Congressional Climate May 8th, 2017

Video of the Day
White House Press Briefing

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Today’s Hill Action
Senate Floor Schedule
The Senate reconvenes at 2 p.m. and will resume consideration of the nomination of Heather Wilson to be secretary of the Air Force. At 5:30 p.m., the Senate will vote on confirmation of the nomination and on cloture of the nomination of Scott Gottlieb to be commissioner of food and drugs.
Nominations:
Heather Wilson, of South Dakota, to be secretary of the Air Force.
Scott Gottlieb, of Connecticut, to be commissioner of food and drugs.
Committee Hearings
02:30pm: Russian Interference in 2016 Election
House Floor Schedule
09:00am: The House meets in a pro forma session
Committee Hearings
None
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Decoding HHS Secretary Price’s spin on the American Health Care Act
“The fact of the matter is that Medicaid spending under the proposal and under the budget goes up every single year.”
“We have got 20 million folks out there across this land who have told the federal government, ‘Phooey, nonsense.
I’m not going to participate in your program because it doesn’t do what I need done.’ So, they are paying a penalty.”
– Health and Human Services Secretary Tom Price, interview on CNN’s “State of the Union,” May 7
Price defended the American Health Care Act, the House GOP plan to overhaul health-care system, in an interview with CNN.
We’re going to focus on two statements in particular because they are rather misleading.
The Facts
Medicaid spending
When challenged by CNN’s Jake Tapper over reductions in Medicaid spending – $839 billion over 10 years,
according to a Congressional Budget Office in late March – Price responded with some Washington double-talk about funding for the
health-care program for the poor. (An earlier CBO estimate had pegged the reduction at $880 billion, which is the number Tapper used in the interview.)

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E.P.A. Dismisses Members of Major Scientific Review Board
The Environmental Protection Agency has dismissed at least five members of a major scientific review board,
the latest signal of what critics call a campaign by the Trump administration to shrink the agency’s regulatory reach
by reducing the role of academic research.
A spokesman for the E.P.A. administrator, Scott Pruitt, said he would consider replacing the academic scientists with
representatives from industries whose pollution the agency is supposed to regulate, as part of the wide net it plans to cast.
“The administrator believes we should have people on this board who understand the impact of regulations on the regulated community,”
said the spokesman, J. P. Freire.
The dismissals on Friday came about six weeks after the House passed a bill aimed at changing the composition of another E.P.A.
scientific review board to include more representation from the corporate world.
President Trump has directed Mr. Pruitt to radically remake the E.P.A., pushing for deep cuts in its budget – including a 40 percent
reduction for its main scientific branch – and instructing him to roll back major Obama-era regulations on climate change and clean water protection.

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Centrist Macron defeats far-right Le Pen to secure French presidency
Former finance minister Emmanuel Macron soundly defeated Marine Le Pen, the candidate of France’s right-wing National Front party,
Sunday to become the country’s next president.
With about 80 percent of the vote tally complete, Mr. Macron, a former Socialist Party member who founded a new bloc to run for president
on a pro-European Union platform as France’s major parties imploded, had won 64 percent of the votes over Ms. Le Pen’s 36 percent.
His campaign had the support of Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton, and the victory became the biggest reversal of a string of populist rebukes
to Western nations’ political establishments, such as the Brexit vote in Britain and the election of Donald Trump in the U.S.
“A new page in our long history this evening. I would like it to be one of hope and of confidence rediscovered,” Mr. Macron said shortly after
the poll numbers showing the landslide win for his new party “En Marche” were released.

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