Pass the Health Bill, Or Else…

Wednesday, March 22, 2017Screen Shot 2017-03-22 at 09.13.04

Good Wednesday morning, 
Here are some of the stories making news in Washington and politics today:
  • President Trump, Vice President Mike Pence and Republican leaders spent the day pressuring lawmakers to support the new health bill. Officials conceded that they still lacked the votes, with one aide saying that as many as three dozen Republicans remained opposed or unconvinced.
  • The White House is preparing to dismantle major climate change policy actions of the Obama era, including a plan to close hundreds of power plants.
  • Judge Neil M. Gorsuch, Mr. Trump’s Supreme Court nominee, promised to rule against the president if the law required it and repeated his earlier private criticism of Mr. Trump’s attacks on judges who ruled against him.
  • Citing developing bomb technology, the United States and Britain are limiting the types of electronic devices that can be carried by passengers flying foreign airlines out of several Muslim-majority countries.
The First Draft Team
White House Memo

Why Letting Go, for Trump, Is No Small or Simple Task

By GLENN THRUSH AND MAGGIE HABERMAN
President Trump has clung to his belief that he was wiretapped by President Barack Obama.

President Trump has clung to his belief that he was wiretapped by President Barack Obama. Doug Mills/The New York Times

President Trump is a man seriously susceptible to snagging himself in the nettles of obsession. In the last three weeks, no compulsion has so consumed his psyche, and his Twitter account, as the deeply held and shallowly sourced belief that President Barack Obama tapped his phones.
So why can’t he just let go?
First, aides say that Mr. Trump, who often says, “I’m, like, a really smart person” in public, is driven by a need to prove his legitimacy as president to the many critics who deem him an unworthy victor forever undercut by Hillary Clinton’s three-million-vote win in the popular vote.
“The Russia investigation is being used by his political opponents to delegitimize his entire presidency and to delegitimize his agenda,” said Sam Nunberg, a longtime Trump political adviser who remains close with West Wing aides. “He will fight back, and he does it better than anybody in this White House. And that includes all those Republican National Committee guys he hired to defend him.”
Read more »

Trump Warns Republicans: Repeal Health Law or Lose Your Seats

By JULIE HIRSCHFELD DAVIS, THOMAS KAPLAN AND ROBERT PEAR

The president threatened wavering House lawmakers with political payback as Republican officials conceded that they still lacked the votes to pass their bill.

ECONOMIC SCENE

What’s at Stake in a Health Bill That Slashes the Safety Net

By EDUARDO PORTER

By reversing the Medicaid expansion and leaving millions unable to pay for coverage, the bill would be a landmark retreat in American social welfare.

Trump Lays Plans to Reverse Obama’s Climate Change Legacy

By CORAL DAVENPORT

The White House is preparing to dismantle major policy actions of the Obama era, including a plan to close hundreds of heavily polluting power plants.

Gorsuch Says He’d Rule Against Trump if Law Required

By ADAM LIPTAK AND MATT FLEGENHEIMER

The Supreme Court nominee also repeated his earlier private criticism of the president’s attacks on judges who rule against him.

Devices Banned on Flights From 10 Countries Over ISIS Fears

By RON NIXON, ADAM GOLDMAN AND ERIC SCHMITT

The United States and Britain have restricted electronic devices larger than a cellphone being carried on some flights from majority-Muslim countries.

Spicer Says Rape Case Shows Need for Immigration Crackdown

By LIAM STACK

An episode at a suburban Washington high school involving an undocumented student becomes an issue in the debate over illegal immigration.

If You Like the Arts, Save the N.E.A., Advocates Tell Lawmakers

By KATIE ROGERS

Activists arrived in Washington for Arts Advocacy Day, asking leaders to preserve funding for the National Endowment for the Arts.

U.S. Checking Report of Civilian Deaths in Syria Strike

By HELENE COOPER

Military officials say the airstrike targeted Qaeda operatives, but activists and residents have said the site was part of a religious complex where 49 civilians were killed.

Roger Stone, a ‘Trickster’ on Trump’s Side, Is Under Scrutiny

By MAGGIE HABERMAN

Mr. Stone, a longtime Trump associate, is being investigated by the F.B.I. in connection with Russian interference in the 2016 election.

Fact Check: Democrats’ Critiques of the Republican Health Bill

By LINDA QIU

Claims haven’t always matched reality in attacks on the Affordable Care Act, and Democrats are spinning the facts in critiques of its replacement.

Where Does Gorsuch Stand on Torture? It’s Hard to Say

By CHARLIE SAVAGE

Senate Democrats grilled the Supreme Court nominee about torture and presidential power, and the exchanges revived an unresolved dispute from George W. Bush’s presidency.

A Test for Tillerson, and for U.S. Strategy on ISIS

By GARDINER HARRIS

The new secretary of state has not demonstrated much sway over the president or U.S. foreign policy. Will a conclave of world leaders on Wednesday change that?

The F.B.I. Is Scrutinizing Trump’s Russia Ties. How Will That Work?

By MICHAEL S. SCHMIDT AND MATT APUZZO

What is a counterintelligence investigation? Are charges often brought? Here’s a look at a few questions raised by the F.B.I. director’s testimony.

PUBLIC HEALTH

G.O.P. Bill Would Leave Fewer Insured Than a Simple Repeal

By MARGOT SANGER-KATZ

The Republicans’ Obamacare replacement would actually result in one million more people being uninsured, according to the Congressional Budget Office.

What We’re Reading
From Slate:
“This moment in American politics … proves that the victory of reason cannot always be assured.”
When rigorous debate and deployment of facts fail to stifle bigoted speech, one author for Slate contends, it might be permissible to restrict free speech.
_____
From The Weekly Standard:
“This is the free speech and privacy issue of the hour.”
Should nonprofit organizations that run issue-based ads during elections be compelled to reveal their donors? One writer argues why laws that force full transparency may inhibit free speech.
_____
See more great reads on politics from around the web. And if you’ve had your fill of politics, try these politics-free selections.