WASHINGTON — Senate Republicans have unveiled a draft of their legislation to revamp the government's role in the nation's health care system, a proposal that includes big reductions to Medicaid, defunds Planned Parenthood, eliminates the Obamacare mandate requiring individuals to purchase insurance and offers tax credits to help people afford insurance while slashing taxes for the wealthy.
The major change to health care comes in the form of Medicaid. The bill winds down the expanded Medicaid program under Obamacare after 2020 — a longer timeline than the House health care bill that was passed in May. But it also makes deeper cuts to the program in the long run, by 2025, through changing the federal funding allocation formula for states to receive fewer federal dollars for Medicaid recipients. The bill also allows states to implement work requirements for Medicaid recipients. It's an attempt at a compromise to appease those Medicaid advocates like Sens. Rob Portman of Ohio and Susan Collins of Maine as well as conservatives like Sens. Mike Lee of Utah and Ted Cruz of Texas.
Planned Parenthood is defunded in this bill and it restricts tax credits from being used for insurance plans that provide abortion.
And taxes on the wealthy are repealed. A .9 percent tax on income for those making more than $250,000 per year is repealed in 2022 but a three percent tax on investment income is repealed retroactively, going back to 2016.
A bombshell Bloomberg View report dropped Wednesday morning detailing President Donald Trump’s shadowy business partnerships with Russian investors on New York City real estate deals.
Rachel Maddow teased the report, which links the president to possible money laundering operations through his business associate Felix Sater — a mob informant and felon who has boasted of his ties to the Kremlin and Russian intelligence.
While special counsel Robert Mueller is looking into whether Trump obstructed justice in firing former FBI Director James Comey, the investigation into possible collusion between Trump’s campaign and Russia also continues. As The Washington Post reported last week, the investigation into Trump also involves tracking concerning financial activities. The New York Times went even further, saying that Mueller is looking into whether Trump associates laundered payoffs from Russians and funneled them through offshore accounts.
“It’s ridiculous that I wouldn’t be investing in Russia,” Trump said during a 2007 deposition. “Russia is one of the hottest places in the world for investment.”
Former Department of Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson on Wednesday bluntly shot down any doubts about whether Russia was responsible for the hacking of the Democratic National Committee that was intended to disrupt the 2016 presidential election.
“The Russian government, at the direction of Vladimir Putin himself, orchestrated cyber attacks on our nation for the purpose of influence our election,” he said. “That is a fact, plain and simple.”
President Donald Trump has regularly hedged in public when asked if he believes Russia interfered in the 2016 election. White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer on Tuesday claimed that he had not spoke with the president about his views on Russia’s role in disrupting the election, and would not confirm if Trump actually believed Russia was behind the hacks of the DNC and former Clinton campaign chairman John Podesta.
1: Extremely vicious of mind : given to unreasonable decisions or acts : behaving in an impulsive and reckless manner : utterly narcissistic : brutish 2: marked by or resulting from unreasoned thinking or acting : senseless : foolish - a trumpid decision 3: lacking reason or purpose: vexatious, exasperating, rude
Taking away affordable healthcare from everyone except the 1% is such a trumpid thing to do.
By Karoun Demirjian and Anne Gearan June 14 at 6:12 PM
The Senate voted overwhelmingly Wednesday to allow Congress to block any efforts by the president to scale back sanctions against Russia, and to strengthen those sanctions in retaliation for Moscow’s alleged interference in the 2016 election and its actions in Syria.
The vote of 97 to 2 is a sharp rebuke to President Trump’s posture on Russia and his resistance to the intelligence community’s assessment that the country was behind efforts to influence the election he won.
The two senators who voted against the measure were Republicans Rand Paul (Ky.) and Mike Lee (Utah).
Earlier: Reuters via RawStory 14 Jun 2017 at 12:55 ET
At least three people were injured, including the suspected gunman, is a shooting on Wednesday at a United Postal Service facility in San Francisco, local media reported.
San Francisco police on Twitter confirmed a shooting had taken place and advised people to avoid the area.
The suspect was hospitalized in police custody, local media reported.
Victims were taken to the Priscilla Chan and Mark Zuckerberg San Francisco General Hospital, spokesman Brent Andrew said. He said he could not say how many patients were taken to the hospital or give their conditions.
The Hill By Rebecca Savransky - 06/14/17 12:10 PM EDT
Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) said Wednesday he was "sickened" by the shooting of Rep. Steve Scalise (R-La.) and others at a congressional baseball practice, which appears to have been carried out by a former volunteer for his presidential campaign.
"I have just been informed that the alleged shooter at the Republican baseball practice is someone who apparently volunteered on my presidential campaign," Sanders said in a statement delivered on the Senate floor. "I am sickened by this despicable act. Let me be as clear as I can be: Violence of any kind is unacceptable in our society and I condemn this action in the strongest possible terms," he added.
The Vermont senator said real change can only be achieved "through nonviolent action, and anything else runs against our most deeply held American values."
"My hopes and prayers are that Representative Scalise, congressional staff and the Capitol Police Officers who were wounded make a quick and full recovery," he said.
"I also want to thank the Capitol Police for their heroic actions to prevent further harm."
The suspected gunman is James T. Hodgkinson III, 66, from Illinois, according to multiple law enforcement sources. President Trump announced that the gunman, who was wounded in a shootout with officers, has died at an area hospital.
The wounded also included two Capitol Police officers and a congressional aide, according to one law enforcement official and witness accounts.
Scalise’s office said the congressman was wounded in the hip and had surgery at MedStar Washington Hospital Center. Capitol Police Chief Matthew Verderosa said his officers are in good condition and have not suffered any life-threatening injuries.
The shooter at the GOP congressional baseball practice this morning is James T. Hodgkinson of Belleville, Ill., according to law enforcement officials. Hodgkinson, 66, owns a home inspection business. His home inspection license expired in November 2016 and was not renewed, state records show.
Hodgkinson was charged in April 2006 with battery and aiding damage to a motor vehicle, according to online records in St. Clair County, Illinois. The charges were dismissed, records show.
MORE - RAW STORY Brad Reed 14 Jun 2017 at 10:47 ET
Hodgkinson’s wife told ABC News that Hodgkinson had moved to Alexandria, Virginia two months ago. Hodgkinson’s home inspection license expired at the end of 2016 and had not been renewed.
His Twitter profile shows that Hodgkinson is a left-wing supporter of Bernie Sanders who has also posted several memes on his Facebook page critical of President Donald Trump. He also called Georgia Republican congressional candidate Karen Handel a “b*tch” for saying she didn’t support a living wage during a debate with Democratic rival Jon Ossoff. (I added boldface - G.)
Charles Orear, a 50-year-old restaurant manager from St. Louis, tells the Washington Post that he and Hodgkinson met while campaigning for Sanders in Iowa in 2016.
“You’ve got to be kidding me,” Orear told the Post. “I met him on the Bernie trail in Iowa, worked with him in the Quad Cities area.”
The Washington Post By Tom Hamburger and Karen Tumulty June 14 at 12:01 AM
Nearly 200 Democratic members of Congress agreed to file a lawsuit Wednesday against President Trump alleging that by retaining interests in a global business empire he has violated constitutional restrictions on taking gifts and benefits from foreign leaders.
The lead senator filing the complaint in federal district court, Sen. Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.), said Tuesday that the lawsuit has already drawn more congressional plaintiffs — 196 — than any legal action previously taken against a president. No Republicans had joined in the lawsuit so far, although they will be invited to do so, Blumenthal said.
An advance copy of the legal complaint reviewed by The Washington Post argues that those in Congress have special standing because the Constitution’s “foreign emoluments clause” requires the president to obtain “the consent of Congress” before accepting any gifts.
News of the lawsuit emerged less than 24 hours after attorneys general in the District and Maryland, both Democrats, filed suit alleging that payments to Trump violated the Constitution’s anti-corruption clauses. In another lawsuit filed against Trump by business competitors, the Justice Department recently defended Trump’s actions, arguing that he violated no restrictions by accepting fair-market payments for services.
(The Post reported a tweet from the President saying Rep. Scalise was "badly injured" but expected to recover.)
"As the No. 3 House Republican, Steve Scalise has a round-the-clock Capitol Police detail.
Had he not been at Wednesday’s practice, it’s unlikely there would have been any law enforcement immediately present — which, Sen. Rand Paul told MSNBC, almost certainly would have resulted in a “massacre.”
“Everyone probably would have died” without the presence of Capitol Police, Paul told MSNBC. Simply by being there with his protective detail, Paul said, Scalise “probably saved everyone else’s life.”
Multiple Capitol Police officers were injured in the shooting, members of Congress said, but they are expected to survive.
By Heidi Blake (BuzzFeed News Investigations Editor, UK) Jason Leopold (BuzzFeed News Reporter) Jane Bradley (Investigations Correspondent) Richard Holmes (Investigations Reporter) Tom Warren (Investigations Correspondent) Alex Campbell (BuzzFeed News Deputy Investigations Editor, UK)
Posted on June 12, 2017
The British government is suppressing explosive intelligence that Alexander Perepilichnyy, a financier who exposed a vast financial crime by Russian government officials, was likely assassinated on the direct orders of Vladimir Putin.
Perepilichnyy, who faced repeated threats after fleeing to Britain, was found dead outside his home in Surrey after returning from a mysterious trip to Paris in 2012. Despite an expert detecting signs of a fatal plant poison in his stomach, the British police have insisted there was no evidence of foul play, and Theresa May’s government has invoked national security powers to withhold evidence from the inquest into his cause of death – which is ongoing.
But an investigation by BuzzFeed News has now obtained fresh evidence that the authorities have deliberately sidelined, and has uncovered how Perepilichnyy spent his last days in Paris. Secret documents and interviews with more than a dozen current and former intelligence and law enforcement officials in the US, France, and the UK reveal:
- US spies said they have passed MI6 high-grade intelligence indicating that Perepilichnyy was likely "assassinated on direct orders from Putin or people close to him” and lambasted the British police for their “botched” investigation.
- A highly classified report on Russian state assassinations compiled for the US Congress by the Office of the Director of National Intelligence last year asserts with “high confidence” that Perepilichnyy’s murder was sanctioned by Putin, Russia's president.
- French police are treating the financier’s death as a suspected organised assassination – but say they have been repeatedly stonewalled by their British counterparts.
- Perepilichnyy travelled to Paris before his death for a secret assignation with a 22-year-old Ukrainian woman named Elmira Medynska, who gave an exclusive interview to BuzzFeed News, but who British and French police never spoke to.
A new report reveals that Russian hackers breached voting systems in 39 different states, which means that Russia’s interference in the 2016 presidential election appears far more widespread that what has been previously disclosed.
According to Bloomberg, Russian “incursions into voter databases and software systems” occurred in “almost twice as many states as previously reported.” Among other things, Bloomberg says that Russian hackers tried to delete or alter voter data in Illinois; successfully accessed software designed to be used by poll workers on election day; and accessed a campaign finance database in at least one state.
The report claims that investigators were most disturbed by failed Russian attempts to alter voter data in Illinois, as they believed that it was a trial run for what could have been a disruptive cyber attack on election day that would have thrown the entire process into mass chaos.
“That idea would obsess the Obama White House throughout the summer and fall of 2016, outweighing worries over the DNC hack and private Democratic campaign emails given to Wikileaks and other outlets, according to one of the people familiar with those conversations,” Bloomberg reports. “The Homeland Security Department dispatched special teams to help states strengthen their cyber defenses, and some states hired private security companies to augment those efforts.”
By Aaron C. Davis June 12 at 12:47 AM The Washington Post
Attorneys general for the District of Columbia and the state of Maryland say they will sue President Trump on Monday, alleging that he has violated anti-corruption clauses in the Constitution by accepting millions in payments and benefits from foreign governments since moving into the White House.
The lawsuit, the first of its kind brought by government entities, centers on the fact that Trump chose to retain ownership of his company when he became president. Trump said in January that he was shifting his business assets into a trust managed by his sons to eliminate potential conflicts of interests.
But D.C. Attorney General Karl A. Racine (D) and Maryland Attorney General Brian E. Frosh (D) say Trump has broken many promises to keep separate his public duties and private business interests. For one, his son Eric Trump has said the president would continue to receive regular updates about his company’s financial health.
The lawsuit, a signed copy of which Racine and Frosh provided to The Washington Post on Sunday night, alleges “unprecedented constitutional violations” by Trump. The suit says Trump’s continued ownership of a global business empire has rendered the president “deeply enmeshed with a legion of foreign and domestic government actors” and has undermined the integrity of the U.S. political system.
It just dawned on me that we have no proof whatsoever that #RealDonaldTrump is indeed the authentic Orange Cheeto who tweets bizarre stuff out of the Oval Office. I mean, if the Russians are hacking elections and hacking stuff to get Qatar in trouble with its neighbors, maybe start a nice distracting little war, why wouldn't they want to have a little fun hacking out weird tweets in Trumplestiltskin's name?
And would the Real One even notice such a hacking? He sends out fusillades of tweets at all hours. What's an extra tweet or two?
One of the so-called Russian patriots over at Fancy Bear could tweet insults supposedly from the Leaker of the Free World to a given nation. A colleague could tweet back insults supposedly coming from said nation. Insults could fly back and forth, the fake mingling with real ones. Before you know it, Fredonia's at war and the missiles are flying. (Pay no attention to the little green men secretly invading Lithuania.)
It's hard to keep up with all the weird shit going down. All I can say is that if Vlad P wants to wreck the United States of America, he's certainly making progress.