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Тимоти Майкл Кейн
19 июля, 02:51

Senate Democrats open to bipartisan health talks — after repeal fails

Senate Democrats are still hanging tight on the same message as the GOP’s seven-year push to repeal Obamacare careens off course: Drop the one-party approach and work with us to fix the health care law. Even the five Democratic senators facing re-election battles next year in states President Donald Trump turned bright red are showing no interest in making deals before Republicans abandon their attempt to push through repeal with a bare majority. “I’ve been ready for a long time” to deal with Republicans, Sen. Jon Tester (D-Mont.) said. “[But] let’s just say this. If the price of admission is doing away with Medicaid expansion or block granting Medicaid, it’s going to be very difficult. I won’t do it.”Those Democratic moderates represent the GOP’s best targets to exact political punishment for Obamacare’s problems, but they’re putting the pressure back on the party in control of Congress and the White House.Sen. Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.), a member of his party’s leadership battling challengers from the right and left in 2018, made a “promise” to Republicans Tuesday that “absolutely I can get Democrats to sit down” and negotiate on health care. But that can only happen if the GOP changes course and crafts an Obamacare fix that can earn 60 votes, Manchin said on Fox. Manchin also told Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) about his offer before making it, a Senate source told POLITICO, suggesting Manchin isn’t going rogue. That leaves Schumer’s strategy all year long — maintain a united Democratic front until Obamacare repeal is dead — as intact as ever. And if Democrats are feeling squeezed by the White House’s previous threats to sabotage the Obamacare exchanges by withholding crucial federal subsidies, they’re not showing it. "This administration, if it doesn't want its fingerprints all over a murder scene, ought to step up and join us on the basics like continuing those subsidy payments,” Senate Minority Whip Dick Durbin (D-Ill.) told reporters. “And then let's talk about some other reforms."Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) said earlier this month that his party would move on to bolstering the insurance markets if its drive to demolish Obamacare failed, and Democrats are supportive of several proposals on that front. Democrats are not prepared to talk, however, until Republicans stop resurrecting their repeal effort using budget reconciliation procedures that allow them to jam it through without any minority buy-in."We tried to do it with just Democratic votes" to pass the Affordable Care Act, Sen. Claire McCaskill (D-Mo.) told reporters. "It was very unpopular. They tried to do it with just Republican votes — it’s very unpopular. How about we go to option three, and let’s do it with both kinds of votes?”Democrats appeared to get part of their wish Tuesday when Sen. Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn.) said the health committee, which he chairs, would hold hearings on how to stabilize the individual market. Those hearings won't get scheduled until after a Senate vote to repeal Obamacare without an immediate replacement, which is widely expected to fail in the chamber next week.Until then, Democrats are still intent on working to kill the bill outright and say that once the repeal effort dies, many of them will eagerly work with Republicans on piecemeal fixes to the health care system. Liberals might get alienated along the way during that process, but Democrats are prepared to start it if the GOP buries its repeal hatchet."Any bill that needs to get eight Democratic votes might not be a bill that I would vote for, but it's a bill that would be bipartisan," Sen. Chris Murphy (D-Conn.) said in an interview. For the time being, he added, "I would hope that no Democrats are going to negotiate with Republicans if reconciliation is still on the table."Atop that list of potential bipartisan health care collaborators are red-state Democrats such as Sen. Heidi Heitkamp (D-N.D.), McCaskill, Tester and Manchin, who has reached out to 11 fellow governors-turned-senators on both sides of the aisle for input on a new approach."You're starting to hear that opening for a real, meaningful dialogue, and regular order," Heitkamp said Tuesday, referring to Republican senators who defected from their leaders' health care bill twice in the past month and are now calling for a bipartisan product.Florida Sen. Bill Nelson, another Democrat up for reelection next year in a state Trump won last fall, said he is already talking with Republicans about mending Obamacare. Nelson noted that he and Sen. Susan Collins (R-Maine) both agree on creating a reinsurance fund for medical catastrophes.“C’mon,” Nelson said. “The repeal’s not gonna happen."But other senior Democrats are remaining cautious even as enough Republicans have come out against McConnell's latest plan to repeal vote nears.“First of all, we have to defeat this next attempt to defeat this next attempt to jam Trumpcare through,” agreed Washington Sen. Patty Murray, the third-ranking Democratic leader. “Then we have to recognize that the sabotaging uncertainty since Election Day of a repeal of health care has really created a terrible dynamic in this country of uncertainty.”"We have to make sure that vote does not happen,” Sen. Debbie Stabenow (D-Mich.) agreed. "We have to make sure that vote does not happen,” she said in an interview. "Everything we’ve already been doing — asking hospitals and doctors and nurses everybody affected by the insurance industry to focus on the fact that this is a vote with serious consequences."Schumer on Tuesday touted legislation creating a reinsurance exchange, from Sens. Tom Carper (D-Del.) and Tim Kaine (D-Va.), as one of his 48-member caucus' three core proposals to help stabilize insurance markets. The other two central Democratic ideas are legislation from McCaskill to let individuals whose counties lack an Obamacare exchange provider buy insurance on the same market and a plan from Sen. Jeanne Shaheen (D-N.H.) to make Obamacare subsidies for low-income individuals permanent.And Schumer insisted that his party would not repeat the unilateral health care strategy that has caused so much political heartburn for both parties. “We’re not going to do it with single-party, like they’re not going to do it single-party at this point,” he said.Trump is poised to add significant uncertainty to any bipartisan talks, already declaring Tuesday that he wants to "let Obamacare fail and then come together and do a great health care plan." The White House has previously threatened to cut off the subsidy payments that Democrats want to make permanent and could do so again.But those ominous clouds aren't deterring Democrats from rolling out a welcome mat for Trump's party — as long as it lets go of Obamacare repeal for good."We're introducing our bills to show we have ideas," Kaine said in an interview. "We have something that we've done. You want to improve it? Great. We've got ideas to improve it too."Jennifer Haberkorn contributed to this report.

16 июля, 06:55

Гонители России и ненавистники Путина (The American Conservative, США). Владимир Путин одержал победу в «российском деле»

«Россия — это враг США?» — требовательно спросила у Теда Круза (Ted Cruz) Кейси Хант (Kasie Hunt) из NBC. На это кандидат на выдвижение от Великой старой партии ответил: «Россия — большой враг. А Путин — громила из КГБ». А соратник Хиллари Клинтон по президентской гонке Тим Кейн (Tim Kaine), узнав о том, что русские предлагали Дональду Трампу-младшему компромат на Клинтон, и что тот рассматривал это предложение, заявил, что это можно считать «изменой». Измена — это оказание помощи и содействие врагу во время войны. Так мы действительно ведем войну с Россией? Россия действительно наш враг? Заголовок сегодняшней передовицы The Washington Post гласит: «Почему Россия — враждебная держава». Авторы пытаются объяснить, почему консервативный средний класс Америки должен поддержать русофобию, охватившую нашу столицу: «Владимир Путин придерживается ценностей, которые несовместимы с основополагающими американскими ценностями. Сферы влияния он ставит выше самоопределения, коррупцию — выше прозрачности, а репрессии — выше демократии». Но ведь именно об этом Франклин Рузвельт и Черчилль договаривались со Сталиным, согласившись на создание сфер влияния великих держав. Именно это делали вместе с Советским Союзом все американские президенты, начиная с Трумэна и кончая Джорджем Бушем-старшим. Когда восточные немцы, венгры, чехи, поляки восставали против коммунистических режимов, ни один американский президент не вмешался. Все дело в том, что эти страны находились на другой стороне от разграничительной линии, согласованной в 1945 году в Ялте.

13 июля, 23:01

Trump: Democrats overplayed their hand on 'the Russia thing'

President Donald Trump told reporters overnight that Democrats had overplayed their hand on what he called "the Russia thing," saying the American people don't believe the accusations against him.“It's a witch hunt and they understand that,” Trump said in a gaggle with reporters en route to Paris on Air Force One, according to a pool report released Thursday. “When they say ‘treason’ — you know what treason is? That's Julius and Ethel Rosenberg for giving the atomic bomb, OK?”Trump denies that his campaign colluded with the Russian government’s attempts to interfere in the 2016 presidential election, and he has continued to deny any improper conduct in the wake of revelations that his son Donald Trump Jr. met with a Kremlin-linked lawyer last year seeking dirt on Hillary Clinton.Since details of that meeting surfaced last weekend, a few Democrats, including Clinton’s running mate, Sen. Tim Kaine, have questioned if Trump Jr.’s behavior might qualify as treasonous. The Justice Department is investigating whether any Trump campaign associates colluded with Russia on the election interference effort, which included hacks of Democratic Party officials' emails.Trump told reporters on Air Force One that he has heard and read that the Democrats are “making a big mistake” by focusing their attention on the Russia story."My people and the people that support me, who are incredible people, those people are angry because they feel it's being unfair and a witch hunt," Trump said.

13 июля, 21:52

Stewart challenges Kaine and GOP with Virginia Senate run

WOODBRIDGE, Va. — Prince William County Board of Supervisors Chair Corey Stewart announced Thursday he would challenge Virginia Sen. Tim Kaine in 2018 — and cast his campaign as a challenge to the rest of the Republican Party, too.Stewart launched his Senate run exactly one month after barely losing Virginia’s GOP gubernatorial primary to former Republican National Committee Chairman Ed Gillespie with fighting words for Kaine and the GOP alike. Stewart massively outperformed expectations in losing to Gillespie by less than 2 points, and he painted his combative, Trump-inspired style as the future of the Republican Party.“The era of the kinder, gentler Republican is over,” Stewart said.Stewart also reserved plenty of rancor for Kaine, Hillary Clinton's vice presidential nominee in 2016."As an obedient servant to Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama, Tim Kaine is the leading obstructionist against Trump's America First agenda," Stewart said. "Virginians and citizens across the country need a fighter representing them in D.C.” Speaking to reporters on the lawn of his historic plantation home, Bel Air, Stewart said he represented a new type of Trump-inspired Republicans and would benefit from donors around the country who are looking to defeat Kaine. Stewart was Trump’s Virginia campaign chair before the campaign fired him for protesting the RNC late in the campaign.Trump is unpopular in Virginia, according to public polling. But Stewart predicted that would change as more of the president’s “signature policies” pass into law and the economy improves. Stewart said the health care legislation under consideration in the Senate doesn’t go far enough toward repealing Obamacare, that he would be a “strong advocate” for building Trump’s proposed border wall with Mexico and would call for mandatory cooperation between local law enforcement and immigration authorities. He also attacked Kaine for mentioning “treason” when discussing Donald Trump Jr.’s meeting with a Russian lawyer who was promising negative information about Clinton.“Every morning when Virginians wake up, they worry about how they’re going to support their families,” he said. “Tim Kaine wakes up every morning and thinks about Russia.”A Kaine spokesman said the Democrat was in strong position to win reelection. Kaine announced last week he raised $2.6 million in the second quarter and had $7.3 million on hand. "Right out of the gate, Corey Stewart is more focused on name-calling than improving Virginians' lives,” Kaine adviser Jenny Nadicksbernd said. “Sen. Kaine will continue working with both Democrats and Republicans to build economic opportunity through better skills, jobs and wages and protect health care for all Virginians."Carly Fiorina, a 2016 Republican presidential candidate who also ran for Senate in California in 2010, is also considering a challenge to Kaine.

Выбор редакции
13 июля, 20:39

Confederacy-Loving Republican To Challenge Tim Kaine For Virginia Senate Seat

Corey Stewart made a surprisingly strong showing in the state's GOP gubernatorial primary.

12 июля, 02:16

Trump Jr.: I 'probably would have done things a little differently' on Russia meeting

Donald Trump Jr. said Tuesday that in hindsight he "probably would have done things a little differently" regarding his controversial meeting with a Kremlin-connected lawyer who promised to give him dirt on his father's campaign opponent, Hillary Clinton, during the 2016 presidential race. In his first public interview since publishing his exchange concerning Russian lawyer Natalia Veselnitskaya on Twitter earlier Tuesday, President Donald Trump's eldest son repeated that the meeting was a "waste of time" and again downplayed its significance and the extent to which he believed the information he'd be attaining would be credible."I didn’t know if there was any credibility, I didn’t know if there was anything behind it, I can’t vouch for the information," Trump Jr. said speaking to Fox News host and outspoken Trump supporter Sean Hannity during an interview set to air at 10 p.m. Tuesday. "Someone sent me an email. I can’t help what someone sends me. I read it, I responded accordingly."He added: "It was literally just a wasted 20 minutes, which was a shame."Trump Jr. and the White House have been ensnared in controversy since the New York Times published a report detailing the existence of the meeting between Trump's son and Veselnitskaya on Saturday.Trump Jr., who released a statement earlier Tuesday defending his decision to take a meeting with the Russian lawyer, along with screenshots of the exchange, painted the interaction as routine opposition research done throughout the course of a political campaign. “For me this was opposition research, they had something you know maybe concrete evidence to all the stories I’d been hearing about, probably under reported for years not just during the campaign so I think I wanted to hear it out,” he said. “But really it went nowhere and it was apparent that wasn’t what the meeting was about."He also cited the chaotic pace of the campaign trail as reasoning behind his decision to take the meeting."Things are going a million miles per hour again and hey, wait a minute, I’ve hear about all these things, but maybe this is something, I should hear him out," he told Hannity.The White House broke their silence on the scandal Tuesday, with President Donald Trump calling his son a “high-quality person” and applauding “his transparency” in releasing the contents of his conversation regarding the meeting with Veselnitskaya, according to a statement read by deputy White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders at an off-camera press briefing.

11 июля, 22:46

McConnell dodges on Trump Jr. but bipartisan outrage grows

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell on Tuesday declined to offer an opinion on the growing controversy over Donald Trump Jr.’s meeting with a Russian lawyer, even as key Republicans denounced Trump Jr.’s behavior and some Democrats began describing it as “treasonous.”“The investigation in the Senate's being handled by the Intelligence Committee, and I'm sure they'll get to the bottom of whatever happened,” McConnell (R-Ky.) told reporters.But key Republicans on Tuesday described Trump Jr.’s behavior as very serious — adding a new layer to an investigation that continues to distract from President Donald Trump’s agenda.Sen. Lindsey Graham, a staunch Russia hawk, called the emails released by Trump. Jr. “disturbing.”“Anytime you're in a campaign and you get an offer from a foreign government to help your campaign, the answer is no,” the South Carolina Republican told reporters. “This is going to require a lot of questions to be asked and answered.”Meanwhile, Rep. Lee Zeldin (R-N.Y.) said that for him, the latest developments had crossed a line.“I voted for @POTUS last Nov. & want him & USA to succeed, but that meeting, given that email chain just released, is a big no-no,” Zeldin wrote on Twitter.His remarks came after Trump Jr. released an email chain showing he was offered a meeting with a Russian lawyer with the understanding that the lawyer was acting as part of a Russian government effort to help Trump and damage Hillary Clinton.Trump Jr. attended the meeting along with Trump adviser and son-in-law Jared Kushner and then-campaign chairman Paul Manafort.Some Democrats on Tuesday began using the word “treason” to describe the Trump campaign’s apparent willingness to accept information from the Russian government, while others said they weren’t yet ready to apply such an explosive term.Asked whether Trump Jr.’s behavior amounted to treason, Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) responded: “I am not going to get into the legal ramifications.”But Sen. Tim Kaine (D-Va.), who was Clinton’s running mate, told reporters Tuesday that "we are now beyond obstruction of justice.""This is moving into perjury, false statements and even potentially treason," Kaine said.Rep. Seth Moulton (D-Mass.) said on Twitter, “If this isn't treasonous, I'm not sure what is.”Other members of both parties said they would let law enforcement officials decide what does and does not constitute treason.“People around here use a lot of strong terminology,” Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) said when asked what he thought of Kaine and other Democrats using the word “treason.” Senate Armed Services Chairman John McCain (R-Ariz.) also said he wasn’t ready to use the word.“I don't know enough about it,” McCain told reporters, though he added that there would be “more shoes that will drop.”Sen. Mark Warner, the top Democrat on the Senate Intelligence Committee, also declined to label Trump Jr.’s behavior treasonous.“My job in this investigation is to pursue all of the facts, and I'm not going to reach any conclusions until I get all of those facts,” said Warner, whose panel is investigating Russia’s meddling in last year’s presidential election, including whether there was collusion between Moscow and the Trump campaign.“This is clear black-and-white evidence that there was, based on the email, a Russian government effort that the Trump campaign welcomed to try to discredit Hillary Clinton,” Warner added.Sen. Richard Burr (R-N.C.), who chairs the Intelligence Committee, declined to comment on Trump Jr.Jennifer Haberkorn contributed to this report.

11 июля, 22:23

Trump Jr. delivers ‘smoking gun’ to Mueller

The email chain released by the president’s son shows an intent to collude with Russia, veteran prosecutors and white-collar defense attorneys say.

11 июля, 22:05

Buzzword emerges as Trump Jr. Russia scandal deepens: Treason

New revelations about Donald Trump Jr.’s meeting with a Kremlin-linked lawyer promising dirt on Hillary Clinton has critics flirting with a new attack line — treason.Sen. Tim Kaine, who was Hillary Clinton’s vice presidential pick, on Tuesday suggested that, while nothing has been proven, Trump Jr. might have committed treason even before he released copies of his correspondence with music publicist Rob Goldstone, who brokered the June 2016 meeting.“We are beyond obstruction of justice,” Kaine told reporters. “This is moving into perjury, false statements and even potentially treason.”Echoes of that sentiment have started to take shape in other corners of Congress. Massachusetts Democrat Rep. Seth Moulton tweeted out a New York Times report on the eldest Trump son's emails on Tuesday, noting “if this isn't treasonous, I'm not sure what is.”Trump Jr. on Tuesday released what he said was the full email chain related to allegations that he knowingly set up a meeting with a Russian-linked lawyer in order to obtain information that might "incriminate" Clinton, his father's 2016 campaign opponent. Trump posted the emails on Tuesday in the hopes of "transparency," he said, but the release came shortly before The New York Times published its own copy of the emails.In a June 3, 2016, email with the subject line “Russia – Clinton – private and confidential,” Goldstone says Emin Agalarov, a singer-songwriter whose father is a Moscow-based developer who tried to partner with Donald Trump on a hotel project, “just called and asked me to contact you with something very interesting.”The most explosive line in the exchange arrives via Goldstone, who calls the information "obviously very high level and sensitive information" and "part of Russia and its government’s support for Mr. Trump."Trump Jr. later replies that he is "on the road at the moment but perhaps I just speak to Emin first. Seems we have some time and if it’s what you say I love it especially later in the summer.”Ethics lawyer to former President George W. Bush, Richard Painter, told MSNBC over the weekend that the early reporting that said Trump Jr. met with lawyer Natalia Veselnitskaya to get information on Clinton “borders on treason if it is not itself treason.”“Let’s cut through the baloney here. We know what the Russians have been doing,” Painter said during a later appearance on the network. “... When the Russians call or someone calls on behalf of the Russians and offers derogatory information about a former secretary of State who is a presidential candidate, the first person you call is the FBI.”“I don’t care if you’re Republican, as I am, or a Democrat. You call the FBI. The last thing you do is go meet with the Russians to try and get the derogatory information," he went on. "They’re only trying do that in order to use you to accomplish some purpose. And we know what that is — it is undermining our system of representative democracy.”Painter put it more bluntly on Twitter: “This is treason,” he wrote. “He must have known that the only way Russia would get such information was by spying.”Painter added in a secondary message: “In the Bush administration we could have had him in custody for questioning by now.”Most members on both sides of the aisle, however, have so far shied away from any mentions of the act.BuzzFeed reports Democratic Sen. Dianne Feinstein said it was "premature" to call the news treason, but noted Tuesday's developments were "serious." Trump Jr. may face other legal danger, as lawyers and political operatives say explanations about the meeting are out of step with common campaign practices when dealing with offers for opposition research. Convictions of treason, however, are notoriously rare. Under Article 3, Section 3 of the Constitution, treason against the United States is defined as consisting "only in levying War against them, or in adhering to their Enemies, giving them Aid and Comfort.”When pressed on accusations of “treason” made by some critics, White House principal deputy press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders said the use of such a term is “ridiculous.”

11 июля, 21:40

Trump calls son 'high-quality person' amid Russian lawyer scandal

President Donald Trump called his oldest son a "high-quality person" in a statement Tuesday after the White House was rocked by revelations that Donald Trump Jr. cheered the Russian government’s support for his father’s presidential campaign ahead of his June 2016 meeting with a Russian lawyer. Principal deputy press secretary Sarah Sanders held an off-camera briefing with reporters Tuesday afternoon, the first time the White House addressed emails released by Trump Jr. that offer the most direct link yet between Trump’s campaign and the Russian government during the 2016 presidential campaign. Moscow's meddling in that election is now the subject of multiple investigations.Here are key moments from the briefing.HIGH-QUALITY PERSONSanders took the podium 25 minutes late and, after recognizing the deaths of U.S. service members in a plane crash and discussing health care policy efforts in Congress, took the first question about the emails Trump Jr. released on Twitter Tuesday. She responded with a brief statement from the president: “My son is a high quality person and I applaud his transparency.” Sanders referred further questions to Trump Jr.’s attorney.

11 июля, 20:03

‘These Emails Are Very Explosive’

Democrat Tim Kaine raised the potential for treason, while Republican Lindsey Graham called new revelations about Donald Trump Jr. “disturbing.”

Выбор редакции
11 июля, 18:28

Tim Kaine Says Russia Probe Moving Into 'Potentially Treason' Territory

"Nothing is proven yet, but we’re now beyond obstruction of justice in terms of what’s being investigated.”

29 июня, 19:48

House panel votes to force new debate on terror war

The move to rescind the post-9/11 military authorization was a rare victory for Democratic Rep. Barbara Lee, a long-time war critic.

22 июня, 19:20

Democrats call Senate health bill even 'meaner' than the House version

Schumer and others are foreshadowing their aggressive attacks against the GOP's Obamacare repeal effort.

21 июня, 01:55

Trump’s Outsourcing Of War Decision-Making Worries Democrats

function onPlayerReadyVidible(e){'undefined'!=typeof HPTrack&&HPTrack.Vid.Vidible_track(e)}!function(e,i){if(e.vdb_Player){if('object'==typeof commercial_video){var a='',o='m.fwsitesection='+commercial_video.site_and_category;if(a+=o,commercial_video['package']){var c='&m.fwkeyvalues=sponsorship%3D'+commercial_video['package'];a+=c}e.setAttribute('vdb_params',a)}i(e.vdb_Player)}else{var t=arguments.callee;setTimeout(function(){t(e,i)},0)}}(document.getElementById('vidible_1'),onPlayerReadyVidible); WASHINGTON ― Democrats say President Donald Trump’s move last week giving the Pentagon authority to set troop levels in Afghanistan flies in the face of a longstanding tradition of civilian control over the military. “It’s not what the Constitution provides for,” said Brian Schatz (D-Hawaii). “We still need civilian oversight of the military. I trust [Defense Secretary James] Mattis, but even the secretaries I trust and respect need oversight, and that’s his job.”  Trump’s move to step away from military decision-making mirrors his actions in April giving the military more control over war-making in Iraq and Syria. The Defense Department said the change would give commanders greater flexibility to deploy troops in the field as needed. But it also would insulate the president from criticism, particularly in Afghanistan, where America has been at war for 16 years and where it has spent trillions of dollars with no end in sight. The U.S. is expected to add as many as 4,000 troops in Afghanistan, according to The Associated Press, despite Trump’s campaign rhetoric denouncing nation-building and foreign wars. The Trump administration has yet to release its long-promised military strategy for Afghanistan, drawing criticism it was plunging further into a conflict without a real plan. “Troop strength is not an end. It’s a means to an end,” Sen. Tim Kaine (D-Va.) said Thursday on Capitol Hill. “We don’t know what the strategy is. They need to bring a strategy to us, and then we can have that conversation.”  The degree to which presidents assert control over their military commanders has varied over the years. Former President Barack Obama, for example, was repeatedly accused of micromanaging the military as he sought to wind down the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. “It was micromanagement that drove me crazy,” former Defense Secretary Robert Gates said in 2014. Trump, who has offered public adoration of generals, appears to be going in the opposite direction. The change is being received well by Republican lawmakers. “That’s not outsourcing,” said Sen. Richard Shelby (R-Ala.). “He’s the secretary of defense. The president of the U.S. should always listen to his commander, chief of staff of the armed forces and the secretary of defense. That’s what they’re all about.” Sen. Steve Daines (R-Mont.) said he had confidence in Mattis. “I’m the son of a Marine myself,” Daines said. “I think having a four-star Marine as the secretary of defense is exactly the right person at the right time.” Sen. Bob Corker (R-Tenn.), however, expressed a more moderate tone. The Senate Foreign Relations Committee chairman said he had confidence in the military’s ability to set appropriate troop levels, but added, “We also need to be careful to maintain civilian control over that.” Mattis, the man who is now in charge of setting troop levels in the Middle East, only recently left the military. The retired general, whose nicknames include “Mad Dog” and “Warrior Monk,” was replaced as head of U.S. Central Command in 2013 by the Obama administration for his aggressive posture toward Iran. His nomination required a special exemption from a statute that prohibited commissioned officers from serving as secretary of defense until seven years after active duty. Many Democrats joined Republicans in supporting that waiver. The question of who allocates troop deployment is one of great significance. Military commanders, for example, have historically recommended deployment of larger numbers of troops abroad. The issue was briefly discussed at a Senate Foreign Relations Committee hearing on Thursday, where lawmakers debated drafting a new Authorization for the Use of Military Force against the so-called Islamic State. Kathleen Hicks, the senior fellow in the International Security Program at the Center for Strategic and International Studies, testified that that both the Pentagon and the White House had responsibility for use of force. Mattis “should be held responsible for decisions on use of force, and so should the president, obviously,” Hicks said in response to questioning by Sen. Robert Menendez (D-N.J.). “So there is a civilian that remains, but it’s just one.”  Other ways for Congress to maintain oversight over the military, Hicks added, included passing a new authorization of force, strictly enforcing the War Powers Act, and the power of the purse. Trump’s decision to delegate troop levels “makes all the more of a compelling case for an AUMF to be passed,” Menendez said in agreement. -- This feed and its contents are the property of The Huffington Post, and use is subject to our terms. It may be used for personal consumption, but may not be distributed on a website.

21 июня, 00:40

Senate Democrats go searching for GOP Obamacare bill

Senate Democrats are struggling against an invisible enemy — the GOP’s still-secret Obamacare repeal plan. So on Tuesday, three of them decided to take a field trip to hunt for it.Sens. Cory Booker (D-N.J.), Chris Murphy (D-Conn.), and Brian Schatz (D-Hawaii) headed across the Hill to the Congressional Budget Office, located in southwest Washington about a 10 minute drive from the Capitol, in what they acknowledged would be a fruitless quest for a copy of the health care bill that Republicans expect to bring to a vote as soon as next week. The photogenic trio live-streamed most of their journey on social media, in the latest gambit in Democrats’ campaign to force the GOP’s closed-door process for repealing Obamacare into the public consciousness.“This is a way to expose, with a little bit of humor, the absurdity of this moment in time,” Booker told reporters as the trio left the CBO empty-handed. “Right now there are literally Americans fearing what might be in this bill…and for this all to be happening in private and in secrecy is absurd.”The three Democrats said they met with senior officials at the nonpartisan budget office but were unable to obtain a copy of any text under evaluation for its budgetary impacts. Republicans have not said whether they've given the CBO a copy of a full bill, but they have referred some ideas to the office for consideration.As they arrived at the CBO, their fellow Democrats were also protesting the clandestine health care process by invoking an obscure rule that allows any senator to object to committee meetings held more than two hours after the Senate goes into session.Republicans urged the minority to rethink its maneuvering. Majority Whip John Cornyn (R-Texas) delivered a floor speech accusing Democrats of doing little more than giving “impassioned speeches” after spurning “every entreaty, every request for them to work with us” on mending Obamacare.Sen. Todd Young (R-Ind.) navigated around Tuesday's committee-work stoppage by simply continuing a public health hearing he had scheduled, though he said it was an informal meeting and live-streamed it on Facebook.“That’s what drives people back home absolutely crazy — this Washington shell game up here,” Sen. David Perdue (R-Ga.) said in a brief interview. “We need to put it aside and get this thing fixed.”Other Republicans weren’t as riled up. “I don’t critique their behavior. Whatever they want to do is fine with me,” said Sen. John McCain of Arizona.Democrats vowed to keep using every tactic possible to draw attention to the GOP’s avoidance so far of any public hearings on an Obamacare repeal bill that Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) expects to release for public discussion on Thursday, potentially only a few days before a vote.Booker even offered to debate President Donald Trump on the Obamacare repeal, a key promise by Republicans during the 2016 campaign, in a nod to former President Barack Obama’s 2010 televised summit with Republicans before passage of the health care legislation that came to bear his name.“I’m at my wit’s end," declared Booker, who parried a fan’s question about his 2020 ambitions on his way out of CBO headquarters.All three Democrats goaded Trump in stark terms during their visit, appearing to relish the prospect of a public battle with the president. Murphy predicted Trump would avoid talking with Democrats about Obamacare repeal “because he doesn’t know what’s in this bill.”Schatz told reporters that Trump likely “wakes up in the morning, he reads a headline on MSNBC or CNN--”“Breitbart,” quipped Booker.“And then he changes his mind about the legislation,” Schatz continued. “There is zero chance that he’s read the House bill, and there’s zero chance that he will read the Senate bill. There is 100 percent chance he will sign those bills into law.”White House spokesman Sean Spicer said Tuesday he was unsure whether Trump had seen the Senate health care bill. "But I know that they've been working extremely hard, and the president has been giving his input and his ideas and feedback to them, and he's very excited about where this thing is headed," Spicer told reporters.Back at the Capitol, Democrats largely welcomed the maneuvers by their colleagues. Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse (D-R.I.) said he was disappointed that a hearing his Judiciary Committee sub-panel planned for Tuesday was scrapped by the protest but added that "I was in a very small minority."Sen. Tim Kaine (D-Va.) saw a Tuesday hearing on a top priority of his cut short by his party's procedural tactics, but he declared that "we just can't make it easy for these guys to take health insurance away from 23 million people."Democrats' push-back against Obamacare repeal is breaking through the frenetic news cycle "to some degree," Kaine said. "It's hard to completely break through until they reveal what they're working on. So we've got to build up the moment, so when they reveal it, people are very focused on it."

20 июня, 12:00

Will Congress Cede Its War-Making Authority to Trump?

A new resolution would finally put many long-running conflicts on a sound legal footing—but would grant the executive branch sweeping powers in the process.

20 июня, 02:50

Some Dems reluctant to shut down Senate committees over Obamacare

Even as Senate Democrats began a Monday night talk-a-thon designed to spotlight the GOP’s still-secret Obamacare repeal plan, some of their own questioned the party's other potential procedural tactic to block committees from meeting this week.The skepticism within the caucus underscores the risk facing Senate Democrats as they launch an all-out battle against a Republican health care bill they have had zero power to influence. Democrats want to use every procedural tool at their disposal to slow the GOP’s progress, but one of their more arcane options — the power to block committee meetings two hours after the Senate goes into session — risks inviting Republicans to paint them as heedlessly obstructionist.“I do think we need to do something to try to get some input on this crazy damn health bill that they’re doing,” Sen. Jon Tester (D-Mont.) said in an interview. But Tester held back from supporting a halt to committee work starting on Tuesday: “I don’t know if that’s the right thing to do. I think we should still try to be doing our business.”Two high-profile Tuesday hearings could get sandbagged by a Democratic blockade using the so-called “two-hour rule,” if it is invoked: the Foreign Relations Committee’s discussion of presidential authorizations for the use of military force and a Judiciary Committee look at past congressional and criminal investigations. If the tactic is used Wednesday, it could prematurely cut off an Intelligence Committee hearing on Russian meddling in the 2016 election.A spokesman for Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer on Monday night declined to confirm that Democrats would begin holding up committee work, but other senior Democratic sources said that those objections would happen on Tuesday.Rhode Island Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse, the top Democrat on the Judiciary subpanel hosting former Sen. Carl Levin (D-Mich.) for a Tuesday look at past congressional investigations, said that “I hope that we’ll find a way to let the hearing go forward. But we’ll see.” The reluctance to endorse a stoppage of committee work on Tuesday appears to be a minority view among Democrats, most of whom said no tactic should be out of bounds when it comes to protesting the GOP’s clandestine drafting of a health care bill that will have a huge impact on the public. Senators offered multiple unanimous consent requests Monday night aimed at forcing the Obamacare repeal bill through the regular committee process that Republicans have sidestepped this year, though all were blocked by the GOP.“We have to make the point that this isn’t the way to legislate,” Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) said in an interview, calling for any tactic possible to draw attention to the GOP’s “bizarre” avoidance of public hearings.“We’ll get to the Russia hearing,” Feinstein added. “How many people are going to die if we don’t do the right thing [on health care]?”But moderate Sen. Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.), one of the GOP’s top targets in the midterm elections and a member of his party’s leadership, warned that Democrats should not be responding to Republican exclusion on health care with hardline tactics of their own.“I don’t like any of this idea — any of these ideas,” Manchin said, “First of all, Republicans not involving the Democrats is wrong. It’s purely wrong. Does this highlight it? I don’t know. My gut tells me back home... it just makes it look like if we’re not doing anything.”The Foreign Relations hearing on congressional approval of military operations is a top priority for Sen. Tim Kaine (D-Va.), who has joined Sen. Jeff Flake (R-Ariz.) to pitch a new authorization that would cover operations against the Islamic State, al-Qaeda and the Taliban. The intelligence committee’s Russia hearing is a rare public opportunity for members to advance their bipartisan investigation of President Donald Trump’s ties to Moscow.Still, even Democratic members of the committees where business might get blocked starting Tuesday called for the Senate’s routine business to slow amid a health care process that’s been anything but routine.“Many people are really focused on [Obamacare repeal] because it hits them where they live," said Sen. Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.), who sits on Judiciary. “ I’m always reluctant to shut down anything, but refusing to have hearings and provide a text or draft of a bill is like shutting down democracy.”Sen. Brian Schatz (D-Hawaii) acknowledged in an interview that "some people are enthusiastic about shutting down hearings. Others are less so."“Look, we don’t want to shut down hearings — but we will,” Schatz said. “Everybody has a good relationship with their chair. But it is hard to defend staying in the regular order and maintaining a sense of bipartisanship when something so egregious is happening."

19 июня, 07:53

Трамп надеется смягчить санкции против России. Трамп всерьез принялся за борьбу с бюрократией в США ? Как русский «Северный поток» встал Вашингтону горла поперек

Как сообщил один высокопоставленный чиновник администрации, Белый дом планирует провести работу совместно с республиканцами Палаты представителей, чтобы внести изменения в законопроект Сената, который предусматривает новые санкции в отношении России и ограничивает президента США Дональда Трампа в возможности смягчить санкции против Москвы. Белый дом обеспокоен тем, что этот законопроект свяжет ему руки в российско-американских отношениях, о чем публично высказался госсекретарь США Рекс Тиллерсон (Rex Tillerson). Но демократы Сената опасаются, что Белый дом может перегнуть палку в попытках сохранить возможность диалога с Россией, а также существенно смягчить этот законопроект, который в четверг, 15 июня, был принят сенаторами 98 голосами против двух, что стало самой выдающейся демонстрацией единства республиканцев и демократов. «Я обеспокоен этим, но у меня нет возможности диктовать Белому дому, что ему следует говорить Палате представителей, — сказал в своем интервью демократ Тим Кейн (Tim Kaine). — Мне трудно представить, что Палата представителей станет защищать поведение России после того, как все разведывательные сообщества заявили: "Послушайте, они напали на США"». Представитель администрации подчеркнул, что Белый дом поддерживает антироссийские санкции и что возможные политические последствия вето пока не обсуждались. Поскольку госдепартамент активно взаимодействует с конгрессменами, Белый дом уверен в том, что у него есть союзники в Палате представителей, которых тоже беспокоит перспектива нарушения традиций и ограничения контроля исполнительной ветви власти над санкциями.

17 июня, 14:34

Democratic 2020 contenders? Voters haven't heard of them

There's limited time for no-name candidates to build name recognition and familiarity among voters.