Is GOPe planning to throw 2018 elections to spite Trump voters?
Town Hall – NOVEMBER 13, 2017
We keep hearing about how angry Trump voters are destroying the Republican Party, but last week’s Schumer-show demonstrated that the people running it would rather run it into the ground than give up their grip on power. The Smart Set managed to get slaughtered on election night – let’s not sugarcoat it, we got creamed. And the dim bulbs in Congress seem determined to somehow turn tax cuts into something Republican voters hate. The GOPe makes everything worse, like pumpkin spice.
Oh, and then there’s Roy Freaking Moore, whose creepitude led to the inevitable lecture about conservative principles, which apparently now include accepting every accusation pushed by our media enemies at face value. We know the guy is guilty of being like Jerry Seinfeld, and he may be worse and actually criminal. If he is, Moore needs to drop and the Alabama legislature needs to redo the rules to get a viable Republican into the race. But we don’t know, and the voters have a right to wonder why the GOPe was so eager to embrace a shaky claim pushed by a media we have seen lie and lie again about Republicans to help their liberal masters. All this makes it hard to come to any conclusion but that the GOP establishment thinks that the only way to defeat the virus of conservatism is to set fire to the party and hope that a few elections from now their Boehner-based, crony trough-feeding paradigm will rise again from the ashes like a K Street phoenix. It’s as if they want to get wiped out in 2018, and that’s the one objective they actually seem capable of achieving.
Gillespie’s loss was no shock – Virginia is a blue state no matter what the hope-springs-eternal crowd keeps saying. What was a shock is that the GOP failed to anticipate the down ticket Democrat turn-out tsunami. A Frisco zillionaire targeted marginal GOP districts, pumped in money and support and caught the GOP napping. A bunch of Republican delegates lost their seats, and not by that much – but by enough. Yet, none of the GOP brain trust saw this coming, and the enemy stole a march on us. Who is getting fired for this screw-up? If the answer is “Nobody,” we might as well pack it in next year.
It’s never good to lose, but losing will teach you more important lessons than winning. We now know that not only are Dems motivated, but they’ll be playing – with money and data support – in every marginal race. We have a year to prepare – are we doing that? What’s our strategy? Who the hell is responsible for coordinating 2018 anyway?
Is the GOPe planning on throwing the mid-term election to teach us uppity rubes a lesson?
Crazy? Would you put it past them? According to some of the fanatic Never Trumpers – who overlap with much of the GOPe/Conservative Inc. crew – we have some sort of moral obligation to lose as penance for not adhering to their measured, sensible guidance. Make no mistake – some of them see a defeat in 2018 as the first step back to their former glory. Think of all the cruise cabins they can sell in 2019 to folks eager to hear from superstars like Vin Weber and Eric Cantor about the great stuff the GOP will do when it controls the House again!
One obvious answer to the 2018 problem, assuming the GOPe even feels that the fact we are on track to lose our House and maybe Senate majorities is a problem, is for our legislators to do the things they promised to do and thereby make us not hate them so much. But the big problem is that in election after election they promised us what they would do if given the chance, and then, when we gave them the chance, they revealed that they didn’t actually want to do what they promised. They are discovering that blatantly lying to your base’s collective face is a risky strategic choice.
The GOP congressjerks couldn’t manage to undo Obamacare, despite their unequivocal promises, and now they seem intent on passing some sort of tax reform that is worse than not passing any sort of tax reform. What is this insane “taxes on a postcard” fixation? What we care about is paying less – I want a fifty page return if it saves me money. You take away deductions and our tax bills go up – and this nonsense about lowering rates is not going to undo the damage to the kind of people who usually … wait for it… vote Republican. But hey, the corporate rate will drop. Let’s all chip in for that. I know I’m glad to lose key deductions so the big donors can keep more cash.
Now, we could always lower everyone’s rates, and “pay for it” by…brace yourself…cutting spending. Except apparently cutting the budget is off the table. Leave it to the GOPe to decide that the winning Republican message for 2018 is “Tax and Spend.”
But hey, who says Congress can’t deliver? They’ve already delivered a year of investigations into the Trump/Putin/Chet the Unicorn collusion conspiracy. I know investigating our president in line with a liberal election defeat excuse narrative was my second biggest GOP priority following the humiliation of Felonia von Pantsuit and her supporters in the conservative cruise industry.
My first priority, and yours, was always to give amnesty and citizenship to millions of illegal aliens, and the GOP caucus is chomping at the bit to do that. Apparently Dreamers’ dreams of taking advantage of violating our laws and eventually become loyal Democrat voters are much more important than our own conservative voters’ dreams of their mandatory crummy health insurance rates not doubling.
And then there is Roy Moore, an outsider who I would prefer was not the nominee but I am not an Alabamian and I don’t get a say. I don’t know whether he did something 40 years ago, nor do you, but was it a smart move by the GOPe to immediately jump on-board the tumbrel taking him to the guillotine and give up on a Senate seat based upon a mere accusation? We know the case against him – he may well have done it, and there may be more shoes to drop – but why might GOP voters view this ultra-convenient revelation with suspicion? Here are some reasons:
- A critical Senate seat is at stake, and this ancient news only dropped after it became impossible to replace him.
- Moore denies it.
- It is a uniquely deadly charge that cannot be refuted (or proven) except by believing one of the alleged participants.
- We’ve seen many false sex crimes accusations.
- We’ve seen Fusion GPS paid by Never Trumpers and/or the Democrats manufacture a fake dossier to falsely accuse the President of sex weirdness.
- The Washington Post is a rabidly partisan liberal paper and part of a mainstream media whose members have, in the era of Trump, decreed that they are no longer to be objective put instead advocate for their partisan agenda.
- We have not heard directly from the woman. Yes, the WaPo article contains alleged quotes, but those quotes are processed through the paper (Raise your hand if you’ve ever been misquoted – yep, that’s everyone). Her claims have not been subject to cross-examination. That makes her WaPo statements hearsay, which is traditionally viewed skeptically if admitted at all.
- The WaPo did not reveal that one of the (legal age) girls worked for Hillary. That seems like a potentially relevant fact, right?
- The WaPo found this woman when no one else – either in Alabama’s media or among opposition researchers over decades of Moore’s political life – did, no doubt via the extensive web of contacts that WaPo maintains in rural Alabama. Doesn’t that seem…odd? What’s the real story about how this all came out?
I don’t know if Moore is guilty – if he is, the hell with him and let’s replace him on the ballot a la Robert Torricelli – but I know that the facts around this claim should make any reasonable person want to know more before they judge. Except not among the GOPe. In 2017’s least surprising development, John McCain demanded Moore drop out simply because he was accused. Yet when the New York Times accused McCain – he says falsely – of an affair, well, the Blue Falcon didn’t drop out of anything. And Mitt Romney, who always reminds me of a talking weasel wearing a $5,000 suit, had to pipe up and do the same. This was the same Mitt who Harry Reid lied about regarding his taxes so effectively. You’d think they’d both be sensitive to the potential for left wing smears, but no. We have two Republicans who were both falsely accused demanding that we give up a Senate seat because of an accusation the accused says is false – an accusation made on the pages of one of our greatest enemies no less. Does that seem legit?
So what are GOP voters supposed to think when they note how these paragons of virtue signaling have not been demanding the resignation of Democrat Senator Bob Menendez, who is in the midst of a federal corruption trial – a case where there are hints their pal The Distinguished Gentleman from New Jersey cavorted with underage hookers? And the Adults In The Room wonder why their voters have nothing but contempt for them.
As for Moore, it is properly the people of Alabama who will pass judgment. My guess is the voters of Alabama will believe Moore and choose him over the guy who wants to kill babies. I suspect that part of the reason will be to tell the GOPe that Alabamians will decide for themselves who represents them.
What a mess. The Republican Party seems to have no interest in addressing its electile dysfunction. The Democrats are preparing for battle; the Professional Republicans are sulking because their voters won’t obey. They seem not just unable but unwilling to pass the agenda they promised the base. And whenever there’s a narrative damaging to the party to be hopped on, despite reasonable grounds for skepticism, hop on they do. If the GOP establishment wanted to lose, what would it do differently?
By Lisa Mascaro and Jim Puzzanghera
As they prepare to unveil their own sweeping tax plan, SenateRepublicans are revisiting key provisions of the GOP House proposal, including possibly eliminating property tax deductions as well as state income tax deductions, increasing the size of child-care credits, offering more help to small businesses and having corporate tax cuts phase in or expire, according to those familiar with the negotiations.
The final outline of the Senate plan, scheduled to be released Thursday, remained a work in progress, officials cautioned.
“Everything is on the table,” said one Republican official Tuesday evening, who did not want to be identified discussing the talks.
House and Senate Republicans agreed on an early framework for the tax overhaul — lowering corporate rates to 20% and consolidating individual brackets.
But as House Republicans push ahead with a vote next week on their bill, Senate Republicans are constrained by Senate rules that require their package not increase the federal deficit by more than $1.5 trillion over a decade.
Core to the Senate’s dilemma is how to make the corporate tax rates immediate and permanent — as President Trump wants — which has left them searching for revenue streams so they don’t add to the deficit.
They are considering various options: Fully repealing state and local tax deductions that are important to California and other high-tax states, including property taxes; adjusting individual tax brackets so higher-income households that earn less than $1 million fall in the top 39.6% rate; retaining some type of estate tax; or repealing parts of Obamacare.
They are also considering simply allowing the corporate rate to expire at the end of the decade, sources said.
At the same time, senators are trying to make the bill more beneficial to small businesses and middle-income households, in response to Democratic complaints that the bill mostly aids corporations and the wealthy. President Trump interrupted his Asian trip Tuesday to dial in to a meeting of 12 Democratic senators he is hoping to win over, telling them it was an “awful” bill for rich people, according to a source familiar with the call.
Senators in recent days have responded to concerns raised by the National Federation of Independent Businesses that few small-business owners would benefit from a provision in the House plan to lower the tax rate on so-called pass-through businesses to 25%. Currently such businesses pay at the individual rate, topping at 39.6%
But the vast majority of small businesses already pay about 25%, the NFIB complained.
Some senators are talking about raising the House bill’s 30% cap on business income that can receive the 25% rate to 50% or more, to allow a greater number of small-business owners to benefit.
Others want to increase the child tax credit to help families. Florida Sen. Marco Rubio, working with Ivanka Trump, wants the credit increased to $2,000. The House bill, which would boost the credit from $1,000 to $1,600, “falls short,” he said.
Senators are also hearing from lobbyists who want to reverse certain provisions in the House bill, such as restoring an adoption tax credit supported by evangelical Christians.
“This is just like Republicans not to think this through and put it on the backs of orphaned kids,” said Jim Daly, president of Focus on the Family. “Can we just have a little bit of heart?”
Representatives for the Koch brothers are planning to target a complicated excise tax in the House bill that affects foreign transactions of multinational companies.
But such changes will increase costs substantially, forcing senators to search for new ways to raise revenue, such as delaying the corporate tax cut, which takes place immediately under the House version.
Senators are also likely to give up hopes of a full repeal of the estate tax, paid mostly by the wealthy. The House plan doubles the exemption to $22 million for couples and eventually repeals it fully after six years.
Senators may also propose a full repeal of state and local income taxes, including property taxes, according to those close to the talks. That idea would hit high-cost states like California hard and pose political challenges for many GOP House members from high-tax states.
The House bill caps property tax deductions at $10,000, but eliminates deductions for state and local income or sales taxes. That compromise arose after Republican lawmakers from New York and New Jersey threatened to withhold their support for the GOP plan.
Texas Sen. Ted Cruz came out against the House plan to restrict state and local tax deductions, calling it unfair.
“There are some taxpayers who are losing exemptions — particularly in some high-tax states like New York or California — that could conceivably be paying higher taxes,” Cruz said. “I think that is a mistake. I think tax reform needs to cut taxes for everybody.”
But his solution may only complicate the tax bill’s path to passage. Cruz on Tuesday threw his support behind an idea already endorsed by Trump and others to pay for the tax cuts by repealing parts of the Affordable Care Act, particularly the mandate that all Americans have health insurance.
Doing away with the mandate would cut federal spending on subsidies that help lower-income Americans buy insurance under the law.
Tacking an Obamacare repeal onto the tax overhaul has been panned by House Speaker Paul D. Ryan and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell. They worry it would complicate passage and risk derailing a year-end legislative accomplishment.
But even with Trump’s backing, repealing parts of Obamacare is unlikely to find much support in the Senate, especially from those Republicans, including Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska), who voted earlier this year against GOP proposals to scrap the law.
“You’ve already got a lot of weighty and considerable issues on the tax side, so when you mix healthcare in, you may unnecessarily complicate it,” she said.
Meanwhile, lawmakers on the House Ways and Means Committee continued debating their bill Tuesday.
It aims to simplify the tax code by closing many common deductions, replacing them with a standard deduction of $12,000 for individuals, or $24,000 for couples. It would also limit mortgage loan deductions to $500,000, and end mortgage deductions for second homes.
The House bill also eliminates the deduction for personal losses from wildfires, earthquakes and other natural disasters, but keeps the break for victims of the recent severe hurricanes, another blow to California, where fires last month destroyed nearly 8,800 structures and killed 43 people.
Outside analysts warn against GOP claims that tax cuts will spur economic growth, covering the $1.5 trillion in additional deficit spending.
On Tuesday, Fitch Ratings said the proposal would likely deliver “a modest and temporary spur to growth,” but result in a federal deficit that hits 4% of GDP by next year, up from 3.5% in fiscal 2017.
“Tax cuts may lead to a short-lived boost to output, but Fitch believes that they will not pay for themselves or lead to a permanently higher growth rate,” the ratings agency said.
Similarly, the nonpartisan Tax Foundation found that while the plan would generate nearly 1 million new jobs, the economic growth would not be sufficient to cover the $1.5 trillion cost of lost revenue.
In the Senate, Republicans including Sen. Bob Corker (R-Tenn.) and Sen. James Lankford (R-Okla.), among others, have raised concerns about relying on deficit spending to pay for tax breaks.
Published on Nov 4, 2017
THE FAILED BIG GOV CYCLE: CREATE A NEW PROGRAM AFTER FIRST ONE FAILS … BUT NEVER ABOLISH THE ORIGINAL ONE.
by Daniel Horowitz
“Leave no government-run health care program and handout to the insurance cartel behind.” That is the guiding principle of the unibrow party in Washington.
After fully capitulating to the Democrats on the debt ceiling, everything in the budget bill, an insidiously bloated disaster-relief bill attached to the package, and the promise for amnesty and insurance bailouts, the GOP is quietly giving Democrats everything they want on Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) reauthorization.
The question nobody is asking in Washington, or even cares to ask, is: Why should we even have CHIP at this point, now that Obamacare isn’t going anywhere?
In 1997, rather than dealing with the root cause of price inflation in health careand health insurance — namely, government handouts to the insurance cartel — Sen. Orrin Hatch, R-Utah, created yet another government-run program funneled through the insurance cartel.
The State Children’s Health Insurance Program (SCHIP), now simply called CHIP, was designed as a shared federal-state insurance program for children and pregnant women in families whose incomes are too high to be eligible for Medicaid.
Like every other entitlement program, SCHIP started off modestly but rapidly mushroomed into a permanent dependency program. There are now 8.9 million individuals enrolled at a cost of $15 billion, with the federal government picking up three-quarters of the tab.
Much of the expansion occurred during the Pelosi reign of terror in 2009 when the funding, eligibility, and benefit requirements of the program were dramatically increased. As a result, 12 states don’t contribute a penny to the program. I guess that’s why they cropped off the “S” from SCHIP.
By now, some of you might be wondering why we still have the program. We destroyed the entire health care system in order to massively expand Medicaid, mandated everyone purchase insurance, we subsidize everyone else’s insurance up through 400 percent of the poverty rate and leave those above that level in the lurch. Why do we need CHIP after enactment of Obamacare?
Even the drafters of Obamacare essentially envisioned the end of CHIP, which is why they had funding for the program expire in 2015. Between the massive expansion of eligibility for Medicaid and the dependency-driven subsidies under Obamacare, there was no longer a legitimate rationale for the existence of CHIP – even from a liberal perspective. Liberals cannot argue that Obamacare was the end-all for universal coverage and then demand reauthorization of CHIP.
Yet, rather than pocket the one ancillary benefit of Obamacare and let a smaller program expire simply by doing nothing, Republicans agreed in 2015 to a two-year reauthorization of the program as part of a massive $400 billion Medicaid doc fix bill, which created nightmare red tape on doctors (the MACRA payment system). Not only did the Republicans reauthorize CHIP, they expanded funding for the program by as much as $6 billion a year. (Conservative Review included that vote in our Liberty Score.)
This was done with GOP control of the House and Senate. Yet, two years later, with control of all branches of government, rather than letting a government program expire simply by doing nothing, Republicans have once again agreed to reauthorize the program for another five years!
There wasn’t even a battle over the program. Any GOP official committed to their party’s platform would make it clear that CHIP is unnecessary when coupled with Obamacare, and would demand that Democrats pick one or the other. The country could then use the $15 billion in savings for missile defense or border security. But don’t hold your breath.
Some in the “Big Government conservative intelligentsia” are enamored with the CHIP program and will claim that it is less costly and more efficient than the Obamacare exchanges. But if that’s the case, Republicans should hold back on reauthorization of CHIP until they secure concessions from Democrats on Obamacare.
Instead, they are preemptively admitting that CHIP reauthorization is must-pass legislation and are agreeing to fully reauthorize it without any reforms to Obamacare, Medicaid, or broader supply-side health care reforms.
While this all is not making waves in the media, it is perhaps the superlative example of the failed cycle of government.
They create a new program because the first one failed … but then never abolish the original one. But again, this is not about helping the poor; this is about using dependency to create more votes and lining the pockets of the insurance cartel that administers the programs. Thus, government can only add programs but not rescind or even replace them.
This is why our politicians subscribe to the rules of the ancient Persian government described in the book of Esther (9:8), “For a writ that is written in the name of the king and sealed with the king’s ring cannot be rescinded.”
Look no further than the top lobbyists for 2017, almost all of them are part of the health care cartel:
This is why the voters are no longer presented with a choice. Because the special interests are in lockstep with endless growth of government, the options we are presented operate exclusively within the confines of the Democrat premise on any given issue. And that premise is “Leave no wasteful government program behind.”
On a never-before-released private October conference call with House Republican members, House Speaker Paul Ryan told his members in the U.S. House of Representatives he was abandoning then-GOP presidential nominee Donald Trump forever and would never defend him ever again.
In the Oct. 10, 2016 call, from right after the Access Hollywood tape of Trump was leaked in the weeks leading up to the election, Ryan does not specify that he will never defend Trump on just the Access Hollywood tape—he says clearly he is done with Trump altogether.
“I am not going to defend Donald Trump—not now, not in the future,” Ryan says in the audio, obtained by Breitbart News and published here for the first time ever.
Now, Ryan—still the Speaker—has pushed now President Donald Trump to believe his healthcare legislation the American Health Care Act would repeal and replace Obamacare when it does not repeal Obamacare. Ryan has also, according to Trump ally Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY), misled President Trump into believing that Ryan’s bill can pass Congress. Paul and others believe the bill is dead on arrival in the U.S. Senate since a number of GOP senators have come out against it, and there are serious questions about whether it can pass the House. This is the first major initiative that Trump has worked on with Ryan—and the fact it is going so poorly calls into question whether Speaker Ryan, the GOP’s failed 2012 vice presidential nominee who barely supported Trump at all in 2016, really understands how Trump won and how to win in general.
The October conference call apparently was intended only for House Republican members. It’s unclear which or how many House Republicans took part in the call, whether the participants knew it was being recorded, who made the recording, or whether a recording exists of the entire call. The remarks on the portion provided to Breitbart News certainly sound like they were coming from Speaker Ryan, who seemed to be abandoning his party’s presidential nominee altogether just weeks before the election. He says not only will he not defend the Access Hollywood comments, but he will not campaign with Trump at all between this call on Oct. 10, 2016, and the general election for the presidency on Nov. 8—and that Ryan would not defend Trump on anything generally.
Ryan followed through on his promise to not campaign with Trump, abandoning the now president in the final crucial weeks leading up to the all-important general election. But Trump won anyway, in a landslide in the electoral college crushing Democrat Hillary Rodham Clinton. This audio file means that Trump won all 306 of his electoral votes on his own, without Ryan, including the 10 he won in Ryan’s home state of Wisconsin. As soon as Trump won without Ryan’s help, Ryan aligned himself with then President-elect Trump and now President Trump—acting like he never abandoned him on the campaign trail and never disinvited the president from a rally in his district.
Ryan’s comments on this Oct. 10 call came after a female voice—it’s unclear if the woman was a House member or not—opened up the call. He called Trump’s Access Hollywood comments indefensible and said they do not fit with the Republican Party’s “principles and values.” Ryan also told House members on the call that he would not be campaigning with Trump, and that each member should make their own decision with regards to Trump over the next several weeks at that point: Abandon the GOP nominee for president like Ryan was doing or stand with him? A number of members joined Ryan in abandoning Trump. Both of those two sections of the call have been previously reported in media, although those media reports lacked audio of Ryan to back them up. But the more important line is the line where Ryan says—without specifying this was about the Access Hollywood leak—that he will never defend Donald Trump again.
“His comments are not anywhere in keeping with our party’s principles and values,” Ryan said. “There are basically two things that I want to make really clear, as for myself as your Speaker. I am not going to defend Donald Trump—not now, not in the future. As you probably heard, I disinvited him from my first congressional district GOP event this weekend—a thing I do every year. And I’m not going to be campaigning with him over the next 30 days.”
“Look, you guys know I have real concerns with our nominee,” Ryan continued. “I hope you appreciate that I’m doing what I think is best for you, the members, not what’s best for me. So, I want to do what’s best for our members, and I think this is the right thing to do. I’m going to focus my time on campaigning for House Republicans. I talked to a bunch of you over the last 72 hours and here is basically my takeaway. To everyone on this call, this is going to be a turbulent month. Many of you on this call are facing tough reelections. Some of you are not. But with respect to Donald Trump, I would encourage you to do what you think is best and do what you feel you need to do. Personally, you need to decide what’s best for you. And you all know what’s best for you where you are.”
Later in the audio, Ryan does clarify that the “last thing” he wanted to do was help Clinton ascend to the presidency.
“But the last thing I want to do is to help Hillary Clinton get the presidency, and get Congress,” Ryan said. “Look, she’s a failed progressive. She’s running an abysmal campaign. I mean, it’s just—it’s amazing how easily she could be beaten. She will take this country in the wrong direction. And the last thing we need is four more years of Obama policies or two years of a Clinton presidency with a Democrat Congress. Could you imagine what that would look like? So the last thing we want to be doing is giving Hillary Clinton a blank check in Congress.”
“That’s why I’m going to spend the rest of this month fighting for Congress, fighting for our majorities,” Ryan continued. “I’m going to spend the next 28 days working hard with all of our members to get re-elected because we need a check on Hillary Clinton if Donald Trump and Mike Pence don’t win the presidency. Greg Walden will get more into what that looks like and what polling looks like, but I want to basically close with this: His comments are indefensible, they’re not in keeping with our principles, so I’m not going to try to defend him. I’m going to focus on Congress, I’m going to focus on upholding our values. We have a great, great policy agenda—A Better Way—that we need to take to voters and show what our party actually stands for and what it’s stood for for generations.”
LISTEN TO AUDIO OF PAUL RYAN’S OCT. 10, 2016, CONFERENCE CALL WITH HOUSE GOP:
In response to this audio surfacing, Ryan spokesman Brendan Buck told Breitbart News: “The world is well aware of this history.”
“And obviously a lot has happened since then. As everyone knows,” Buck added in a follow-up email.
In a third follow-up email, Buck clarified about the comments from Ryan that “of course they were” specifically about the Access Hollywood tapes.
“This was in response to that, but as everyone knows, they came together toward the end of the campaign and the speaker vocally supported him and even campaigned with Pence,” Buck said.
But Ryan never campaigned with Trump.
It’s worth noting that the person Ryan leaned on for political advice in abandoning Trump during this conference call was now House Energy and Commerce Committee chairman Rep. Greg Walden (R-OR). Walden, at the time, was chairman of the National Republican Congressional Committee (NRCC). This audio file obtained by Breitbart News does not include Walden’s comments, so it’s unclear exactly what he said. But Walden is now one of Ryan’s top lieutenants in the House of Representatives, leading the promotion of this healthcare legislation—and one of the two committee chairmen who kept his committee in session overnight to speed up the mark-up of the legislation last week.
Ryan’s decision to abandon Trump on the campaign trail has become a focal point in healthcare negotiations. While meeting with conservative leaders last week at the White House, this exact topic came up—as Tea Party Patriots’ Jenny Beth Martin and Trump shared an exchange that was particularly awkward for White House chief of staff and Ryan ally Reince Priebus.
“Inside the Oval Office last week, there was a telling exchange between conservative activist Jenny Beth Martin and the president,” Jonathan Swan of Axios reported on Sunday night, adding:
During Trump’s Wednesday meeting with conservative leaders over the healthcare plan, Tea Party Patriots leader Martin subtly reminded Trump that her super-PAC stood by him ‘through thick and thin’ during the campaign, unlike a certain politician from Wisconsin. According to two sources in the room, Martin didn’t mention Paul Ryan’s name. But everyone knew who she was talking about. She reminded Trump that in October — when the crude ‘Access Hollywood’ tape leaked and Ryan disinvited Trump from a Wisconsin event — Tea Party Patriots Citizens Fund volunteers were working the phones on Trump’s behalf. Trump smiled and glanced over at his chief of staff Reince Priebus. Trump said that, yes, he had been disinvited. And he thanked Martin for standing by him.
Ryan has been unwilling to negotiate on the specifics of his bill, which has earned multiple negative monikers like “Obamacare 2.0,” “Obamacare Lite,” “RyanCare,” and “RINO-CARE” from detractors. But President Trump and his true allies, despite what Ryan’s allies inside the White House say publicly, have been much more willing to negotiate, according to House and Senate conservatives who have had direct conversations with the president.
“We have gotten a signal from the White House that the bill might be completely pulled and a more transparent and inclusive process could start as early as next week,” one senior Republican Senate aide told Breitbart News on Friday. “House leadership misled the White House on how popular this bill would be with conservatives.”
“That would be excellent news, and the best way to ensure we actually deliver on what we told the voters we would do,” another senior congressional aide told Breitbart News when asked about the possibility Ryan’s bill might be pulled altogether and a new renegotiated bill introduced afterwards. “The bill as is cannot pass and there is a growing chorus of Republican members in both houses growing impatient with the current unwillingness to make any changes to the current House bill.”
“They’ll start to fold soon if the conservative groups hold firm,” one senior House GOP aide in an office whose member is against the bill, will not vote for it in its current form or without significant changes under any circumstances and is not in the House Freedom Caucus, told Breitbart News.
House GOP leadership offices—particularly Ryan’s and House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy’s team—have not responded to requests for comment on the possibility the bill may be pulled altogether. But White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer, who is working internally as hard as he can to help Ryan on this front regardless of the impact on Trump along with a handful of other White House aides who came from the Republican National Committee and are not Trump loyalists, told Breitbart News that the idea the bill may be pulled is “false.”
But in conversations Breitbart News has had with no fewer than 15 other White House aides, including many on the press team, it is clear that the President and the senior Trump administration team are not happy with this bill’s lack of conservative support. The President and his team were assured by Ryan that conservatives would, in fact, be on board with it in the beginning, something that has turned out to not be accurate. Interestingly, much more so than Ryan and his House GOP leadership team, the White House is much more open to significant negotiation on the details in a healthcare bill—including the structure, vehicle, timeline and more. Several senior White House aides confirmed to Breitbart News that while the administration is publicly touting the bill as the party line, the President is much more willing to wheel and deal on this front than Ryan loyalists on his team would have anyone believe.
“The President gave Ryan a chance,” one source close to the President said. “If he doesn’t get his act together soon, the President will have no choice but to step in and fix this on his own. He’s the best negotiator on the planet, and if this were his bill not Ryan’s it would not be this much of a mess.”
In fact, the president himself on Monday said he is working on negotiating on this healthcare bill.
“We’re negotiating with everybody,” Trump said. “It’s a big fat beautiful negotiation and hopefully we’ll come up with something that’s going to be really terrific.”
What’s more, the bill has virtually zero chance of ever passing the Senate should it get there. Sens. Paul, Mike Lee (R-UT), Tom Cotton (R-AR), Lindsey Graham (R-SC), James Lankford (R-OK), Dean Heller (R-NV), Susan Collins (R-ME), Ted Cruz (R-TX), and Ben Sasse (R-NE)—among other GOP senators—have all raised concerns about it. Paul, Lee and Cotton have been particularly vocal, while Graham has raised concerns with the process.
Cotton, particularly, warned his old House colleagues to not vote for Ryan’s bill. “The bill probably can be fixed, but it’s going to take a lot of carpentry on that framework,” Cotton said, adding the key warning: “Do not walk the plank and vote for a bill that cannot pass the Senate and then have to face the consequences of that vote,”
“I’m not going to give into demands by members of Congress or the Senate if I don’t believe it’s in the interest of the American people and just walk away from the frigging table,” Graham said last week, according to Politico.
Sasse, meanwhile, has privately raised concerns about the process and viability of the bill, according to a Senate GOP aide while a source close to Sasse has confirmed to Breitbart News he raised those concerns. Politico has reported on Heller’s serious concerns with Ryan’s bill, and Collins said she agrees with Paul—for different reasons—that the bill is dead on arrival in the Senate. Lankford, in a Monday morning radio interview, confirmed he also has serious concerns with the House bill and that he is introducing his own Obamacare replacement legislation in the Senate on Tuesday.
Cruz’s office confirmed to Breitbart News he has had several meetings with White House officials, House members and Senate leadership officials making the case for an improved House bill. Cruz has also argued that Republicans can get around the Senate’s parliamentarian on budget reconciliation because he says the Vice President—Mike Pence—“has the statutory and constitutional authority (as does the Senate majority) to rule to the contrary” of what the parliamentarian says.
Given the fact there are only 52 Republicans in the U.S. Senate, only three Republicans are needed to stop a piece of legislation that has no support from any Democrats. This bill is expected to get no support from Democrats, so the nine Republicans that Breitbart News can confirm have serious issues with the House bill—while not all necessarily 100 percent against it—are more than enough to stop this bill dead in its tracks if it ever reaches them.
That brings up the next question, which is whether Ryan’s legislation has enough support to pass the U.S. House of Representatives. At this time, since the House Freedom Caucus is united against it—more than 40 members comprise the House Freedom Caucus—it appears the answer is no. Ryan can only afford to lose around 20 Republican votes, depending on absences and vacancies, since he is aiming to pass the bill with zero support from any Democrats.
And while Ryan is attempting to browbeat 20 or so of the House Freedom Caucus members into submission on this legislation using his affiliated outside groups to run ads against them in their districts—while not spending anything on targeting Democrats—House GOP sources in non-Freedom Caucus offices tell Breitbart News that there are as many as perhaps 70 House Republicans against this bill at this time, and that number is not getting any smaller as time goes by. So if Ryan is able to muscle it through the House in the next few weeks—sources close to the process expect a battle to come on the rule vote, which may happen next week or the week after—it will be on life support headed to a Senate that does not support it since conservatives are not warming up to it by any stretch.
Now, on top of all of this, this new audio file raises questions as to how loyal Ryan is to Trump politically—and is asking the new president to use precious political capital to push through legislation that seems arithmetically destined for congressional failure. That could doom or at least dampen other key elements of the Trump agenda, like tax reform, immigration reform, national security efforts, budgetary reforms, building up of the U.S. military, trade renegotiation and more.
As such, as Breitbart News has previously reported, there are now rumblings among House Republicans that they may want a replacement not just of Obamacare but a replacement of Paul Ryan as Speaker. A new Speaker, some argue, would make life much easier for President Trump as he moves forward with his agenda. So the argument goes, as some House GOP members have told Breitbart News, is that if healthcare is this rocky then tax reform, immigration, trade policy and other key Trump agenda items will be worse.
Published on Oct 26, 2017