Republicans could try again to repeal Obamacare if they win enough seats in U.S. elections next month, Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell said on Wednesday, calling a failed 2017 push to repeal the healthcare law a “disappointment.”
In a forecast of 2019 policy goals tempered by uncertainty about who will win the congressional elections, McConnell also blamed costly social programs, such as Social Security and Medicare, for the fast-rising national debt.
On Nov. 6, Americans will vote for candidates for the Senate and the House of Representatives.
McConnell’s Republicans now hold majority control of both chambers. Democrats will try to wrest control in races for all 435 House seats and one-third of the 100 Senate seats.
Despite their dominance of Congress and the White House, Republicans dramatically failed last year to overturn former President Barack Obama’s signature healthcare law, known as Obamacare. McConnell called it “the one disappointment of this Congress from a Republican point of view.”
He said, “If we had the votes to completely start over, we’d do it. But that depends on what happens in a couple weeks… We’re not satisfied with the way Obamacare is working.”
President Donald Trump also favors ending Obamacare, which Republicans criticized as a costly and unneeded intrusion on Americans’ healthcare. About 20 million Americans have received health insurance coverage through the program, a landmark legislative achievement for Obama and Democrats.
On social programs, McConnell said in an interview with Reuters: “Entitlements are the long-term drivers of the debt.”
Social programs that help the poor, the aged, the unemployed, veterans and the disabled are often referred to as “entitlements” in Washington. These also include Medicaid.
“We all know that there will be no solution to that, short of some kind of bipartisan grand bargain that makes the very, very popular entitlement programs be in a position to be sustained. That hasn’t happened since the ‘80s,” he added.
“But at some point we will have to sit down on a bipartisan basis and address the long-term drivers of the debt.”
The Treasury Department this week reported a 2018 budget deficit of $779 billion, the highest since 2012.
The report cited higher military spending as a reason for the increase and showed government revenues were flat after deep tax cuts pushed through late last year by Republicans, despite a growing economy and rising spending levels.
McConnell said Republicans would take a hard look at funding for discretionary domestic programs next year, saying he reluctantly agreed to increased discretionary spending this year to get Democrats to accept more military spending.
“We had to negotiate with the Democrats and spend more on the domestic side than I would have preferred,” McConnell said.
“We’ll have to sit down again and decide what we’re going to do with our annual discretionary spending after the first of the year and see what kind of agreements we can reach.”
Trump on Wednesday asked his cabinet for proposals to cut their budgets by five percent.
Reporting by David Morgan. Additional reporting by David Shepardson, Richard Cowan, Amanda Becker, Patricia Zengerle; Editing by Kevin Drawbaugh and Alistair Bell
Vigilante mob traps multi-racial family in campground after accusing them of being ‘antifa’
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The family, who is multi-racial, were trapped in the campground after someone cut down trees and placed them across the roadway, preventing their exit from the area.
After the family arrived at the campground, they went shopping for camping supplies and confronted “by seven or eight carloads of people in the grocery store parking lot,” according to Sgt. Ed Anderson of the Clallam County Sheriff’s Department.
Trump accused by ex-Defense Secretary of putting US on ‘the trail toward a dictatorship’
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To emphasize his point, he later called Trump the "dictator-in-chief."
Speaking with host Jim Sciutto, Cohen didn't mince words after the CNN host noted that the president and his former attorney called the protesters "terrorists."
"What does it mean for you to hear a sitting president dismissing a whole range of protesters, who in fact were largely peaceful around the White House, dismissing a whole range of them as terrorists? What does that mean to you?" the CNN host asked.
White driver points rifle at black veteran — and California cops refuse to respond because they’re watching a protest
A road-raging white man pointed a rifle at a black veteran in California, and police were unable to respond because they were observing a nearby protest against police brutality.
The Air Force veteran, who asked to use only his first name, Justin, told KABC-TV that he was driving this week in Sherman Oaks when another driver pointed what appeared to be a military-style rifle at him.
"The moment he pulled the gun, it's just like in reaction, was to get out of line sight of the weapon," Justin said.