Senate GOP Health Care Bill. What’s Next?

CHARLOTTE, NC — The Republican Party’s long-promised repeal of ‘Obamacare’ is on the brink after Senate Majority Leader, Mitch McConnell, short of GOP support, delayed votes planned for this week.

President Trump is working with Republican senators to push their health care bill over the finish line. Mr. Trump is urging lawmakers to reach an agreement after the July 4th recess.

With no Democratic support, there are only two votes to spare. At least nine Republicans oppose the bill in its current form.

Political Contributor , Mary C. Curtis offers more perspective on the delayed health care vote, problems with the proposed bill, and a potential compromise.

GA and SC Special Elections

CHARLOTTE, NC –Republicans now hold all four congressional seats up for grabs in this Spring’s special elections.

Republican Karen Handel won Georgia’s 6th congressional district in Tuesday’s special election. The House race between Handel and Democrat Jon Ossoff was the most expensive in history with a combined $50 million. Ossoff hoped to flip the long-held Republican congressional seat left vacant when Tom Price became Health and Human Services Secretary.  However, the victory margin was smaller than Republicans have maintained in the district in years past. This special election gained national attention because it was largely seen whether President Trump’s low approval ratings will impact the 2018 mid-term elections.

In South Carolina, Republican billionaire developer, Ralph Norman, won the 5th congressional district. Norman beat Democrat billionaire, and former Goldman Sachs tax adviser, Archie Parnell. The seat was previously held by Mick Mulvaney, who now serves in the Trump cabinet.

WCCB Political Contributor, Mary C. Curtis weighs in.

Donald Trump — the Affirmative Action President and His Enablers

House Speaker Paul Ryan offered the excuse “He’s just new to this” for Donald Trump after former FBI chief James Comey’s testimony that the president has done and said things that were inappropriate, even if they don’t turn out to be illegal. It sounded like something you would say in defense of a toddler who dives face-first into the birthday cake because he hasn’t yet learned what a fork is for.

President Trump is that guy — and it’s a guy 99 percent of the time — who doesn’t bother to read the book but tries to bluff his way through the oral report. Sometimes that guy is funny. When he is in a position to weaken long-held European alliances, jeopardize troops on a base in the Middle East or shred America’s safety net as well as ethical guidelines set by the founders in the U.S. Constitution, no one should be laughing. A “gentleman’s C” won’t cut it when so much is at stake.

 

Opinion: What Exactly Do Republicans Believe in Besides Trump?

When my parents were good Republicans — my mother a party activist, in fact — the label meant something entirely different than it does today.

It was the party of Lincoln, imagine that, and the GOP tolerated differences with a tent that was indeed big. You could be pro-civil rights and fiscally conservative, a working-class African-American family in Maryland, then, as now, a mostly blue state, and there was someone such as Republican Sen. Charles Mathias. With his streak of independence and loyalty to principle, he could represent you, your party and even those who didn’t vote for him.

But what does the GOP stand for in 2017? The answer, of course, is President Donald Trump, a man who changes positions and then contradicts himself.

Opinion: Democrats May Be Too Optimistic About 2018 Gains

The redrawn congressional districts in North Carolina turned out to be too racially driven for a Supreme Court dominated by conservatives — with Justice Clarence Thomas siding with the majority.

Who’d have thought it?

But the fact that it’s arguably a toss-up, in some judges’ reasoning, how much the Republicans in the state legislature used race or pure partisan advantage while doing their dirty work highlights how difficult it will be for Democrats to retake the majority in the House — Trumpian scandals and a proposed budget that hurts many in the GOP base notwithstanding.

Opinion: Trump Policies on Voting and Criminal Justice Quietly Move Country Backward

While the Trump administration is in a state of perpetual turmoil, some of its promised policies are proceeding as planned. Support from a Republican Congress is softening with each cringe-worthy headline about slips, leaks and feuds; still, its members, mindful of the president’s loyal base, are proceeding with caution.

And when you step back from the chaos, don’t expect to see any progress on other issues — such as voting rights and criminal justice reform — that once promised a bit of bipartisan cooperation.

 

Comey’s Memo, Trump’s Russia Meeting

Charlotte, NC — There is controversy on two fronts at the White House. According to a memo, President Trump allegedly asked then FBI Director James Comey to end the bureau’s investigation into then National Security Advisor Michael Flynn. The latest allegations come on the heels of reports that the President also shared classified information with Russian leaders during an Oval Office meeting last week. Members of the House Oversight Committee say they are willing to subpoena documents of any conversations between Comey and Trump if they are not handed over by May 24th.

Russia President Vladimir Putin is also offering to turn over to Congress records of President Donald Trump’s discussions with Russian diplomats in which Trump is said to have disclosed classified information.

Lawmakers on both aisles are pressing for more answers.

WCCB Political Contributor, Mary C. Curtis offers more perspective on the drama and chaos in Washington.

Opinion: The Obama Effect — Pros and Cons for Republicans and Democrats

Barack Obama, the charismatic former president, can cause a scene just by walking into a coffee shop, as the rapturous crowds in usually blase New York City demonstrated at one of his cameos. So as he gently re-entered the public and policy eye this week, it’s no surprise that he could throw both Democrats and Republicans off balance — though of course for very different reasons.

 

Opinion: In North Carolina, the Good and Not-So-Good News

CHARLOTTE, N.C. — It’s North Carolina, so, of course, the good news is followed by that pesky dark cloud every time.

You would think everyone in the state would welcome the end of the long saga over House Bill 2, the so-called bathroom bill, which was repealed recently in a compromise. That bill, which had compelled people to use the bathroom that corresponded to the gender on their birth certificates, also said cities could not follow Charlotte’s lead and enact their own anti-discrimination ordinances or a minimum wage and much more.

 

Opinion: Not So Fast, Democrats. You Had a Good Day, but Now What?

As the Republican Party has learned, it’s much easier to be the party of “no” than to actually have a plan to lead. So while Democrats are celebrating a GOP in disarray, the party out of power needs a message and a plan.

Understandably, House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosicelebrated as the GOP’s new-and-improved health care plan to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act failed. But long term, she must truly want to experience a return to the speaker’s post. Senate Minority Leader Charles E. Schumer knows just how to rile Donald Trump, his fellow New Yorker. But he still has to call Trump Mr. President.

So what happens the morning after the party, when all that remains are empty champagne bottles and a headache? f