Congressional Climate May 16th, 2017

Video of the Day
President Trump Meets with Crown Prince Muhammad bin Zayed AlNahyan

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Today’s Hill Action
Senate Floor Schedule
The Senate reconvenes at 10 a.m. and will resume consideration of the nomination of Jeffrey A. Rosen to be deputy secretary of Transportation. The Senate will recess from 12:30-2:15 p.m. for weekly caucus lunches. The Senate will vote on cloture on the nomination of Rachel L. Brand to be associate attorney general following the Rosen confirmation vote.
Nominations: Jeffrey A. Rosen, of Virginia, to be deputy secretary of Transportation.
Rachel L. Brand, of Iowa, to be associate attorney general.
Committee Hearings
10:00am: Pending Nominations
10:00am: Medicare Chronic Condition Care
02:30pm: Intelligence Matters
03:15pm: Leveraging Infrastructure Federal Funding
House Floor Schedule
The House reconvenes at 2 p.m. for legislative business and is expected to consider measures under suspension of the rules. Roll call votes will be postponed until 6:30 p.m.
HR 510 – Rapid DNA Act
HR 1892 – A bill to amend title 4, USC, to provide for the flying of the flag at half-staff in the event of the death of a first responders the line of duty.
HR 1428 – American Law Enforcement Heroes Act
HR 1616 – Strengthening State and Local Cyber Crime Fighting Act
Committee Hearings
09:00am: American Indian & Alaska Native Funding
01:00pm: American Indian & Alaska Funding
05:00pm: Public Safety Officer Protection Legislation
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House GOP not sold on Ryan’s Tax Reform Plan
Dozens of Republican lawmakers are raising concerns or say they are undecided on Paul Ryan’s (R-Wis.) proposed tax on imports, suggesting the Speaker’s broader tax reform plan may not have the votes to pass the House.

The Hill has been tracking House Republicans’ positions on the border-adjustment tax for the last several months based on interviews with lawmakers and their aides, as well as comments made to other media outlets. Of the more than 50 GOP House members whose stances The Hill has learned, only about 15 appear supportive, while more than three dozen have either raised concerns about the provision or said they do not yet have a position.

Tax reform is unlikely to attract Democratic support in the House, so in order for a bill to pass, Republican leaders will need to minimize defections.

Ryan’s proposal is designed to raise revenue by imposing a tax on imports while lifting a tax on products that are made domestically and exported to alleviate the cost of lowering tax rates. The Speaker argues this would foster investment in the United States and help U.S. manufacturers.
But the plan has powerful enemies in the business community and has received a cool reception from Republican senators, casting doubt on whether it could survive a vote in the upper chamber.
Read More
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Trump Revealed highly classified info to Russians
President Trump revealed highly classified intelligence information to the Russian foreign minister and ambassador while meeting with them last week at the White House, The Washington Post reported Monday.

Current and former U.S. officials told the Post that Trump relayed information from a critical source of intelligence on the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria.
The information was provided by a U.S. partner through an intelligence-sharing arrangement. The partner did not give the United States permission to share the information with Russia.

A U.S. official with knowledge of the meeting said Trump “revealed more information to the Russian ambassador than we have shared with our own allies.”

Trump’s “code-word information” disclosure risks damaging the relationship with the intelligence source, which has access to ISIS inner workings.

Trump met with Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov and and Russian Ambassador Sergey Kislyak in the Oval Office, the same week he fired FBI Director James Comey, who was overseeing an investigation into Russia’s alleged interference in last year’s presidential election and possible collusion with Trump’s campaign.

“I get great intel. I have people brief me on great intel every day,” the president was quoted as saying, before elaborating with highly classified details.

Following the meeting, the White House contacted the CIA and National Security Agency to contain the damage, according to the Post.
Read more
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Shut Out by House GOP, Industry Pins Health Bill Hopes on Senate
The health-care world is gearing up for a lobbying offensive to persuade Republican U.S. senators to address their problems with an Obamacare replacement that was conceived in the House in a virtual vacuum.

Insurers, doctors, patient groups and most health-care experts are pinning their hopes on the Senate being more receptive after House Republicans — led by Speaker Paul Ryan — deliberately avoided discussing their plans with the main groups that would be affected by repealing the 2010 law. House GOP lawmakers say they kept the process closed out of concern that interest groups might try to shape the bill in their favor.

“Lord no!” said Representative Phil Roe of Tennessee, co-chairman of the House Republican doctors’ caucus, making the case that some segments of the health industry benefited from the very regulations and paying customers created by Obamacare. “They have a vested interest in keeping it around.”

Now, as GOP senators try to craft a repeal bill that can attract 50 votes, the industry won’t be left on the sidelines. Billions of dollars in U.S. health spending are at stake for hospitals, insurers and doctors who are worried by estimates that 24 million fewer Americans would be insured by 2026 under the House bill.
Read more
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Until tomorrow,
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