Morning Action: Veterans Bill Defeated in the Senate
VETERANS BILL. The veterans bill was defeated in the Senate:
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.
Most Republicans said it was too large, too costly and would burden a Department of Veterans Affairs already struggling to keep up with promised benefits.
For the sake of veterans and taxpayers alike, it’s good that this bill has not progressed.
BUDGET BATTLE. Both Republicans and Democrats are preparing for the upcoming budget battles (sub. req’d):
On the eve of the administration’s fiscal 2015 budget release, Democrats and Republicans are hardening their positions on deficits and government spending. The Democrats are hoping to seize the upper hand in forthcoming debates by pointing to $1.8 trillion in spending cuts that have been agreed to since mid-2010, slower growth in health costs and new revenue from the expiration of some Bush tax cuts on high-income earners. Republicans contend the Democrats’ initiatives could unravel the two-year budget deal and are vowing to take a hard line against any efforts to reconfigure the sequester.
OBAMACARE. Some Obamacare enrollees are finding it impossible to cancel their plans:
A Florida TV station reports that a man has spent 50-60 hours trying to cancel his Obamacare plan, and he still can’t get off it.
“We are hearing about a new problem that involves the Affordable Care Act,” said the anchor. “People who signed up for coverage are finding it impossible to cancel their plans. Channel 9’s Lori Brown spoke with an Orlando man who has been trying unsuccessfully to cancel for more than six weeks now.”
RELIGIOUS LIBERTY. The Heritage Foundation interviewed Ryan T. Anderson to discuss the current religious liberty debate being waged in society:
The Foundry: How did people’s beliefs about same-sex marriage become an issue for private businesses?
Ryan Anderson: In New Mexico, a photographer declined to use her artistic talents to promote a same-sex ceremony because of her religious beliefs. The couple complained and the New Mexico Human Rights Commission ordered her to pay a fine of nearly $7,000.Christian adoption and foster-care agencies in Massachusetts, Illinois, and Washington, D.C., have been forced to stop providing those services because they believe that the best place for kids is with a married mom and dad. Other cases include a baker, a florist, a bed-and-breakfast, a student counselor, the Salvation Army, and more.