The Republican Hypocrisy Hall of Fame

The security clearance of any officer or employee of the federal government who has exercised extreme carelessness in the handling of classified information shall be revoked.” — Senate Bill 3135, co-sponsored last year (to shame Hillary Clinton) by 16 Republican senators: Cory Gardner, John Cornyn, Shelley Moore Capito, Tim Scott, James Risch, Pat Roberts, Dean Heller, Kelly Ayotte, John Barrasso, David Perdue, Johnny Isakson, Thom Tillis, John Thune, David Vitter, Mike Rounds and James Inhofe

“Those who mishandled classified info have had their sec clearances revoked, lost their jobs, faced fines, & even been sent to prison.”

— Reince Priebus, tweet, July 6, 2016

Cornyn as FBI director would cause big Senate shakeup

It would trigger a new round of leadership elections and a nasty confirmation fight — in the midst of Obamacare negotiations.

.. Sen. John Thune (R-S.D.), the No. 3 Republican, would be the early favorite to succeed Cornyn as whip. A source close to Thune said he is likely to run for the whip position if Cornyn leaves the Senate.

.. Cornyn’s elevation could also disrupt fragile negotiations to repeal Obamacare. Cornyn has been in nearly every meeting regarding the Senate’s attempt to pass a new health care bill.

.. If he’s offered the job and accepts, Cornyn’s confirmation could turn into a brutal partisan affair that would grip the Senate for weeks.

.. But Cornyn is also an intensely partisan Republican and would surely face attacks over his recent defense of Trump even as the Republican previously called for special prosecutors during Barack Obama’s presidency.

.. Democrats are already suggesting that they will make their votes contingent on a special prosecutor being appointed to investigate Trump associates’ ties with Russia.

.. The Texas Republican has deep relationships with his GOP Senate colleagues from two terms running the party’s campaign arm and said in a recent interview that he wants to be Senate leader someday.

.. But Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell is showing no signs of giving up the top leadership job. The Kentucky senator is plotting a run for reelection in 2020, which could keep him as leader until 2026.

.. the firing of Comey has raised the question of whether future presidents will summarily fire directors chosen by the other party.

The Senate Takes Up Health Care Reform

The Senate will take up health care reform after a revised version of the American Health Care Act (AHCA) passed through the House last Thursday.

Senator Roy Blunt (R-MO), a member of Senate leadership, said that the Senate will wait for a new CBO score before preceding to a vote.

.. Mick Mulvaney, head of the Office of Management and Budget, said, “The bill that passed out of the House is most likely not going to be the bill that is put in front of the president.”

Members of the working group include Sens.

  1. Mitch McConnell,
  2. Bob Portman (R-OH),
  3. John Corynyn (R-TX),
  4. John Thune (R-SD),
  5. Mike Enzi (R-WY),
  6. Orrin Hatch (R-UT),
  7. Lamar Alexander (R-TN),
  8. Tom Cotton (R-AR),
  9. Cory Gardner (R-CO),
  10. Ted Cruz (R-TX),
  11. John Barrasso (R-WY), and
  12. Pat Toomey (R-PA).

.. The Senate working group does not feature two of the bill’s biggest critics, Senators Susan Collins (R-ME) and Bill Cassidy (R-LA).

.. The two senators joined a separate group of Republicans studying potential health care solutions including Sens.

  1. Shelley Moore Capito (R-WV),
  2. Johnny Isakson (R-GA), and
  3. Mike Rounds (R-SD)
  4. Susan Collins (R-ME)
  5. Bill Cassidy (R-LA)

.. Senators Cassidy and Collins released a separate Obamacare repeal bill, The Patient Freedom Act.

States have three options under the Cassidy-Collins plan:

  1. Retain the Affordable Care Act, allowing individuals and small businesses able to purchase insurance on state exchanges and low-income residents can receive federal subsidies to cover the cost of the program. States that expanded Medicaid can continue to provide increased Medicaid coverage.
  2. States can receive most of the federal funding, including Medicaid expansion and subsidies to create tax-free Health Savings Accounts for low-income citizens. Low-income residents can use the HSAs to purchase insurance and pay for health care.
  3. Allow states to create an alternative solution without federal assistance. States would retain the power to design and regulate insurance markets without federal intervention.

.. Senators Rand Paul (R-KY), Mike Lee (R-UT), and Ted Cruz (R-TX) were the strongest opponents of the American Health Care Act. Senator Paul crafted his own conservative plan for repealing Obamacare and worked with the Freedom Caucus to push for an even more conservative Obamacare repeal bill. The Freedom Caucus endorsed Sen. Paul’s plan.