Though House Republicans have settled on a clean debt-ceiling measure, they will move forward with a plan to reverse cuts to military pensions separately, according to a senior aide.
The House will take up legislation Tuesday night to reverse the pension cuts, in order to allow members to leave before a snowstorm hits the Washington area on Wednesday.
The measure will offset the $6 billion cost of maintaining the current COLA program for military retirees by adding an additional year of mandatory sequestration cuts. Those cuts will come in 2024.
The COLA fix was originally slated to be attached to the debt ceiling, but after hearing the complaints of their membership at a closed-door meeting Monday night and whipping the measure over the last 24 hours, leadership decided to split up the two votes.
Though members of both parties widely favor a fix for the pension cuts, which were included in last December’s budget agreement, Democrats had indicated that they would accept only a clean debt-ceiling vote.
Minority Whip Steny Hoyer said Tuesday that he hadn’t counted the Democratic votes for the COLA measure because he had just heard about it, but noted that he would personally oppose the measure because of the offset. “I think the sequester is bad policy,” Hoyer said.
However, a majority of House Democrats voted for the budget deal in December, which extended the mandatory sequester for an additional two years, a sign that the caucus as a whole may support the offset.
The Senate, meanwhile, is likely to favor the COLA legislation as well. The chamber is currently looking at several options to reverse the cuts and a cloture vote on legislation that was not paid for passed on a shocking 94-0 vote Monday.
The move by House Republican leadership to pursue the pension reversal is a blow for Budget Chairman Paul Ryan, who pushed for the cuts in last December’s budget negotiations.
This post has been updated to reflect a chance in the House schedule, due to a pending snowstorm.
What We're Following See More »
"The move marked the first time Mr. Mueller is known to have used a grand jury subpoena to seek information from a member of Mr. Trump’s inner circle. ...Mr. Mueller is likely to allow Mr. Bannon to forgo the grand jury appearance if he agrees to instead be questioned by investigators in the less formal setting of the special counsel’s offices in Washington."
"The chief of staff and senior counselor to FBI Director Christopher Wray is expected to meet with the House Oversight Committee Thursday. A spokesperson for House Oversight confirmed to the Washington Examiner that Jim Rybicki is expected to testify as part of the committee’s investigation into the Department of Justice’s probe in Hillary Clinton’s private email server, and the decision by then-FBI Director James Comey to announce there would be no criminal charges against the former secretary of state and 2016 Democratic presidential nominee."
"Homeland Security Kristjen Nielsen confirmed that President Trump used 'tough language' in an Oval Office meeting last week over immigration policy, but she said she did not hear him describe some African countries and Haiti as 'shithole countries,' as has been reported." When pressed she, also said she "didn't know" whether Norway was a predominately white country.
"The percentage of Americans without health insurance ticked up 1.3 percentage points in 2017, ending the year at 12.2%, according to the latest data from Gallup. That’s still a lot lower than it was before the Affordable Care Act’s coverage expansion took effect, but this is the biggest single-year increase under the ACA."
"White House Communications Director Hope Hicks is expected to meet with the House Intelligence Committee as soon as this week, making her one of President Donald Trump's closest confidantes to be privately interviewed in the panel's Russia investigation, multiple sources with knowledge of the matter told CNN." She could testify as soon as Friday.