Krauthammer: AHCA Defeat A Philosophical Victory for Obama

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On Friday’s broadcast of the Fox News Channel’s “Special Report,” columnist Charles Krauthammer argued that the American Health Care Act’s defeat was a philosophical victory for President Obama, and “The country has changed. There is now the generalized expectation that there is an entitlement to universal healthcare.” Krauthammer said, “The big picture, I think, is that it’s a victory for — philosophically, for Obama. He — this is now seven years since the act was put into place. The country has changed. There is now the generalized expectation that there is an entitlement to universal healthcare. That was always around to some extent, but I think if you listen to the terms of the debate, the main argument was who’s going to lose, how many are going to lose? Which implies that nobody ought to lose, everybody ought to have healthcare. And I think, philosophically, what did the Republicans have to offer? The Obamacare bill said universal healthcare. The bill that [House Speaker Representative Paul] Ryan (R-WI) was offering was, what — how could you, other than we made a promise, we want to keep it, what was the essence of it? There wasn’t.” Krauthammer continued that Republicans should have
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Ryan: ‘Tomorrow, We’re Proceeding’ on American Health Care Act

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While speaking to reporters on Capitol Hill about the American Health Care Act after the GOP’s meeting on the bill on Thursday, Speaker of the House Representative Paul Ryan (R-WI) stated, “tomorrow, we’re proceeding.” Ryan said, “We have been promising the American people that we will repeal and replace this broken law [the Affordable Care Act], because it’s collapsing, and it’s failing families, and tomorrow, we’re proceeding.” After he concluded with his statement, Ryan left, and did not answer a shouted question on whether the bill has enough members who are willing to vote for it to pass. Follow Ian Hanchett on Twitter @IanHanchett
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Spicer: ‘Tomorrow, It’s Time to Vote’ on AHCA, ‘This Is the Only Train Leaving the Station’

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On Thursday’s broadcast of the Fox News Channel’s “O’Reilly Factor,” White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer stated of the American Health Care Act, “tomorrow, it’s time to vote.” And that “this is the only train leaving the station that’s going to be repealing Obamacare, and giving us an alternative to replace it. This is the train that’s leaving the station.” Spicer said, “My understanding, he’s going to get it. The president’s been working the phones. He’s had in-person meetings throughout the day. His team’s been up and down Capitol Hill, here at the White House. … And tomorrow, it’s time to vote.” He further stated the AHCA is “finally going to be the repeal and replace that they’ve waited for for a long time.” Spicer added that Trump is “not at all” disappointed with the AHCA, and the president “continues to make tremendous progress” on getting votes for the bill. Spicer later said, “I think, at the end of the day, this is the only train leaving the station that’s going to be repealing Obamacare, and giving us an alternative to replace it. This is the train that’s leaving the station.” Follow Ian Hanchett on Twitter @IanHanchett
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Graham: I’ll Do ‘Whatever It Takes’ to Get Gorsuch Confirmed, If Dems Filibuster, ‘We Would Have to Change the Rules’


On Thursday’s “Mike Gallagher Show,” Senator Lindsey Graham (R-SC) vowed that he would do “Whatever it takes” to get Judge Neil Gorsuch on the Supreme Court and that if the Democrats filibuster Gorsuch, “we would have to change the rules to have the Supreme Court like everybody else.” Graham said [relevant remarks begin around 2:00] that if there was a filibuster on Gorsuch, it would be “because politics has taken over reason, and that would be a shame.” When asked if he would have to use the nuclear option if there was a filibuster, Graham answered, “Whatever it takes to get him on the court, I will do.” He further stated, “[I]f my Democratic colleagues choose to filibuster this guy, then they will be telling me that they don’t accept the election results, 306 electoral votes, that they’re trying to delegitimize President Trump, and that’s not right, and we would have to change the rules to have the Supreme Court like everybody else.” Graham further said that he thinks there are Democrats who will vote for Gorsuch, and “I hope we can get 60 votes and not change 200-plus years of history.” He continued, “I will do whatever’s necessary, and I’ve
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GOP Rep Massie on AHCA: ‘We’re Afraid’ Trump’s ‘A One-Term President If This Passes’

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On Wednesday’s broadcast of CNN’s “OutFront,” Thomas Massie (R-KY) stated that he’s “afraid” President Trump is “a one-term president” if the American Health Care Act passes. Massie said, “They may pull the bill from the floor, or they may push it to the floor, and if they do, I think it’ll fail. He added, “We’re afraid he’s a one-term president if this passes. We are trying to save him.” When asked about whether he was worried if Trump would campaign against him if he voted against the AHCA, Massie answered, “[I]n Kentucky, the vote against this bill is still the right vote, whether Democrats are for no or Republicans are for no, there’s just no constituency for this bill in Kentucky.” Massie concluded, “[W]hen president trump took the advice of the Heritage [Foundation], the Federalist Society, and came up with a good Supreme Court nominee, he was a hero. But then when he started taking the advice of [House Speaker Representative] Paul Ryan (R-WI) and lobbyists here in Washington, DC, his ratings went down ten points. And I hope that’s what he sees from this, that we’re trying to save him from bad advice, and maybe he’ll start taking advice from
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Krauthammer: ‘Hard to See’ GOP Ultimately Repudiating Trump and Ryan on Healthcare

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On Wednesday’s broadcast of the Fox News Channel’s “Special Report,” columnist Charles Krauthammer argued that “it’s hard to see” the GOP repudiating both President Trump and House Speaker Representative Paul Ryan (R-WI) on Obamacare replacement. Krauthammer said that while it’s too early to say Trump is facing a “make or break” moment, “it would certainly really damage the Trump presidency. And that’s why I think that, in the end, these things happen in every presidency, but when you have the fate of the presidency and the fate of a speakership hanging on the road, it’s hard to see that in the end, that his own party is going to repudiate them.” He added, “I think, in the end, there’s so much at stake. And I think there is this Cruz option…that they take a risk, and add a change in what’s called the coverage mandate, all the things that Obamacare requires that you have in your plan, which is the worst part of the deal, that they are promising now, the HHS secretary will take out. But the conservatives are saying a new HHS secretary could restore it, so we want it in the law. I think that would be a reasonable
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Matthews: Dems Should Vote Against Gorsuch ‘Because It’s Not His Turn’ – ‘It’s Merrick Garland’s Turn’

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On Tuesday’s broadcast of MSNBC’s “Hardball,” anchor Chris Matthews argued Democrats shouldn’t vote to confirm Judge Neil Gorsuch’s Supreme Court nomination “Because it’s not his turn. It’s Merrick Garland’s turn, and everyone knows it.” Matthews said, “A president nominates a Supreme Court justice, the Senate deliberates on the nomination. We will not get back to such respect if we let Trump exploit the vacancy [Senate Majority Leader Senator] Mitch McConnell (R-KY) created. We cannot allow these two opportunists to complete what we call in basketball the alley-oop play. … I don’t want to see Donald rTump stuff his nominee through the hoop. Why? Because it’s not his turn. It’s Merrick Garland’s turn, and everyone knows it. Vote nay on Gorsuch, demand the 60 votes, and don’t give them to Trump. It’s not this guy’s turn. It’s not his guy’s turn.” (h/t Mediaite) Follow Ian Hanchett on Twitter @IanHanchett
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Gorsuch: Roe Is a Precedent – Precedent Can Be Overruled, But You Start With a ‘Heavy Presumption in Favor of Precedent’

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During his hearing before the Senate Judiciary Committee on Tuesday, Supreme Court nominee Judge Neil Gorsuch stated of Roe v. Wade, “a good judge will consider it as precedent of the United States Supreme Court, worthy as treatment of precedent like any other.” He also said that in general, “You start with a heavy, heavy presumption in favor of precedent. … And yes, in a very few cases, you may overrule precedent.” Gorsuch was asked about the value of precedent. He started by saying he hasn’t made any promises on how he would rule, and doesn’t think it’s appropriate to do so. He continued, “One of the facts, one of the features of law that you have to decide it on is on the basis of precedent, as you point out. And for a judge, precedent is a very important thing. We don’t go reinvent the wheel every day, and that’s the equivalent point of the law of precedent.” He further stated that the age of the precedent, the “reliance interest” built up around it, whether it has been reaffirmed, whether the doctrine around it has been built up, and its workability are important factors in evaluating precedent. He added, “You start
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Dem Sen Whitehouse: We Had ‘The Equivalent of an Election Robbery’ In 2016

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On Tuesday’s broadcast of CNN’s “New Day,” Senator Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI) reacted to the FBI announcing it is investigating possible collusion between the Trump campaign and Russia by saying, “you have the equivalent of an election robbery, and it would be easy for them to say, ‘Hey, we’re on the case.’ Finally, he did so, which I think is the right thing to do.” Whitehouse said, “For as long as there have been bank robberies, the FBI has been showing up after the bank robbery, to say, ‘We’re on the case.’ And here, you have the equivalent of an election robbery, and it would be easy for them to say, ‘Hey, we’re on the case.’ Finally, he did so, which I think is the right thing to do. And now we’ll just go forward with our hearings, under Chairman [Senator Lindsey] Graham (R-SC), and we’ll continue to try to get to the bottom of what took place.” (h/t Mediaite) Follow Ian Hanchett on Twitter @IanHanchett
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Leahy: Gorsuch ‘Selected By Extreme Interest Groups,’ ‘Nominated by a President Who Lost the Popular Vote’

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During the Senate Judiciary Committee’s hearing on Supreme Court nominee Judge Neil Gorsuch on Monday, Senator Pat Leahy (D-VT) stated that Gorsuch is “a nominee selected by extreme interest groups, and nominated by a president who lost the popular vote by nearly 3 million votes.” Leahy began by talking about the refusal to hold hearings on Judge Merrick Garland’s nomination to the Supreme Court, saying, “Some liken it to the action of the tyrannical kings, who claim they have sole control, as one our senators referred to here a few minutes ago. But it was a blockade backed by then candidate Donald Trump. Committee Republicans met behind closed doors and declared that they would surrender the independence of this committee to do the majority leader’s bidding, and they ignored the Constitution in the process. In fact, this unprecedented obstruction is one of the greatest stains on the 200-year history of this committee. The — remember, the Judiciary Committee once stood against a court-packing scheme of a Democratic president, that would have eroded judicial independence, and that was a proud moment. Now, Republicans on this committee are guilty of their own court-unpacking scheme, and the blockade of Chief Judge Merrick Garland
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