Sen. Dean Heller, R-Nev., will meet with Speaker John Boehner later Tuesday to encourage the House to renew unemployment-insurance benefits for millions of jobless Americans.
Heller said he is not certain whether the two will meet in person or speak by phone, but that he would press the speaker to take up legislation passed by the Senate earlier this month. That bill would renew the benefits through the end of May and provide retroactive checks for the long-term unemployed who have lost their benefits since the program expired Dec. 28.
Asked what he plans to tell the speaker, Heller said: “Let’s move this legislation.”¦ It’s important that we get this done.”
Boehner has long said he will not bring the legislation to the House floor without a separate jobs bill attached. He has also expressed reservations about the reimbursement checks, citing a letter from the National Association of State Workforce Agencies that indicated that states could have trouble providing retroactive benefits. Many states have stopped keeping track of beneficiaries since the program expired, the association wrote.
But Heller has expressed some optimism, noting that a handful of House Republicans support the bill and have written to Boehner asking for a floor vote.
Still, the clock is ticking. With the Senate bill slated to expire at the end of May, the House has little time to act. But Heller said the retroactive benefits alone are important enough to keep moving forward. “Of course I’m concerned about [the package expiring]. And I want the House to move on that right away. But, yeah, that’s a concern.”¦ We need to get this retroactively done to help these families that need the money,” he said.
Asked whether he believes the speaker is open to moving on the Senate bill, Heller said: “I’ll find out this afternoon.”
What We're Following See More »
As the Russia investigation heats up, "the role of Marc E. Kasowitz, the president’s longtime New York lawyer, will be significantly reduced. Mr. Trump liked Mr. Kasowitz’s blunt, aggressive style, but he was not a natural fit in the delicate, politically charged criminal investigation. The veteran Washington defense lawyer John Dowd will take the lead in representing Mr. Trump for the Russia inquiry."
President Trump's attorneys are "actively compiling a list of Mueller’s alleged potential conflicts of interest, which they say could serve as a way to stymie his work." They plan to argued that Mueller is going outside the scope of his investigation, in inquiring into Trump's finances. They're also playing small ball, highlighting "donations to Democrats by some of" Mueller's team, and "an allegation that Mueller and Trump National Golf Club in Northern Virginia had a dispute over membership fees when Mueller resigned as a member in 2011." Trump is said to be incensed that Mueller may see his tax returns, and has been asking about his power to pardon his family members.
In addition to ties between Russia and the Trump campaign, Robert Mueller's team is also "examining a broad range of transactions involving Trump’s businesses as well as those of his associates, according to a person familiar with the probe. FBI investigators and others are looking at Russian purchases of apartments in Trump buildings, Trump’s involvement in a controversial SoHo development in New York with Russian associates, the 2013 Miss Universe pageant in Moscow, and Trump’s sale of a Florida mansion to a Russian oligarch in 2008, the person said. The investigation also has absorbed a money-laundering probe begun by federal prosecutors in New York into Trump’s former campaign chairman Paul Manafort."
Special Counsel Robert Mueller's team is "is examining a broad range of transactions involving Trump’s businesses as well as those of his associates", including "Russian purchases of apartments in Trump buildings, Trump’s involvement in a controversial SoHo development with Russian associates, the 2013 Miss Universe pageant in Moscow and Trump’s sale of a Florida mansion to a Russian oligarch in 2008."
"A Senate bill to gut Obamacare would increase the number of uninsured people by 32 million and double premiums on Obamacare's exchanges by 2026, according to an analysis from the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office. The analysis is of a bill that passed Congress in 2015 that would repeal Obamacare's taxes and some of the mandates. Republicans intend to leave Obamacare in place for two years while a replacement is crafted and implemented."