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News Briefing for Thursday, April 16

TEA PARTY PATRIOTS: Marco Rubio and the Three-Strikes Theory of Politics “…In the past year or so, Rubio has been trying to regain the trust of his party’s hard-liners, saying that nobody has an automatic right to immigrate to the United States and stressing that improving border security should be the first priority. He’s had some success in this enterprise. “I think that Sen. Rubio has done something that most politicians don’t do,” Jenny Beth Martin, the president and co-founder of the Tea Party Patriots group, told Politico. “He evaluated what went wrong … [and] is working to make sure he doesn’t make the same mistakes ...

Legislative Update for 04/12/15

Listen to the podcast here: CALENDAR: The House and Senate return tomorrow from their two-week Easter Recess. There will be no votes in the House before 6:30 PM, and the Majority Leader expects no votes after 3 PM Thursday. The Senate, on the other hand, will be in all week, with no votes in the Senate before 5:30 PM tomorrow. THIS WEEK ON THE HOUSE FLOOR: This week’s “theme of the week” in the House is “Tax Freedom and Financial Independence,” and it will feature a series of votes aimed at reducing government burdens on taxpayers and reforming the IRS, the CFPB, and other institutions. The action will kick off Monday ...

News Briefing for Friday, April 10

HEALTHCARE: Obamacare spending leads to a higher budget deficit so far in 2015 “The Congressional Budget Office reported Wednesday that the federal government saw a higher budget deficit in the first half of fiscal year 2015 compared to 2014, and said higher spending due to Obamacare is part of the reason. CBO said the budget deficit was $430 billion in the first half of fiscal year 2015, a $17 billion increase. While there were several contributing factors to that increase, CBO said spending on Obamacare was a significant change from 2014 to 2015. First, CBO said Medicaid spending rose by $31 billion from October 1 through March 31 compared ...

News Briefing for Tuesday, April 7

TEA PARTY PATRIOTS: The GOP quandary: How far right without falling over the edge? “Tea party loyalists are still somewhat wary of Walker, though, because of past positions on immigration and government support for ethanol, a big issue in Iowa, site of the nation’s first caucus. In 2006, he said during his gubernatorial campaign that “we as conservatives should oppose” federal ethanol requirements. But at the Iowa Ag Summit this month, he said he was “willing to go forward” with federal standards. Tea Party Patriots president Jenny Beth Martin asked Walker why he switched his position. Walker said his position was consistent, ...

News Briefing for Wednesday, March 25

HEALTHCARE: How many will have to pay back Obamacare subsidies? “More Americans will owe the government money for their Obamacare subsidy than won't, says a new analysis. A big upcoming Tax Day question is how many Americans with government-subsidized health insurance will find that they collected more in subsidies than they're qualified for and have to pay some of it back — and how many will find themselves in the opposite position, with the government owing them money. The Kaiser Family Foundation estimates that half of all subsidy-eligible households will be in the first boat, owing the government an average payment of $794. That situat...

News Briefing for March 21

TEA PARTY PATRIOTS: Early line: 3-man race for 2016 GOP nomination “Much of who’s ahead and who’s not at this stage “is based on who’s known and who’s not known,” said Fergus Cullen, another former New Hampshire Republican chairman. Cullen hosted a reception at his home for Bush last week. What’s lacking in the top tier is a hardcore conservative or tea party favorite. Tea party loyalists are sympathetic to Walker, for example, but still have some doubts. At a Tea Party Patriots telephone town hall meeting this week, some questioned whether he has shifted his position on government help for ethanol over the years. Mike Huckabee, ...

News Briefing for Thursday, March 19

HEALTHCARE: GOP aims to sink Obamacare with reconciliation But first they have to strike a difficult deal on an overall budget “Senate Republicans want to use a powerful budget maneuver known as reconciliation to go after President Barack Obama’s health care law — particularly if the Supreme Court strikes down key provisions of Obamacare this June. Using the fast-tracking procedure offers some advantage for Republicans, largely because a reconciliation package can’t be filibustered. But it’s not going to be easy. First, House and Senate Republicans need to agree on a budget resolution, which could be difficult with fiscal conserva...

News Briefing for Tuesday, March 17

TEA PARTY PATRIOTS: Scott Walker Joins Tea Party Patriots for a ‘Tele-Town Hall’ Tonight “Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker join will joining Tea Party Patriots “for a national tele-town hall meeting tonight.” “Over the last four years, all Scott Walker does is win,” TPP President Jenny Beth Martin said. “Any Republican who can win three elections in four years – in a blue state – will be a force in 2016, and we look forward to hearing his conservative vision for a post-Obama America.” According to TPP, “The call will run from 8-9 p.m. EDT Monday, March 16. Anyone may take part by clicking here.“ http://www.nationalrevie...

News Briefing for March 14

HEALTHCARE: Obamacare special enrollment for penalty payers a one-time deal, admin says “The Obama administration said Friday the special enrollment period that kicks off this weekend for uninsured Americans who missed Obamacare’s signup deadline and face a tax penalty will be a one-time deal, as the nation confronts the confluence of health care and tax season for the first time. Customers in 37 states can select a health plan on the federal HealthCare.gov exchange between Sunday and April 30 if they meet three conditions — they’re paying the “individual mandate” tax for lacking insurance in 2014, they learned about the penalty ...

News Briefing for Friday, March 13

HEALTHCARE: Congressional Research Service: There's No Magic Pot Of Obamacare Medicaid Expansion Money “A recent report from the Congressional Research Service (CRS) confirms what many policy experts have known for some time: states that reject Obamacare’s Medicaid expansion aren’t sending that Medicaid expansion money to other states. Instead, that money is simply never spent. This revelation is important because numerous governors and state lawmakers from across the country have used this argument to justify their support for expanding Medicaid through Obamacare. However, as CRS succinctly explains, these arguments are entirely frivolo...