House Republicans are readying new version of an Obamacare replacement bill. Current spending authorization runs out next week, meaning Congress must pass a deal to avoid a government shutdown. The 115th Congress reached 100-day mark. White House is expected to drop tax overhaul plan next week. Speaker Ryan has said Congress might not pass a tax bill until much later in the year.
The White House is reportedly pressuring Congress to take a vote on new version of a bill to repeal the Affordable Care Act before the “100 Days” milestone of the Trump Presidency, though no vote is currently scheduled for next week.
Over recess, a proposal – the MacArthur Amendment – emerged that would reinstate federal “Essential Benefits,” (which the previous version of the House GOP American Health Care Act removed), but would allow states to apply for “limited waivers,” to eliminate or reduce these requirements on a state-by-state basis. Benefits that states could opt out of requiring include:
restrictions on charging different prices based on age or health status (if the state establishes a high-risk pool or participates in a federal pool)
requirement to cover preexisting conditions
mental health care
prescription drug coverage
The amendment would continue to allow young people to remain on parents’ policies until age 26.
Whether the proposal could reach the 216 votes required to pass the House is still in question.
Current spending authorization runs out on April 28th, so Congress will be scrambling next week to reach a deal and avoid a government shutdown. Most expect that there will be a one-week extension passed to give more time for negotiations through several thorny issues.
A spending bill must get 60 votes in the Senate (to overcome a filibuster), so any deal must bring at least a few votes from Democrats. That means that Democratic priorities like continued funding for Planned Parenthood and the Affordable Care Act subsidies could remain.
The White House wants to see funding for a border wall and an increase in defense spending in the bill. Another administration priority for the spending bill is to withhold federal funding from sanctuary cities, a policy that was the subject of an executive order that is currently being challenged in court.
Typical for a fast-approaching funding deadline, the Trump administration instructed agencies to begin preparing for a shutdown.
First 100 days…You’re hearing a lot about President Trump’s first 100 days, but here at POPVOX, we’re all about Congress and legislation. Whether you’ve been too busy to pay attention or perhaps you got lost in all the developments (can you believe it’s already April?), we’ve created a quick look at what Congress has been up to in its first 100 days.
On Friday, President Trump told the AP that he would release a “massive tax cut” next Wednesday “or shortly thereafter.” The proposal is expected to include a cut to the corporate tax rate, mostly paid for with “growth and ‘dynamic scoring,’” according to Treasury Secretary Mnuchin.
“Dynamic scoring” is Washington-speak for figuring the net cost of something based on what you think your income will look like in the future. It’s like buying an expensive house with a balloon note while you are in med school – and expecting to afford the higher payments later when you graduate and have a high-paying job as a doctor. In the case of tax reform, proponents of dynamic scoring believe that tax breaks will lead to more business investment, job creation, and economic stimulus; which will increase GDP growth and result in more net taxes paid, making up for the revenue loss that comes with cutting rates.
Members of Congress expect a slower process for tax reform. This week Speaker Ryan said Congress might not pass a tax bill until much later in the year. Speaker Ryan supports a plan to pay for cuts with a “border adjustment tax” (tax on imports into the United States), expected to raise $2 trillion.
A Thursday hearing on border tax adjustments was postponed.
Please keep in mind that highlighting specific legislation does not imply POPVOX endorsement in any way. As always, our goal is to offer one more way to help you stay informed about the complex U.S. legislative system.