Washington Update for the Week Ending May 26, 2017

CBO scoreNCPA’s Legislative Director Brian Williams gives an update.

Here’s a rundown of what’s going on in Washington:

  • The Congressional Budget Office (CBO) projects that the House-passed American Health Care Act would leave 23 million more people uninsured by 2026. The problem is, CBO is using the same methodology as they did last year (see the purple line above), when, in fact, far fewer Americans are enrolling in Obamacare than the CBO estimated (see the red line above). So, the 23 million estimate is bound to be just as inflated, if not worse.
  • Notwithstanding the flawed methodology, the CBO score creates a barrier for the Senate to pass the Obamacare repeal & replace legislation. This will have negative effects on tax reform and the rest of the GOP agenda as the year progresses.
  • The White House released its first full budget proposal this week. It includes significant cuts to domestic spending and an increase in defense spending. Although the President’s budget proposal is an important step in the federal budget process, Congress almost always ignores the specifics in the President’s request. And to make matters worse, Congress can’t officially start the FY 2018 budget process until they pass the FY 2017 budget reconciliation bill that includes the Obamacare repeal & replace legislation (see the first two bullet points).
  • President Trump has been overseas this week on his first foreign trip. Among other things, the President met with Pope Francis about climate change, talked with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu about peace in the Middle East, and signed a $110 billion arms deal with Saudi Arabia. Now President Trump is headed to the NATO summit.
  • The ISIS attack on UK children this week happened just as the NATO countries prepare to meet. President Trump condemned the terrorists as losers.
  • The Trump Administration is still looking for an FBI director.

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