South Dakota

Republicans to Weigh Surplus of Tax Policy Options
Standalone bills provide a glimpse into senators’ priorities

South Dakota Sen. John Thune has introduced several standalone bills that could be wrapped into a broader overhaul of the U.S. tax code. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Legislation introduced by Republican senators over the past several months could help guide the upcoming debate on an overhaul of the U.S. tax code.

While the effort is still in the adolescent stage, the bills provide an early look into the priorities members will push for during the forthcoming tax negotiations.

Opinion: GOP Tax Dilemma — Somebody’s Got to Pay More
There’s a reason tax reform doesn’t happen often

South Dakota Sen. John Thune believes that traditional budget scorekeeping underestimates the dynamic effects of tax cuts on the economy, Shapiro writes. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

“Any deduction you look at in the tax code has a constituency behind it,” John Thune said last week as we chatted about taxes in his Senate office. “If you are going to do tax reform that is revenue-neutral … that means that you have to kill some deductions or scale them back.”

Too often Republican oratory depicts tax reform as across-the-board rate reductions where everyone wins and nobody loses. It is like Garrison Keillor’s Lake Wobegon — “where all the children are above average” — but a lot richer.

Senate Looks Ahead to Tax, Debt Limit Debates After Recess
McConnell predicts reconciliation process for tax overhaul

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell met Tuesday with Minority Leader Charles E. Schumer and Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin on raising the debt limit. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

By NIELS LESNIEWSKI and JOE WILLIAMS

Tuesday might not be the last time the Senate leaders address reporters before departing for August recess, but their messages were already setting the stage for September.

McConnell Reveals ‘Skinny’ Bill Text as Midnight Vote Looms
At least 50 senators need to vote for repeal measure

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell walks back to his office Thursday night after introducing the “skinny” bill to repeal the 2010 health care law. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell of Kentucky revealed an eight-page scaled-back repeal of the 2010 health care law Thursday night. The development came as support grew among senators for the so-called skinny repeal as a way to continue the debate on health care legislation.

The amendment to the House-passed health care bill would repeal the 2010 law’s individual mandate and its employer mandate for eight years. It would repeal the law’s medical device tax for three years and increase the amount of money an individual can contribute to a health savings account for three years. It would provide additional funding for community health centers, while defunding Planned Parenthood for one year. Additionally, it would provide states additional flexibility through waivers that would allow states to roll back certain health care law insurance regulations.

CBO: 16 Million More Uninsured Under Potential 'Skinny' Repeal

Senate Republican Conference Chairman John Thune, R-S.D., and his GOP leadership colleagues are drafting a "skinny" repeal bill of the Affordable Care Act that would leave an additional 16 million people without insurance and spike premiums. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

An additional 16 million people would be uninsured by 2026 under a so-called “skinny repeal” measure Senate Republicans may be crafting, according to a Congressional Budget Office report requested by Senate Democrats. The analysis is of provisions that Senate Republicans have said might be in such a measure, but Republicans have not released the actual text.

The estimate evaluates a potential bill that would repeal the 2010 health law’s (PL 111-148 , PL 111-152) individual and employer mandates and medical device tax, as well as its prevention and public health and community health center funds. The Democrats’ interpretation of the GOP bill includes a provision to defund Planned Parenthood for one year. Democrats on the Finance and the Health, Education, Labor and Pensions committees asked for an analysis of selected provisions in the replacement plan measure that Senate Republicans had previously introduced.

Trump, GOP Leaders Near Deal on Tax Principles

Sens. Orrin G. Hatch, R-Utah, left, and John Cornyn, R-Texas, are part of a group that has been working on principles for the GOP effort on overhauling the tax code. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

By ALAN K. OTA and LINDSEY MCPHERSON

Top Republican leaders said Wednesday they are close to a deal with the Trump administration on a broad set of tax goals that will guide overhaul efforts.

Word on the Hill: ADA Anniversary
Little Lobbyists and staffer shuffle

Rhode Island Rep. Jim Langevin speaks during a news conference as part of a series of events celebrating the 20th anniversary of the enactment of the Americans with Disabilities Act in 2010. (Tom Williams/Roll Call via Getty Images file photo)

Today marks the 27th anniversary of the enactment of the Americans with Disabilities Act. The Office of Compliance is commemorating the occasion with online training for Capitol Hill staffers.

Training videos entitled “Preventing Disability Discrimination in the Congressional Workplace” are available on the agency’s website, featuring introductions from Sen. Tammy Duckworth, D-Ill., for Senate staffers, and from Rep. Jim Langevin, D-R.I., for House staffers.

GOP Hopes for Obamacare Repeal Rest on ‘Skinny’ Bill
Several other Republican proposals expected to fail

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., can now bring up several GOP health care proposals for a vote after corralling the support necessary on Tuesday to bypass a key procedural hurdle. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Senate Republican hopes to overhaul the U.S. health insurance system appear to hinge on the passage of a “skinny” bill that would only repeal a select few provisions in the 2010 health care law.

GOP senators and aides anticipate that several of the other Republican health care proposals expected to be considered by the chamber in the coming days will fail, clearing the way for a package that would likely just repeal the employer and individual mandates and an excise tax on medical device manufacturers.

Senate Republicans Getting Closer on Health Care

Sen. John Thune, R-S.D., says that “folks are coming around’ on backing the motion to proceed on the health care debate.  (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Senate Republican leaders on Tuesday continued to zero in on their goal of getting 50 votes to proceed to legislation to redo the U.S. health care system. 

Sen. John Thune, the No. 3 in GOP leadership, said “folks are coming around” on backing the motion to proceed on health care debate, but the South Dakotan declined to predict victory on today’s vote. If leadership prevails on the vote, the Senate will keep alive efforts to repeal or repeal and replace the 2010 Affordable Care Act.

Trump Lashes Out at Republicans, Saying They Won’t ‘Protect’ Him
President denounces disloyalty of those he ‘carried’ in last year’s election

President Donald Trump, shown here meeting with Republican senators at the White House on June 27, lambasted unnamed Republican members on Sunday for failing to "protect" him even though they rode his coattails to re-election. (Alex Wong/Getty Images file photo)

President Donald Trump angrily lashed out at unnamed Republican lawmakers on Sunday, saying they should “protect” him as repayment for his 2016 election coattails.

“It's very sad that Republicans, even some that were carried over the line on my back, do very little to protect their President,” Trump tweeted at 4:14 p.m., EDT. That was just over an hour after he arrived back at the White House after spending around four hours at Trump National Golf Club in nearby Sterling, Virginia.