BREAKING: Trump Deals With Schumer On Healthcare

In an early morning tweet, President Donald Trump made the shocking revelation that he was in negotiations with Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) on reforming Obamacare.

In the tweet, Trump said, “I called Chuck Schumer yesterday to see if the Dems want to do a great HealthCare Bill. ObamaCare is badly broken, big premiums. Who knows!”

No specifics on the potential deal were announced. The president also did not say when further details would be available.

Republican attempts to pass a healthcare bill recently failed in the Senate. Senators Rand Paul (R-Ky.), John McCain (R-Ariz.), Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska) and Susan Collins (R-Maine) had announced that they would not vote for the bill.

Any deal with Democrats would be certain to leave the core of Obamacare intact. While many Republicans would likely oppose such a bill, a bipartisan coalition of Democrats and Trump supporters in the GOP could form a majority. It is possible that such a coalition could even get enough votes to end a filibuster.



Trump Sees DACA Deal As Win-Win

Chaos broke out last night after a dinner between President Trump and Democrat congressional leaders Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) and Nancy Pelosi (D- Calif.). In the wake of Trump’s deal with Democrats on the debt ceiling, there were late-breaking reports that the three had reached an agreement to extend President Obama’s DACA program.

Fast forward a few hours to this morning and President Trump is denying almost everything. In a tweet, the president said, “No deal was made last night on DACA. Massive border security would have to be agreed to in exchange for consent. Would be subject to vote.”

The president continued, “The WALL, which is already under construction in the form of new renovation of old and existing fences and walls, will continue to be built.”

Then, in a third tweet, President Trump changes tacks. “Does anybody really want to throw out good, educated and accomplished young people who have jobs, some serving in the military?” he asks. “Really!” He continued in that vein in a fourth tweet, “They have been in our country for many years through no fault of their own – brought in by parents at young age. Plus BIG border security.”

Taken together, the tweets indicate that President Trump may not have a final agreement on an extension of DACA, but he wants one. Even though Trump ran his campaign as a hardliner on immigration, he gave several indications that he was not firmly committed to the issue.

In August 2016, three months before the election, there were reports that Trump was flip-flopping on immigration. He denied the charge, telling Fox News at the time, “We want to come up with a fair but firm process. Fair but firm.”

In December 2016, the president-elect directly addressed the “Dreamers” in his “Person of the Year” interview with Time magazine. “We’re going to work something out that’s going to make people happy and proud,” he said. “They got brought here at a very young age, they’ve worked here, they’ve gone to school here. Some were good students. Some have wonderful jobs. And they’re in never-never land because they don’t know what’s going to happen.”

The signs were there all along that President Trump would cut a deal. And there are benefits for the president if he does. Its unpopularity among Republicans notwithstanding, most Americans like DACA and don’t want to deport the Dreamers. For many people, how President Obama created the DACA program, usurping congressional legislative authority, is more of a problem that the program itself. And let’s be honest, many people don’t even care if Obama exceeded his executive authority to create the program. Recent polling shows that most Americans approve of DACA by double-digit margins. Even a third to a half of Republicans support continuing the program.

Not just any illegal immigrant is eligible for DACA. Candidates must have come to the country illegally or overstayed a visa when they were younger than 16 and have continuously resided in the United States since 2007. The must be in school, have a GED or high school diploma or have been honorably discharged from the US military. A felony or more than three misdemeanors is not allowed. Participants also had to pay $980 in initial fees and $465 for renewals, all for a program that did not give official legal status. Whatever DACA was, it was not amnesty. The prospect of prosecution and deportation was still there.

Most voters also approve of President Trump’s first deal with the Democrats. Rasmussen found that two-thirds of voters think it’s good for the country if Trump and the Democrats work together.

President Trump likely sees a DACA deal as a win-win. He can become more popular by reaching across the aisle to enact a policy that he likes anyway. From a pragmatic perspective, the Republicans have been unable to get anything done, so a pivot to the left makes sense.

Could Republicans block collaboration between Trump and the Democrats? Assuming the Democrats all vote together, in the Senate, a deal would need 13 Republican votes for cloture and three votes for passage. In the House, 23 Republican votes would be needed for a simple majority. Between Republican moderates who support DACA and Trump supporters who will follow the president’s lead, a Trump-Democrat deal would be hard to stop.

The problem with a nonideological president is that his principles and platform are not firmly grounded. If he wants to accomplish things – anything – and be popular, he won’t necessarily continue to dance with the voters who brought him to the Washington.

And what of the Trump base that voted for the Wall and deportation?

“I could stand in the middle of 5th Avenue and shoot somebody and I wouldn’t lose voters,” Trump famously said of his base during the campaign.

His pivot on DACA may be about to put that theory to the test.

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Deal or No Deal? Trump Bucks Reports of Immigration Compromise with Democrats

After Nancy Pelosi and Chuck Schumer rushed out of a dinner with the president to announce that they had made a deal with him on immigration, Donald Trump took to Twitter – naturally – to, um, clarify that no deal had taken place.

He reiterated that the border wall he has spent so much time talking about is a non-negotiable when it comes to immigration and border security legislation.

This statement is sure to please his most ardent supporters, many of whom got behind him because of his insistence on a border wall.

But, mere minutes later, Trump indicated that some sort of DACA-type legislation is important to him.

It will be interesting to see what the Trump Train crowd will do with the messages the president seems to be sending. It should also be fun to watch the Democrats backtrack on this one too.

No matter what happens – or doesn’t happen – on immigration, leave it to Donald Trump to always keep us guessing.

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BREAKING: No Wall! Schumer and Pelosi Announce an Immigration Deal

You read it right. Nancy Pelosi and Chuck Schumer have announced a deal to protect young illegal immigrants from deportation, but that deal does not include a wall. The measure does include funding for border security that is already in place, according to the Associated Press.

The deal announced by Senate Democratic Leader Chuck Schumer and House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi following a White House dinner would enshrine protections for the nearly 800,000 immigrants brought illegally to this country as kids who had benefited from former President Barack Obama’s Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, or DACA, program. The program provided temporary work permits and protection from deportation.

Schumer and Pelosi released a statement in which they told the press, “We agreed to enshrine the protections of DACA into law quickly, and to work out a package of border security, excluding the wall, that’s acceptable to both sides.”

The White House did not immediately comment on the deal, but the administration did release a statement which referred to a “constructive working dinner” with the Democratic leaders “to discuss policy and legislative priorities.”

You’ll recall that just last week, Trump worked out a deal with Pelosi and Schumer to raise the debt ceiling. That move drew the ire of conservatives, many of whom wondered if it signaled a new direction for the Trump presidency. No doubt this second deal with Democrats will anger the president’s base, particularly the “build the wall” crowd that was so attracted to him in the first place.

Earlier in the day, White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders maintained that Trump was “committed to the wall,” but this move will leave more than a few wondering if the administration is punting on the wall or if the president is turning his back on a key tenet of the 2016 campaign.

Will we find out that Trump’s delay is not Trump’s denial, or will the wall that the president so vehemently called for become another unfulfilled promise? Either way, this news isn’t encouraging for those who hoped for more robust border security from this administration.

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Cruz on tax reform: “Simpler, flatter, fairer”

Texas Senator Ted Cruz issued a press release today outlining seven key principles he sees as crucial to reforming the federal tax code.

Among the items mentioned are the establishment of a single “low flat tax rate”, a reduction in the corporate tax rate, and simplification of the tax code so that those filing can “file their returns on a postcard”.

“Now is our moment to remake our tax system from the ground up, employing conservative principles to create a new tax code that is simpler, flatter, and fairer,” Sen. Cruz said. “Much like Ronald Reagan, today’s conservatives hold to the simplest of ideals: that the best-utilized tax dollar is the tax dollar that goes uncollected. The best place for a taxpayer’s money is with that taxpayer, not the federal government.”

Cruz presented his seven elements earlier today during the keynote speech at a Tax Foundation event. Those elements are “based on three key principles of growth, simplicity, and fairness”.

Though the list is rife with conservative ideals, getting such a proposal through Congress and past President Trump will be a monumental task. Trump is scheduled to discuss tax reform over dinner with his new liberal friends “Chuck and Nancy”, neither of whom is likely to endorse any of the seven items on Cruz’ list. Add to that the fact that establishment Republicans seem either unwilling or unable (or both?) to enact substantive change and … well, you get the picture.

But we can always hope – and more importantly, we can call and email our elected officials and get the word out via social media that regular, everyday Americans want and need serious, conservative tax reform.

The “seven critical elements” as they appeared in the press release:

  • Create a Low, Flat Rate: Currently there are seven individual tax brackets, with rates as high as nearly 40 percent. We should have one low flat tax rate.
  • File Taxes on a Postcard: Each year, more than 90 percent of taxpayers seek help to prepare their returns, either through tax preparers or tax preparation software, costing them $99 billion. Simpler, flatter taxes will save Americans time and money, and allow them to file their returns on a postcard.
  • Allow Immediate Expensing: Domestic capital investment increases productivity, which results in more jobs and higher wages. And that means higher living standards for American families.
  • Lower the Corporate Rate: Companies are leaving the United States in droves, and taking their jobs with them. By lowering the corporate rate to 15-20 percent, America becomes competitive with the rest of world.
  • Encourage Repatriation: Current law discourages companies from bringing home foreign earnings. Moving to a territorial system would ensure foreign earnings are not double-taxed.
  • End the Death Tax: More than 99 percent of U.S. employer firms are small businesses, many of them family-owned. The death tax establishes a burden that prevents families from being able to keep their businesses running from one generation to the next, and should be put to an end.
  • End the Alternative Minimum Tax (AMT): The AMT applies to four million households, and requires millions of taxpayers to calculate their taxes twice, once under the regular tax code and again under the AMT. Ending the AMT will drastically simplify taxes for millions of American families.

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Rumors of a Deal Between McConnell and Schumer on Obamacare Non-Repeal

This is just a rumor, but it is a rumor now buzzing in several locations in Washington that McConnell and Schumer struck a deal before all this repeal kabuki theater. The basics are this.

McConnell would push for Obamacare repeal before having secured to votes to ensure there is no GOP deal. As a result, Obamacare repeal will fail, but the GOP can end the individual mandate and medical device tax. This is the so called “skinny repeal.”

In exchange, Schumer will let the Senate speed the pace of confirmation votes for the President’s nominees.

Together, McConnell and Schumer will then work on tax reform ensuring that Obamacare is bailed out since the individual mandate is gone and that the revenue from the medical device tax is replaced in some other way. Couple that with White House reports they’d be willing to raise taxes on people making $5 million or more and this looks less like a rumor and more like the plan all along.

Considering McConnell has already said that if repeal fails he would work with Democrats to prop up Obamacare and Schumer has said the Democrats are only slowing down nominations to protest the repeal effort, it does sort of fit together.

Schumer Dings Hillary: ‘Don’t Blame Russia, Blame Yourself’

Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer had nothing but tough love for his former colleague and 2016 presidential nominee in an interview over the weekend.

“When you lose to somebody who has 40 percent popularity, you don’t blame other things—Comey, Russia—you blame yourself,” he said of Clinton’s stunning election loss.

Speaking to The Washington Post, Schumer discussed Democrats’ plans to revamp their message and win back congressional seats in the upcoming midterms. In a stunning admission, the Senate minority leader was very frank on what the American people care about – and what they don’t care about. Instead of focusing on Russia conspiracies and other excuses for their election defeat, Democratic leaders say they need to stick to economic issues to win back voters.

“[N]ot one has brought up Russia to me, not one has brought up impeachment,” stated Cheri Bustos, an Illinos Democrat who represents a northwestern district in the state that went heavily in Trump’s favor. “We have to figure out this heartland messaging if we’re going to get to 218 members of Congress by 2018.” Because of the makeup of her district, Democratic leaders have named Bustos Chairwoman of Heartland Engagement. The congresswoman is tasked with messaging to the “middle America” voters that have left the Democratic Party in droves over the years. Her assignment is a central tenet of the party’s 2018 strategy.

It’s no surprise liberals need work connecting to rural voters. This has been a problem for them since Bill Clinton retired from politics. But the problem has since peaked with the arrival of Donald Trump and the breaking of the Democrat’s “Blue Wall” in November.

“So what did we do wrong? People didn’t know what we stood for, just that we were against Trump. And still believe that,” Schumer went on to say. He believes poor messaging was one of the biggest factors leading to their poor 2016 showing. Leaders have recently released their new campaign motto to change that around.

“A Better Deal: Better Jobs, Better Wages, Better Future” is the official party slogan.

After reportedly months of research and development, Democrats unveiled their 2018 slogan to the public. The line – carrying a striking resemblance to the Papa John’s motto – was largely lampooned by Democrats and Republicans alike.

Don’t tell that to Schumer, however. He believes the slogan is a rebuke to Trump’s Art of the Deal book – and he thinks the word repetition will stick in the minds of voters. “Part of this is its usability, its repetition and its relation to both the New Deal and a better deal than Trump,” Schumer insisted. “He’s supposed to be a dealmaker; he’s not very good at that.”

Lame slogans aside – it’s refreshing to hear a major Democratic player admit that they genuinely lost last November. Since President Trump’s victory, liberals have relentlessly stuck to allegations that his campaign team colluded with the Russian government to help them win. They do this because they 1) want the president to fail and 2) need an excuse for losing to one of the most beatable candidates in recent American history. Like a child that won’t accept responsibility, Democrats have shied away from admitting defeat by screaming, “BUT RUSSIA!”

With another round of elections already on the horizon, leaders such as Schumer have no choice but to live in reality and realize that voters care about jobs, national security, etc. Perhaps the Senate minority leader’s admission means they are finally moving on to real topics for political discussion.

Democrats will also need to work on their creativity. Before the Papa John’s revamp, party leaders had tested out this inspiring motto to woo the American people: “Have you seen the other guys?”

McConnell Threatens To Give Democrats Shot At Healthcare Reform

While Donald Trump was busy insulting Mika Brzezinski’s plastic surgery, GOP promises to repeal Obamacare were smoldering in the Senate’s ash heap.  With massive infighting and a delayed vote, the future of Obamacare repeal (or at least some kind of reform) is in doubt.  Desperate to pass something, Mitch McConnell is threatening to bring Democrats into the negotiations now.

The Senate healthcare reform bill, named the Better Care Reconciliation Act (BCRA), is not just unpopular with the American public; it’s unpopular with those needed to vote for it.  According to Politico, McConnell may be anywhere from 15 to 20 votes shy of passage.  With only 52 GOP Senators, he can only afford to lose two votes.  There is no easy answer either for McConnell, because opposition is coming from both the right and left.  Conservatives have pointed out BCRA is Obamacare-lite, leaving most of its regulations and subsidies in place.  Meanwhile, moderates are attacking the bill with far left wing talking points, such as “taking away people’s coverage” and “Medicaid cuts”.

So in true liberal Republican fashion, McConnell’s answer is to reach across the aisle and bring in the Democrats.  At least, that is his threat.  According to ABC News, he said,

Either Republicans will agree and change the status quo or … we’ll have to sit down with [Democratic Leader Chuck] Schumer.”

This is insane.  Doing nothing would be better than giving Chuck Schumer and Bernie Sanders another shot at America’s healthcare system.  They have no interest in actual reforms.

The Democrats have been a united front against any reform bill, screaming about how BCRA will kill people.

Given the chance, they’d just push for more taxes, subsidies, and regulations, laying the groundwork for eventual single payer.  It would be Obamacare on steroids, passed by a Republican President and Congress no less!  When their new propped-up Obamacare system fails, they can then blame Republican “reforms” and demand full socialized medicine as the only answer.

Speaking on the Senate floor this week, Chuck Schumer sounded ready to get involved.  He wanted to “start over” on healthcare, calling on Trump and the GOP to “turn over a new leaf”.  That should make every conservative shutter with fear.  Considering that some in the GOP have said it is now a choice between Obamacare and single-payer, don’t be surprised if some GOP members are open to Schumer’s ideas.  Trump himself has praised single payer on multiple occasions.

Whether Schumer actually comes on board is still to be determined.  McConnell’s comment may also be a bargaining chip, intended to force some Republican Senators to buckle in their demands.  This seems like a threat aimed more at conservatives than moderates though.  Most moderates love bipartisan bills and don’t want any actual healthcare reform anyway.  They’d be happy to leave things status quo – maybe tweak something here or there.  So, a threat to bring in the Democrats wouldn’t have much effect on someone like Dean Heller or Susan Collins.  Heck, a bipartisan bill would let them show what big hearts they have!

It’s conservatives who would suffer, despite having compromised the most in Senate negotiations.  Conservatives have made it clear they want solutions and will work to get them, but moderates have blocked the way.  With 15 to 20 Republican Senators opposing the bill, it is clear much of the opposition is from the left.  There aren’t 15 to 20 conservatives in the Senate like Ted Cruz, Rand Paul, or Mike Lee to oppose BCRA from the right.

So Mitch McConnell may be trying to twist conservatives’ arms to water down the Senate bill even more.  This would be standard operating procedure for GOP leadership.  That or he’s completely selling GOP voters out to crazy progressives.  Either way, whether it’s Susan Collins or Chuck Schumer dictating the legislation, it’s bad news for conservatives.