost of latest version of their bill will not be ready before the House conducts its vote.

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