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Shadow Economic Contribution of Immigrants to New York Estimated at $40 Billion

Immigrants who work informal jobs provide a major contribution to the vast underground economy of New York. According to a new report by the Fiscal Policy Institute, an influential think tank based in Manhattan, undocumented immigrants inject $40 billion each year to the economy of the Empire State.

 

The Fiscal Policy Institute believes that undocumented immigrants represent five percent of the New York economy, which means that they pay more than one billion dollars each year in taxes that are may not be deducted directly from their wages. In New York City alone, there are more than 570,000 undocumented immigrants working under the table for a total of 817,000 across New York State.

 

According to David Dyssegaard Kallick, a researcher who specializes in immigration policy, the misconception of immigrants who do not pay taxes and who are a public charge to the national economy is overblown by the rhetoric of the Trump administration. Based on figures provided by the United States Census bureau, many undocumented immigrants pay a fair share of taxes often enabled by false documents.

 

Should all undocumented immigrants be legalized at once in New York, the revenue realized from their taxes would increase by four percent. Amazingly, the unemployment rate among undocumented immigrants is considerably lower than the national average.

 

It is important to note that the wages earned by undocumented immigrants tend to be on the lower spectrum. In other words, their contributions to the economy are not necessarily tantamount to quality of life. Opponents to immigration often mention that a substantial portion of income earned by undocumented workers goes abroad and is not fully taxed.

 

The underground cash economy of New York is difficult to measure. In recent years, there have been attempts to quantify the size of this shadow economy by means of Census surveys, but there are still many smaller cash transactions that often go unreported and untaxed. To this effect, it makes little difference if a legal and licensed landscaper in Long Island pockets $40 or if crews of undocumented immigrants do that same job for a little less cash. As long as the transaction goes unreported, it is still part of the shadow economy.

 

 

Ryan wounded by health care fiasco

The painful public collapse Friday of Paul Ryan’s biggest endeavor as House speaker — legislation to unwind the Democratic health care law he and his party spent years castigating as a disaster — dealt a serious blow to the Wisconsin Republican.

But as embarrassing a setback as this was — Obamacare is here to stay “for the foreseeable future,” Ryan conceded — he isn’t going anywhere.

No one is prepared to challenge Ryan for his job, said GOP lawmakers from across the Republican Conference. While some right-wing media and outside groups are agitating to replace the speaker, and his antagonists on the White House staff needle him anonymously in the press, there is no way he will be ousted.

President Donald Trump hasn’t turned on him, either — at least not yet. And Ryan remains popular with his rank-and-file members, who genuinely like him. Critically, Ryan is not a liability for them back home, the ultimate litmus test for any congressional leader.

Yet the debacle over the American Health Care Act showed how the promise of Ryan as speaker has failed to live up to the reality.

When he took over for former Speaker John Boehner in November 2015 following an uprising by conservatives, Ryan was seen as the one figure who could heal the divisions within the GOP Conference, especially with the hard-line Freedom Caucus. That hasn’t happened, to put it mildly.

Ryan is still struggling with the same stubborn political dynamic that torpedoed Boehner’s career. On big issues, if Ryan gives into the Freedom Caucus, he alienates more moderate members of his party and loses any ability to work with Democrats. If he tries to cut a deal with Democrats and his own moderates, the Freedom Caucus goes ballistic, attacking him in tandem with its allies in right-wing media and conservative outside groups.

It’s a lose-lose proposition.

Having a Republican in the White House was supposed to finally tame the group. It was easy to blow up deals Republicans were attempting to cut with Barack Obama; Donald Trump, the thinking went, would never tolerate it. The health-care debate showed how wrong that was.

So Ryan remains stuck in the same intra-party dysfunction.

“He’s a really nice guy, a really smart guy,” said a veteran GOP lawmaker who asked not to be named. But “he can’t seal the deal, which is a real problem.”

Even with Trump, the “ultimate closer,” in the White House.

Things won’t get any easier for Ryan. He will now have to find a way to deliver on Trump’s border wall, which Democrats have vowed to block. The possibility of a government shutdown looms in late April and again in October unless Republicans can figure out how to keep funding going. The debt ceiling has to be increased this summer, always a tough vote for GOP lawmakers. An expensive infrastructure package that conservatives hate will require Democratic buy-in.

That’s to say nothing of the next daunting item on the GOP to-do list, tax reform — arguably tougher to pull off than health-care legislation.

Ryan put his personal prestige on the line to pass his health care legislation, publicly and privately exhorting his colleagues to support it. Ryan became the face of the legislation, figuring he could sell it better than anyone else. In the end, enough of his own members rejected the proposal to bring it down.

After being forced to pull the bill, Ryan deployed many of the same lines he’s been using for months to explain away failures or setbacks. Republicans are suffering the “growing pains” of going from being the opposition party to the majority, he said. “Doing big things is hard,” the speaker said, adding that Republicans want “to improve people’s lives, and we will.”

Yet there was also a somber tone. Ryan didn’t try to hide from blame, and he warned his own GOP colleagues that they better find a way to compromise.

“I will not sugarcoat it, this was a disappointing day for us … This is a setback, no two ways about it,” Ryan told reporters after pulling the bill from the floor in the face of certain defeat. “All of us, myself included, will need time to reflect on how we got to this moment, what we could have done to do better.”

Ryan added: “But ultimately, this all kind of comes down to a choice. Are all of us willing to give a little to get something done? Are we willing to say yes to the good, to the very good, even if it’s not the perfect? Because if we’re willing to do that, there remains an incredible opportunity in front of us.”

Ryan said he didn’t “want to cast blame” for who lost health care, but he then went on to blame the Freedom Caucus — which he called “their team” — for bringing down his bill.

“There is a block of ‘no’ votes that we had, that is why this didn’t pass,” Ryan said. “Some of the members of that caucus were voting with us but not enough were. I met with their chairman earlier today, and he made it clear to me that the votes weren’t going to be there from their team. That was sufficient to have this bill not pass.”

Trump, for his part, praised Ryan despite the failure to pass the health care bill, which leaves Obamacare in place as the law of the land.

“I like Speaker Ryan. He worked very hard,” Trump told reporters in the White House after the bill was pulled. “I’m not going to speak badly about anybody within the Republican Party. Certainly there’s a history, but I really think Paul worked hard.”

Freedom Caucus members said they don’t blame Ryan for the failure, at least not publicly.

“Paul Ryan, he’ a very good man. He’s an eloquent speaker. He is an excellent representative of the GOP Conference as a whole,” said Rep. Mo Brooks (R-Ala.). “I like the job he’s doing and I want him to stay as speaker of the House. And I ‘ve heard nothing to the contrary.”

Other rank-and-file members were equally supportive as they left town to lick their wounds.

“If you know of someone who cares more, works harder, who’s brighter, who’s more committed to lead this institution, give me their name,” said Rep. Rob Woodall (R-Ala.), a Ryan loyalist. “We go through leaders like we’re changing shirts. I don’t think it reflects on the leadership, I think it reflects on us.”

Yet Ryan faces the prospect for the rest of this Congress — unless he moves decisively to the middle — that members may need to get signoff from the Freedom Caucus and its chairman, Rep. Mark Meadows (R-N.C.), before they move major legislation. Or at least to know that the Freedom Caucus won’t try to kill their bill. It’s a dynamic that will be a huge challenge for Ryan as he tries to get past the Obamacare reversal.

Both Ryan and Trump emphasized they want to move quickly on to tax reform, although the failure to replace Obamacare leaves them with $1 trillion less to use for that fight, as there will be less room to cut taxes without ballooning the deficit.

“Yes, this does make tax reform more difficult, but it does not in any way make it impossible,” Ryan acknowledged.

But Ryan, a former chairman of the Ways and Means Committe, said it will be easier to get Republicans to agree on taxes than on health care. “I don’t think this is prologue for other future things because there are other parts of our agenda that people have even more agreement on what to achieve.”

Kyle Cheney contributed to this report.

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Inside the GOP’s Health Care Debacle

Donald Trump had heard enough about policy and process. It was Thursday afternoon and members of the House Freedom Caucus were peppering the president with wonkish concerns about the American Health Care Act—the language that would leave Obamacare’s “essential health benefits” in place, the community rating provision that limited what insurers could charge certain patients, and whether the next two steps of Speaker Paul Ryan’s master plan were even feasible—when Trump decided to cut them off.

“Forget about the little shit,” Trump said, according to multiple sources in the room. “Let’s focus on the big picture here.”

The group of roughly 30 House conservatives, gathered around a mammoth, oval-shaped conference table in the Cabinet Room of the White House, exchanged disapproving looks. Trump wanted to emphasize the political ramifications of the bill’s defeat; specifically, he said, it would derail his first-term agenda and imperil his prospects for reelection in 2020. The lawmakers nodded and said they understood. And yet they were disturbed by his dismissiveness. For many of the members, the “little shit” meant the policy details that could make or break their support for the bill—and have far-reaching implications for their constituents and the country.

“We’re talking about one-fifth of our economy,” a member told me afterward.

Ultimately, the meeting failed to move any votes. Two Freedom Caucus members—Brian Babin and Ted Poe, both of Texas—told the president that they had switched to yes, but their decisions had already been registered with White House vote-counters prior to sitting down with Trump. (Their colleagues didn’t appreciate the gesture, feeling that Babin and Poe were trying to score points with the president at their expense.) Upon returning to Capitol Hill, the Freedom Caucus gathered in a meeting room inside the Rayburn office building, discussed Trump’s admonitions to them and took another vote. The tally had not changed: Of the group’s roughly three dozen members, two-thirds remained opposed, with only five or six of those saying they were “soft” in that stance.

The president had been working on many of them individually in recent days, typically with what members described as “colorful” phone calls, littered with exaggerations and foul language and hilariously off-topic anecdotes. In some cases, the pressure worked. Jim Bridenstine, a Freedom Caucus member and longtime problem for the Republican leadership, agreed to back the bill after conversations with Trump and other administration officials. (It wasn’t necessary to remind Bridenstine that he was a leading candidate to become NASA administrator, and would likely hurt his chances by voting against the president.)

But by and large, Trump’s first attempt to corral the Republican-controlled Congress—and particularly the Freedom Caucus, a rambunctious, ideologically charged collection of GOP legislators who have long refused to fall in line behind the party’s leadership—failed miserably. That failure played a major role in the collapse of the American Health Care Act almost exactly 24 hours after their meeting at the White House, and now, as Trump warned, threatens to paralyze the president’s first-year policy agenda and send Republicans into a damaging cycle of intra-party recrimination.

By and large, Trump’s first attempt to corral the GOP Congress failed miserably and threatens to paralyze his first-year policy agenda.

There will be sufficient blame to go around in the days ahead, and indeed, some Trump loyalists are already pointing the finger at Ryan and his leadership team. The speaker, without question, was clumsy in his strategic rollout and far too presumptuous about the legislation’s infallibility. But for a president who pledged to break through the gridlock in Washington—and who promoted himself as a peerless dealmaker—the defeat of Trump’s first major policy initiative undermines his take-charge image and emboldens his enemies in both parties.

Tom Price, the new Health and Human Services secretary who previously served 12 years in Congress, had assured nervous allies recently that the difference between Ryan’s speakership and that of Speaker John Boehner—who was driven from office by the intransigence of the Freedom Caucus—was that unlike his predecessor, Ryan had the backing of a strong Republican president. Mick Mulvaney, Trump’s budget director and a former Freedom Caucus member himself, made similar arguments. But faced with his first major test, the president failed—on multiple occasions and on many levels.

For starters, Trump kept the GOP health care bill at arm’s length for more than a week, offering a smattering of favorable remarks but failing to embrace it in convincing fashion. Ryan’s rivals on Capitol Hill got the message: The president was lukewarm about the legislation. According to interviews with officials in all three camps—the White House, the Republican leadership and the Freedom Caucus—conservatives saw a schism between Trump and Ryan, and seized on the perceived opening.

Early last week, during a budgetary meeting at the White House, the two leaders of the Freedom Caucus—chairman Mark Meadows and former chairman Jim Jordan—kept diverting the discussion to health care, much to the annoyance of Budget Committee chairwoman Diane Black. When the meeting broke, Meadows and Jordan swiftly sought an audience with the president to discuss Ryan’s bill. Trump granted them the meeting, during which the conservatives complained that Ryan was presenting them with a “binary choice”—either vote for the bill that had been introduced, or vote to preserve Obamacare—that was doing the president a disservice. Trump replied that he was open to negotiation and new ideas, and Meadows and Jordan left the White House thinking they had a powerful ally. Ryan’s team was less than thrilled at the narrative of a good cop, bad cop routine.

Things went downhill quickly from there. After Meadows visited Trump at Mar-a-Lago, the president’s Florida retreat, that weekend to push for conservative changes—capping a week of futile discussions about significantly altering the House bill—Freedom Caucus members were eager to hear from Trump on Tuesday when he arrived at the Capitol. But when he rose to address the GOP conference, the president made it clear there would be no further modifications, and said he expected Republicans to rally around Ryan’s bill.

Then Trump made a mistake. After singling out Meadows and asking him to stand up in front of his colleagues, Trump joked that he might “come after” the Freedom Caucus boss if he didn’t vote yes, and then added, with a more serious tone: “I think Mark Meadows will get on board.”

It was a crucial misreading of Meadows, who has been determined to please both the White House and his conservatives colleagues on the Hill. Upon assuming the chairmanship of the Freedom Caucus earlier this year, Meadows was viewed suspiciously by some of his members who worried that the North Carolina congressman is too cozy with Trump and would hesitate to defy him. Meadows campaigned extensively with Trump last fall and struck up a relationship with White House chief strategist Steve Bannon, who communicates with him almost daily by text. Meadows knew the health care fight would be viewed as a test of his independence from Trump, and the moment the president called him out, he was boxed in.

“That was the biggest mistake the president could have made,” one Freedom Caucus member told me. “Mark desperately wanted to get to yes, and Trump made it impossible for him. If he flipped after that he would look incredibly weak.”

That was the biggest mistake the president could have made. Mark desperately wanted to get to yes, and Trump made it impossible for him.”

Disappointed with the episode, and with the president’s apparent inflexibility, Meadows and other Freedom Caucus members back-channeled with the administration and landed what they thought was an invitation to the White House on Wednesday morning. They hoped for a meeting with Trump and an opportunity to negotiate some major policy changes directly with him. Instead, they found themselves hauled into the less-than-inspiring Executive Office Building for a pep rally with Vice President Mike Pence, chief of staff Reince Priebus, Bannon, and other members of Trump’s inner circle—but not the president himself. (As an aside, it’s impossible to ignore the failure of Pence, Price and Mulvaney, three former conservative darlings while in the Congress, to sell more of their ideological brethren on this bill.)

Members of the Freedom Caucus realized right away that there would be no negotiating. Pence tried to pump up the conservatives, telling them the fight was theirs to win and that they needed to help Trump and Ryan score a victory for the new administration. The plea landed on deaf ears. “Take one for the team” was a phrase repeatedly deployed; at one point, after Bannon used it, Joe Barton, a white-haired conservative from Texas, snapped back in response that Bannon was talking to them like children and he didn’t appreciate it. The room filled with uncomfortable silence; Bannon backed down and the meeting went on. (Barton eventually announced his support for the legislation—one of only a few who would eventually switch positions.) After several hours, the members returned to the Capitol feeling frustrated, calling the meeting “a waste of time” and wondering if they had missed their only window for cutting a deal with Trump.

That night, however, allies in the White House sent word to the Freedom Caucus that one thing they wanted—reforms to the “essential health benefits” provision under Title I of the Affordable Care Act—could be done. Excitement spread in the group, but there was also confusion; some members felt that would be a big enough concession to win their vote, while others felt it was only a step in the right direction. As they sought to clarify their internal disagreements, there was another meeting scheduled for the next morning, Thursday—this one at the White House and with the president himself.

Filled with hope once again, Freedom Caucus members were once again promptly disappointed. This meeting was yet another “take one for the team” seminar. The atmosphere was friendly, and the president had the group laughing with irrelevant riffs and stories of negotiations past, but it became clear, as soon as he made the “little shit” comment, that no serious changes were going to be made, because the president didn’t have sufficient command of the policy details to negotiate what would or would not be realistic for Ryan to shepherd through the House.

Through charm, force of personality and sheer intimidation, Trump did move some votes into the yes column. But GOP leaders were left wondering why he didn’t do more—why he didn’t send tweets, travel to congressional districts, put his famed dealmaking skills to work. The answer, to Republicans on both ends of Pennsylvania Avenue, is obvious: Because he lacked familiarity with the legislation itself, and thought it was Ryan’s job to sell the specifics.

“Trump is a business executive. When he tells his lieutenants to get something done, he’s used to it getting done,” one senior House GOP aide told me. “He’s really not used to getting involved himself.”

***

If the bill failed because Trump is a great salesman with a poor grasp of policy, it also failed because Ryan is a poor salesman with a great grasp of policy.

The speaker has spent decades straddling the worlds of politics and policy, and is infinitely more comfortable operating in the latter. He has dozens of friends around town in the constellation of conservative think tanks, lobby shops, activist groups and media outlets. Knowing that health care was batting leadoff for the new, unified Republican government, it would seem a no-brainer for the speaker to spend a few days, if not a few weeks, meeting with leading voices on the right to introduce the American Health Care Act, answer their questions, accept their criticisms and, most important, preempt any attacks on the legislation itself. After all, as Democrats love to point out, Ryan had seven years to plan for this moment—first as Budget chairman, then as Ways and Means chairman, then as speaker—and if anyone on the right was ready, it ought to have been him.

But Ryan didn’t feel such preventative measures were necessary. After days of drafting the bill in secretive locations at the Capitol—and Sen. Rand Paul, a hard-core Obamacare critic, exposing the absurdity by bringing reporters along as he hunted door-to-door for a copy—the text was leaked, and then unceremoniously released, without any clearly coordinated media strategy between the speaker’s office and the White House. Conservatives around Washington, including some of Ryan’s longtime friends, were stunned. “The bill has had the worst rollout of any major piece of legislation in memory,” Rich Lowry, editor of National Review and a longtime Ryan ally, wrote in his Politico Magazine column on March 15.

Back in 2013, when the so-called Gang of Eight had authored its comprehensive immigration reform bill, Sen. Marco Rubio spent weeks making the rounds and meeting with top influencers on the right, taking unlimited time to answer every question and consider every criticism. He talked to journalists, grassroots leaders and academics; he offered himself as a human sacrifice to every prominent voice in conservative talk radio, attempting to neutralize opposition to the bill before it materialized. It never became law, but Rubio did everything he could. It passed the Senate, at least, before dying a quick death in the House—and that was in large measure thanks to having a media-savvy Tea Party darling take the lead and work conservative journalists and opinion leaders.

There was no such effort on Ryan’s part, and it showed. (Several allies argued he had done some outreach, but they failed to provide any specific examples.) After he unveiled the bill, leading health care experts on the right like Yuval Levin and Avik Roy trashed it as a poorly conceived mess; conservative pressure groups and their media allies immediately branded it as “Obamacare Lite.” Only then did Ryan move aggressively to mitigate the damage. He convened a group of conservative journalists in his office in mid-March and his team began tracking, and publicizing, every media appearance he made, especially promoting his interviews with conservative critics such as Sean Hannity and Laura Ingraham. But it was too little, too late. Loathing of the legislation had already reached a fever pitch and Ryan was powerless to steady the situation. The only thing he could have done to appease the far right—a full repeal of the Affordable Care Act—was not only legislatively impossible but would never pass the lower chamber of Congress. The vast majority of Republicans would have refused to eliminate Obamacare without knowing exactly what would replace it until months or years later.

In dissecting Ryan’s lackluster marketing of the health care initiative, both his allies and adversaries in the Republican conference reached the same conclusion: He had taken support for granted. After all, this was essentially the same bill written by Price when he was in Congress; it became the de facto proposal of the House GOP in its “Better Way” agenda, which Ryan argued throughout 2016 was a governing document that his colleagues universally supported. “We all ran on this,” Ryan said repeatedly over the past several weeks.

Except that many House Republicans never saw it that way. In fact, some conservatives spent the past year using “Better Way” as a punch line to tease the speaker for convening wonky groups to dream up big policy proposals—but never hold votes on any of them. If there had been committee hearings and floor votes, some conservatives argue, these differences would have surfaced much sooner. “We ran on these principles, but not on this bill,” Meadows told me last week. (Meadows was, however, once a co-sponsor of Price’s bill in Congress.)

By Friday morning, there were questions about why Trump had kept a distance from the bill for such a lengthy period of time—and how different the whip count might look if he hadn’t.

As the reality of the bill’s likely defeat set in Thursday, and some members of Trump’s team began to assign blame to Ryan—most notably in a New York Times story—the speaker’s allies didn’t stand pat. They began subtly, first by calling Trump “the closer,” and then by emphasizing that the White House felt confident it would deliver the Freedom Caucus. By Friday morning, there were more overt questions about why Trump had kept a distance from the bill for such a lengthy period of time—and how different the whip count might look if he hadn’t.

Of course, leadership officials also were eager to blame the Freedom Caucus, claiming the group simply has no interest in voting yes. But the fact is, after Thursday night’s impromptu conference meeting—in which Mulvaney delivered Trump’s ultimatum that he would move on from health care after Friday’s vote—the number of conservatives still opposed to the bill had dwindled significantly. There were 27 Freedom Caucus members voting no at the beginning of the week; by late Thursday, that number appeared to drop below 20. Jordan, worried that conservative opposition might be crumbling, spent Thursday night and Friday morning whipping his comrades to prevent further defections, members said.

Trump’s attempt to cajole the group into submission—tweeting Friday morning about the “irony” of its members opposing abortion but voting against a bill that removed Planned Parenthood funding—didn’t work, and probably backfired, just like his singling out of Meadows. I was told the members were slightly irritated but mostly laughed it off as “Trump being Trump,” and expressed surprise that he hadn’t tried to publicly pressure them ever sooner.

***

All this obscures an uncomfortable question for Republicans as they ponder how it is that they control both houses of Congress and the presidency, and yet were unable to get rid of a hated law they spent seven years attempting to destroy. Perhaps the problem isn’t who deserves the blame, so much as how to solve the puzzle that is the fractious GOP majority—the same impossible physics problem that bedeviled and ultimately doomed John Boehner.

After all, it wasn’t just conservatives who sank the AHCA. The Freedom Caucus remains a stubborn problem for GOP leadership, but blaming—or crediting—its members for Friday’s defeat ignores the fact that some two dozen moderate and centrist members were also opposed. “There’s no natural constituency for this bill,” Raul Labrador, a Freedom Caucus co-founder, said throughout the week. He was right. Members care about policy and process, and between the two, there was no clear upside for many of Ryan’s members: It left too many people without coverage and failed to drive down premiums; it also was re-written hastily to accommodate changes and felt rushed for no good reason. Ultimately, every concession made to win conservatives, like the amendment that left regulating essential health benefits up to states, was destined to result in the loss of moderates.

Perhaps the problem isn’t who deserves the blame, so much as how to solve the puzzle that is the fractious GOP majority.

In the corridors surrounding the House chamber, the death knell was felt just before 11 a.m. That’s when Rodney Frelinghuysen, chairman of the all-powerful Appropriations Committee, announced he wouldn’t be supporting the bill. Republican lawmakers buzzed with disbelief as the news spread across the floor. Losing a committee chairman is never a good sign for leadership; the defection of the Appropriations chairman felt like a nail in the American Health Care Act’s coffin.

An hour later, two sources—one in the House leadership, one in the Trump administration—confirmed that the whip count was moving in the wrong direction. One of them told me that Ryan was considering pulling the bill from the floor altogether, to prevent a lopsided defeat that would only serve to hand ammunition to Democrats running against Republicans who had been bold enough to vote for the bill anyway.

As I processed this, news broke that Ryan was headed the White House. He wanted to show Trump the numbers and consult him before yanking the bill from consideration. Soon enough the decision was made, and Ryan headed back to the Capitol, calling an all-conference meeting in the House basement.

Walking toward the tunnel that connects the House office buildings to the Capitol itself, I ran into Mark Walker, the chairman of the Republican Study Committee, a large caucus that was once home to the conservative movement in Congress before being eclipsed in recent years by the more ideologically pure Freedom Caucus. Walker had initially been against the bill, but came on board quickly after some changes, and in doing so validated the critiques of his group by those further to the right. A former minister, Walker is by nature relaxed and genteel, but his face was burning red and his voice trembled as we discussed the bill’s defeat.

“I’m very bothered. I’m disappointed,” he said, measuring his words. “This was a chance to repeal all the Obamacare taxes. It was a chance to take off the burdensome mandate we’ve stuck on our employers and individuals who have begged for help. It [has] additional pro-life provisions. It destroys the chance to do the biggest Medicaid revision that we’ve had in what, 51, 52 years? Yeah, I’m bothered by it.”

On the opposite end of the spectrum were Meadows, Jordan, Labrador and Michigan Rep. Justin Amash, arguably the four core members of the Freedom Caucus. Moments before I talked to Walker, I had intercepted the four of them walking toward the meeting room. They hadn’t heard the news; when I told them Ryan had pulled the bill, they exchanged glances and tried to suppress grins. Only Meadows looked upset; a southern gentleman and successful businessman, he wants to be liked by everyone, and the episode clearly took an emotional toll on him. He declined to provide a comment. So did Labrador and Amash. But Jordan, the godfather of the House conservatives—he arrived four years prior to the tea party wave of 2010—made clear that he wouldn’t go along with Trump’s decree that Republicans would abandon health care and move on to tax reform.

“We want to see Obamacare repealed,” Jordan told me. “That hasn’t changed.”

Ryan, for his part, told reporters in a somber press conference a short while later that he stood with Trump. Obamacare, that great white whale Republicans had long hunted—and hoped to harpoon on its seven-year anniversary Thursday—would remain “the law of the land” due to the GOP’s inability to function as a “governing body,” the speaker of the House announced. They had failed at fixing the health-care system; next they would try to overhaul the tax code.

If you couldn’t get health care done, how can you get tax reform done?”

The improbability of this sequence was not lost on anyone. Earlier, as Ryan’s motorcade was zipping toward the White House, I spoke with Kevin Brady, the Ways and Means chairman whose committee sits at the intersection of health care and taxes. I’ve known Brady, one of Congress’s truly decent people and a reliably cheerful spirit, for years; never had I seen him looking so despondent and defeated. Positing that health care was about to die, I asked Brady if re-writing the tax code would be any easier. “Tax reform is the hardest lift in a generation,” he told me, shaking his head. “So that would be a big challenge.”

“If you couldn’t get health care done,” I ask him, “how can you get tax reform done?”

Brady thought for a moment. “Every Republican is all-in on tax reform. We still have a lot of work. But it’s just a natural issue for us in a very positive way.”

But every Republican was all-in on repealing and replacing Obamacare, too, I told him. “Won’t the devil be in the details?”

Brady stared back at me. “It always is,” he said. “It always is.”

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150,000 Bikers Meet in Daytona Beach for Biketoberfest

Some Bikers or motorcycle riders, who identify with the “Biker Scene,” are coming to the best time of the year centering in Daytona Beach FL, October 13-16, and there is plenty of room for you and your “hog.” The “hog” is another name for a motorcycle, but you might not know that if you aren’t a part of the Biker subculture. There are no specific membership lists or requirements for this subculture; you will know when you are.

 

Biketoberfest is an event that occurs every year, six months from Bike Week, which has been celebrated for 75 years. These two events are incredible planned parties for Bikers There is another Bike Week festival in Sturgis, SD, which takes place during the summer. Most riders, either for a hobby or a lifestyle, love getting together to share stories and new bikes.

 

Biker Style

 

Lifestyle motorcycle riders are easily detected. The typical colors Bikers choose to wear are black and blue – black shirts and leather vests with blue jeans and typically with black boots. Their black leather vests are often covered with leather patches from bars or associations they support.

 

Subculture Traits

 

When a Biker is riding, they are very loyal to the others they are riding with, and there is usually a designated “leader” and a bike who brings up the rear. If one bike stops, everyone in the group stops and waits, so this behavior makes for strong bonding among the members.

 

The bigger and louder the “hog” – the better, and it’s not uncommon to see four or five bikers standing by their bikes sharing about the accessories and engine size for hours.

 

Biketoberfest Events

 

Biketoberfest is a four-day event that is filled with events such as motorcycle races at the Daytona Beach International Speedway and rallies all around the county. Aside from the sun, surf and the waves, 150-year-old Main St. is blocked off, so the 150,000 Bikers have a designated place to meet and enjoy a cold beer.

 

There are many planned events including Chili Festivals, concerts with Jazz and rock bands, motorcycle meets and more. Biketoberfest is a spectacular time for Bikers to get together and share their subculture with like minds.

 

Trump gets tamed by Washington

Donald Trump crowed for months he would strike a “terrific” deal on health care. His ambitions ended in a brief phone call Friday afternoon, in which Speaker Paul Ryan told him the truth: He was nowhere close.

The businessman president, who sold himself to tens of millions of disillusioned voters last year as the only outsider who could tame a broken capital, ended his first confrontation with lawmakers overmatched, outmaneuvered and ultimately empty-handed.

“We learned a lot about some very arcane rules,” Trump said in the Oval Office soon after the defeat of his effort to undo President Obama’s health care law.

It was actually the most basic fact of Congress that set Trump back: the majority rules. And despite a 22-seat margin for error in the House, Trump had proved unable to corral support for a plan to repeal the law, one of Trump’s key campaign pledges.

His failure to advance legislation through a single chamber of Congress controlled by members of his own party — despite it being a cornerstone of the Republican agenda for more than half-decade — casts doubt both on Trump’s much-bragged-about dealmaking skills and the GOP’s path forward.

“It’s a black eye for the speaker and the president,” said Scott Reed, the top strategist of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, which supported the measure.

The setback, described in interviews with multiple senior administration and congressional officials, was especially humiliating because Trump was sunk not by Democrats but by his inability to ride herd over the same rebellious element of the Republican conference that previously bucked Speaker Paul Ryan’s predecessor John Boehner out of his job. Most House Republicans have never served in the majority under a Republican president and it’s unclear how in the future they will cobble together a governing coalition.

“The Republican Party is still operating as an opposition party,” said Josh Holmes, a former chief of staff to Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, who added, “If they can’t break the fever…it says an enormous amount about the prospects of tax reform, infrastructure and some sort of immigration proposal.”

Trump himself seemed almost relieved to move on from the health care fight, even as other White House officials were fretting about the long-term implications of what one senior White House official called a “clear embarrassment for us.”

The president himself wasn’t nearly as upset about the health care defeat as he was about the size of his inauguration crowds, Attorney General Jeff Sessions’ decision to recuse himself from the investigation into Russia’s meddling in the 2016 election or the repeated legal setbacks on his travel-ban executive order, which has been blocked by multiple courts. “No bullshit, I think he’s actually pretty comfortable with the outcome. He wants to move ahead and do taxes,” another senior White House official said.

But tax reform — which no president or Congress has been able to tackle successfully for more than three decades — is no easy task, especially as Republicans had banked on deficit-cutting from any health package to give them a financial cushion in that endeavor. “Yes,” Ryan conceded Friday, “this does make tax reform more difficult.”

For weeks Trump had seemed disinterested and disengaged from the specifics of the health care fight, both behind closed doors with his aides and at public rallies. Trump “just wanted to get something he could sign,” said one adviser who talks to him frequently. “He was over it.” He would often interrupt conversations on the law to talk about other issues, advisers and aides said.

In one phone call with Ryan earlier this month, Trump told the House speaker that he had a problem with the bill. It wasn’t over Medicaid expansion, maternity coverage, deductibles or insurance premiums. Rather, it was that he didn’t like the word “buckets”—which Ryan had been using to describe the parts of their plan.

“I don’t like that word buckets. You throw trash in buckets. I don’t like that word,” Trump said, according to two people familiar with the call. Trump preferred “phases.” Ryan agreed and adopted the term.

It was the kind of messaging detail Trump focused on during the campaign, when he described his plan as “repeal and replace — with something terrific.” But by February, Trump confided to a group of the nation’s governors visiting Washington D.C. that undoing Obamacare would be more involved. “Nobody knew healthcare could be so complicated,” he said.

In the closing days of negotiations, Trump found himself stuck in the middle of an ideological tug-of-war between the two factions at the extremes of a deeply fissured House Republican conference — with every concession offered to the hardline House Freedom Caucus driving away votes from the moderate Tuesday Group, and vice versa.

The arguments for the legislation from the White House were political. “This is your chance,” press secretary Sean Spicer urged lawmakers on Friday hours before the bill died. The arguments against it were based in policy, where Trump was less comfortable.

When Trump trekked to Capitol Hill to make his case in person on Tuesday, lawmakers were mostly nonplussed. “Not a whole lot about health care, except to vote for it,” Rep. Walter Jones, R-N.C., said afterward. He remained opposed.

Other lawmakers said Trump wasn’t at all conversant in the specifics and mainly wanted to talk about his popularity in their districts – or how voting against the proposed bill could hurt them politically. But the proposed law ended up polling below 20 percent – and the president’s approval rating dropped below 40 percent.

Short the votes, Trump trotted out one of his favorite deal-making tactics late Thursday to seal the deal: the ultimatum. All House Republicans were told by Trump’s top lieutenants that the bill was take-it-or-leave-it proposition, and their only chance to get rid of Obamacare.

In the days and hours leading up to a vote that looked bleak, the White House did little to tamp down expectations. “He is the closer,” Spicer labeled Trump.

Trump pushed hard for a floor vote up until the final minute. Senior administration officials maintained deep into Friday afternoon that they wanted the roll call “to make them vote against the president on live TV,” in the words of a third senior White House official.

“We are voting,” this person said, 45 minutes before it was called off.

It was straight out of Trump’s The Art of the Deal playbook, where he wrote simultaneously about boldness and maintaining a willingness to retreat. “I never get too attached to one deal or one approach,” Trump wrote. “For starters, I keep a lot of balls in the air because most deals fall out.”

That might work in the real estate business, where there’s always another property to develop, or another contractor to hire. But it backfired in Congress, where time and political capital are not unlimited, where the last deal impacts the next and where there is no alternative set of lawmakers to whom Trump can pitch his next demands.

The setback could also shake up the internal dynamics of a White House, where infighting among rival factions has become the norm. Some pointedly noted that Trump’s son-in-law and senior adviser, Jared Kushner, spent the run-up to the vote in Aspen. Some pinned blame on chief of staff Reince Priebus, who is close to Ryan and had been expected to help Trump navigate the complexities of Capitol Hill. Others faulted chief strategist Steve Bannon for failing to mobilize his former company, Breitbart News, on behalf of the bill, or to corral hardliners on the Hill.

Indeed, the blame game began even before the vote was called off. “This is 100 percent a Ryan failure,” said the third White House official. While Trump wasn’t upset with Ryan, multiple senior officials said, a number of his advisers and aides were trashing the speaker before the vote – and Ryan told others he expected to get the brunt of the blame.

By midday Friday, the health care bill was hemorrhaging support, as the powerful chairman of the House Appropriations Committee came out against the bill. Ryan came to the White House to brief Trump on the bleak outlook.

But even as Trump and his top advisers wanted to forge ahead, they were showing sign of worry. Spicer no longer embraced the term “the closer.” GOP leadership pushed to drop what was now seen as a kamikaze mission. And a little after 3 p.m., Trump talked to Ryan again — the two had a 45-minute conversation late Thursday night about the law.

“He talked to Paul Ryan for a few minutes, who said he was at least 10 and 15 votes short,” one of the senior White House officials said. Ryan said he planned to pull the vote unless Trump objected, and Trump said he was OK with that.

Ryan explained soon after what it meant to a national television audience: “We’re going to be living with Obamacare for the foreseeable future.”

Trump got off the phone, scribbled down some notes and dialed up reporters to give his side before the full White House staff was even briefed. The president was most focused on the news coverage and how it reflected on him, as he had been throughout, telling advisers how much the criticism of the law on TV bothered him.

In the Capitol basement after the vote was cancelled, Republican lawmakers were gathered to hear what came next. The Rolling Stones refrain Trump often played at his rallies was playing in the background: “You can’t always get what you want.”

Tara Palmeri and Jake Sherman contributed reporting.

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Tax reform next? Maybe not.

Republicans’ spectacular failure to repeal and replace Obamacare threatens to sabotage another cornerstone of their agenda, tax reform — because of simple math.

The GOP was counting on wiping out nearly $1 trillion in Obamacare taxes to help finance the sweeping tax cuts they’ve got planned for their next legislative act. And now it’s unclear where all that money will come from.

“This does make tax reform more difficult, but it does not in any way make it impossible,” House Speaker Paul Ryan said at a news conference on Friday. “We will proceed with tax reform.”

While Obamacare taxes will remain, he said, “We’re going to fix the rest of the tax code.”

But losing the revenue from Obamacare repeal is fueling speculation that Republicans will settle for just tax cuts rather than sweeping reform.

President Donald Trump on Friday seemed to lament not taking up tax reform first.

“Right now we’ll be going for tax reform, which we could have done earlier, but this really would have worked out better if we could have had some Democrats’ support. Remember this, we had no Democrats’ support. So now we’ll go for tax reform, which I have always liked,” he said.

But now Republicans will have to look elsewhere for money to meet their top targets: bringing the corporate tax rate down to 20 percent from 35 percent, cutting the top individual tax rate to 33 percent from 39.6 percent, and generous new writeoffs for business investments.

“We’re going to analyze the complete impacts here. But clearly it makes a big challenge even more challenging,” said House Ways and Means Chairman Kevin Brady (R-Texas).

Even if the Republican health care plan had succeeded, tax reform wasn’t going to be a cakewalk. The House, Senate and businesses are already clashing over key elements of a House GOP plan, notably a provision known as “border adjustability” that would tax imports but not exports.

Ultimately the issue centers on House Republicans’ desire to pass a tax overhaul that would raise the same amount of money as the current tax code. Eliminating taxes tied to the Affordable Care Act would have made reform cheaper by pulling down the budget baseline of how much money was expected to come in to the federal government.

About $43 trillion in revenue is expected from the 2018 federal fiscal year through fiscal 2027, according to projections from the CBO, a sum that includes money raised by ACA taxes.

“That is a huge issue,” a corporate tax adviser and ex-House staffer said on condition of anonymity to protect client sensitivities.

But Republicans may have to trim their sails. Rather than dramatically rewriting the tax code, they might fall back on their bedrock policy of tax cuts, perhaps with a smattering of policy changes and money raisers to offset some of the cost.

Earlier this week, analysts at Goldman Sachs put the odds of a tax cut at 80 percent, even if the Obamacare replacement plans collapsed.

But Brady said Republicans wouldn’t settle for just tax cuts.

“Tax rates alone will not make America competitive. We know China, Germany, Canada, Mexico are not just beating us on low rates, they’re beating us by not taxing worldwide, they’re beating us with border adjustability,” he said.

Lawmakers closely aligned with the president are worried about the broader political consequences of failure to repeal the 2010 health law.

“If this goes down, we don’t get tax reform, we don’t get infrastructure,” said Chris Collins (R-N.Y.), the first lawmaker to back Trump’s campaign. “We may lose the Senate. We may lose the House.”

Meanwhile, the Ways and Means Committee is ready to get to work.

“Tuesday morning is our first tax reform meeting,” said committee member Kenny Marchant (R-Texas).

Colin Wilhelm and Brian Faler contributed to this story.

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White House launches damage control after health bill collapses

President Donald Trump did “everything” he could to repeal and replace Obamacare, the White House said again and again on Friday.

Apparently everything was not enough.

Damage control was underway at the White House even before the Obamacare repeal bill was pulled from the House floor Friday afternoon, an effective waving of the white flag on one of Republicans’ top priorities. And as the White House sought to prevent any blame from landing on Trump, House Speaker Paul Ryan emerged as a prime target.

Press secretary Sean Spicer, who on Thursday expressed complete confidence in the bill’s passage, sounded a different tune early Friday afternoon, as Ryan huddled at the White House with Trump to discuss a way forward hours before the decision was made to call off the vote.

“The president has been working the phones and having in-person meetings since the American Health Care Act was introduced,” Spicer said. “He’s left everything on the field when it comes to this bill.”

And even while Spicer said Ryan, too, had done his best, others in the White House were ready to see the conservative speaker take the blame for the humiliating defeat.

“This is 100 percent a Ryan failure. His plan and Tom Price is his guy,” one senior administration official said after the bill was pulled.

Others in the White House sought to downplay any signs of Trump-Ryan tension, saying the White House merely underestimated the animosity between factions within the Republican conference, specifically the hardline Freedom Caucus and moderate Tuesday Group.

“Trump feels like Ryan did everything right,” one senior administration official said. “He has no ax to grind with Paul Ryan. … He’s ready to move on to other things.”

Speaking to reporters in the Oval Office, Trump hewed to a message, saying the failure was the fault of the Democrats, an odd claim given the Republicans control Congress. He thanked Ryan for his work, and said he remained confident in Ryan’s ability to lead the House.

“Paul really worked hard,” Trump said, but was also quick to tout his own efforts.

“I worked as a team player,” he said.

And he added that he did not consider the bill perfect.

“Well I think we could have had things that I would have liked more, and if we had bipartisan [support], I really think we could have a health care bill that would be the ultimate,” he said.

When asked if he felt “betrayed” by the Freedom Caucus, Trump responded: “No, I’m not betrayed. They’re friends of mine. I’m disappointed because we could have had it, so I’m disappointed. I’m a little surprised, to be honest with you. We really had it. It was pretty much there within grasp. But I’ll tell you what is going to come out of it is a better bill.”

Ryan, meanwhile, was striking a different note on Capitol Hill, making clear he saw the Freedom Caucus as responsible for the defeat.

“There is a bloc of ‘no’ votes that we had that is why this didn’t pass. They were a sufficient number of votes that prevented it from passing and they didn’t change their votes. We were close,” Ryan said.

But Ryan was full of public praise for Trump and his team.

“He did everything he possibly could to help people see the opportunity that we have with this bill. He’s really been fantastic. Still, we gotta do better and we will,” Ryan said.

“This is a setback, no two ways about it,” he admitted.

The White House, even before the bill was pulled, was laser-focused on protecting Trump. “The president has given it his all,” Spicer declared at one point during the briefing on Friday.

“The president is confident that we have done every single thing possible,” Spicer said at another.

“We are confident that we have done everything,” Spicer added later. “We’ve done everything. We’ve done every single thing. Every meeting, every call, every discussion.”

And he repeated a line he had deployed Thursday, when asked if Trump would take responsibility if the bill failed: “You can’t force people to vote.”

The collapse of the bill has cast a pall on Trump’s young presidency and raised fresh doubts about the outsider president’s ability to manage a raucous Republican Congress to fulfill his grand campaign promises — and there has been no bigger promise from Trump and his fellow Republicans than to repeal and replace Barack Obama’s signature legislative achievement.

It also raises new questions about the fate of Ryan, who did little to campaign for Trump in the fall and now is seen by some as responsible for the White House’s first major defeat.

Even before the fate of the bill became clear, former House Speaker Newt Gingrich, a vocal Trump ally, slammed the House Republican leadership for the debacle.

“I don’t understand how the leadership got to the point where they [designed] a bill that didn’t have the votes,” Gingrich said in an interview. “I don’t understand artificial deadlines that lead to defeat.”

The rush to pass the bill — with less than three weeks from unveiling to a scheduled floor vote — was mystifying to the former speaker, who said he would never bring a bill to the floor as many votes short as AHCA appeared. And on an issue like health care in particular, Gingrich said, such a rush made no sense.

“Nancy Pelosi brought Obamacare to the floor in July, Obama signed it in March. That’s eight months,” Gingrich said. “The power to schedule is entirely controlled by the speaker.”

Gingrich’s advice: “Pull it.”

That advice was followed late Friday afternoon.

The White House’s messaging, so far, appears to be meeting with some success in deflecting potential blame from the White House.

The conservative advocacy group, Heritage Action, has been among the most vocal critics of the repeal plan, and targeted its fire at Ryan.

The group has pointed to Ryan’s own words to attack him, noting that Ryan’s “Better Way” agenda called for the Affordable Care Act to be “fully repealed.” The AHCA, many conservatives argued, fell far short of full repeal and kept too many of the law’s signature elements, like tax credits to help low-income people buy insurance and requirements to protect those with pre-existing conditions.

Spicer declined to attack the speaker Friday. He blamed the arcana of congressional procedure as much as campaign promises for opting to kick off the presidency with an assault on the Affordable Care Act.

“I’m not assigning blame,” Spicer said at one point during Friday’s briefing.

Ryan returned the favor, saying at a news conference Friday afternoon that Trump “gave his all.”

House leadership also privately blamed moderate Republicans, who defected en masse late in the week, for sinking the bill. Many pulled out after the White House struck a deal with the Freedom Caucus to remove the requirement that insurers provide certain “essential” coverage, like maternity care, ambulatory care and lab work.

“A lot of blame should also fall on Northeast moderates,” a GOP leadership source said.

But a senior Republican source put the blame squarely on Ryan.

“He was never willing to build consensus because he was so personally invested in his own bill,” the source griped.

The Freedom Caucus, for their part, blamed Ryan, too, for the failure.

Some members felt Ryan had misled the president about the bill’s chance of passage and did not do enough to seek a consensus.

At his briefing, Spicer also struck a tone of resignation as he declared the burden was on House Republicans to fulfill their long-held pledge to scrap Obamacare.

“It is now up to members,” Spicer said. “It is ultimately them that have to go down on the floor and cast that vote.”

Less than two hours later, the bill was pulled.

Madeline Conway contributed to this report.

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Trump full remarks on the Obamacare repeal failure

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What's next after Obamacare's latest brush with death?

Congress choked. Obamacare lives.

House Republicans are at an unfamiliar crossroads after their seven-year effort to repeal the law collapsed. The direction they and the Trump administration choose will determine whether Obamacare survives, or faces new threats as political opposition continues to simmer and flaws recognized even by its supporters go unaddressed.

Bruised and divided by the repeal push, Republican leaders are expressing little enthusiasm for plotting what, if anything, might come next. “We’re going to move on with the rest of our agenda because we have big, ambitious plans to improve people’s lives in this country,” House Speaker Paul Ryan said Friday after pulling the bill before it went down to a humiliating defeat.

Here’s what the future could hold for a law that just won’t die after more than 60 Republican repeal votes, four national elections and multiple Supreme Court battles.

Trump: Let it implode

President Donald Trump has often said he’d be perfectly happy to let the law implode — and blame the Democrats.

“The best thing we can do politically speaking is let Obamacare explode — and it’s exploding right now,” Trump said Friday. “It’s imploding and soon it will explode.”

Republicans could take several steps to hasten, if not force, such an explosion. They won a lawsuit last May seeking to stop the law’s cost-sharing subsidies that help low-income enrollees pay their out-of-pocket costs. Those payments were allowed to continue pending an appeal. They could decide now to end those payments, which would likely prompt insurers to flee the individual insurance market.

And even if the unpopular mandate requiring most Americans to have insurance remains as a matter of law, the administration could stop enforcing it. The individual mandate is a pillar that keeps the insurance markets stable – weakening it could provoke a crisis that forces Congress to respond with a drastic health care overhaul.

But those would be risky, high-stakes plays. While Trump has expressed confidence Democrats will bear the blame for a collapsed health care system, Republicans could get caught in the backlash if they take explicit steps to bring down Obamacare.

Claim ownership and fix it

House Speaker Paul Ryan told lawmakers they had one shot at repealing Obamacare. When that foundered, he acknowledged, “We’re going to be living with Obamacare for the foreseeable future.”

For some in the House, that means the mission is over.

“We tried. We tried our hardest. There were people who were not interested in solving the problem.” said House Energy and Commerce health subcommittee Chairman Michael Burgess, who is also a physician. “We’re done with this.”

But now that it’s on the GOP’s watch — and voters may hold them accountable for its problems — Republicans could decide grudgingly to work to shore up the individual insurance market that even Obamacare supporters acknowledge need fixes. The first urgent task would be for the White House and Republicans to resolve the question of funding the cost-sharing subsidies that insurers offer low-income Americans.

They’d also have to take a new look at how and whether they can lure companies back into a market they’ve said for months is on the brink of collapse.

The administration has already taken small steps to do that, including shortening the sign-up period and cracking down on enrollees who miss their payments. But insurers may need greater assurances that the administration is committed to keeping the system intact and willing to explore new ways to attract younger and healthier people to offset the costs of the older, more expensive individuals who account for the biggest share of enrollees.

Adopt Obamacare but paint it red

Republicans have a lot of ideas for how the health care system should look. They could use regulatory authority to develop some of them even if Obamacare remains on the books.

Health and Human Services Secretary Tom Price has pledged to unwind many regulations and give states more freedom. He and CMS administrator Seema Verma have already signaled plans to rewrite coverage rules and allow states to impose work requirements on low-income Americans covered under Obamacare’s Medicaid expansion, for instance.

They could also relax the rules of the road for insurers that sell plans through HealthCare.gov. One option would be to loosen oversight of the package of benefits the ACA requires. Republicans say not everyone wants to have to buy all those health services, which drive up premium prices.

Whether Price will move ahead with such aggressive actions after the stunning rebuke on Capitol Hill is unclear. That failure came about in part because some Republicans were worried about people losing their health care. So Price won’t have a repeal-hungry Congress to back him up.

The department could also easily throw out rules requiring plans to offer contraceptive coverage at no additional cost to consumers. That won’t topple Obamacare but it would be a big change politically.

If at first you don’t succeed…

Some Republicans promised on Friday they would keep trying to repeal Obamacare, reiterating warnings about the law’s imminent collapse that they’ve used in the past.

“If you buy a car and it’s a lemon and now you own it and try to fix it, it won’t be fixed,” said Rep. Tim Murphy (R-Pa.), a moderate who threw his support behind the bill after winning $15 billion in funding for services like mental health care and maternity coverage. “The blame goes to the one who made the car.”

It’s too soon for any clear road map, but conservatives eager for a simple repeal of Obamacare could eye a measure like the one House Republicans passed in 2015. Once that goal is fulfilled, they say, they can start in on a separate replacement measure.

“Sometimes you’ve got to take a couple shots at something to get it,” said Rep. Scott Perry (R-Pa.), a member of the Freedom Caucus, before Ryan pulled the bill. “I’m confident that what I’m going to do is do everything I can to repeal and replace the ACA.”

Work with Democrats and push choices to the states

Given the mood on Capitol Hill right now, it’s hard to see any opening for bipartisanship. But Trump himself told the Washington Post Friday afternoon that he wanted to work with Democrats – right after he ranted about Obamacare’s implosion.

“When it explodes they [Dems] come to us and we make one beautiful deal” he said.

Democrats have always said they’re willing to work with Republicans on heath reforms and fixes – as long as they don’t resemble anything close to the end of Obamacare.

Lawmakers may also look for ways to shift more of the responsibility — and choices — to the states.

Sens. Bill Cassidy (R-La.) and Susan Collins (R-Maine) have a middle-of-the-road plan that would let states opt to keep Obamacare if they like it, or move to a brand new system. It didn’t get any traction when House Republicans were full bore on repeal — but the moment could come, in the future, for a second look.

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CLINTON OR TRUMP?

It appears that GOP Presidential nominee candidate Mrs. Hillary Clinton is rising in popularity and votership as a whole as the Presidential debate comes to a rapid arrival and soon to begin. With Mr. Donald Trump not too far behind her tail, it will be both entertaining and interesting to see just how far this entire race goes before things wrap up once and for all. As many agree and argue, it is indeed an end time event and apocalyptic scenario for all to behold…..time is running out, folks! Who is it going to be: Donald Trump the Republican or Hillary Clinton the Democrat? For both, time is limited and running out. Voters must choose carefully and wisely with the few days we have left upon on time here on this earth……for indeed, time is short! You only live once on this earth in this life form, and then comes eternity and the judgment….be it good or bad based upon your works in this life.

 

So and with that said, what you sow here in this life will reap seeds for all of eternity….ages and generations to come, some have said. Vote wisely and choose wisely. Redeem your time and spend it very carefully, for the days are truly evil under the sun. Know who to vote for, who may turn this nation and globe in the healthy direction upon which it was founded by God through the founding fathers. Know. Vote, with the future and eternity in mind…..for you only live once in this form. Make it count. Do not hand over the keys to someone who will raise the national debt or promote drugs and liberal lifestyle which will only further corrupt and cripple the crumbling economy and system. Be smart.

 

With that said, now, I quote a rather interesting online news source article which may be read in full by following this link: (http://thehill.com/homenews/campaign/297352-clinton-regains-advantage-in-polls, pg. 1)

“Trump will have an opportunity for a game-changing event on Monday when the candidates square-off at the first presidential on Long Island, which is expected to attract upwards of 100 million viewers.Clinton stumbled badly at the beginning of September….”

Vote for Donald Trump and not for Hillary Clinton. The evidence and statistics are in his favor.