Author: Maya Rhodan

Republicans Are Bashing Their Own Accountants. They Didn’t Always Feel That Way

  Before the Congressional Budget Office even released its analysis of the costs of the Republican healthcare bill, the GOP was lining up to dismiss the numbers as inaccurate or irrelevant. But Republican lawmakers didn’t always feel that way about the CBO, which functions as Congress’ in-house accountants on legislation. In fact, they’ve often praised its efforts. One reason for the change: The agency is expected to give poor marks to the GOP bill on both long-term cost and the number of people who will be insured under it. It’s true, as many critics noted, that the CBO overestimated enrollment under the Affordable Care Act, though a 2015 report found that it was closer than four other major analyses of that law. Here’s a look at what some key players have said in the past. • White House spokesman Sean Spicer argued that the CBO’s 2010 analysis of the Affordable Care Act was off. “If you’re looking to the CBO for accuracy, you’re looking in the wrong place,” he said. But as the New York Times noted, Spicer has cited the agency’s work in the past. • Health and Human Services Secretary Tom Price similarly criticized the CBO analysis of Obamacare. “They’ve been woefully underperforming when it comes to evaluating health systems,” he said. But as a member of Congress, he praised the agency’s “professionalism, objectivity, and nonpartisanship.” •...

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President Trump Says Obamacare Repeal Will Put Republicans ‘in a Bad Position’

  President Trump said Republicans are putting themselves in a “very bad position” by repealing the Affordable Care Act, which has been a signature Republican campaign promise since 2010. “The Republicans, frankly, are putting themselves in a very bad position — I tell this to [Health and Human Services Secretary] Tom Price all the time — by repealing Obamacare,” Trump said during a listening session on the Affordable Care Act at the White House on Monday. Trump said that by repealing the law, Republicans will keep people from seeing the “truly devastating effects of Obamacare.” “They’re not gonna see the devastation. In ’17 and ’18 and ’19, it’ll be gone by then. Whether we do it or not, it’ll be imploded off the map,” the president said of the Affordable Care Act, though he later said waiting to repeal the law would be “the wrong thing for our citizens.” Trump, White House aides, and Republican allies in Congress are in full-blown sales-pitch mode trying to promote the GOP plan to repeal and replace President Obama’s signature legislative achievement. Trump on Monday was critical of the media’s portrayal of the Affordable Care Act, saying publications are “making it look so wonderful.” The president said there was a similar reaction to President Obama. Trump said people “didn’t like him so much” when he was in office, but loved him when he...

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President Trump Argued His Travel Ban Should Surprise ‘Bad Dudes.’ His New Version Gives 10 Days’ Notice

  When President Trump unveiled his first travel ban, he argued it shouldn’t have any advance notice to keep “bad dudes” from rushing into the country. If the ban were announced with a one week notice, the ‘bad’ would rush into our country during that week. A lot of bad ‘dudes’ out there! – Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) January 30, 2017 But the revised version of the order President Trump signed on Monday included a 10 day advanced notice. The new order will take effect on March 16. Trump faced a firestorm of backlash when the first order was issued, including criticism from Republicans who said the rollout could have gone more smoothly. On a conference call Monday, a senior Department of Homeland Security official said the delay was put in place to make sure all of the legal kinks could be worked out before the order goes into effect. Senior leaders also seem to be working to be as transparent as possible while rolling out the revised ban. Secretary of Homeland Security, Secretary of State Rex Tillerson and Attorney General Jeff Sessions each delivered remarks on the new order during an appearance on Monday to clarify the order. During that appearance, Secretary Kelly said there should be “no surprises” this time...

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Most Americans Want a Special Prosecutor to Probe Russia and the 2016 Election

  Most Americans want a special prosecutor to investigate contacts that officials on President Donald Trump‘s campaign made with Russian officials, according to a new poll. The CNN/ORC survey released Monday showed that about two-thirds of Americans think a special prosecutor should be appointed to conduct the inquiry, while 32% say Congress can conduct a sufficient investigation. More than half of those surveyed are at least somewhat concerned about contacts between the President’s campaign and Russia, a controversy that has lingered during the early weeks of Trump’s administration. Attorney General Jeff Sessions recently announced he would recuse himself from investigations into the Trump campaign’s ties with Russia, after revelations that he failed to disclose contacts with Russia’s ambassador during his confirmation hearings. At least 70%, including 47% of Republicans, at least somewhat agreed with the intelligence community’s conclusion that Russia sought to influence the outcome of the election. But the poll also indicated that the steady stream of news reports about contacts with Russia have not had a major impact on the Trump’s approval rating. Some 45% of Americans approve of the job President Trump is doing. The survey of 1,025 people conducted March 1-4, had a margin of error of plus or minus 3 percentage...

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Trump’s Immigration Crackdown Seems Designed to Spread Fear

The panic set in before the raids began. In Cleveland, undocumented women who worried about getting deported by Donald Trump’s Administration began asking local activists if they could fill out paperwork to safeguard their children. In Brownsville, Texas, community health worker Paula Saldana heard tales of neighbors abruptly leaving their homes to return to Mexico. Zuleima Dominguez, a 23-year-old college student, says every knock at the door of her Bronx apartment became an occasion for alarm. “The fear controls my body,” says Dominguez, whose parents and brother are undocumented. “I start crying. I start getting anxiety.” That may have been partly the design of the President’s recent crackdown on undocumented immigrants. The raids, carried out by federal officials beginning Feb. 4, netted some 680 people in 12 states. Government agencies say the goal was simply to enforce the laws on the books. About 75% of those apprehended had criminal convictions, according to the Department of Homeland Security, and Trump hailed the arrests as the realization of a campaign promise. “Gang members, drug dealers & others are being removed!” he tweeted Feb. 12. But not only them. While Trump’s predecessors also conducted sweeping roundups in immigrant communities, those raids had narrower targets. President Barack Obama directed officials to prioritize hardened criminals for deportation. In contrast, Trump’s Executive Orders instructed law-enforcement agencies to broaden the range of deportable offenses. Even acts...

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Watch Live: President Trump Addresses MacDill Air Force Base

President Donald Trump will address troops at MacDill Air Force base in Tampa, Fla. on Monday during his first trip to the U.S. Central Command and Special Operations Command headquarters at commander-in-chief. President Trump is expected to receive a briefing at the Air Force base from leaders of SOCOM and CENTCOM, attend lunch, and address troops. The president’s remarks will be delivered this afternoon, according to the White House schedule. The Associated Press reports chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Gen. Joseph Dunford and National Security Advisor Michael Flynn are also expected to attend Monday’s meetings. The U.S. Central Command oversees Middle East operations, including a recent raid in Yemen that led to the first casualty under the Trump administration. President Trump honored William “Ryan” Owens during his weekly address on Friday. “Chief Owens gave his life for his country and for our people. Our debt to him and his family, a beautiful family, is eternal,” Trump said. “God has truly blessed this nation to have given us such a brave and selfless patriot as Ryan. We will never forget him. We will never ever forget those who serve. Believe me.” The president is in Florida on Monday following a weekend away from Washington. Trump had been in Palm Beach, Fla. over the weekend for a stay at his Mar-a-Lago resort. He golfed and attended a Red Cross...

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President Trump Defends Travel Ban: ‘Any Negative Polls Are Fake News’

President Donald Trump said in an early-morning tweet that any polls that showed Americans were not in favor of his travel ban for seven majority-Muslim countries were “fake news.” “Any negative polls are fake news, just like the CNN, ABC, NBC polls in the election. Sorry, people want border security and extreme vetting,” the president tweeted. Any negative polls are fake news, just like the CNN, ABC, NBC polls in the election. Sorry, people want border security and extreme vetting. – Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) February 6, 2017 President Trump is an avid consumer of news, though he often uses his powerful Twitter platform to attack the news media. The president referenced the campaign in his Monday morning tweet because polling and pundits predicted the election would be an easy victory for Trump’s opponent, Hillary Clinton. That’s clearly not what happened. Trump’s Monday tweet focuses on polling around his controversial executive order that temporarily bars refugees from resettling in the U.S. and blocks travel from seven countries, including Iraq, Iran and Syria. Recent polling on the order has shown that the majority of Americans have a negative view of the president’s ban. A poll from CBS News found that 51% of Americans disapprove of the ban, while 45% approve. The poll found opinions were split along party lines — while 85% of Republicans were in favor of the order,...

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President Trump’s Immigration Ban Faces a Major Legal Test

The fate of President Donald Trump‘s controversial executive order temporarily banning refugees and travelers from seven majority-Muslim countries is up for grabs on Monday, as the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals will soon decide whether the order should be reinstated. Bringing the order back would “unleash chaos again,” attorneys from the states of Washington and Minnesota, which filed suit against the order, said in a Monday morning filing, according to ABC News. “Defendants now ask this Court to unleash chaos again by staying the district court order. The Court should decline,” the states’ attorneys said. The Department of Justice is expected to respond with their own filing defending the order on Monday afternoon. The court will also weigh briefs from former U.S. officials and dozens of the nation’s leading technology firms, which take aim at Trump’s order. Former Secretaries of State John Kerry and Madeline Albright, former Defense Secretary Leon Panetta, and others filed a brief in favor of blocking the ban, according to the Washington Post. The officials say that though the U.S. faces real threats, those threats are not addressed by the Trump administration’s ban on travel from Syria, Sudan, Yemen, Iraq, Iran, Somalia and Libya. Instead, the former officials argue, it “ultimately undermines the national security of the United States rather than making us safer.” “There is no national security purpose for a total bar on...

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