Posts Tagged ‘legislation’

House GOP health bill facing fresh House committee test

Thursday, March 16th, 2017

The White House and Republican leaders are talking to rank-and-file lawmakers about revising the GOP health care overhaul, hoping to keep a rebellion by conservatives and moderates from snowballing and imperiling the party’s showpiece legislation.
Four days after a congressional report projected the bill would pry coverage from millions of voters, signs of fraying GOP support for the legislation were showing. The measure would strike down much of former President Barack Obama‘s 2010 overhaul and reduce the federal role, including financing, for health care consumers and is opposed uniformly by Democrats.
In a fresh test of Republicans’ willingness to embrace the legislation, the House Budget Committee was considering the measure Thursday. Republicans expressed confidence the bill would be approved, but the vote could be tight. The panel can’t make significant changes but was expected to endorse non-binding, suggested changes to nail down votes.
The bill would eliminate the tax penalty that pressures people to buy coverage and the federal subsidies that let millions afford it, replacing them with tax credits that are bigger for older people. It would cut Medicaid, repeal the law’s tax increases on higher earning Americans and require 30 percent higher premiums for consumers who let coverage lapse.
Overt GOP opposition grew after the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office projected Monday that the legislation would push 24 million Americans off coverage in a decade and shift out-of-pocket costs toward lower income, older people. Obama’s law has provided coverage to around 20 million additional people
House Speaker Paul Ryan, R-Wis., told reporters Wednesday that leaders could now make “some necessary improvements and refinements” to the legislation. But he declined to commit to bringing the measure to the House floor next week, a schedule Republican leaders have repeatedly said they intended to keep.
At a late rally in Nashville Wednesday, President Donald Trump said: “We’re going

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Blackjack appeal now headed to mediation

Monday, February 27th, 2017

An appeal to a federal judge’s ruling allowing the Seminole Tribe to keep offering blackjack at its Florida casinos now has been scheduled for an April 11 mediation, court dockets show.
The state’s lawyers had asked the Atlanta-based 11th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals for more time to file their initial brief in the appeal.
But they withdrew that request upon learning that a mediation conference had been set at the Kinnard Mediation Center.
The state “learned that … the parties could obtain appropriate extensions of time to file briefs from the mediator,” wrote attorney J. Carter Andersen of the Bush Ross firm, which is representing the state.
“Counsel consulted with the (Tribe’s attorneys) regarding this motion, and (they do) not object to the requested relief,” he wrote.
Senior U.S. District Judge Robert Hinkle in November had ruled that regulators working under Gov. Rick Scott allowed select Florida dog and horse tracks to offer card games that were too similar to ones that were supposed to be exclusive to Tribe-owned casinos for a five-year period.
The judge decided the Tribe could keep its blackjack tables till 2030.
The state, however, wanted Hinkle to instead order the tribe to remove the games because a blackjack provision in an agreement between the state and tribe expired in 2015.
Gambling legislation has again been filed in both chambers of the Legislature this year.
While the bills differ by expanding or contracting gambling, both included a new blackjack deal worth $3 billion over seven years in revenue share to the state. Negotiated by Scott last year, it previously failed to gain approval from lawmakers.
 
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Stephanie Murphy bill would make sure National Security Council is protected from partisan politics

Wednesday, February 1st, 2017

Congresswoman Stephanie Murphy‘s first act of legislation in Congress would protect the National Security Council from partisan politics, in the wake of President Donald Trump‘s appointment of his chief strategist Steve Bannon to the council over the weekend.
In doing that, Trump also downgraded the Director of National Intelligence and the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff.
Murphy’s bill would have two provisions – to ensure that no individual whose primary responsibility is political in nature is on the council or allowed to attend meetings, and to make sure the Director of National Intelligence and the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff should have a “standing invitation to attend Principal Committee meetings.”
Murphy, who is a former national security specialist with the Department of Defense and current member of the House Armed Services Committee, had strong words about the importance of keeping the National Security Council bipartisan.
“The security of the American people should be more important than partisan politics,” said Murphy. “It is reasonable and commonplace for presidents to decide who attends security meetings, but I strongly believe the Director of National Intelligence and the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff should have a standing invitation to attend all Principals Committee meetings given their importance to national security and expertise. My bill will help depoliticize national security so that we never jeopardize the safety and security of the American people.”
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FanDuel calls on Florida fans to support fantasy sports

Tuesday, January 24th, 2017

FanDuel, the national fantasy sports website, has sent a “call to action” email to its Florida users, asking them to contact lawmakers in support of their hobby.
“With the Big Game just around the corner, we have an important message to share with every Florida fantasy sports player,” the email says.
“A new bill has been introduced that would update Florida’s laws to recognize what we all know to be true—that fantasy sports are games of skill and should be kept legal for all eligible Floridians to enjoy,” it says.
A Senate committee on Wednesday is set to discuss a major gambling overhaul bill (SB 8) that, among other things, would expressly legalize fantasy sports play.
“The fact is that current laws have not kept pace with technology,” the FanDuel email says. “Unless legislators are willing to deny millions of Floridians the right to play America’s newest national pastime, they must act quickly to update the law by passing legislation that protects your right to play.”
A 2006 federal law banned online gambling but specifically exempted fantasy sports.
In Florida, however, a 1991 opinion by then-Attorney General Bob Butterworth says “operation of a fantasy sports league” violates state gambling law. Such opinions don’t have the force of law, but can be used to persuade judges.
The FanDuel email includes a link to a site where users can send a message to their state legislators to urge them to vote for this year’s bill.
Florida struggled with fantasy sports last legislative session, ultimately letting die a measure that would have explicitly legalized online fantasy play.
FanDuel and its rival, DraftKings, agreed late last year to merge amid increasing regulatory scrutiny. The merger requires federal approval.
 
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