They may not have gotten many concessions on Obamacare during the latest fiscal fight, but Republicans believe they’ll have another chance to make their case on the health-reform law in the 2014 elections. Democrats aren’t so sure.
Seventy-one percent of the GOP insiders surveyed by National Journal this week said the issue would be “very important” in the coming elections. “Even low-information voters will have figured out what an abomination it is by then,” said one.
Just 2 percent of Republicans surveyed said it was “not important,” and the rest were in between.
Democrats were much less likely to believe the success or travails of the law’s first year would be the key issue for voters. Just 32 percent thought it would be “very important” in the coming fight, and 12 percent said it wouldn’t be important at all. The majority said it was “somewhat important.” In comments, they offered a common caveat: It depends on whether the glitches that have plagued the law’s rollout since Oct. 1 are fixed, and how quickly.
“If it goes well, it will only be a base issue for Republicans,” said one Democrat. “If it goes poorly, as it has so far, it will be a serious issue.”
Obamacare’s rocky rollout got a break from front-page headlines this week as a federal government shutdown dragged on and a national default loomed. During those uncertain fiscal times, it was tempting to reminisce about the past, and National Journal also asked insiders who had been the most effective president in the past 30 years.
Democrats overwhelmingly ““ 75 percent ““ named Bill Clinton (“Intelligence, charisma and a good economy, stupid,” said one). Republicans even more overwhelmingly ““ 89 percent ““ pointed to Ronald Reagan (“Turning around the economy, defeating communism, restoring faith in the future — these are not small things.”)
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"American spies collected information last summer revealing that senior Russian intelligence and political officials were discussing how to exert influence over Donald J. Trump through his advisers." The conversations centered around Paul Manafort, who was campaign chairman at the time, and Michael Flynn, former national security adviser and then a close campaign surrogate. Both men have been tied heavily with Russia and Flynn is currently at the center of the FBI investigation into possible collusion between the Trump campaign and Russia.
"Former FBI Director Robert Mueller has been cleared by U.S. Department of Justice ethics experts to oversee an investigation into possible collusion between then-candidate Donald Trump's 2016 election campaign and Russia." Some had speculated that the White House would use "an ethics rule limiting government attorneys from investigating people their former law firm represented" to trip up Mueller's appointment. Jared Kushner is a client of Mueller's firm, WilmerHale. "Although Mueller has now been cleared by the Justice Department, the White House may still use his former law firm's connection to Manafort and Kushner to undermine the findings of his investigation, according to two sources close to the White House."
Senate Intelligence Committee chairman Richard Burr (R-NC) and ranking member Mark Warner (D-VA) will subpoena two businesses owned by former National Security Advisor Michael Flynn. Burr said, "We would like to hear from General Flynn. We'd like to see his documents. We'd like him to tell his story because he publicly said he had a story to tell."