CPI Weekly Compass for August 21, 2017

CPI Staff — Monday, August 21, 2017

Below is our Weekly Compass – a roundup of what’s on tap for conservatives this week. To get the Weekly Compass sent to your email every Monday, sign up here!

Afghanistan decision forthcoming. Appeals court rules against Planned Parenthood taxpayer funding, SCOTUS next. Trump-Sessions end Operation Chokepoint. Obamacare ‘sabotage’ charges are bogus. In Charlottesville, statues aren’t the real issue. Universities driving racism? Smithsonian: Kaepernick, not Thomas. Bannon back at Breitbart. Hawks soaring?

Good afternoon! And welcome to CPI’s policy update email. We’ll keep you informed on top debates facing conservatives in Washington with news, scholar reports, and more.
Questions or comments? Email us at info@conservativepartnership.org – Wesley Denton & Rachel Bovard

What’s Really Happening

Debt limit: While healthcare and tax reform continue to make headlines, the debt limit is quickly approaching the Sept 29 deadline. Recent polling shows a large majority of Americans oppose adding to the $20 trillion national debt, including 59% of independents and even Democrats oppose by 2-1 margin. During Obama presidency, the GOP in Congress paired debt limit increases with spending cuts (2011) and entitlement reform (2015), yet some want a “clean” debt limit increase under Trump. Conservatives have warned against raising debt limit without serious spending cuts. Tom Cole, a budget and appropriations committee member, agreed: “Most Republicans want to do something to lower the trajectory of the debt.” Also, reports surfaced earlier this month that the President will demand border wall funding be part of any debt increase or omnibus spending package. Democrats want Obamacare bailouts attached. Questions now on how GOP leaders will move forward.

 

Obamacare Repeal: As Congress stalls on repeal, over 100 conservative leaders called on President Trump to end illegal insurer bailouts and stop illegal subsidies for politicians and staff. Juniper Research’s Chris Jacobs takes on CBO’s latest report which showed “ending subsidy payments—which the law never appropriated to begin with—would keep premiums roughly constant for most individuals, increase spending on insurance subsidies, and increase the number of insured Americans modestly.” However, Morning Consult reports: “Alexander and other top Republicans have shown they’re willing to work with Democrats to have Congress extend the payments.” House conservatives offered a discharge petition for the repeal plan that passed in 2015, hoping to force a vote in September. No clear path forward has emerged as Republican leaders seem more focused on tax and spending debates. WSJ writes Cassidy-Graham Obamacare reform bill gaining support, “which would give states the billions of dollars spent on the ACA to create their own health-care approaches.”

 

Tax Reform: Signaling a desire to move on from Obamacare repeal, GOP launched a multi-million dollar ad blitz on tax reform and Speaker Ryan goes on tax reform tour. Yet, no tax reform plan exists. Steve Moore warns GOP to focus on achievable cuts: “Put simply, if the GOP whiffs on the tax cut, it will harm the economy and the stock market. That is why GOP leaders would be wise to downsize their grand ambitions of a total rewrite of the tax code and simply sell the American people on a job-creation tax cut that will benefit all American companies, including 26 million small businesses, and put about $2,000 of tax relief into the pockets of financially stressed workers.”

Policy Perspectives

 Cato: Monetary Policy in an Uncertain World: The Case for Rules

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