Sen. Bill Cassidy (R-LA) told reporters on Friday that he’s getting close to securing enough votes to pass the last-ditch ACA repeal and replacement bill he’s put forth with Sens. Lindsey Graham (R-SC), Dean Heller (R-NV) and Ron Johnson (R-WI).
“I am pretty confident we’ll get there on the Republican side,” Cassidy said. “We’re probably at 48-49 [votes] and talking to two or three more.” And Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell has asked the Congressional Budget Office to estimate the effects of the Cassidy-Graham bill, which would speed up the scoring process.
Of course, those last two or three votes have been the challenge for the GOP all along, and they may not be any easier to round up this time. Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY), who voted for a prior repeal bill, said Friday that he won't support this one. Plus, opponents are already stepping up their criticisms about the effects of the bill. And time is running out: Cassidy and his colleagues only have until September 30 to pass the bill this year under a process that would require only 50 supporters in the Senate. So while the Obamacare repeal may still have life, it remains a longshot.
Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) is preparing to announce a plan for the federal government to guarantee a job paying $15 an hour and providing health-care benefits to every American “who wants one or needs one.” The jobs would be on government projects in areas such as infrastructure, care giving, the environment and education. The proposal is still being crafted, and Sanders’ representative said his office had not yet come up with a cost estimate or funding plan. Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY) last week tweeted support for a federal jobs guarantee, but Republicans have long opposed such proposals, saying they would cost too much. (Washington Post)
Childhood poverty cost $1.03 trillion in 2015, including the loss of economic productivity, increased spending on health care and increased crime rates, according to a recent study in the journal Social Work Research. That annual cost represents about 5.4 percent of U.S. GDP. “It is estimated that for every dollar spent on reducing childhood poverty, the country would save at least $7 with respect to the economic costs of poverty,” says Mark R. Rank, a co-author of the study and professor of social welfare at Washington University in St. Louis. (Futurity)
A new survey by the Spectrem Group, a market research firm, finds that almost 80 percent of investors with net worth between $100,000 and $25 million (not including their home) say that the U.S. political environment is their biggest concern, followed by government gridlock (76 percent) and the national debt (75 percent).
At least two key Republican senators are unlikely to support an effort to roll back parts of the $1.3. trillion spending bill passed by Congress last month, The Washington Post’s Mike DeBonis reported Monday evening. While aides to President Trump are working with House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) on a package of spending cuts, Sens. Susan Collins (R-ME) and Lisa Murkowski (R-AK) expressed opposition to the idea, meaning a rescission bill might not be able to get a simple majority vote in the Senate. And Roll Call reports that other Republican senators have expressed significant skepticism, too. “It’s going nowhere,” Sen. Lindsey Graham said.