Trump Tried, Trump Wins, Crisis Coming, Russia's Trump Problem
|House Bill Withdrawn|
I realize the legislation under consideration is far from ideal. But the circumstances we are facing are far from ideal. Repealing a major entitlement, and reforming an issue as complex as health care, is never going to be an easy process.
But the legislation, which went too far for moderates and not far enough for some conservatives, was at least a chance to start the process, an opportunity to move the ball down the field. Instead, the House leadership fumbled the ball.
Just before 4:00, a Washington Post reporter tweeted that President Trump called him to say the bill was being pulled from the floor, and that he did not blame Speaker Paul Ryan.
Whatever happens going forward, this much is clear: President Trump tried his best to end Obamacare. The most important thing he did was to defeat Hillary Clinton on November 8th. Without that victory, there would have been no chance of ever repealing Obamacare.
The president threw himself into this fight and was intimately involved in the details, personally lobbying 120 members of Congress on the issue. At his daily briefing, White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer said that Trump "left everything on the field."
Vice President Mike Pence was also key player in the process, cancelling a number of trips so he could remain in Washington for last-minute negotiations. Pence was on Capitol Hill this afternoon making one last pitch.
I hope Republicans on Capitol Hill can get their act together and get this done at some point. If they fail, Obamacare will survive and they will have to live with the consequences, along with the American people.
Trump Wins - The administration did score some victories today: A federal court in Virginia upheld President Trump's executive order limiting immigration from several Muslim nations. The judge rejected arguments by the Council on American Islamic Relations (CAIR) and ruled that the measures contained in the order were well within the president's constitutional authority.
President Trump also officially approved the Keystone XL pipeline, ending years of Obama stonewalling and capitulation to the radical environmentalist movement. Trump declared, "It's a great day for jobs and energy independence."
Crisis Coming? Brace yourselves, my friends. The latest revelations of possible spying against President Trump and his associates could be leading us toward a constitutional crisis.
News broke late yesterday of potential "smoking gun" evidence proving that the Obama Administration spied on the Trump transition team and perhaps even Donald Trump himself. Rep. Devin Nunes, chairman of the House Intelligence Committee, said he has reviewed intelligence reports that he found "alarming."
These reports included information about the Trump transition team and inappropriately disclosed the identities of U.S. citizens. This monitoring had nothing to do with Russia. So why was the transition team being monitored?
Today, Rep. Nunes announced that he was delaying a scheduled Intelligence Committee hearing with top former Obama Administration officials. Instead, he was calling back FBI Director James Comey and NSA Director Admiral Michael Rogers to appear before a closed session of the Intelligence Committee on Monday in order to get clear answers to questions that cannot be addressed in a public session.
Rep. Nunes also said that Paul Manafort, Donald Trump's former campaign manager who has been the target of much speculation, has volunteered to testify before the House and Senate Intelligence Committees in order to clear his name.
While Democrats and their left-wing media allies want this investigation to be about Trump and Russia and nothing else, it is not difficult to imagine that the Obama Administration may have been spying on Trump. Obama has a well-documented history of spying on U.S. allies and on American citizens, such as:
- Fox News reporter James Rosen.
- The Associated Press.
- Rep. Jason Chaffetz.
- Pro-Israel members of Congress and Jewish groups.
- The U.S. Senate.
Famed Watergate reporter Bob Woodward, who knows a thing or two about presidential abuses of power, said if the allegations are true, it would be "a gross violation" that "could be criminal on the part of people who decided, 'Oh, let's name these people.'"
By the way, FBI Director James Comey was spotted at the White House this afternoon, supposedly for a "routine interagency meeting." Maybe so. But there is very little going on in Washington these days that is "routine."
Russia's Trump Problem - Since well before Donald Trump was elected president, the media have been obsessed with his supposed Russia problem -- stemming from the Putin regime's alleged interference in the 2016 election and its purported ties to key members of Trump's campaign.
But the real issue surrounding Trump and Russia has nothing to do with collusion between Trump and Russia. Rather, it has to do with the problems Trump will create for Russia and its interests.
Read more in my latest opinion piece "Russia Trump Problem".
Gary Bauer is a conservative family values advocate and serves as president of American Values and chairman of the Campaign for Working Families
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