Neither the House nor the Senate has passed a bill to reopen the government and increase the debt ceiling, but Democrats are already spiking the football.
Polling shows Americans are primarily blaming Republicans for the government shutdown, and general support for the Republican Party has fallen sharply in recent weeks. Democrats are eager — and early — to celebrate a perceived political victory.
The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee took to Twitter just before 2 p.m. on Wednesday, asking followers which song Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio, would play at a Republican caucus meeting. Since then, the DCCC has tweeted dozens of song titles, including:
Chain of Fools #GOPplaylist— Schnitzerella (@Schnitzerella) October 16, 2013
The idea was inspired by reports that Republicans played “Amazing Grace” before a meeting on Tuesday.
Any deal that reopens the government and increases the debt ceiling will rely heavily on Republican votes, and Democrats are betting that their early celebration won’t lead the GOP to back out. They’re also betting that the American public won’t be turned off by the sight of publicly gleeful partisans celebrating while the country is still locked in a wildly unpopular shutdown.
But thus is the life of these groups: In days during the shutdown, both the Democratic National Committee and the Republican National Committee have sent out emails to reporters criticizing the other side’s positions and actions.
Politics don’t stop in Washington — not before a deal, not during it, and certainly not after.
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The nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office has released its score of the House-passed American Health Care Act, which would replace Obamacare. According to the CBO, the bill would reduce the deficit by $119 billion by 2026, while leaving 14 million more Americans uninsured in 2018 than under current law, a number swelling to 23 million by 2026. Further, insurance premiums would balloon 20 percent in 2018 and five percent in 2019 before the waiver provision in the legislation would kick in. The provision allows states to apply for waivers and permit insurers to offer skimpier plans, which would likely entice younger and healthier individuals to buy health insurance while potentially pricing older and less healthy Americans out of insurance plans. House Republicans approved this bill in late April without waiting for the CBO score.
Republican Sen. Lindsey Graham said Wednesday during a Senate Appropriations subcommittee hearing that President Donald Trump's budget is literal more than recycling bin material. "The budget proposed by the president doesn't have a snowball's chance in hell of passing," Graham said. Graham had previously opposed the budget over its nearly 30 percent cut to the budget of the State Department. The budget slashes spending on domestic priorities while increasing military spending.
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said Wednesday that he doesn't yet know the formula towards gaining passage of an Obamacare replacement in the Senate. "I don't know how we get to 50 (votes) at the moment. But that's the goal," McConnell said. The House passed an Obamacare replacement bill which has been widely seen as dead on arrival in the Senate, and McConnell has put together a working group of Republican Senators working towards creating health care legislation which could gain the support of at least 50 Senators.
The transcript of a phone call between Donald Trump and Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte was leaked and it shows Trump referring to North Korean dictator Kim Jong Un as a "madman with nuclear weapons" and praising Duterte, saying he was doing an "unbelievable job on the drug problem." For context, Duterte has presided over a vicious and genocidal campaign of extrajudicial killings within his country which has led to the murder of thousands of expected drug dealers and users. Trump also told Duerte to take care of himself and promised that the U.S. would "take care of North Korea."