Mick Mulvaney says the Trump administration wants “the best tax bill that can pass”

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Today’s Hill Action
Senate Floor Schedule
None.

Committee Hearings
No committee hearings scheduled.

House Floor Schedule
None.

Committee Hearings
No committee hearings scheduled.

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Collins: Pass bipartisan ObamaCare bills before mandate repeal

Sen. Susan Collins (R-Maine) said Sunday that she wants two bipartisan ObamaCare bills to pass before the Senate takes up a tax bill that repeals the health law’s individual mandate.

Collins, a key swing vote on the tax bill, said on CNN’s “State of the Union” that she did not think the mandate repeal should be in the tax bill, but she indicated she thinks the rise in premiums from repealing the mandate could be mitigated if two other bills passed first.

Those other bills are an ObamaCare stabilization bill from Sens. Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn.) and Patty Murray (D-Wash.) that would fund key payments to insurers for two years, and a bill she introduced with Sen. Bill Nelson (D-Fla.) that would provide funding for “reinsurance” programs aimed at bringing down premiums. Reinsurance provides funding to help pay the cost of some especially sick enrollees, allowing insurers to lower premiums.

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Congress faces growing health care crisis in Puerto Rico

Puerto Rico’s Medicaid funding crisis is deepening, adding yet another issue for Congress to deal with in what is sure to be a hectic December.

Hurricane Maria caused serious damage to Puerto Rico’s health-care system, and none of the federal disaster relief money to date has been earmarked for the Medicaid program.

A $44 billion supplemental payment request from the White House on Friday said the administration was “aware” that Puerto Rico needed Medicaid assistance, but it put the onus on Congress to act.

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In Democrat-led state capitals, GOP tax reform push could scramble fiscal plans

The Republican tax reform push in Washington is setting off budgetary alarm bells in high-tax states like New York, California and New Jersey, in the latest political skirmish to pit national Republicans against Democratic state and big-city leaders.

With Republicans intent on shrinking or repealing the state and local tax deduction, California officials are worried that the House-passed tax bill, and the emerging Senate measure, would force local governments to reduce taxes and make big cuts to schools and social services. In New York, where New York City and state revenues are heavily reliant on just a handful of wealthy tax filers, budget watchdogs fear federal tax changes could trigger the flight of those residents. And in New Jersey, plans for a new millionaire’s tax, one of incoming Gov. Phil Murphy’s biggest campaign promises, are already being reined in as the Democratic-led New Jersey Senate waits on the outcome of any federal tax plan.

“We’re going to have to re-evaluate everything” if a federal bill repealing the state and local tax deduction becomes law, New Jersey Senate President Steve Sweeney said Wednesday in Atlantic City. Just days before, Sweeney had said he would make passage of a millionaires tax his chief priority in the new administration. “I’m just saying that what’s happening in Washington is concerning the hell out of me,” he added.

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