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Archive for the ‘2 – Capitol Hill News’ Category

Meet Devin Nunes – man at center of snooping storm

devin-nunes‘He reads like one of the true sons of the Reagan Revolution’

You’ve seen Rep. Devin Nunes all over the news lately.
The California Republican who chairs the House Intelligence Committee has been on camera revealing that members of the intelligence community “incidentally” collected communications from Trump’s transition team.   That would have been while Barack Obama still was in the Oval Office, and the disclosure left Democrats scrambling to reclaim their narrative that Trump had no evidence to back his claim that Obama “wiretapped” Trump Tower.
You’ve also seen Nunes, badgered by a combative establishment media, defending his decision to tell President Trump about the surveillance.
You’ve also seen him repeatedly explaining that he has not seen any evidence of communication between Russia and Trump’s transition team.
But who is Devin Nunes;
What does he want, 
What are the principles for which he has been fighting in Congress since 2003?
What type of future does he want for America?
The answers to those questions can be found in Nunes’ book “Restoring the Republic: A Clear, Concise, and Colorful Blueprint For America’s Future,” which is available at the WND Superstore for the reduced price of $9.99.
In “Restoring the Republic,” Nunes lays out a detailed plan for how to fix the problems threatening the nation’s future. In his own words, the congressman reveals:
  • How America can break its dependence on Middle Eastern oil and transform itself into an energy powerhouse;
    How America can prevent Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid from exploding the national debt and ruining the country financially;
    How the nation can restore economic growth through a simpler, fairer tax code;
    How the U.S. can deal with the many international threats it faces;
    How America’s borders can be defended and its broken immigration system fixed;
    And how failing public schools can be repaired.
Plus, Nunes reveals why politicians from both parties refuse to discuss the one most critical reform needed to restore the republic.  The congressman draws on his experience growing up in the breadbasket of central California. As a child on his family’s dairy farm in Tulare County, Nunes saw firsthand how the convergence of big government, big business and the radical left wreaked havoc on an entire community, transforming once-prosperous farmland of the San Joaquin Valley into little more than blighted desert.


Potential ‘smoking gun’ showing Obama administration spied on Trump team, source says

Republican congressional investigators expect a potential “smoking gun” establishing that the Obama administration spied on the Trump transition team, and possibly the president-elect himself, will be produced to the House Intelligence Committee this week, a source told Fox News.

Classified intelligence showing incidental collection of Trump team communications, purportedly seen by committee Chairman Devin Nunes, R-Calif., and described by him in vague terms at a bombshell Wednesday afternoon news conference, came from multiple sources, Capitol Hill sources told Fox News. The intelligence corroborated information about surveillance of the Trump team that was known to Nunes, sources said, even before President Trump accused his predecessor of having wiretapped him in a series of now-infamous tweets posted on March 4.
The intelligence is said to leave no doubt the Obama administration, in its closing days, was using the cover of legitimate surveillance on foreign targets to spy on President-elect Trump, according to sources.FOXNEWS – Read on for rest of story>>>>>

Gorsuch Gets Boost From Democrats In Hearings

Daily Caller

Photo of Kevin DaleyKEVIN DALEY Legal Affairs Reporter
Judge Neil Gorsuch’s nomination to the Supreme Court got a boost from two Democrats who testified before the Senate Committee on the Judiciary, as deep partisan entrenchment emerged during Monday’s hearings.   Colorado Democratic Sen. Michael Bennet and former acting Solicitor General Neal Katyal, an Obama-appointee, appeared before the committee to praise Gorsuch’s record. Katyal urged Democrats to support the nomination, while Bennet was more circumspect.
Bennet is under intense pressure from Colorado’s legal establishment to vote for his fellow home-stater. Though he stopped short of announcing his support for Gorsuch, he did reiterate his support for a full hearing and a vote on the nomination. Senators have often introduced judicial nominees from their home states, per chamber tradition.  “Out of respect for both Judge Garland and Judge Garland’s service, integrity, and commitment to the rule of law, I suggest we fulfill our responsibility to this nominee and to the country by considering his nomination in the manner his predecessor deserved but was denied,” the senator said.

Read more:

White House delays climate order’s release — Presented by the American Fuel & Petrochemical Manufacturers

ANOTHER DELAY: The White House has delayed the release of an executive order on climate change, two sources told The Hill on Monday.
President Trump was expected to sign his long-awaited order on Monday, beginning the process of rolling back major Obama-era climate change policies and fulfilling key campaign promises.  But that order could now come next week instead, the sources said.
The timing of the executive order has been up in the air for weeks as the White House mulls what exactly to include in the plan.    Trump is expected to instruct the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to begin the process of ending the Clean Power Plan, Obama’s signature climate measure. The order is likely to lift a moratorium on new leasing of coal mining on public land, and could take aim at other climate measures crafted by the Obama administration.
When the order comes out it will kick up significant opposition from Democrats and environmentalists, who have promised to fight for the preservation of Obama’s climate work.   Read more about the delay, here, and what we expect the order will coverhere.

Tillerson urged China-US cooperation on N. Korea during his visit to Beijing

Mike Pence aims to dismiss ‘fear-mongering’ on healthcare

With opposition building to a major GOP plan to repeal Obamacare, Vice President Mike Pence said that the plan would create an “orderly transition” from the controversial healthcare law.
Pence spoke Saturday in Louisville, Ky., and gave a full-throated endorsement of the American Health Care Act, which guts Obamacare and partially replaces it. Pence’s comments come after a week in which conservatives have opposed the bill as a new entitlement.
Pence also sought to downplay whether anyone would lose insurance coverage under the bill, which has yet to get a score from the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office on how it will affect coverage and federal spending.
“Despite some fear-mongering among those on the left, we are gonna work with Congress and work with Health and Human Services and we are gonna have an orderly transition to a better healthcare system,” Pence said. “We’re gonna make the best healthcare system in the world even better.”
Pence said that action is needed to end the “Obamacare nightmare.”
“Virtually every promise of Obamacare has been broken,” he said. “Medicaid here in Kentucky is threatening to bankrupt this state.”
Kentucky was one of the few red states to embrace Obamacare, creating its own state-run healthcare exchange and expanding Medicaid. Republican Gov. Matt Bevin ran to end the expansion, but has since left it intact after getting a waiver for changes from the federal government.
The Medicaid expansion is a major sticking point in the American Health Care Act. The bill keeps the expansion in place until 2020, at which time it replaces Medicaid with a per capita cap system that doles out federal spending based on the number of beneficiaries.
But conservatives in the House and Senate have opposed the long deadline and called for the expansion to end after this year. However, moderate GOP senators have clamored for a longer transition for the expansion, worried about coverage losses.


This commentary originally appeared in The National Review on March 10, 2017.

As Washington people go around doing Washington things and talking to other Washington people about Washington focused health care reform, we would do well to take a step back to simplify the debate in front of us.
We are the most prosperous country in the history of the world. As such, we have many of the best hospitals, doctors, nurses, and medicines available. We have hundreds of insurers that take risk — for profit — to insure us. We have fairly broad, but expensive and not always effective, social safety nets in which we pool our resources through taxation in an effort to help those who need it.
But the truth is, we have a very badly broken health care system. We are losing doctors by the thousands. Health care  costs have been skyrocketing and insurance premiums are increasingly flatboat affordable. Insurance companies are no longer serving vast swaths of our country — leaving people with no choices and reduced access to care. Americans, in short, are no longer able to get the health care of their choosing from the doctor of their choosing at an affordable cost.
Very few people dispute these facts or the need to reform health care. So we now confront a choice between two paths – and when we make this choice, it is highly unlikely we will reach a similar fork in the road.
Path One is to do something different – to acknowledge the failures of Obamacare, which are massive, and then do a very UN-­Washington thing and honor commitments made to fully repeal it (which have been numerous), and actually roll back a federal mistake. Then, make a fresh start, with two simple steps. First, freeze Medicaid enrollment immediately and send Medicaid dollars to states with zero strings attached to allow them to innovate and be more effective. Second, increase portability and decrease costs through increased competition, by equalizing the tax treatment between employers and individuals.
If we choose this path, we will, in essence, be saying: Let competitive markets and the states clean up the mess Washington created. Drive down costs through unfettered competition, and increase the number of doctors competing for our business. Cost is the problem. Coverage will naturally increase if costs are lowered and will provide far better health care options for far more Americans.
Furthermore, we should give states maximum flexibility to create programs for the poor and those lacking access to care as well as to create innovations such as high ­risk pools and targeted health ­savings accounts for those without insurance. The benefit would extend beyond health care, to creating more unity in our country through federalism – allowing us to accommodate our differences.
Path Two would be business as ­usual, in which we listen to Washington insiders tell us how they are going to construct a health care system for us. That path is – essentially – what we were given this week by the House Republican leadership. That bill, as has been widely observed, is Obamacare 2.0 – in which the subsidies, regulations, and Medicaid expansion of Obamacare have been “replaced” with . . . subsidies, regulations, and Medicaid expansion.
In the words of the great Texan Hank Hill, the bill comes straight from “Rancho Unicorno.” The Republican leadership would like you to believe that they can maintain most of the Obamacare cost ­increasing mandates, as well as the massive tax payer ­funded subsidy scheme, and that this is not going to increase costs for consumers and taxpayers.
They would further have you believe that a three ­year delay in freezing Medicaid enrollment won’t cause a rush to enroll and drive up costs. That pushing able ­bodied people into Medicaid won’t clog up the system and dilute care. That continuing a contraception mandate doesn’t conflict with religious ­liberty principles and that continuing a flawed verification system won’t provide coverage for people here illegally. That continuing the same rob ­from Medicare budget gimmickry is somehow different from the practice they once decried.
These same Washington ­minded folks will come out and tell you, “but we can’t repeal all of Obamacare in the Senate.” This is simply false. The idea is that the un-elected parliamentarian of the Senate will rule that repealing Obamacare regulations in Obamacare cannot be done under the “reconciliation” process – i.e., with just 51 votes –because the regulations do not have a budget impact. But 51 senators can say she’s wrong, and they would be correct — because there is no doubt that the fruit of the poisonous tree, the regulations spawned by Obamacare’s passage (through the reconciliation process) do, in fact, have an impact on the budget. In English? The Senate has the power to fully repeal. It just needs to find the will.
The truth is that the Republican leadership simply does not want to repeal it all. They want to maintain the regulations while promising lower costs – which takes us back to the unicorns. And we don’t want unicorns; we want all Americans to get high­ quality, affordable health care.
As Americans, we can have the country of our choosing. Remember, “governments were instituted among men to secure [our inalienable] rights” of “life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.” Governments were not instituted among men to tell us what doctor we can have, how we should be insured, what should be covered, and what should not be covered, or to control any other aspect of health care, for that matter. And the Constitution reflects that truth: It leaves all powers not expressly enumerated to Washington in the hands of the people and the states.
Let states and the American people fix the mess Washington created. Let the laboratories of democracy work. Let free markets actually work. The solution to the health ­care problem begins with full, 100 percent repeal of Obamacare and ends with Americans getting affordable health care of their choosing without interference from Washington. Repeal and Respect.

Ryan atrying to fool the nation with his ACA replavement rhetoric

Tell me what the difference is: You get charged with a penalty if you do not buy health insurance; or you get a 30% late fee if and when you do buy?  This is what Ryan is trying to sell for changes to ACA!

Right targets Ryan — not Trump — on ObamaCare plan

President Trump has so far managed to avoid becoming a target for the conservative backlash to Speaker Paul Ryan’s ObamaCare repeal and replace plan, even as the White House vigorously whips support for the bill.
Ryan hasn’t been so lucky.
Breitbart News, which has long been one of Ryan’s most vocal foes, panned his American Health Care Act as “Speaker Ryan’s ObamaCare 2.0.”   Powerful conservative groups Club for Growth and FreedomWorks, whose leaders discussed the issue with Trump on Wednesday, have branded the bill as “RyanCare.” A FreedomWorks digital ad included a photoshopped image of former President Obama laughing with his arm around the Speaker.
And in an interview with Breitbart, Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) said Ryan is working to deceive Trump about the bill, accusing the Speaker of “trying to pull the wool over the eyes of the president.”   Conservative media, outside groups and Tea Party lawmakers have been nearly unanimous in directing their anger at Ryan and GOP leadership, while crediting Trump with being open to helping them improve the bill and negotiate better terms — even as the White House puts its muscle behind the bill’s passage.
“What we’ve seen from President Trump in 49 days in office is that he’s working to keep the promises he made on the campaign trail, so I’m encouraged and optimistic about that,” said Tea Party Patriots president Jenny Beth Martin, who met with Trump on Wednesday.   “What concerns me is that we don’t trust the leadership in the House or the Senate to keep their promises.”   In an interview with The Hill, Martin said she’s grown tired of years of congressional leaders promising to repeal ObamaCare — if only they had the majorities to do so.

THE HILL – Read On For The Rest Of The Story>>>>>>>>

Trump issues revised travel ban

Trump issues revised travel ban

President Trump on Monday issued a new executive order on immigration that includes key changes meant to help it withstand the legal challenges that torpedoed his previous travel ban.   The new order removes Iraq from the list of Muslim-majority countries from which travel is temporarily banned, avoiding a major diplomatic spat with a key partner in the fight against the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria.
It halts all refugee admissions to the U.S. for four months. The previous order, which was blocked by the courts, also contained that provision, but it indefinitely barred refugees from Syria.    The administration also struck language that would have given preference to religious minorities — such as Christians from the Middle East — once refugee resettlement resumes, according to a senior administration official. That provision gave fuel to critics who labeled the previous order a Muslim ban.
Officials said the new order will go into effect on March 16, giving travelers, airlines and airports 10 days to prepare for the changes.   THE HILL – Read On >>>>>

AG Sessions will not get involved in the Russian Election investigation

Sessions offers to recuse himself from Russia investigation
Attorney General Jeff Sessions said early Thursday that he would be willing to recuse himself from any investigation of Russian involvement in the Trump campaign.

“I have said whenever it’s appropriate, I will recuse myself,” he told NBC News. “There’s no doubt about that.”

Read the full story here

I think I see where this new Administration is headed, not the fault of the president; it is our Progressive Congressional leaders!

Skeptical McConnell distances from Trump on Russia, travel ban

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) has labored mightily to avoid criticizing President Trump, but two weeks into the new administration, it’s getting harder to downplay their differences.   On Sunday, McConnell told CNN he disagreed with Trump’s view of Russian President Vladimir Putin, questioned the president’s claim of massive voter fraud in the 2016 presidential election and cautioned against the administration going too far with restrictions on travel from predominantly Muslim countries.
McConnell also chided Trump, albeit tacitly, for lambasting a federal judge who ruled against his executive order temporarily banning visitors from Iran, Iraq, Somalia, Sudan, Yemen, Libya and Syria from entering the U.S.  The majority leader is adept at deflecting questions and sticking to his talking points when it comes to possible differences with the president.
He prefers to emphasize their shared goals, including the repeal of ObamaCare, comprehensive tax reform and broad regulatory reform.  But Sunday on “State of the Union,” McConnell highlighted several splits with the Trump administration.   THEHILL – Read ON>>>>>


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