Congressional Climate March 7, 2017

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Video of the Day
3/3/17 Weekly Address

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Today’s Hill Action
Senate Floor Schedule
The Senate reconvenes at 10 a.m. and is expected to resume consideration of a joint resolution (H J Res 44) that would disapprove and nullify a Bureau of Land Management rule that modifies the BLM’s process of developing resource management plans for public lands. The Senate is expected to vote on passage of the disapproval resolution following up to eight hours of debate.
H J Res 37 – A joint resolution disapproving the rule submitted by the Department of Defense, the General Services Administration, and the National Aeronautics and Space Administration relating to the Federal Acquisition Regulation.
Committee Hearings
9:30 a.m.: Lt. Gen. McMaster Reappointment
10:00 a.m.: Rosenstein/Brand Nominations
2:15 p.m.: Russia’s Policies and Intentions in Europe
2:20 p.m.: Intelligence Matters
2:30 p.m.: Intelligence Matters
House Floor Schedule
The House reconvenes at noon for legislative business and is expected to consider measures under suspension of the rules. The chamber will also consider a bill (HR 1301) providing full-year appropriations for the Defense Department for Fiscal 2017.
HR 132 – Arbuckle Project Maintenance Complex and District Office Conveyance Act
HR 648 – A bill to authorize the Secretary of the Interior to amend the Definite Plan Report for the Seedskadee Project to enable the use of the active capacity of the Fontenelle Reservoir.
HR 267 – Martin Luther King, Jr. National Historic Park Act
HR 1301 – Fiscal 2017 Defense Appropriations
Committee Hearings
5:00 p.m.: Preventing Fraudulent Joinders/FY 2017 Defesne Appropriations
7:30 p.m.: VA Choice
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Republicans Unveil Health Care Bill to Bridge Gaps in Party
Republicans unveiled their long-awaited legislation to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act, proposing to phase out key parts of the law over several years as they try to break through a stalemate between moderates and conservatives in their party.

Called the American Health Care Act, House Republicans’ proposal includes a refundable, age-based tax credit to help people buy insurance. It also ends a requirement to have coverage, and would eventually eliminate many taxes used to fund the 2010 law. Other changes, like a wind-down of an expansion of Medicaid, are phased in over a period of years. It’s not clear whether the proposal can win the support of House conservatives or clear the Senate — where Republicans possess a razor-thin margin and are relying on a fast-track legislation procedure full of limitations.

President Donald Trump, who has eschewed detailed policy proposals in favor of tweets and broad promises about better health care for less money, touted the plan Tuesday on Twitter: “Our wonderful new Healthcare Bill is now out for review and negotiation. ObamaCare is a complete and total disaster – is imploding fast!”
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House GOP bill repeals ObamaCare taxes – with one exception
The legislation that House Republicans have unveiled to repeal and replace ObamaCare would eliminate nearly all of the 2010 health law’s taxes – with one key exception.

The House bill, unveiled Monday evening, would allow ObamaCare’s “Cadillac” tax on high-cost health plans to take effect in 2025. The tax, which has been opposed by both Democrats and Republicans, had been slated to take effect in 2020 under current law.

By keeping that tax, albeit after a delay, Republicans are trying to ensure that their bill will not add to the deficit after 10 years. That’s a key consideration necessary to ensure the measure can pass the Senate with a simple majority, rather than with 60 votes.
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In the House, Leaders of Russia Inquiry are Split on Whether It’s Needed
Known as a no-nonsense, even-keeled prosecutor, Rod J. Rosenstein was expected to sail through Senate confirmation to be the Justice Department’s second-in-command. But that process has become enmeshed in the drama surrounding questions about President Trump’s campaign ties to Russia.

Mr. Rosenstein faces the Senate Judiciary Committee on Tuesday as the president’s nominee for deputy attorney general. In that post, he would oversee investigations into Mr. Trump’s campaign and Russia, because Attorney General Jeff Sessions removed himself from any such cases after the disclosure last week that he had misled Congress about meeting twice with the Russian ambassador.

Democrats who have otherwise expressed confidence in Mr. Rosenstein’s prosecutorial skills said they were skeptical that he – or anyone besides an independent outside counsel – would not be subject to political pressure while overseeing such an investigation.

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