Washington Digest: House returns to red meat agenda

WASHINGTON — The House Republican majority opened the second year of the 114th Congress with votes to overturn President Barack Obama’s signature health care law, defund Planned Parenthood, rein in federal regulations and restrain class-action lawsuits.

Among its first actions, the House approved a budget reconciliation bill that cleared the Senate last year — and for the first time sent Obama a bill that would repeal the Affordable Care Act as well as defund Planned Parenthood. Obama swiftly vetoed the bill.

Although Republicans understood their effort would ultimately fail, they nonetheless hailed the fact that a bill repealing Obamacare had made it to his desk. Senate Democrats had thwarted previous efforts to achieve that goal.

“This is a monumental vote. For the first time since Republicans took control of this House in 2011, we are in a position to send a bill to the President’s desk that would dismantle Obamacare and eliminate federal funding for Planned Parenthood,” said Rep. Bradley Byrne, R-Ala. “We should get rid of this awful law and, instead, move forward with health care reform that puts the interests of the patient first, not the interests of the federal government.”

Rep. James McGovern, D-Mass., argued against the effort.

“This is yet another blatant political move by Republicans to appease their right-wing base with no thought for the millions of Americans this bill would hurt. Republican leaders have said it themselves,” he said. “Senate Republican Whip John Cornyn called this ‘a political exercise,’ saying ‘we all recognize the president isn’t likely to sign this bill so it’s not going to become a law.’ Then why on Earth are we wasting the American people’s time with this terrible bill?”

In his veto message, Obama said repealing the Affordable Care Act would reverse gains that have been made in reducing the number of uninsured Americans.

“The Affordable Care Act includes a set of fairer rules and stronger consumer protections that have made health care coverage more affordable, more attainable, and more patient centered. And it is working. About 17.6 million Americans have gained health care coverage as the law’s coverage provisions have taken effect,” he said.

The bill was approved, 240-181. Reps. Mark Amodei, Joe Heck and Cresent Hardy, all R-Nev., voted in favor of it. Rep. Dina Titus, D-Nev., did not vote.

Federal regulations

The House voted 245-174 in favor of the Searching for and Cutting Regulations that are Unnecessarily Burdensome (SCRUB) Act, which proponents said would remove outdated and costly federal regulations.

“One-hundred-and-seventy-five-thousand, two-hundred-and-sixty-five pages of federal regulations are stifling economic growth and opportunity in this country. The SCRUB Act sets up a process to finally review and get off the books and out of the way many of these outdated, burdensome, duplicative and unnecessary regulations,” said bill sponsor Rep. Jason Smith, R-Mo.

Rep. Jared Polis, D-Colo., spoke against the bill, saying it was too arbitrary and broad in scope — advocating instead for a more targeted approach.

“Let’s do it through a legislative approach that targets the authority for a specific set of rules that this body agrees are not necessary or are counterproductive, as we have done in a number of instances, and go after it,” he said.

Amodei, Hardy and Heck voted in favor. Titus did not vote.

Asbestos class action lawsuits

The House voted 211-188 to approve legislation setting new limits on class action lawsuits and establishing additional requirements for those seeking compensation through asbestos trusts that were established in bankruptcy courts to pay out such claims.

The White House issued a veto threat of the bill, saying it would narrow the availability of class actions, potentially dissuading plaintiffs from pursuing meritorious claims, including under important civil rights, privacy and consumer protection laws, and denying them access to justice.

Moreover, the White House argued against requiring additional reporting and disclosure by the asbestos trust system, saying fraud is not rampant and such disclosure would threaten individual privacy and expose asbestos victims to identity thieves and other predators.

Rep. Blake Farenthold, R-Texas, said the additional reporting is needed to make sure that money from the asbestos trusts is not siphoned away through fraudulent claims. He also said the information does not threaten privacy and is focused on ensuring that individuals do not game the system through multiple claims.

“People who are gaming the system (making) multiple claims in state or federal courts,” he said. ” You are only supposed to be compensated once.”

Heck, Hardy and Amodei voted for the bill. Titus did not vote.

Contact Peter Urban at purban@reviewjournal.com or at 202-783-1760. Find him on Twitter: @PUrbanDC.

ad-high_impact_4
Local
NFR dirt is the most important part of the rodeo
NFR has bull riding, saddle bronc, barrel racing, tie down roping, steer wrestling, team roping, and bareback riding but one of the most important part of the rodeo according to construction maintenance manager Allen Rheinheimer is the dirt that they all take place in. Review-Journal sports writer Ed Graney chats with Rheinheimer and ground man John Jamison to get an inside look at the dirt in Thomas & Mack at the National Finals Rodeo.
North Las Vegas Pedestrian-cyclist Survey
North Las Vegas officials are seeking comments from residents in hopes of bettering their experience in the city. An online survey has been set up for citizens to share their opinions and give their suggestions.
NFR Day 8 Highlights
Highlights from round 8 of the 2018 Wrangler National Finals Rodeo from the Thomas & Mack in Las Vegas, Nevada. (CBS Sports Network/PRCA)
NFR - Wyatt Denny Talks About Representing Nevada
NFR Bareback Rider Wyatt Denny talks to host Cassie Soto about being the only Nevada representative in the NFR this year and his skiing talent.
Junior NFR Offers Breakaway Roping for Girls
Unlike the NFR at the Thomas and Mack Center, the Junior NFR at the Las Vegas Convention Center offers breakaway roping for girls 19-and under. This event allows the young women of rodeo one more event to participate in, aside from barrel racing.
North Las Vegas Pedestrian-Cyclist Survey
North Las Vegas officials are seeking comments from residents in hopes of bettering their experience in the city. An online survey has been set up for citizens to share their opinions and give their suggestions.
NFR Day 7 Highlights
Highlights from the 7th go-round of the 2018 National Finals Rodeo in Las Vegas on Tuesday, Dec. 12, 2018. (CBS Sports Network/PRCA)
NFR- Jessica Routier
NFR Barrel Racer Jessica Routier talks about being at her first NFR, her horses, and her family with Cassie Soto in front of Thomas & Mack before round 7 of the National Finals Rodeo.
The Nevada State Museum
The Nevada State Museum of Las Vegas, located at the Springs Preserve, covers all eras of the state, from prehistoric to today.
NFR Day 6 Highlights
Highlights from the 6th go-round of the 2018 National Finals Rodeo in Las Vegas on Tuesday, Dec. 11, 2018. (CBS Sports Network/PRCA)
Las Vegas Bowl Teams Talk Shop at Maverick Helicopters
Arizona State, Fresno State talk to the media at Maverick Helicopters.
NFR- Will Lowe
NFR Bareback Rider Will Lowe talks with Aaron Drawhorn about his 15 years at the NFR, starting to ride at age 7, and renewing his wedding vowels this year in Las Vegas before night 6 of the National Finals Rodeo.
Veterans Village
Veterans Village and Veterans Village II were created to assist homeless veterans get back on their feet. (Mat Luschek/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Holiday party cocktails
Veterans Village II Unveils Model Container Home
Veteran's Village II unveiled a model container home. The organization will be building 10 of these container homes to house veterans of the village. Mat Luschek/Las Vegas Review-Journal
NFR Day 5 Highlights
NFR Day 5 Highlights
NFR- Kory Koontz
NFR Team Roper Kory Koontz talks about his years at the event since 1992, his dynamic with a 23 year old partner Dustin Egusquiza, and how he contines to perform with diabetes with Aaron Drawhorn outside of Thomas & Mack before round 5 of the National Rodeo Finals.
Meet the woman behind the Las Vegas Bowl
Melissa Meacham-Grossman is the associate executive director for the Las Vegas Bowl. (Jason Bracelin/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
NFR Highlights Day 4
NFR highlights day 4
NFR Introduces Golden Circle Of Champions
For the first time, the National Finals Rodeo has partnered with the Santa Maria Elks Rodeo to offer the Golden Circle of Champions. The event brings in 20 children and their families from around the country that have previously or are currently fighting life-threatening cancer.
NFR Time Lapse 2018
Watch Thomas & Mack Center transform from a basketball court to an arena fit for the National Finals Rodeo in Las Vegas. Video courtesy of Las Vegas Events.
RJ's Mark Anderson on the UNLV loss
Review-Journal sports reporter Mark Anderson recaps UNLV's loss at Illinois. Video by Mark Anderson/Las Vegas Review-Journal
Joel Ntambwe on performance against Illinois
UNLV forward Joel Ntambwe talks about the 18 points he scored against Illinois. Video by Mark Anderson/Las Vegas Review-Journal
Amauri Hardy on loss at Illinois
UNLV guard Amauri Hardy talks about Saturday's loss at Illinois. Video by Mark Anderson/Las Vegas Review-Journal
Marvin Menzies on loss at Illinois
UNLV basketball coach Marvin Menzies talks about Saturday's loss at Illinois. Video by Mark Anderson/Las Vegas Review-Journal
Baby Roman's mother and his doctor talk about his medical condition
Baby Roman's mother and his doctor talk about his medical condition. Roman was born Dec. 13, 2017 and has been at Sunrise Children Hospital with a rare heart condition since. Bizuayehu Tesfaye/Las Vegas Review-Journal @bizutesfaye
NFR 2018: Unique Gifts At Cowboy Christmas
Before you head over to the Thomas and Mack for NFR, be sure to check out some of the unique and one of a kind items at Cowboy Christmas!
NFR: Dale Brisby
Day two of the National Finals Rodeo has started and Premier Vegas Sports host Cassies Soto interviews social media influencer Super Puncher Dale Brisby.
103-year-old celebrates birthday at gym
Joe Rosa of Las Vegas celebrated his 103rd birthday celebration at 24 Hour Fitness in Summerlin Friday, Dec. 7, 2018. After being the victim of a hit-and-run crash, Rosa's medical team told him he would never walk again. Rosa credits physical therapy and a personal trainer at the club for his return to health. (K.M. Cannon/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Henderson native Mason Clements finished second in NFR bareback go-round
Mason Clements discusses his second-place bareback ride on opening night of the National Finals Rodeo in Las Vegas, Nevada, on Dec 6, 2018. (Ron Kantowski/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Tony Sanchez wraps up the UNLV season
UNLV football coach Tony Sanchez wraps up the season. Video by Mark Anderson/Las Vegas Review-Journal
TOP NEWS
News Headlines
Home Front Page Footer Listing
Circular
You May Like

You May Like