Author: Igor Bobic

President Live-Tweets Cable News Morning After Firing FBI Director

THE HUFFINGTON POST The president of the United States spent Wednesday morning watching television and rebutting on Twitter the cable news coverage of his controversial decision to fire FBI Director James Comey. Comey lost the confidence of almost everyone in Washington, Republican and Democrat alike. When things calm down, they will be thanking me! — Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) May 10, 2017 After Sen. Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.) appeared on CNN, where he called for a special prosecutor to investigate Russia’s alleged meddling in the election and called President Donald Trump’s decision to fire Comey a “looming constitutional crisis,” the...

Read More

Another GOP Senator Says Donald Trump Should Release His Tax Returns

THE HUFFINGTON POST Sen. James Lankford (R-Okla.) thinks President Donald Trump ought to release his income tax returns. “He promised he would,” Lankford said at a town hall in Oklahoma on Tuesday. “He should keep his promise.” Trump has long maintained that he can’t do so because he is being audited by the Internal Revenue Service. “It’s a routine one. It continues,” White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer said Monday. The IRS, however, has said that nothing prevents individuals from sharing their tax information even while under audit. Moreover, there is a precedent for a president releasing tax returns...

Read More

With Trump Pick Aboard, Supreme Court Tackles Religious Rights

THE HUFFINGTON POST WASHINGTON, April 16 (Reuters) – The U.S. Supreme Court is set this week to hear a closely watched case testing the limits of religious rights, and new Justice Neil Gorsuch’s judicial record indicates he could tip the court toward siding with a church challenging Missouri’s ban on state funding of religious entities. Trinity Lutheran Church, which is located in Columbia, Missouri and runs a preschool and daycare center, said Missouri unlawfully excluded it from a grant program providing state funds to nonprofit groups to buy rubber playground surfaces. Missouri’s constitution prohibits “any church, sect or denomination...

Read More

Tom Cotton Warns GOP Health Care Bill Could Put House Majority At Risk

Sen. Tom Cotton (R-Ark.) on Sunday urged House Republicans not to vote for House Speaker Paul Ryan’s (R-Wis.) Obamacare repeal bill, warning them that a vote in favor of the legislation could haunt them in the 2018 midterm elections. “I’m afraid that if they vote for this bill, they’re going to put the House majority at risk next year,” he said during an interview with ABC’s “This Week.” The Arkansas senator recalled how Democrats lost unified control of government in 1994 after House Democrats voted in favor of President Bill Clinton’s proposed BTU tax. The unpopular tax on energy did not end up getting a vote in the Senate, but House Democrats got stuck with it hung around their necks in the midterms anyway. The lesson, Cotton said, is to avoid casting a politically suicidal vote on legislation that the Senate or the president may abandon in the future. “So, I would say to my friends in the House of Representatives with whom I serve, do not walk the plank and vote for a bill that cannot pass the Senate and then have to face the consequences of that vote,” Cotton said. Several Republican senators have publicly criticized the House GOP bill, putting the legislation as currently written in severe jeopardy. Furthermore, a group of influential conservatives in the House is pushing to amend the bill further by phasing out...

Read More

GOP Wants To Give Health Insurance Executives A Tax Break

  WASHINGTON ― The Republican bill to reform the Affordable Care Act cuts taxes on the wealthiest Americans while slashing benefits to the middle and working class. It also guts funding to states that cover low-income Americans via Medicaid ― a key sticking point for several GOP senators who represent states that expanded the program under Obamacare. But another provision that shifts benefits to the wealthy hasn’t gotten as much attention. The American Health Care Act, as the House bill is called, gives health insurance executives who earn more than $500,000 per year a tax break. It does so by repealing the limit on corporate tax deductions set in place by Obamacare ― a measure that helped pay for the law and told consumers that it was not a giveaway to insurance companies. According to an estimate from the nonpartisan Joint Committee on Taxation, repealing the cap would cost taxpayers $400 million over 10 years. That’s a significant sum considering the bill likely won’t be revenue-neutral when the Congressional Budget Office scores it next week. Although some media outlets have called the deduction a sweetener for the health care industry, which has serious concerns about the legislation, GOP leadership has not given an official explanation for it. Asked about the provision during a press conference at the White House briefing room on Tuesday, Health and Human Services Secretary Tom Price said he was...

Read More

The Health Care Industry Really Doesn’t Like GOP’s Obamacare Replacement

  WASHINGTON ― Major trade groups representing the health care industry on Tuesday voiced serious concerns, and in some cases outright opposition, to House Speaker Paul Ryan’s (R-Wis.) bill to reform the Affordable Care Act, joining a chorus of critics from both the left and the right. Groups representing hospitals, doctors, nursing homes, patients and older people criticized the Republican proposal. While some major industry players, including insurers and drugmakers, were notably silent, one big Medicaid provider predicted the GOP plan would wreck the insurance marketplace. “We cannot support [the speaker’s bill] in its current form,” Richard J. Pollack, president and CEO of the American Hospital Association, said in a letter on Tuesday. J. Mario Molina, chief executive of Molina Healthcare Inc., a major Medicaid provider that offers ACA plans in nine states, warned the legislation would create a spike in premiums ― the same thing Republicans faulted Obamacare for doing. “You’re going to see insurers exit markets … this is going to destabilize the marketplace,” Molina told The Wall Street Journal. The speed with which major health industry groups distanced themselves from the GOP plan stands in sharp contrast to how Obamacare took shape in 2009. Democrats sought input from the health care industry from the beginning, working to build support before their bill was released to the public. The National Health Council, a coalition of patient advocacy groups...

Read More

White House Won’t Say It Will Accept Results Of Investigation It Called For

  WASHINGTON ― The White House on Monday again declined to substantiate President Donald Trump’s explosive allegation over the weekend that former President Barack Obama wiretapped his communications at Trump Tower, maintaining repeatedly that Congress ought to investigate whether it had indeed happened. But now the White House won’t even say whether it will accept the conclusion of the congressional investigation Trump has called for ― suggesting its initial statement calling for an inquiry is little more than a rhetorical runaround. “We definitely will have a lot of respect for what they do and look into, but to blanketly accept [the result of the investigation] might be a bit premature,” White House press secretary Sean Spicer said during an off-camera briefing at the White House. During the Monday briefing with reporters, Spicer sidestepped thorny questions as to whether the administration believes the FBI committed a crime by surveilling a private U.S. citizen, and, separately, whether the administration believes the government had reason to wiretap Trump Tower due to potential communications between Trump campaign officials and agents of a foreign power as laid out by the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court. Spicer also declined to answer a question about whether the president believes Obama personally ordered the wiretap on Trump Tower, as he claimed on Saturday. “As the president noted, we’re going to let Congress look into that,” he said, adding he...

Read More

Donald Trump Blames SEAL’s Death On Military: ‘They Lost Ryan’

  President Donald Trump on Tuesday dodged responsibility for a botched mission he ordered in Yemen last month, placing the onus on the military and Barack Obama’s administration instead. Bill Owens, the father of Chief Petty Officer William “Ryan” Owens, the Navy SEAL who died in the operation, demanded an investigation into his son’s death over the weekend. Owens further revealed he couldn’t bear to meet Trump at the airport as Ryan’s casket was carried off the military plane last month. Asked about the matter during an interview with Fox News’ “Fox ‘n’ Friends,” Trump repeatedly said “they” were responsible for the outcome of the mission, in reference to the military. “This was a mission that was started before I got here. This was something they wanted to do,” he said. “They came to me, they explained what they wanted to do ― the generals ― who are very respected, my generals are the most respected that we’ve had in many decades, I believe. And they lost Ryan. “I can understand people saying that. I’d feel ― ‘What’s worse?’ There’s nothing worse,” he added. “This was something that they were looking at for a long time doing, and according to [Defense Secretary Jim] Mattis it was a very successful mission. They got tremendous amounts of information.” “I can understand… I’d feel ‘what’s worse?’ There’s nothing worse.” –@POTUS on fallen Navy...

Read More