The saying goes, “Nothing Good Happens After Midnight.” Those who have been counting the minutes until Obamacare goes away may beg to differ. Just before 1:30 a.m. Thursday morning, weary senators headed to the exits of the Capitol, having voted along party lines for a measure that paves the way for an Obamacare repeal.
WHAT’S NEW TODAY ON…
OBAMACARE – The Senate narrowly approved the budget resolution, 51-48, in a late vote, which fell mostly along party lines. Sen. Rand Paul was the only Republican to vote against it. President-elect Donald Trump tweeted his approval. The House is expected to vote on the resolution Friday. We hear from House Speaker Paul Ryan at the CNN Town Hall tonight at 9 p.m. ET.
- At his weekly presser, Ryan pledged to quickly move forward with the repeal and replace plan. However, he is still facing potential dissent from both the conservative House Freedom Caucus and the more moderate “Tuesday group.”
- Sen. Lamar Alexander released Wednesday his own three-step “replace and repeal” plan for Obamacare. As Senate HELP Chair, Alexander will play a key role in shaping whatever healthcare policy the GOP implements over the coming weeks and months.
- Sen. Ron Johnson acknowledged on CNN’s “New Day” this morning that the House and Senate Republicans “don’t have total agreement” on replacing Obamacare.
- While House and Senate Republicans are having trouble coming together over their Obamacare plans, there is an even more fundamental divide between Republicans and Democrats. Having trouble keeping track of it all? Here’s a cheat sheet.
- A federal appeals court Thursday denied a request – filed on behalf of recipients of Obamacare subsidies – to intervene in a lawsuit, originally brought by the Republican-led House of Representatives, a blow to supporters of the law.
- Sens. Lindsey Graham and Dick Durbin reintroduced the “BRIDGE” (Bar Removal of Individuals who Dream and Grow our Economy) Act, which is designed to keep Dreamers protected by DACA from being deported if and when the Trump administration undoes DACA.
- When the titans of the tech world trekked to Trump Tower in December, one of the key topics was an overhaul of the H1B visa program, according to a Reuters report. Trump often criticized the program, which both his company and the tech industry have used, on the campaign trail.
- Mother Jones reports on an often overlooked immigration issue: family detention centers that house undocumented immigrants. CNN reported on the controversies surrounding detention centers late last year.
- The New York Times profiles some of the immigrant groups participating in the Saturday’s “Day of Action.” One organizer told the Times the rallies are happening before Trump takes office because, “we don’t know what’s going to happen after the inauguration.”
- Mexican President Enrique Peña Nieto is already clashing with Trump, saying his country “of course will not pay” for Trump’s proposed border wall.
TRADE/TAXES – At Wednesday’s presser, Trump doubled down on his threat to impose a “major border tax” on companies who manufacture in Mexico and sell goods in the US. Experts tell CNN’s Patrick Gillespie that Trump likely won’t be able to target individual companies with a “border adjustment tax.” CNNMoney has previously explored the merits of the BAT, which Ryan includes in his “Better Way” program.
OBAMACARE/IMMIGRATION/ENVIRONMENT – A new Quinnipiac poll asked questions relating to Obamacare, immigration, and climate change:
- Americans say by a narrow 48%-47% split that Trump should support efforts to repeal Obamacare. Unsurprisingly, they are largely divided by party lines.
- On immigration, 59% support a path to citizenship for undocumented immigrants, but 53% support requiring immigrants from Muslim countries to register with the federal government.
- On climate change, 59% opposed Trump removing regulations intended to fight climate change.
TAXES – Credit rating agency Fitch warned that it could downgrade the United States’ AAA rating in the medium term if Trump is successful at implementing his massive tax cut proposals, per Reuters. Moody’s still rates the U.S. AAA, while S&P has had the US one notch lower at AA+, ever since the debt ceiling fight in the summer of 2011.
FRIDAY – OBAMACARE – The House is expected to vote on the budget resolution, the next step in repealing Obamacare.
SATURDAY – IMMIGRATION – Leading immigration activist groups are planning on holding a “National Day of Action” in 20 states and DC to protest Trump’s potential immigration policies. The DC rally will be at the Metropolitan AME Church.