The Obama administration announced Wednesday that consumers may remain for another two years in insurance plans that don’t meet the health care law’s benefit requirements, yet another in a series of delays or adjustments of large swaths of the president’s signature legislative achievement.
OMB Director Sylvia Mathews Burwell appears before the Senate and House Budget committees today to defend Obama’s fiscal 2015 budget, and the president’s $56 billion wish list will likely be a lively topic of discussion. That money exceeds the spending limits set by the omnibus spending bill (PL 113-67) enacted last year and quickly drew rebukes from Republicans, including House Speaker John A. Boehner and House Budget Chairman Rep. Paul Ryan (R-WI)Heritage ActionScorecardRep. Paul RyanHouse Republican Average65%, who called Obama’s proposal “a campaign brochure.”
House and Senate leaders in both parties are promising quick action on potentially hundreds of millions of dollars in U.S. economic aid to Ukraine along with possible sanctions against Russia after its invasion of Crimea.
House Majority Leader Rep. Eric Cantor (R-VA)Heritage ActionScorecardRep. Eric CantorHouse Republican Average61% said he had spoken to House committee chairmen on Monday about assembling a Ukranian aid package, including possible loan guarantees.
Three months after the administration unveiled a controversial new rule for 501(c)(4) nonprofits, both liberal and conservatives groups are hoping a record amount of comments and a deluge of attention from Capitol Hill will persuade the Internal Revenue Service to at least pare back the proposals before finalizing the new rule.
“No one thinks the proposals are perfect. There is near unanimity among liberals and conservatives that the effort was a bit too broad,” said Stephen Spaulding, a staff counsel with the liberal advocacy group Common Cause, which is generally supportive of revamping campaign finance laws.
House Ways and Means Chairman Dave Camp (R-Mich.) has taken up the battalion in Congress to beat back the regulations. His bill to place a one-year moratorium on finalizing the regulations passed, with about a dozen Democrats helping out, on Wednesday.
“The construction of the proposed new rules will restrict the free speech of citizens and the groups with which they may freely associate under the Constitution. … This purported government interest in clarity must be weighed against the fundamental First Amendment freedoms of speech and association,” Camp said in his comments.
The largest piece of veterans legislation in decades — aimed at expanding health care, education and other benefits — was rejected Thursday by the Senate on a procedural issue after proponents failed to obtain 60 votes to keep the bill alive.
Wrangling over an issue — veterans — that often receives bipartisan support, the legislation died on a vote of 56-41, with only two Republicans voting for it.