Author: Scott Horsley

Trump Will Toast NFL’s Patriots At The White House – At Least Most Of Them

NPR New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady holds the Vince Lombardi Trophy beside coach Bill Belichick, after the Patriots defeated the Atlanta Falcons 34-28 in overtime at Super Bowl 51 in Houston. Darron Cummings/AP President Trump is set to host the Super Bowl champion New England Patriots at the White House on Wednesday, an event that brings together some of the most polarizing figures in both sports and politics. The Patriots are well-acquainted with this championship ritual, having won five Super Bowls in the last sixteen years. But their come-from-behind win over the Atlanta Falcons — after being down...

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White House Spokesman Stumbles Over Assad-Hitler Comparison

NPR White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer answers reporters’ questions during the daily news conference at the White House on Tuesday. Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images White House spokesman Sean Spicer warned Russia today that its alliance with Syria is putting it, “on the wrong side of history, in a really bad way, really quickly.” The press secretary found himself in the same situation just a moment later, while trying to underscore the horror of Syria’s alleged use of chemical weapons. “You had someone as despicable as Hitler who didn’t even sink to using chemical weapons,” he said, overlooking the millions...

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Trump Donates Salary To National Parks Even As He Tries To Cut Interior Department

NPR White House press secretary Sean Spicer holds up a check during the daily briefing at the White House on Monday with Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke, left, and Harpers Ferry park superintendent Tyrone Brandyburg. Susan Walsh/AP President Trump has donated his salary from his first few months in office to the National Park Service, making good on a campaign pledge to forego a presidential paycheck. His gift represents a small fraction, however, of the money the Park Service stands to lose if Trump’s budget were adopted. Instead of collecting a salary of $400,000 a year, Trump has volunteered to...

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What Failure On Obamacare Repeal Means For Tax Reform

NPR President Trump, left, greets House Ways And Means Committee Chairman Kevin Brady, the lead author of Republicans’ tax reform plans, before a meeting to discuss the American Health Care Act on March 10 at the White House. Analysts say the GOP’s failure to pass its Obamacare alternative bodes poorly for Brady’s tax package. Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images Even as they lick their wounds from a failed Affordable Care Act repeal effort, Republican leaders in Washington are looking ahead to the next battle — over taxes. “I would say that we will probably start going very, very strongly for the...

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Trump Supports GOP Health Care Plan, But It Isn’t Everything He Wants

President Trump has tweeted his support of the Republican proposal to replace the Affordable Care Act, but it doesn’t include all of the policies he has recommended. Mandel Ngan/AFP/Getty Images President Trump is offering some Twitter support for the Obamacare replacement plan put forward by House Republicans. In a tweet Tuesday morning, Trump described the GOP blueprint as “Our wonderful new Healthcare Bill.” He suggested it would be a welcome change from the Affordable Care Act, which he called “a complete and total disaster.” Our wonderful new Healthcare Bill is now out for review and negotiation. ObamaCare is a complete and total disaster – is imploding fast! — Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) March 7, 2017 Trump’s support could be crucial since the House bill is already facing opposition from conservative Republicans who see it as too generous and more moderate GOP Senators who worry it’s not generous enough. The bill would preserve the Medicaid expansion in Obamacare through 2020 while continuing to offer tax subsidies for those who purchase health insurance on the individual market. The measure would repeal taxes on wealthy Americans that help pay for those subsidies, do away with a tax penalty for those who fail to obtain insurance, and adjust the rules governing insurance premiums so in general younger, healthy people pay less while older, sicker people pay more. Young adults would still be allowed...

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White House Sharpens Its Case For Obamacare, As Republicans Sharpen Knives

Sue Ogrocki/AP The Affordable Care Act is on the chopping block, likely to be one of the first casualties when President-elect Donald Trump takes office next month. “We will repeal the disaster known as ‘Obamacare’ and create new health care — all sorts of reforms that work for you and your family,” Trump promised in Florida last week. Before that happens, President Obama and his aides want to put a marker down on what they see as the law’s accomplishments over the last six years. “When I came into office, 44 million people were uninsured,” Obama told reporters during his pre-Christmas news conference at the White House. “Today, we’ve covered more than 20 million of them. For the first time in our history, more than 90 percent of Americans are insured.” So far, more than 6.4 million people have signed up for insurance coverage in 2017 through the federal exchange. Enrollments are on track to exceed last year’s total, with many coming from states like Florida, Texas, and North Carolina that were carried by Trump. While expanded insurance coverage is the yardstick most often cited, defenders argue the Affordable Care Act has also helped limit rising health care costs and put more emphasis on the quality of care, not just how much is done. “While multiple factors are likely playing a role, payment reforms introduced in the [Affordable Care...

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The Richest Administration In History Just Got Richer

Omar Vega/Invision/AP President-elect Donald Trump is adding another billionaire to the top ranks of his administration. Trump plans to nominate a wealthy financial executive, Vincent Viola, to be secretary of the Army. Viola would be at least the fourth Trump nominee with a net worth in the billions. And that’s not counting Trump’s own 10-figure fortune. Viola is a West Point graduate who served in the 101st Airborne Division. The son of a Brooklyn truck driver, he made his fortune in the financial industry. Viola started working as a trader on the New York Mercantile Exchange in the 1980s and eventually became the NYMEX chairman. He is credited with helping the exchange quickly resume operations after the terrorist attacks on Sept. 11, 2001. The following year, Viola founded and bankrolled the Combating Terrorism Center at West Point. “It is an honor to be nominated to serve our country,” Viola said in a statement. “If confirmed, I will work tirelessly to provide our President with the land force he will need to accomplish any mission in support of his National Defense Strategy.” Viola founded his own electronic trading company, Virtu Financial, in 2008. The company went public last year. Viola, who ranks 374th on the Forbes 400 list, also owns the Florida Panthers hockey team. Trump has chosen at least three other billionaires for top jobs in his administration. The...

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Air Force None? Trump Threatens To Cancel New Presidential Plane Over Cost

Brendan Smialowski/AFP/Getty Images President-elect Donald Trump wants to clip the wings of a new Air Force One, saying the customized 747 is too expensive. “The plane is totally out of control,” Trump told reporters Tuesday morning. “I think Boeing is doing a little bit of a number. We want Boeing to make a lot of money, but not that much money.” Earlier in the day, Trump tweeted that the new aircraft would cost more than $4 billion and urged the government to cancel the contract. Neither Trump nor his spokespeople said where that cost estimate came from. Boeing is building a brand new 747 Air Force One for future presidents, but costs are out of control, more than $4 billion. Cancel order! — Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) December 6, 2016 Last year the Air Force struck an agreement with Boeing to deliver two new 747s around 2024, by which time the planes now used for presidential travel will be more than 30 years old. The new models will be able to fly about 1,000 miles farther than the current planes. They’ll also be slightly larger and faster, but will have a smaller carbon footprint. Article continues after sponsorship “The presidential aircraft is one of the most visible symbols of the United States of America and the office of the president of the United States,” Air Force Secretary Deborah Lee...

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