We determine if President Trump’s “Buy America, Hire America” executive order, Georgia’s 6th District Special Election, and the GOP’s (hypothetical) healthcare proposal are news worthy.
Much like the animals in “Animal Farm”; all news is equal, but some news is more equal than others! We see if these stories are worthy of their headlines in another installment of “Is This News?”
On Tuesday the Washington Post reported that President Donald Trump signed a “Buy American, Hire American” executive order where it would tighten rules for awarding visas to skilled foreign workers and directing federal agencies to not hire foreign contractors for government projects. So, is this new executive order from President Trump news?
Yes and no.
So far the Trump administration has tried to create legislative changes through the use of executive orders. This most recent executive order – “Buy America, Hire America” – looks to be in line with President Trump’s other nationalistic centered executive orders thus far. While the “Buy America, Hire America” order could have major ramifications on companies who are built on skilled foreign talent (ie tech companies), in actuality, it isn’t as far-reaching as it initially sounds.
Much of President Trump’s “Buy America, Hire America” order only pertains to the federal government specifically. So unlike congressional legislation, executive orders can only effect change on the federal level. Yet that doesn’t mean President Trump’s past executive orders haven’t had wide ranging effects (see both of Trump’s immigration bans), but this “Buy America, Hire America” order isn’t one of those. This is one of those policies that will make his base happy because it will garner headlines, but at the end of the day, isn’t that substantial to make any real legislative changes.
Politico reported yesterday that Democrat Jon Ossoff fell short of breaking the 50% threshold in the special House election held in Georgia’s conservative 6th District. Because of Ossoff not being able to break that 50% threshold, he’ll have to face Karen Handel, the top Republican vote-getter, in a June runoff. Many had looked to this House race to see if anything can be discerned for the 2018 general elections, so based on that, is this news?
Yes, in the sense that Georgia’s 6th District House race answered some question, but still left some up in the air.
Now the fact that Ossoff got 48% of the vote is very impressive, considering how conservative Georgia’s 6th district is! However, by not winning the House seat outright and going into a runoff vote, the possibility of Democrats taking the Congressional seat becomes much harder. Because as we said earlier, Georgia’s Congressional 6th District is traditionally a very conservative district and add that to the fact that Republican voters will no longer be split with an 18-candidate primary; now suddenly the odds of Democrats winning the runoff election look less likely.
As for what the 6th District House race says for the larger outlook of the 2018 elections, that’s harder to discern. Generally speaking, the results show that the national environment is conducive for the Democrats to gain seats in both the House and Senate. It doesn’t look as if the GOP or President Donald Trump will be immune to the midterm repercussions that most presidential administrations face, but considering Democrats haven’t been able to capitalize on President Trump’s unpopularity, that shouldn’t be dismissed outright either.
ABC News is reporting that Republicans are floating out a healthcare bill trying to get an Obamacare replacement together when Congress comes back into session. They say that talks have been going on for two weeks within various Republican groups to try and hash out something everyone could conceivably vote on. So is this news?
No, not until there’s real/substantial changes regarding this new GOP healthcare plan!
Even though there are rumors that the GOP is getting ready to introduce a new Obamacare replacement bill, in actuality, there are still major issues that Republicans would have to come to terms with before doing so. The fact that the Freedom Caucus wants major entitlements – like Medicaid – to be completely stripped from the GOP’s healthcare plan, while Moderate-Republicans don’t want to publically discuss the specifics of healthcare in fears of losing re-election, means that fundamentally there is this gap which the GOP has to come to terms with before any real legislation can move forward.
We think healthcare analysist/guru Sarah Kliff said it best in this tweet:
These phantom AHCA vote frenzies are great for the fundraising, creating appearance of action. They are not great for actual passing a bill.
— Sarah Kliff (@sarahkliff) April 20, 2017
Any real legislative action in healthcare requires major compromise within the GOP. Until that happens, everything else should be looked at as just talk.
(Photo Credit: Pixabay.com, Washington Post, Politico, ABC News)