Mar 21, 2017

Exclusive: Tom Price rallies small business support for Obamacare repeal

J. Scott Applewhite/AP

HHS Secretary Tom Price briefed 6,500 small business owners on the GOP Obamacare repeal plan across the country during a teleforum Tuesday organized by the National Federation of Independent Business (NFIB). The NFIB has been staunchly opposed to Obamacare and in favor of the House GOP changes to the program, and officials implored members to contact their representatives in support of the plan.

During a question and answer session with Price, NFIB members voiced approval of the Trump agenda, but were concerned about the three-staged approach to the legislation. A farmer from California, for instance, worried that changes made in the first stage would not bring "immediate relief" from rising deductibles and premiums for her three employees. Price argued that a system of tax credits and savings accounts, and the repeal of Obamacare taxes would bring down costs quickly.

Not so fast: The Congressional Budget Office says that premiums would come down eventually, but that they'd actually increase in 2018 and 2019 under the GOP plan. NFIB members worried that changes to Obamacare's insurance regulations will fall by the wayside have reason for concern, given that there appears to be no path to the 60 Senate votes such reform would require.

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Pelosi warns U.S. allies against working with China's Huawei

Nancy Pelosi on Feb. 16. Photo: Sven Hoppe/picture alliance via Getty Images

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi on Sunday cautioned U.S. allies against allowing Chinese telecommunications giant Huawei to develop their 5G networks, arguing at the Munich Security Conference that doing so is akin to “choosing autocracy over democracy," CNBC reports.

Why it matters: Pelosi's hawkish stance marks a rare area of agreement with the Trump administration, which believes Huawei is a national security threat because the Chinese government may be capable of accessing its equipment for espionage.

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Judge sets "scheduling" conference call ahead of Roger Stone sentencing

Photo: Win McNamee/Getty Images

U.S. District Judge Amy Berman Jackson has requested a Feb. 18 "scheduling" conference call in the Roger Stone case, two days before the former Trump associate is set to be sentenced.

Why it matters: Stone's defense team on Friday filed a sealed motion for a new trial — the second time they've done so — amid allegations of juror bias and a growing controversy over Attorney General Bill Barr's intervention in the case.

Biden says Bloomberg's money can't "erase" his record

Photo: Alex Wong/Getty Images.

Former Vice President Joe Biden said on NBC's "Meet the Press" Sunday that Michael Bloomberg's vast fortune cannot "erase" his record, and that scrutiny of Bloomberg's positions on things like race and policing will ramp up now that he's in the national spotlight.

Why it matters: Biden's polling free fall in the wake of poor performances in Iowa and New Hampshire has coincided with a surge for Bloomberg, who appeals to a similar moderate bloc of the Democratic Party. The billionaire's limitless spending capacity poses an especially stark threat to Biden, who has struggled with fundraising.