Feb 1, 2017

Hatch: Obamacare taxes "need to go" in repeal

Caitlin Owens, author of Vitals

Alex Brandon/AP

Senate Finance Committee chairman Orrin Hatch told the U.S. Chamber of Commerce this morning that all of Obamacare's taxes, which are used to finance the law, need to be repealed. As chairman of the Finance Committee, which has jurisdiction over the taxes, his voice could be a deciding one.

After spending seven years talking about the harm being caused by these taxes, it's difficult to switch gears now and decide that they're fine so long as they're being used to pay for OUR healthcare bill.

There's been disagreement among Republicans about whether to repeal the taxes — including taxes on health insurers and medical device makers — along with the subsidies and mandates. The repeal bill will be handled through a budget process called reconciliation, which avoids a filibuster. The problem is that not all of Obamacare can be replaced through this method, so some members are worried that repealing the taxes now will make it hard to pay for an eventual full replacement.

What to watch: Whether worried Republicans fall into line with the chairman, or whether they continue to try to keep the taxes temporarily.

Go deeper

The latest: George Floyd protests nationwide

Police officers wearing riot gear push back demonstrators outside of the White House on Monday. Photo: Jose Luis Magana/AFP via Getty Images

Protests over the death of George Floyd and other police-related killings of black people continued for a seventh day across the U.S., with President Trump threatening on Monday to deploy the military if the unrest continues.

The latest: New York Attorney General Letitia James responded to Trump's comments by tweeting that he "is not a dictator & he doesn’t have the right to unilaterally deploy U.S. military across American states. We will guard the right to peaceful protest & will not hesitate to go to court to protect our constitutional rights during this time & well into the future."

2 hours ago - World

The world watches America burn

Newspaper front pages via the Newseum

The world is watching the grief and anger, violence and pain in America's streets.

The big picture: The U.S. accounts for nearly one-third of the world's deaths from COVID-19. The killing of a black man, George Floyd, by police has sparked days of protest and nights of chaos in America's major cities.

Trump walks to historic St. John's Church outside White House as protests rage

President Trump walked to the historic St. John’s Episcopal Church, located just steps away from the White House across Lafayette Park, on Monday night as protests linked to the murder of George Floyd raged across the capital and cities around the country.

What we're seeing: Military police and park rangers used physical force and tear gas on peaceful protestors to clear the area so that Trump could "pay respects" to the church that was damaged by a fire on Sunday.