As the Senate flounders on health care, many in Washington believe if anyone can cobble together the votes to pass a bill as bad as Trumpcare, Sen. Mitch McConnell can. Sen. McConnell was forced to delay this week’s scheduled vote but the effort to strip health care away from millions is far from dead. Majority leaders are now reportedly working to get all the support they need to pass Trumpcare before they leave for their July 4 recess tomorrow so they can vote as soon as next week.
Several Senators came out publicly against the bill, some because the bill was too much like the ACA and others because the bill would harm too many people in their states. That means to get the support he needs, Sen. McConnell will have to throw some bones to a few colleagues to make the bill sound a little less cruel than it really is. In fact, he’s already started.
The most likely of these bones will be changes to the Medicaid program aimed at covering up the devastating $770 billion in cuts to the program. Another likely trick? A small pot of money aimed at fighting the opioid crisis. See a comprehensive list of tricks McConnell is likely to pull here. But make no mistake: none of these quick fixes is a replacement for giving state residents real, dependable, affordable access to care.
ACTION OF THE DAY
Resist Trumpcare. Senate majority leaders are banking on us letting our guard down now that the vote was cancelled. Prove them wrong. Make plans to make this long weekend about protecting health care coverage for millions of Americans. Start by going to TrumpcareToolkit.org for an updated list of Senators who need to hear from you the most. Then share the toolkit with everyone you know.
“Bona Fide.” Because of the Supreme Court’s decision on Monday to allow pieces of Trump’s Muslim Ban 2.0 to be implemented, parts of the travel ban will go into effect at 8pm EST tonight. The Court said the ban could not bar entry for any person who had “a credible claim of a bona fide relationship with a person or entity in the United States.” We have been watching to see how the Trump administration will define a bona fide relationship, and this morning, the State Department laid out its plans: Stepsiblings and in-laws count; grandparents, fiancées, and nieces don’t. This standard is an incredibly narrow, arbitrary, and capricious interpretation that will mean families, students, LGBT immigrants, and refugees fleeing horror will still be denied entry into the U.S. Given how limited Trump’s definition of a relationship is, you can be sure that groups will ‘see him in court’ shortly.
#EnergyDominance. That’s the theme of Trump’s speech at the Department of Energy today. But it’s code for more coal mining and more drilling across our public lands and waters, at the expense of America’s public health and thriving outdoor economy. If Trump really cared about America’s energy future instead of the further enrichment of polluters, he’d focus on renewable energy, which is an economic boon producing record-breaking job growth each year. And since Trump has a loose grasp on the facts, we gave his claims on “energy dominance” a reality check here.
Frenemies. Ever since their famous death grip handshake, the relationship between Trump and French President Emmanuel Macron has been tense. Most recently, Macron extended an invitation to American scientists eager to help fight climate change in the wake of Trump’s decision to withdraw from the Paris Agreement. But now, Trump has accepted Macron’s invitation to celebrate Bastille Day.
Jokes. On this week’s episode of Thinking CAP, Michele and Igor sit down with Sen. Al Franken (D-MN) to talk about his transition from comedy to politics, the Senate health care bill, and his new book. And as a bonus (!), Sen. Franken ranks his top five Senate athletes and reveals a little known talent of his own.
UNDER THE RADAR
Seattle. You may know it as the home to Starbucks and Amazon and Bill Gates, but it is also home to one of the most substantial local minimum wage increases in recent years. In 2014, the city passed a bill to gradually raise its minimum wage to $15 an hour. This week, a team of faculty and students at the University of Washington released a working paper looking at the first two phases of the wage hike, up to $13 an hour. Their conclusion, which goes against the vast majority of rigorous minimum wage studies—including a separate study examining Seattle released the week before—was that raising the minimum wage reduced employment and hours worked to the detriment of low-wage workers. Here are five big flaws in the analysis.
Immigrants (Get The Job Done). That’s the name of a new song and music video off The Hamilton Mixtape that shines a light on the contributions immigrants make to America. Watch the video and read the story behind the song here.