Congressional Climate October 10th, 2017

Wildfires Scorch Northern California

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Today’s Hill Action
Senate Floor Schedule
9:15 a.m.: Convene for a pro forma session.

Committee Hearings
No Committee Hearings Scheduled.

House Floor Schedule
12:00pm: House will meet for morning hour.
2:00pm: House will meet for legislative business.
Votes postponed until 6:30pm.

Committee Hearings
Committee on Rules
5:00pm – H-313 Capitol
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Trump could make waves with health care order

President Trump’s planned executive order on ObamaCare is worrying supporters of the law and insurers, who fear it could undermine the stability of ObamaCare.

Trump’s order, expected as soon as this week, would allow small businesses or other groups of people to band together to buy health insurance. Some fear that these Association Health Plans (AHPs) would not be subject to the same rules as ObamaCare plans, including those that protect people with pre-existing conditions.

That would make these plans cheaper for healthy people, potentially luring them away from the ObamaCare market. The result could be that only sicker, costlier people remain in ObamaCare plans, leading to a spike in premiums.

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EPA to repeal landmark Obama climate rule

The Trump administration on Tuesday will formally propose repealing Barack Obama’s landmark climate change rule for power plants, a key part of the U.S. commitment to reduce emissions under the Paris accord.

Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) chief Scott Pruitt told a Kentucky audience on Monday that he will sign paperwork on Tuesday to repeal the rule, which he argued exceeded the previous administration’s authority and treated coal communities unfairly.

“The Clean Power Plan, it wasn’t about regulating to make things regular,” Pruitt said Monday at an event with Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.), to raucous applause. “It was truly about regulating to pick winners and losers.”

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Rand will stand in way of tax cuts, White House fears

At a large gathering last week of conservatives and business groups pushing tax reform, one lawmaker in particular was on the mind of President Donald Trump’s top lobbyist: Rand Paul.

Marc Short, the White House’s legislative affairs director, singled out the libertarian-leaning senator as crucial to the tax reform push, according to two sources familiar with the meeting at the American Action Network. And he advised those in the room to put immense pressure on Paul and make his vote on the Republican budget — required to pass tax reform along party lines — as difficult as possible so he’ll fall in line on taxes, those sources said. Paul is widely believed to be a “no” vote on the budget.

The Kentucky Republican’s outspoken opposition to a leadership-backed Obamacare repeal-and-replace bill and the backup Graham-Cassidy plan helped demolish the GOP’s health care agenda. And now Republicans are worried that the contrarian Paul is going to do the same on tax reform by coming out early and vocally against their work, according to two allies of Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.).

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