‘We Have Enough Votes’

Thursday, May 4, 2017Screen Shot 2017-05-04 at 10.07.14 AM

Good Thursday morning, 
Here are some of the stories making news in Washington and politics today:
  • A vote was planned for Thursday on the G.O.P. health care bill after a new $8 billion provision for pre-existing conditions won over key Republican holdouts. The measure still faces opposition from health care providers, disease advocates and retirees, as well as from many Republican senators, who are not likely to pass it in its current form.
  • James B. Comey, the director of the F.B.I., sharply defended the revelation in October about renewing the Clinton email inquiry. “Concealment in my view would have been catastrophic,” he told senators.
  • Several administration officials said that President Trump would mark the National Day of Prayer on Thursday by issuing an executive order easing the risk of religious groups losing their tax-exempt status.
  • Mr. Trump continues to be unconventional. But he also seems to be adjusting to the realities of the presidency, governing in a more typical way than when he started.
  • In his first address laying out his agenda as secretary of state, Rex W. Tillerson said that the United States had done too much for allies and emerging nations.
— The First Draft Team

What Republicans Changed in Their Health Care Bill to Try to Get More Votes

By HAEYOUN PARK, MARGOT SANGER-KATZ AND JASMINE C. LEE
In a scramble to garner enough votes for passage, House Republicans have added more revisions to their bill to repeal the Affordable Care Act (also known as Obamacare), more than a month after pulling their initial bill from the floor.
Read more »
Representative Fred Upton spoke to students outside the Capitol on Wednesday. He is now supporting the Republican bill with the addition of an amendment (an extra $8 billion to states for high-risk pools) that he took the lead in writing.
PUBLIC HEALTH

Extra Billions for Health Bill? Researchers Say It’s Still Not Enough

By REED ABELSON AND MARGOT SANGER-KATZ

Adding $8 billion to a G.O.P. bill seems to fall short of ensuring that those with pre-existing conditions will still be able to get health insurance.

Whip Count: Republicans Who Are Against the Revised Health Care Bill

By ALICIA PARLAPIANO, JUGAL K. PATEL AND THOMAS KAPLAN

A revised bill to replace the Affordable Care Act is pending in the House.

President Trump met with the Palestinian leader, Mahmoud Abbas, in the Oval Office on Wednesday.
NEWS ANALYSIS

Trump, Bullish on Mideast Peace, Will Need More Than Confidence

By PETER BAKER

Meeting with the Palestinian leader, Mahmoud Abbas, President Trump said, “We will get this done,” a bold promise given the complexity of any peace deal.

Ben Carson, secretary of housing and urban development, toured the Columbus Choice Neighborhood in Ohio last week. A planning grant from HUD helped to fund the neighborhood.

Don’t Make Housing for the Poor Too Cozy, Carson Warns

By YAMICHE ALCINDOR

During a tour in Ohio, the housing secretary was resolute in his belief that too much government assistance has led to too much dependence.

President Vladimir V. Putin of Russia arriving at a meeting at the Kremlin last month.

Russia, Feeling Slighted by Trump, Seeks a Reset

By NEIL MACFARQUHAR

The Kremlin cannot understand why President Trump has met a string of world leaders but afforded President Putin just three measly phone calls.

Tucker Carlson of “Tucker Carlson Tonight,” which has moved into the 8 p.m. time slot on the Fox News Channel.
CRITIC’S NOTEBOOK

In Conservative Prime Time, It’s Now Fox and Enemies

By JAMES PONIEWOZIK

After a personnel upheaval, the Fox News Channel’s new evening lineup is not so much pro-Trump as it is anti-anti-Trump.

Former President Barack Obama showed plans for the Obama Presidential Center, which is to be built in Jackson Park on Chicago’s South Side.

Obama Says His Presidential Library Will Be a ‘Hub for the Community’

By JULIE BOSMAN

The former president and first lady came to Chicago to unveil plans for the Obama Presidential Center, saying it would be a different kind of presidential library.

Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice with President George W. Bush, July 6, 2006.
NONFICTION

America First? No, Says Former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice

By WALTER RUSSELL MEAD

In “Democracy,” Ms. Rice argues that people around the world yearn for freedom, and that democracy promotion is a key goal of American foreign policy.

STATE OF THE ART

Giving the Behemoths a Leg Up on the Little Guy

By FARHAD MANJOO

The new F.C.C. chairman’s plan to slacken net neutrality rules is a boon to tech giants and a bane to competitors and innovators.

Students at Merriman Park Elementary School in Dallas in 2014. The Richardson ISD Council of PTAs hosted a program called “Understanding Differences” to show students and teachers what it is like to have learning disabilities.

A Little-Noticed Target in the House Health Bill: Special Education

By ERICA L. GREEN

A provision of the Republican plan to replace the Affordable Care Act would sharply cut Medicaid funds for special education programs across the country.

James B. Comey, the F.B.I. director, testified before the Senate Judiciary Committee on Wednesday.

5 Highlights From James Comey’s Hearing

By MICHAEL S. SCHMIDT

The F.B.I. director said that if he had to revisit his decision to tell Congress in October about newly discovered emails related to Hillary Clinton, he would do it again.

Border Patrol agents detained a man suspected of crossing the Rio Grande to enter the United States illegally near McAllen, Tex., in February.

Trump’s Immigration Proposals ‘Conspicuously Absent’ From Spending Bill

By RON NIXON

Lawmakers from both parties rejected key elements of the president’s proposals to enforce the nation’s immigration laws more aggressively.

House Approves Spending Deal, Clearing a Hurdle to Avoid a Shutdown

By MATT FLEGENHEIMER AND EMMARIE HUETTEMAN

The bipartisan agreement is expected to earn final passage with a Senate vote this week.

President Trump at a campaign-style rally last week in Harrisburg, Pa.
ON WASHINGTON

Trump Gets a Win He Wasn’t Counting On: He Saved the Filibuster

By CARL HULSE

By demanding that the Senate change one of its signature rules, the president created a cause for bipartisan unity: preserving the 60-vote threshold on legislation.

Right and Left: Partisan Writing You Shouldn’t Miss
Read about how the other side thinks. We have collected political writing from around the web and across ideologies.
From the Right
• Kyle Sammin in The Federalist:
“A bad ruling about a bad policy is good law, and good for America.”
Last week, Judge William H. Orrick of San Francisco temporarily blocked the Trump administration’s efforts to deny federal funding to sanctuary cities. Though he disagrees with the “specious” reasoning of the order, Kyle Sammin admits that it “strengthens the federalism that is essential to the system of American liberty.” The order is a bulwark against an increasingly powerful central government that uses federal funding as a cudgel against the rights of individual states. Read more »
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From the Left
• Radhika Sainath in Jacobin:
“The most successful recent attacks on free speech have come from Zionist organizations seeking to suppress any criticism of Israel.”
Much of the conversation about free speech on college campuses has centered on liberal students protesting conservative speakers. Radhika Sainath identifies another free speech issue — the “real free-speech threat” according to her headline. The University of California, Berkeley — the same campus that disinvited Ann Coulter the other week — recently canceled a class titled “Palestine: A Settler Colonial Analysis.” Though the university reinstated the course after a public outcry, Ms. Sainath argues that the danger of this type of censorship by “institutional actors” is more insidious than that of individual protesters. Read more »
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