Is This News? (05/22/17)

Because not all news has the words “Trump”, “Russia”, and “scandal” in it.  

 

 

Much like the animals in “Animal Farm”; all news is equal, but some news is more equal than others! In this installment of “Is This News”, we look at some of the stories that had fell through the cracks because of last week’s massive Trump-Russia news dump and President Trump going on his world trip hailing Hydra…?

 

 

Regardless, here’s some of the news you might have missed in this “Is This News?”

 

Bloomberg Politics is reporting that the House GOP may have to do a re-vote on the American Health Care Act (AHCA) once the Congressional Budget Office’s (CBO) report comes out. Considering the House Republicans were barely able to pass their Obamacare replacement plan the first time, is this news that they might have to pass the AHCA again?

 

This is potentially really big news. Honestly, it all depends on whether the GOP has to move AHCA through the House again.

 

For those that don’t know, even though the current version of the AHCA passed the House, Speaker of the House Paul Ryan still hasn’t sent the bill to the Senate over the chance that parts of the bill would need to be revised due to the Senate’s rules regarding reconciliation (a method in which the Senate could pass a bill with a simple majority). House Republicans want the bill to be able to pass with a simple majority, thus not giving any concessions to Senate Democrats. Mainly, Speaker Ryan is holding the bill until the CBO’s estimates on the bill are complete, to see if reconciliation is possible for the AHCA in the Senate.

 

However, by waiting for the CBO’s estimates, that could spell trouble for the chances of the AHCA passing either the Senate or the House once more. Based on multiple estimates from public health experts, the CBO analysis is suspected to not be good news for Republicans, considering the number of people the AHCA would cut from healthcare coverage would be substantial. These estimates would undoubtedly make Republicans, both from the House and Senate, hesitant in supporting the bill in fears of getting booted out of office come the 2018 midterms.

 

Considering the current unpopularity of the AHCA, another vote in the House, with unfavorable CBO estimates, could be seen a problematic for those that want to see it passed.

 

 

Even though President Trump’s first major budgetary proposal won’t be released officially till tomorrow, the Washington Post is reporting that the plan includes major cuts to safety net programs like Medicaid and anti-poverty initiatives. Even though this one is pretty obvious, we’ll still ask, is this news?

 

Yes, this is literally the definition of news!

 

While no one should be surprised that a Republican president’s budget proposal would include cuts to safety net programs, the severity of the cuts is surprising. The cuts to Medicaid follows the AHCA’s plan of cutting $800 billion over 10 years. The old CBO estimates claim that 10 million individuals would lose health insurance over 10 years if the Medicaid cuts were to come into effect.

 

As for the cuts to the anti-poverty initiatives, the Washington Post report also says that President Donald Trump’s budget proposal includes giving states that ability to impose work requirements for people who are in anti-poverty programs. The basis for the idea comes from Republicans that want people to start shifting from anti-poverty programs to the workforce. They believe a work requirement would go a long way in doing that.

 

While we will know more when President Trump’s budget proposal comes out tomorrow, considering the source and the proposals themselves, cuts like these to many government programs are expected.

 

 

Late last week, The New York Times reported that Attorney General Jeff Sessions announced that he would order federal prosecutors to pursue tougher charges and sentences against criminal suspects. That would also mean pursuing tougher sentences on nonviolent drug crimes, a practice that the Obama administration tried to reverse during their time at the White House. So the question, is this news?

 

YES, this is most definitely news!

 

It’s intriguing (and a little backwards) in how the Trump administration handles issues revolving criminal justice. Take this announcement that essentially rolls back many of the efforts the Obama administration had tried to make in regards to reforming the criminal justice system – particularly rolling back sentences on those that had been convicted of a nonviolent drug charges.

 

Whether it’s the disproportionate number of minorities serving time in prison or the questions of police shootings in the US, everyone generally agrees that the criminal justice system, at the very least, needs to be reevaluated. Specifically, both Republicans and Democrats agree that tougher sentences on nonviolent drug crimes only makes the problem of mass incarceration in the US that much worse. However, the Trump administration looks at all that data and does this to it:

 

 

President Donald Trump likes to be known as the “law and order” president. His administration is only taking that policy and going to its natural fruition. In other words, we should expect more criminal justice policies like these for the next few years under the Trump administration; data be damned!!

 

 

(Photo Credit: Pixabay.com, Google Images)

 

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