Ryan’s Haste to Pass a Bill Could Mean It Runs Afoul of Senate Rules; Still Waiting for a Final Tally on Cost
Healthcare re-vote. It seems that Rose Garden lovefest between Trump and House leadership may have been a bit premature. The House may have to vote on its plan again. Speaker Paul Ryan has yet to send the bill that would repeal the Affordable Care Act to the Senate because parts of it may need to be reworked depending on how bad a score the bill gets from the Congressional Budget Office. The House approved the bill on May 4 on a narrow 217-213 vote.
Special counsel. Former FBI Director Robert Mueller can prosecute federal crimes if that’s what he finds during the investigation into Russian influence in the 2016 election. Mueller will have the same powers as a U.S. attorney. Michael Flynn, the former national security adviser, hasn’t yet told the Senate intelligence committee how he plans to respond to a subpoena for documents for the committee’s Russia investigation. Mueller ran the FBI from 2001 to 2013. A Republican, he was appointed by President George W. Bush and his original ten-year term was extended by two years by President Barack Obama.
NRA ally. Flamboyant Milwaukee County Sheriff David Clarke says Trump has appointed him to an assistant secretary post in the Department of Homeland Security. Nominally a Democrat Clarke is a favorite of right-wing media such as Fox News and was a featured speaker at the 2016 Republican convention. He has spoken at the NRA’s annual gatherings and has compared Black Lives Matter to ISIS. Four people died last year in the county jail, including a man who died of dehydration. The Senate doesn’t have to approve the nomination for this position.
OSHA delay. OSHA wants to stall a requirement that is supposed to go into effect on July 1 for some employees to report injuries and illnesses. Industry associations including the National Chicken Council and the Chamber of Commerce had asked the Department of Labor to reconsider the rule, saying it “will have an adverse impact on workplace safety and health.” The Labor Department has also delayed tougher standards on silica and beryllium which cause lung disease. “This is not a pro-worker administration, and workers will pay the price for rolling back these hard-earned protections – in injury, illness and death,” wrote Jordan Barab, the former deputy assistant secretary of labor for OSHA.
Mar-a-Hackable. The Government Accountability Office is investigating whether electronic communications are secure at Mar-a-Lago. A preliminary look by ProPublica and Gizmodo found Wi-Fi networks at four Trump properties, including Mar-a-Lago, that were vulnerable to being hacked. This is “bad, very bad,” a security expert told ProPublica. “I’d assume the data is already stolen and systems compromised.”
Ailes death. Former Fox News Chairman Roger Ailes, 77, died Thursday after falling at home and injuring his head. Ailes left the channel he launched after allegations he had sexually harassed former anchor Gretchen Carlson. He reportedly received more than $40 million in July 2016. Ailes built Fox into a polarizing news channel that dressed women in outfits that always showed off their legs and promoted Trump as someone who is fit to lead our country.