It would be hard to trump Trumpcare as the biggest story of the week. On Thursday, the president and Congress failed to muster a majority in the House, so a floor vote on a measure that would replace the Affordable Care Act was postponed. The day ended with Trump issuing an ultimatum: either pass this puppy or we keep Obamacare. Another attempt at passage is expected this afternoon, but had not occurred at this writing. If this dog hunts, the Senate awaits.
The opposition is a curious coalition. Some are against it because it screws too many insureds, and others are against it because it doesn’t screw enough of them. North Carolina Republican Congressman Mark Meadows, a member of the 30-person “Freedom Caucus,” said the caucus had been “reasonable” in asking for deeper cuts in benefits – “reasonable” apparently being defined as “do what we 6 percent of members want, or we walk.”
The other buzz in Washington was about the administration’s “budget blueprint,” calling for a boost in spending for homeland security and immigration and significant cuts to the Environmental Protection Agency and departments of State, Agriculture and Education. Oh, and then there was transportation. Despite campaigning on improving the country’s infrastructure, the blueprint has transportation taking a $2.4 billion haircut, mostly in programs funding air and rail projects, highways and public transportation. In other words, “infrastructure.”