Cheaper Plans with Fewer Benefits?

     Republican Senators exposed their newest health care bill on Thursday, still awaiting the majority to repeal and replace Obamacare. This new health care bill holds the amendment of Texas Senator Ted Cruz, allowing insurers who provide Obamacare to also issue cheaper policies. While this is meant to appeal to Republicans, moderates may also be unhappy with this, believing that this would cause premiums to spike. There are significant changes regarding funding for opioid treatment and distribution of money to the states  concerning lower premiums for high-cost enrollees. By 2026, it is estimated that 15 million fewer people could be insured.

     Mitch McConnell, Majority Leader, still searches for his 50 votes to pass his bill. Already, politicians are showing a steady fight ahead. Senator Rand Paul, a Kentucky Republican, has mentioned his opposition to a vote next week. In addition to, Susan Collins, a Maine moderate, has doubts supporting this bill. Many Senators have mentioned that they’re unfamiliar with the revised bill. Senator Lisa Murkowski of Alaska was not pleased to find that lobbyists had read summaries while she had yet to see the bill. Murkowski stated, “I think that as a courtesy to those of us who are actually making the decisions that we would actually have an opportunity to see it first.” It is alleged that President Donald Trump will be “angry” if Republicans fail to pass the bill. President Trump encourages Republicans to move swiftly.

 

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Mitch McConnell Wants Revised Health Care Bill by Friday

     Mitch McConnell, Senate Majority Leader, delayed a vote on the Senate Health care bill on Tuesday. The bill will now be delayed until after the July 4 recess, allowing his caucus more time to broker alterations to the proposal. GOP senators are trying to figure out a path towards the future. The goal is to have a new deal by Friday and then get it scored by the non-partisan Congressional Budget Office next week. This way, they will be able to vote on it when they return from recess. A senior GOP told CNN that while it may be difficult, it could very well happen.

     The public is wondering exactly how much could change in just a matter of days. Donald Trump’s position, as seen from the Hill: “He has his role. We have ours. There probably won’t be much intersection,” according to a GOP aide. The President will publish big promises through social media and television according to GOP aides. Tuesday, the second meeting with GOP senators, was described as a good meeting In which the President mainly listened and talked about promises that needed to be made, as well as money that needed to be put into the bill. Three GOP senators came out strongly opposing the need to draft a bill after McConnell delayed the vote and pledged changes. The reality of the situation is that the dynamics haven’t truly changed.

Trump Denies Rumors of Tapes with Comey

     After weeks of speculation, President Donald Trump ends the rumors that he recorded his conversations with former FBI Director James Comey. In Trump’s tweet, he stated, “With all of the recently reported electronic surveillance, intercepts, unmasking and illegal leaking of information, I have no idea whether there are ‘tapes’ or recordings of my conversations with James Comey, but I did not make, and do not have, any such recordings.” Comey hopes that there are recordings of their conversations. Trump suggested in previous tweets that it is possible that there was some surveillance; however he is not aware of any attempts. Numerous government agencies have agreed with the president, telling news outlets, like CNN, that there are no official recording devices. In a tweet published on May 12, Trump declared that Comey “better hope there are no ‘tapes’ of our conversations before he starts leaking to the press!”

     Trump and his aides have played the situation down over the possibility of White House tapes. A senior administration official believes that Trump has tapes and has to come clean about his involvement. This administration official, a Republican, believes that this is one of the worst things that Trump has done so far in his administration. The Republican associate believes, “If he doesn’t regret this, he should.” Sarah Hucabee Sanders said that she will “try to look under the couches” to check for a recording system when talking to reporters about the issue. For weeks, White House officials have been unable to confirm the existence of such recording devices; however Trump believes that reporters would be dispirited by the answer.

 

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Syrian Missile Strike

    On April 6, 2017, the United States initiated a military strike on a Syrian government airbase to respond to the week’s earlier chemical weapons attack, killing dozens, including children. Listening to Trump’s orders, 59 Tomahawk cruise missiles were launched at the airbase that was responsible for holding the warplanes that performed the chemical attacks. Over the course of this six-year Syrian civil war, this is the United States’s first military action against the Bashar al-Assad regime. Allegedly, six people were killed in the airstrike.

    Russia, disagreeing heavily with the United States, saw the strike as an “act of aggression.” Assad’s office described the attack as “a disgraceful act” that “can only be described as short-sighted.” Trump stated, ““There can be no dispute that Syria used banned chemical weapons, violated its obligations under the Chemical Weapons Convention and ignored the urging of the UN Security Council. Years of previous attempts at changing Assad’s behavior have all failed and failed very dramatically.” Trump has drastically changed his viewpoint on the decision to involve the United States in military action against the Syrian President’s regime.

    Many, out of all of the chaos, are worried about one main thing: the effect of US relations with Russia, Syria’s biggest ally. It was confirmed that Russians were at the base when the US attacked, the US giving Russia a one-hour heads up. Russian President Vladimir Putin has made it clear that the US strike has “dealt a serious blow to Russia-US relations.” Overall, majority of US lawmakers have supported Trump’s decision to strike Syria. John McCain and Lindsey Graham, often critics of Trump, stated, “Acting on the orders of their commander-in-chief, they have sent an important message the United States will no longer stand idly by as Assad, aided and abetted by Putin’s Russia, slaughters innocent Syrians with chemical weapons and barrel bombs.” Many are happy that something has finally been done to attempt change at the direct violation of human rights in Syria, while others were shocked at Trump’s decision to switch viewpoints. For majority of people, they wonder if this is a stepping stone to Trump changing his views on letting Syrian refugees enter the US.

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The Battle Between Donald Trump and Preet Bharara

    Preet Bharara is an American lawyer who has served as U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of New York from 2009 to 2017. Bharara, a graduate of Harvard and Columbia Law School, has received the reputation of “the Sheriff of Wall Street” due to his takedowns of corruption on Wall Street, gangs, terrorists, and cyber bullies. After a denied request from the Trump administration to resign, he was fired. Bharara took to Twitter stating, “I did not resign. Moments ago I was fired.” After his nomination by President Barack Obama in 2009, he swiftly gained a status of pointing out financial frauds of prominent Wall Street firms or at hedge funds. Famously, his department received about $500 million in settlements from practices, such as Deutsche Bank and CitiMortgage. In addition to, he brought down huge cyber hacking groups, like LulzSec and Anonymous.

     On his campaign trail, Trump had made a promise to “drain the swamp”, or drain corruption out of Washington, D.C. Supporters of Prosecutor Bharara say he was doing exactly that. New York State Senator Todd Kaminsky said, “Preet Bharara has shaken the foundations of our capital — whether you’re a Republican or Democrat he’s been an equal opportunist when it comes to rooting out corruption.” Even supporters of Trump, Republican Assemblyman Steve McLaughlin, who agreed to “drain the swamp”, declared that the firing of Bharara was “definitely not a wise move at all.” Former attorney general Alberto Gonzales said that “there’s nothing at all unusual” about the Trump administration asking all existing U.S. attorneys to resign. However, the public seems to have a huge problem with this, believing that Trump is doing wrong under his “drain the swamp” pledge. Regardless, many believe Bharara’s refusal to resign can be looked upon as a method to send a message to the American public and put into perspective Trump’s administration and their future objectives.

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Is Trump Hitting the Reset Button?

    Almost a month into a rocky presidency, Trump has decided to meet with his supporters at a campaign-style rally in Melbourne, Florida. The first 45 minutes included no mention of Trump’s failure to receive approval with the American public, instead he focused on it becoming “a new day in America.” Trump bolstered to the 9,000 people in the crowd, “This will be change for the ages, change like never before.” Many believe this is a ploy to protect Trump’s administration after four weeks that have been filled with more dissension than coherence. While Trump declares that his administration is “running like a fine-tuned machine”, liberals believe he is just blaming all of the problems on “fake news” and the Left.

    Many believe this rally will mark a fresh start on behalf of the Trump administration. A historian at New York University, Timothy Naftali, states, “Except for the fact that he doesn’t have a big plastic button, this certainly looks like a reset.” Newt Gingrich, Former Speaker of the US House of Representatives, guides the President, “all new presidents go through a series of resets because the initial transition from campaign to governing is too enormous and complex. . . . Trump’s challenge is compounded because he is a genuine outsider trying to build a new system.” Trump doesn’t exactly believe it was pushing the reset button because he is “quite proud of a lot of the achievements over the past four weeks”; however he does promise a new version on his executive order on immigration. Trump continues to stand firm in his beliefs on what made him popular from the start: the creation of employment, trade limitations, and the prioritization America. No matter what, Trump is determined to put the “forgotten man” and America first.

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The Aftermath of The Inauguration

On Friday, January 20, 2017 the 45th President was brought into office at the United States Presidential Inauguration. Donald Trump made a vow to put “America first” and take power out of the hands of Washington elite. The gender hap in the election was huge: among men, Trump won to Clinton 53 percent to 41 percent; however, among women, Clinton won 54 percent to 42 percent. In contrast, among white women. Trump beat Clinton 53 percent to 43 percent. The Women’s March held millions upon millions of protestors in numerous cities, including: Washington D.C. , New York City, Boston, Chicago, Miami, Oakland, St. Louis, Los Angeles, Phoenix, Denver, and Seattle. Many protestors held signs going against the plans of the new administration and chanted, “Welcome to your first day, we will never go away.” Trump tweeted on the issue, “Watched protests yesterday but was under the impression that we just had an election! Why didn’t these people vote? Celebs hurt cause badly.” Shortly after, he tweeted, “Peaceful protests are a hallmark of our democracy. Even if I don’t always agree, I recognize the rights of people to express their views.”Women's March

Election Recount

    The Green Party’s presidential candidate, Jill Stein, announced that she would pay for recounts in Michigan, Pennsylvania, and Wisconsin. Stein explained why she wanted a recount, stating, “This has been a hack-riddled election. We have going machines that are extremely hack-friendly in an election that’s been very contentious.” Stein’s goal to raise $2.5 million was then turned into a goal of raising $4.5 million. Jill Stein explained the total cost, estimating $2-3 million in attorney’s fees with additional money for the actual recount, totaling about $6-7 million. This is particularly a lot of money for the Green Party since this year’s election was a record high for the amount of money raised from donors, $3,509,477. As of November 24th, it was reported that the Green Party had raised $3,875,502 towards recount efforts.

     Wisconsin is now the first state to start the presidential election recount. Polls predicted that Clinton would win Wisconsin; however Trump took this victory with less than a percentage point. Mike Haas, Wisconsin’s chief elections administrator, stated, “This is certainly not Bush v. Gore.” Stein was pushing for all recounts to be done by hand; however she lost the court challenge although many counties will recount ballots manually. Milwaukee county, the biggest county in the state, will feed the ballots to the same machines used on election night. In Dane County, the ballots will be counted by hand where Clinton won 71 percent of the vote. Dane County workers are now being paid $20 an hour, working two shifts for 12 hours a day, to have the recount done by December 12, 2016. County Clerk Scott McDonell stated, “ I think we will be very close to what was reported on election night.” Donald Trump won with 47.9% (1,409,467), Hillary Clinton with 46.9% (1,382,210), Gary Johnson with 3.6% (106,442), and Jill Stein with 1.1% (30,980).

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Trump Wins!

    Donald Trump has been deemed our 45th President of the United States! Trump is schedules to take office on January 20, 2017. This election was a very close one by popular votes, Clinton with 59,487,288 votes (47.7%) and Trump with 59,297,587 votes (47.5%). Donald J. Trump took 279 electoral votes while Hillary Clinton only took 228 electoral votes. Everyone was nervous regarding major states, such as Florida, Ohio, North Carolina and Pennsylvania, and whether or not they would be deemed Democratic or Republic. Blue states, since the 2012 election, have now turned red under the influence of Trump. For example, Michigan has turned to a red state, the first time since 1988. After winning, Trump tweeted, “Such a beautiful and important evening! The forgotten man and woman will never be forgotten again. We will all come together as never before.” In his speech he added to this, believing, “It is time for us to come together as one united people.” President Barack Obama was “heartened” by Trump’s words and believes that, now, everyone is rooting for Trump’s success.

    Trump supporters and Clinton supporters have been rooted against each other since the very beginning of the presidential campaign; however the divide has never been this strong before. Clinton supporters took to social media to express their sadness over the outcome of the election. #NotMyPresident and #StillWithHer have been trending on Twitter, taking the #1 and #2 spots for most popular topics or trends on Twitter. In Clinton’s concession speech she tried to console her supporters, stating that Trump “must be given the chance to lead.” In addition to, Clinton has even offered her help to Trump throughout his presidency. Also, celebrities endorsing Clinton have publicly stated that if Trump was elected, they would move to Canada or other nations to get away from his authority. On Tuesday (November 9) night, the Canadian immigration website crashed due to the heavy amount of people logging onto their website. Trump supporters have taken to social media stating, “Start packing!” to pro-Clinton celebrities. In addition to Trump’s victory, Republicans were able to keep majority control over the Senate and the House. Overall, no matter every person’s personal political belief, the nation must come together and achieve success.

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