POLITICS
06/27/2017 06:13 pm ET

Obamacare Repeal Possibly Going To Live On Farm Upstate

It's real pretty, they say.
Aaron Bernstein / Reuters

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Some Republican leaders are balking at food stamp cuts, because it’s one thing to die from lack of health care, but it’s another thing altogether to not enjoy some final cups of ramen while doing so. Mitch McConnell is working to buy conservatives’ votes on the health care bill, so try to comfort your dying friend or relative with the knowledge that the Mike Lee onramp just broke ground. And speaking of comfort, the House voted to reaffirm the U.S.’s commitment to NATO. President Trump’s dove-ish embrace of Vladimir Putin may result in Estonia being invaded, but the good people of that nation should sleep well knowing Louie Gohmert has their back. This is HUFFPOST HILL for Tuesday, June 27th, 2017:

THE NAYS HAVE IT, FOR NOW - Nothing like the prospect of some raucous state office protests over the holiday to really get your yea count up. Marina Fang: ”Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) told senators on Tuesday that he will delay a vote on the Senate GOP health care bill until after the July Fourth recess. ‘We will not be on the bill this week. But we’re still working toward getting at least 50 people in a comfortable place,’ McConnell told reporters, referring to the number of votes needed for the bill to proceed. Senators were originally slated to vote on the highly divisive bill later this week, following a closed-door process by McConnell and other Senate GOP leaders to draft and rush through the bill. McConnell’s decision came one day after the Congressional Budget Office determined that the bill would result in 22 million fewer people with health insurance by 2026, and 15 million fewer just in the next year.” [HuffPost]

Bookmark HuffPost’s running tally of where key GOP senators stand on the health care bill.

BAD BILL IS BAD - Jonathan Cohn: “Senate Republicans and their allies have been insisting that their health care plan would not hurt low-income Americans. The Congressional Budget Office has called B.S. on that claim…. So the poor and middle class would get less help paying for insurance, and the wealthy would get a tax cut. In the end, the CBO says, the changes leave $321 billion unspent. That’s money that would reduce the budget deficit.” [HuffPost]

TRUMP MAKING THINGS WORSE, PT. 298,841,425 - Oh, wow, would you look at the time?  *entire GOP flees from president* Jonathan Martin and Glenn Thrush: “President Trump personally lobbied House Republicans to pass health care legislation this year, but the Trump team’s heavy-handed tactics have been ineffective in the Senate, leaving him on the sidelines while Vice President Mike Pence led the effort to salvage the foundering bill…. But the Republican Senate leaders have made it known that they would much rather negotiate with Mr. Pence than the president, according to several White House and congressional officials. And some of the White House’s efforts have clearly been counterproductive…. Mr. McConnell made clear his unhappiness to the White House after a ′super PAC′ aligned with Mr. Trump started an ad campaign against Senator Dean Heller, Republican of Nevada, when he said last week that he opposed the health care bill. The majority leader called the White House chief of staff, Reince Priebus, to complain that the attacks were ‘beyond stupid,’ according to two Republicans with knowledge of the tense exchange on Saturday.” [NYT]

Elizabeth Warren touts a crazy idea that we do what the rest of the rich world does. ”‘President Obama tried to move us forward with health-care coverage by using a conservative model that came from one of the conservative think tanks that had been advanced by a Republican governor in Massachusetts,’ she said during an interview in her Senate office last week. ‘Now it’s time for the next step. And the next step is single payer.’” [WSJ’s Reid J. Epstein]

GOP TO SPEND BILLIONS TO SAVE BILLIONS - Best not to know how the sausage is made… and how the sausage has its health care taken away from it. Josh Dawsey and Burgess Everett: “White House and Capitol Hill officials are exploring potential deals to divvy up billions of dollars to individual senators’ priorities in a wide-ranging bid to secure votes for the imperiled GOP health care bill…. Republicans in the White House and in Congress were pleasantly surprised that the bill included more savings than they expected — and are trying to figure out if they can dole it out for votes. The Senate has about $188 billion to play with. Among the possible changes: More spending for health savings accounts to appease conservatives such as Sen. Ted Cruz and Sen. Mike Lee, according to three people familiar with the matter, and some additional Medicaid and opioid spending for moderates.” [Politico]

Keep your eyes on the prize: “As news broke Tuesday that Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) would delay a vote on the Senate GOP health care bill, Fox News touted a report on former President Barack Obama’s ‘lavish’ family vacations. ‘Lap of Luxury,’ read the lead headline on Fox News’ online site. ‘Obamas’ Lavish Globetrotting Vacations Raise Democrats’ Eyebrows.’” [HuffPost’s Lydia O’Connor]

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TOTAL RINOS DON’T WANT YOU TO STARVE TO DEATH - Nice to see there’s some humanity left in the Republican conference. Andrew Taylor: “The latest budget push by House GOP leaders has faltered, leaving quarrelling Republicans almost three months behind on their budget work as they head into next week’s recess. Tuesday’s deadlock is the result of a battle between conservatives demanding greater spending cuts and the committee chairmen who would have to carry them out. As a result, a planned vote this week on the GOP’s latest fiscal blueprint was cancelled before it was officially scheduled. Conservatives are demanding greater cuts to benefit programs such as food stamps, but are meeting resistance from other Republicans, including Agriculture Committee Chairman Mike Conaway, R-Texas, who are balking at politically difficult cuts to the program and the possibility of cuts to farm programs.” [AP]

HOUSE STILL LIKES NATO. SAD! - Cristina Marcos: “The House overwhelmingly passed a measure on Tuesday reaffirming the U.S. commitment to the North Atlantic Treaty Organization’s mutual defense clause after President Trump declined to in a speech abroad last month. A bipartisan resolution, which was endorsed by all the top Democratic and GOP leaders, sailed through the House by a vote of 423-4…. [Paul] Ryan led a bipartisan delegation in April to meet with top NATO leaders during a trip to Norway, Poland, Estonia and the United Kingdom amid rising tensions with Russia over its meddling in the U.S. presidential election last year. About a month after Ryan led the delegation, Trump scolded U.S. allies for not spending enough on defense during a speech before NATO leaders.” [The Hill]

CNN PROVIDES WHITE HOUSE SOME MUCH-NEEDED CATHARSIS - Between Anthony Kennedy not resigning and the Senate health care bill, this will really reduce the amount of gum and Bailey’s cereal consumption. Mollie Reilly: “Prompted by questions from two conservative media outlets, White House deputy press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders spent much of Tuesday’s press briefing lambasting the media and accusing news outlets of pushing ‘fake news’ about Russia’s interference in the 2016 election. The questions centered around the resignation of three CNN staffers after the outlet published and then retracted a story claiming that Anthony Scaramucci, a member of President Donald Trump’s transition team, had met with a Russian investor. CNN has apologized to Scaramucci, who tweeted that he accepted the apology. During Tuesday’s briefing, Sanders called on Breitbart’s Charlie Spiering, who asked about the CNN story and why the network’s response wasn’t ‘good enough’ for the president, who had tweeted about the controversy earlier in the day.” [HuffPost]

PLANNED PARENTHOOD DEFUNDING COULD COST TAXPAYERS - Laura Bassett: “The [Senate’s health care bill] blocks Medicaid patients from going to Planned Parenthood for contraceptives and other preventative health services, which the CBO estimates would cause 15 percent of women in rural areas to lose access to family-planning care. This would lead to more unplanned births, especially among poor women who rely on Medicaid. Medicaid pays for roughly 45 percent of all births in the United States, and well above half of births in many states, so the reduced investments in family planning will force the program to increase federal spending on births by $79 million over 10 years, the CBO estimated…. The United States has the highest teen pregnancy rate in the developed world, costing the public more than $9 billion per year, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.” [HuffPost]

STAY FROSTY, STOCK PICKERS - Jerry Zremski: ”Shares of the Australian biotech firm that Rep. Chris Collins touted to other members of the House and to leading Buffalo-area figures collapsed in value Tuesday after the company announced its once-promising new drug for multiple sclerosis had failed in clinical trials. Innate Immunotherapeutics stock, valued as high as $1.77 a share in January, quickly fell to 5 cents a share at the close of trading on the Australian Stock Exchange. Analysts in Australia said prospects for the company’s future appears grim…. Statnews, a business news website, calculated that the Innate stock Collins still owns ― which was worth $45.5 million at its peak ― is now worth only $1.5 million. However, it is unclear how much money Collins invested in the company over the 15 years he has been involved with it.” [Buffalo News]

BECAUSE YOU’VE READ THIS FAR - Here’s a dog that’s very concerned about dehydration.

COMFORT FOOD

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TWITTERAMA

@emmaroller: McConnell is one of the shrewdest political strategists in US politics, but often gets written off as “lol he looks like a turtle”

@AlisonLeiby: Republicans should have to hold a funeral for the health care bill after it gets killed.

@aedwardslevy: some personal news: i have spent like two weeks trying to make a “bill Y votes rough” joke off “billy goats gruff” and it’s just not working

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