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Daily Reads: House Republicans Scramble Toward Vote on Trumpcare 2.0; The Lobbyist Ban That Wasn’t

A roundup of stories we're reading at BillMoyers.com HQ...

House Republicans Scramble Toward Vote on Trumpcare 2.0

House Speaker Paul Ryan walks to the House chamber ahead of a budget vote on Capitol Hill May 3, 2017 in Washington, DC. (Photo by Eric Thayer/Getty Images)

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The GOP is rushing toward a vote on health care –> The bill is unpopular and opposed by every major health care group. So, why rush? Andrew Prokop writes for Vox that the push has to do with procedural reasons related to the budget reconciliation process — Republicans are interpreting the rules of the Senate to indicate that, for a limited time, they can pass a new health care plan with 51 votes. That means Trumpcare could become law without a single Democrat voting for it.

Legislators still don’t know how much the bill will cost. The Congressional Budget Office assessment of the price tag on the bill and how many Americans it would cover hasn’t been released yet. The New York Times has a chart indicating how this bill lines up with Obamacare and the previous version of Trumpcare that Republicans bailed on in March, and, at Stat News, Casey Ross runs through the many ways the bill may affect you.

A series of news stories this morning have some results from reporters hurriedly sifting through the details of the bill. For instance: “Many people who obtain health insurance through their employers — about half of the country — could be at risk of losing protections that limit out-of-pocket costs for catastrophic illnesses, due to a little-noticed provision,” Stephanie Armour and Michelle Hackman report for The Wall Street Journal. Its 25 percent Medicaid cut would also have a significant impact on special education programs, Erica Green reports for The New York Times.

Chuck Schumer is urging Republicans in the House to consider their vote carefully. They are risking their necks, he argues, on a deeply unpopular bill that would hurt their constituents but won’t pass the Senate. However, it’s not clear whether Schumer would actually be able to stop the bill if all Senate Republicans are on board.

About that lobbyist ban –> “Donald Trump promised last year to “drain the swamp” of Washington, starting with barring people who worked on his presidential transition from lobbying for six months afterward,” write Theodoric Meyer and Michael Stratford. But three months after Trump moved into the White House, at least nine people who worked on his transition have registered as lobbyists, highlighting holes in the president’s pledge to keep people from cashing in on government service.”

Room for improvement –> In their push to do away with net neutrality provisions, telecom companies are putting out ads that cast themselves, ridiculously, as protectors of an open internet. Fortunately, many people are seeing right through them. “In the clumsy hands of telecom giants whose terrible reputation precedes them, the plan of attack has turned into a chorus of lame blog posts, bizarre videos, and frantic tweets at random people on the internet,” Libby Watson writes for Gizmodo.

Meanwhile, at our site, we look at a new report that puts a price tag on how much telecom and internet companies have paid in the past to convince politicians to vote their way on net neutrality.

Into the fray –> The League of Conservation Voters, a group that rates politicians on their environmental records, has filed its first lawsuit: The group is pushing back against Trump’s decision to open the Arctic up for drilling. “In a country where too much of our government is controlled by forces hostile to conservation and environmental safeguards, we simply cannot afford to leave any tool in the toolbox,” the group’s president wrote. Amanda Reilly reports for E&E News.

Keystone fight arrives in Nebraska –> Environmentalists, farmers, union members, lobbyists and business people packed a Nebraska Public Service Commission hearing yesterday to give their opinion on the Keystone Pipeline. During a 10-hour hearing, more than 100 people spoke, Nicholas Bergin reports for the Lincoln Journal Star. The Nebraska Public Service Commission is tasked with figuring out whether the pipeline’s route is in Nebraskans public interest.

Who’s talking? –> The various personalities who populate the Trump White House love speaking to the media — but only on background, with quotes attributed to a “senior White House adviser” or some such. At Slate, Katy Waldman has a guide to help you figure out who is actually speaking. Examples: Bannon loves grandiose, Hollywood-esque language, Ivanka Trump likes to say “if you will,” Jared Kushner uses terms more often found in corporate boardrooms.

Daily Reads was compiled by John Light and edited by Kristin Miller.



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