As all the chips are down, one thing is clear to us in the Alabama Senate Primary: the DC Swamp does not want any Member of the House Freedom Caucus to win this race.
That Member is Congressman Mo Brooks.
With a 94% on the Heritage Action scorecard and an 88% on the Liberty Scorecard, Congressman Brooks is an original member of the House Freedom Caucus and for good reason. For years his signature issues have been the 2nd Amendment and economic freedom, seeking to reduce the size and scope of government. He is the antithesis of the Establishment.
Contrasting Brooks is Luther Strange. As former Attorney General of Alabama, he asked that impeachment proceedings into then Governor Bentley be halted. On the heels of this request, Strange was appointed to the vacant Senate seat by Bentley. If that doesn’t reek of political corruption, we don’t know what does.
After his appointment, Strange has embraced the DC Swamp culture for the past six months, prompting Mitch McConnell and Karl Rove to endorse Strange and threaten any who would cross them as they seek to protect one of their own.
We are more than happy to cross them and fight this culture of good old boy politics.
The election of Donald Trump was an election of change. It was a call to drain the swamp, not add more creatures to it.
That’s why we are excited to endorse Mo Brooks for Senate today.
NPR reported yesterday that a “secret” working group of 13 United States Senators has been meeting to hammer out the next steps in repealing Obamacare.
What do we know at this point?
One, the Senate is NOT taking up the House bill, but will likely use the framework that it was created in (a budget bill) so the reconciliation process can be used. Why is this important? Because to pass a budget reconciliation bill you only need 51 votes and there are 52 GOP Senators.
Two, Senator Ted Cruz is helping lead this working group. This is important because of this: Ted Cruz Shops One and Done Bill. HIs focus is on driving premiums down. That is a winning issue that crosses ideological lines.
Third, according to the NPR story:
Sens. Susan Collins, R-Maine, and Bill Cassidy, R-La., have introduced their own health care plan, and they have been prominent voices in the debate, but they were excluded from the health care working group.
If you recall, Bill Cassidy was floating his “Jimmy Kimmel Test” last week. He clearly has no intention of repealing Obamacare and its rising premiums. Susan Collins doesn’t either. The fact that neither are in the room bodes well for this process.
Four, Joe Manchin and other red state Democrats up in 2018 now face a tough decision: keep their Senate seats by voting with their constituents and driving premiums down or lose their seats by voting with the Washington, DC based leadership. They are literally between a rock and a hard place and our guess is 2-3 of them will buckle when the right bill is presented.
While a lot of other news has buried all this, keep an eye on Ted Cruz and this working group. We think something really good is going to come from it.
The headline today in Politico (“Reckless Stock Trading Leaves Congress Rife with Conflicts“) brought two reactions from the Madison Project staff this morning.
The first was, “Is the liberal media trying to smear Republican Congressmen?”
The second, after reading the story, was, “Come on, man, what are you guys thinking?!”
So we thought we would toss the question out to the broader readership.
Should Members of Congress be allowed to use their subcommittee and committee assignments and insider knowledge to purchase stock in companies that may be affected by the policies they are enacting?
Our view is that this is why Washington, DC is called The Swamp.
As House healthcare bill heads to the United States Senate, there has been a lot of jostling as to the best path forward now that the House has punted on a full repeal of Obamacare and tossed it to the Senate.
As the stage is set, let’s make sure everyone understands what exactly the state of play is.
The initial bill, one that we dubbed “Ryancare,” was the creation of healthcare lobbyists and the Tuesday Group (House liberals masquerading as Republicans) with no input from the House Freedom Caucus or the conservative movement as a whole.
It met the fate that was preordained for it the moment the process began sans conservatives.
Upon its demise, President Trump said, “That’s it, we tried, we couldn’t get Obamacare repealed.”
The House Freedom Caucus, eager to help Trump fulfill one of this three major campaign promises (The Wall, Repeal, Tax Reform), said, “Not so fast!”
Patching together a stage coalition, Mark Meadows and the House Freedom Caucus sent (as they acknowledged) an imperfect but improved version of a healthcare bill to the Senate. It’s still not reform, but neither is it the Frankenstein Ryancare was. Lost on many was and is the fact that the House bill was drafted as a budget reconciliation bill. This is a important component on which the entire process hinges (for more on budget reconciliation, read this.).
Enter Ted Cruz. Love him, hate him, disbelieve him-it doesn’t matter. He has been consistent on a host of issues, the foremost of which is the total repeal of Obamacare. Now that the House bill is in the Senate hands, it is going to be disassembled and patched back together, likely returning to a version closer to Ryancare than anything else.
Unless Ted Cruz has his way. With three election cycles worth of campaign promises resting on the full repeal of Obamacare, Cruz . . .
. . . said he has been working for weeks with the now-thirteen member group of GOP senators on an Obamacare repeal and replacement plan that would eliminate the need for a second phase of legislation to replace failing healthcare law. Instead of a limited repeal and replace bill followed by another bill later, the GOP wish-list for replacing Obamacare would be packed into a single budget resolution to repeal Obamacare that could pass with only GOP support using a tool called reconciliation.
“I believe the only meaningful healthcare reform will be through reconciliation,” Cruz told the Washington Examiner in an interview.
He is right. Why? Because through the reconciliation process, it only takes 51 votes to repeal Obamacare, not 60. Mitch McConnell and Senate leadership have already proven with the Grouch nomination fight that a 51 vote versus 60 vote threshold is perfectly acceptable on controversial issues like judges.
The current number of GOP Senators? 52.
With the clock ticking and premiums rising sky high, now is the time to act on the full repeal of Obamacare.
Now that the dust has settled in the GA-6 primary, the choices are very clear as we head into a two month run-off.
On one side is Jon Ossoff, darling of the Left and Hollywood favorite. Not only are his politics out of step with GA-6, he doesn’t actually even live in the district.
Advancing in to the runoff against Ossoff is Karen Handel.
Elected Secretary of State in Georgia in 2006, Handel eventually ran and finished third in the 2014 United States Senate primary. But it was her work and the positions she took during her time at Susan G. Komen for the Cure that showed her mettle.
Hired by Komen in 2011 as senior vice president of public policy, Handel set in motion new policy efforts to change the way Komen made grants to affiliated groups. Her policy on grant making was approved by the board and because of it, Komen’s grants to Planned Parenthood ended. In the media driven backlash that followed, Komen reinstated its old policy and granted funds to Planned Parenthood. In the aftermath, Handel took the principled stand and resigned. That shows us a lot about the character of Karen Handel.
This is not going to be an easy run-off. Democrats nationwide are motivated to get a win before the 2018 election season begins in earnest. This runoff is happening because Ossoff missed winning it outright this past Tuesday by less than two points. This is an all hands on deck situation and we are excited to endorse Karen Handel in this important race!
There is a debate raging in Washington, DC as to why the GOP, holding the trifecta of the White House, the House and the Senate, cannot repeal Obamacare.
Simple answer? They don’t want to.
Or at least a lot of them don’t. The House Freedom Caucus does and is working overtime to make sure they put forward a bill that repeals Obamacare, fulfilling promises made by the GOP for the last three election cycles that if they won the House, Senate and White House, they would repeal Obamacare.
It now turns out that the Tuesday Group, the caucus of Republican liberals parading around as moderates, claims they will lose their seats if they actually vote to repeal Obamacare.
Many of them, led by Charlie Dent of Pennsylvania, voted numerous times to repeal Obamacare. In fact, not only did Congressman Dent vote for the 2015 repeal bill (HR 3762) he voted to override President Obama’s veto of the bill. Why does this matter?
Because Charlie Dent and the Tuesday Group knew their votes to repeal Obamacare at the time were just show votes on legislation that would never come into affect. It is the height of duplicity, a political stunt pulled off brazenly in the light of day and the response from them is, “Move along, not a big deal” even as they work to scuttle plans to fully repeal Obamacare. The elitist nature of Dent and the Tuesday Group are what the American voters are fed up with. It’s time for the White House and GOP leadership to turn up the heat on Congressman Dent and others. Time for them to play
Two pieces of news came out of Washington, DC this morning, neither of them good.
The first is based on a tweet from President Trump and it indicates that he wants to go to war with the House Freedom Caucus. A few thoughts on this. The same voters that elected the House Freedom Caucus Members are the same voters that elected Donald Trump. Both Trump and the Freedom Caucus Members were elected to drain the swamp, repeal Obamacare, bring whole scale change to Washington, DC and get the country back on track.
The simple lesson of, “You gotta dance with the one that brought you” applies here. We don’t know if Donald Trump thinks the Democrats or moderates are his base, but this is a tipping point for he and his Administration.
The second piece of news if from Axios. In a show of good faith, the House Freedom Caucus, the Republican Study Committee and the Tuesday Group (the GOP moderates) agreed to hash out a path forward last night on healthcare reform. We think it is simple: full repeal. But nonetheless, the conservatives in the House came to the table last night and at the 11th hour, the Tuesday Group pulled out. Why? Because they felt it was below them to have to negotiate with the conservatives.
How GOP leadership and the Trump White House respond to these two stories above are indicative of how the next four years will play out. This is a game of high stakes.
If you haven’t guessed it by now, House Republicans are slow walking themselves into the lions den. They are snatching defeat from the jaws of victory and they are doing so half-knowingly, hoping for a different outcome than what they have to know is coming. House Members who were at the White House a few days ago agreed to principles that they were promised would be in a mangers amendment offered at the Rules Committee. Here’s the problem. The bill that was “agreed to in principle” doesn’t exist.
It’s time for a “try again” on the Republican plan to repeal Obamacare. In reality, it’s very simple.
Fully repeal Obamacare and let marketplaces create incentives for insurers to compete. Competition will drive down healthcare costs.
That’s it. It’s that simple.
And it looks like the party of limited government, the free markets and individual liberty just got its hat handed to it by its base (in other words, the ones that voted them into power) and the Congressional Budget Office, which released its numbers on Ryancare yesterday.
Called “scorching,” the CBO’s scoring prompted reactions like this one.
“Can’t sugarcoat it. Doesn’t look good,” said Sen. Bill Cassidy (R-La.). “The CBO score was, shall we say, an eye-popper.”
And this one from Virginia Rep. Rob Wittmann.
“After reviewing this legislation and receiving the Congressional Budget Office score today, it is clear that this bill is not consistent with the repeal and replace principles for which I stand,” he said in a statement. “I do not think this bill will do what is necessary for the short and long-term best interests of Virginians and therefore, I must oppose it.”
Ryancare is DOA. And that’s a good thing.
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