- New Blow for Trump as Obamacare Repeal Bid Collapses
President Donald Trump faced the biggest blow yet to his young presidency as his bid to repeal Obamacare went down in flames at the hands of rebel Republican lawmakers.
Barely two months into his term, Trump was forced to withdraw an embattled Republican health care bill Friday, moments before a vote, leaving his campaign pledge to dismantle his predecessor’s health care reforms unfulfilled.
The stinging defeat showed the limits of Trump’s power to deliver on an ambitious legislative agenda despite Republican control of both houses of Congress.
Already rocked by a string of damaging reversals and controversies, Trump must now consider how to move forward in the face of a fractured, rebellious Congress.
“Trump will have a very hard time dealing with these divides because he does not understand them,” said John Pitney, a professor of American politics at Claremont-McKenna College.
On Trump’s agenda are a major overhaul of the tax system and a bill to upgrade infrastructure like roads and bridges.
“We were very, very close” to securing enough support for the bill, Trump said in the Oval Office.
But with no Democratic backing, “we couldn’t quite get there.”
Trump had thrown his full political weight behind the measure, spending days arm-twisting recalcitrant Republicans, and he declared himself “disappointed” and a “little surprised” by the defeat.
The battle was an eye-opening experience for Trump, a billionaire real estate tycoon who entered the White House with no experience in politics or government, including the delicate navigations of Congress.
The bill’s defeat marked a second major policy setback for the new president, who has seen his attempt to curb travel from Muslim-majority countries twice frozen by the courts.
Instead of projecting humility, Trump went on the offensive Friday, branding Democrats as the real “losers” of the failed repeal bid because “now they own Obamacare. They own it, 100 percent.”
The president met with House Speaker Paul Ryan earlier in the day, then spoke with him by telephone when it was clear the party did not have the votes to get its plan across the finish line.
“I told him that the best thing I think to do is to pull this bill and he agreed with that decision,” Ryan said.
But while Trump was quick to blame Democrats for not giving “a single vote” for his plan, Ryan owned up to the failures.
“I will not sugar coat this. This is a disappointing day for us,” said the top Republican in Congress.
– Start over –
The Trump-backed plan, intended to expand free-market competition in the insurance industry and lower the cost of premiums for most Americans, would also have slashed public assistance to people who have no health coverage through their employer.
Some 14 million people stood to lose their coverage starting next year, according to congressional forecasts.
Basic benefits covered under Obamacare — such as maternity care and emergency room visits — would no longer have been considered essential and required for insurers to provide.
The bill now appears dead, with Republican lawmakers urging a return to the drawing board.
“Clearly, the votes weren’t there,” said Congressman Charlie Dent, one of several moderate House Republicans who expressed concerns over the bill’s impact on poor and elderly Americans.
“So I think it’s important now that we start over, and we do a durable, sustainable health care reform and it be done in a bipartisan way,” he added.
By pulling the bill, Ryan flew in the face of a White House that had declared negotiations over and demanded a vote on Friday.
Trump had put his reputation as a dealmaker on the line with the high-risk vote.
Congressman Mo Brooks, a member of the ultra-conservative House Freedom Caucus that largely opposed the measure on grounds it was too similar to Obamacare, said he was “pleased as could be that the legislation has failed,” arguing it would have been bad for Americans.
But he refused to place blame on the president.
“I don’t think this reflects on the president in any way, shape or form,” Brooks said.
But some conservative centrists expressed frustration with recalcitrant hardliners.
“The House Freedom Caucus just single-handedly saved #Obamacare,” Republican Congressman Adam Kinzinger charged on Twitter.
– ‘Law of the land’ –
It was not clear when Congress would return to health care, as Trump said he would shift quickly toward tax reform, another longstanding goal of Republicans.
“Obamacare is the law of the land. It’s going to remain the law of the land until it’s replaced.”
Democrats said they were open to cooperation — provided Republicans wanted to help fix the existing law.
“We’re ready to work with the president,” Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer said on CNN.
“Take repeal off the table,” and “we’ll work with them on improving Obamacare.”
University Of Ibadan (UI) Goes Digital, Releases Timetable for Virtual Academic Session
University of Ibadan (UI) on Friday announced it is going ahead with resumption on February 20 despite the second wave of COVID-19.
In a statement released by the school, the First Semester of the 2020/2021 academic session will commence virtually on February 20, 2021.
The virtual academic session will last for 13 straight weeks and end on Friday May 12, 2021, while the matriculation ceremony will hold on Tuesday March 16, 2021.
The University of Ibadan also scheduled one week for the Finalization of Continuous Assessment, to begin from Mon. 17 May and ends Friday 21 May.
The rising number of COVID-19 cases has compelled the Senate to approve the virtual academic session in an effort to ensure the tertiary institution abides by the protocols established by the Federal Government to curb the spread of the pandemic.
“It, therefore, agreed that the 2020/2021 First Semester lectures will be delivered online. In this regard, students will not be accommodated on campus,” a statement from the school said.
“Senate also approved the cancellation of the 2019/2020 session. The next session is, therefore, renamed 2020/2021 Academic Session. Consequently, students who have been admitted for the 2019/2020 session will now be regarded as the 2020/2021 intakes.
“Kindly note that online opening of Registration Portal and Orientation Programme for the 2020/2021 intakes may commence ahead of the Sat 20/02/21 date indicated above,” the statement said.
House of Representatives Impeached Trump Over Capitol Invasion
The United States House of Representatives on Wednesday impeached President Trump for the second time after instigating the US Capitol invasion.
Led by Speaker of the House, Nancy Pelosi, 232 representatives, including 10 Republicans, voted to impeach the outgoing president against 197 that voted for him to remain in the office for the next six days when he would handover to the president-elect, Joe Biden.
The ten Republicans were Representatives Liz Cheney of Wyoming, the party’s No. 3 leader in the House; Jaime Herrera Beutler of Washington; John Katko of New York; Adam Kinzinger of Illinois; Fred Upton of Michigan; Dan Newhouse of Washington; Peter Meijer of Michigan; Anthony Gonzalez of Ohio; David Valadao of California; and Tom Rice of South Carolina.
Speaking before the vote, Pelosi said “a constitutional remedy that will ensure that the Republic will be safe from this man who is so resolutely determined to tear down the things that we hold dear and that hold us together.”
“He must go. He is a clear and present danger to the nation that we all love,” she said, adding later, “It gives me no pleasure to say this — it breaks my heart.”
Republicans, who unanimously stood behind president Trump in 2019 during his first impeachment, were divided this time over the attack on Capitol.
A Republican representative from California, Kevin McCarthy, said “The president bears responsibility for Wednesday’s attack on Congress by mob rioters,” Mr. McCarthy said. “He should have immediately denounced the mob when he saw what was unfolding.”
US Congress Declares Joe Biden as The 46th President of The United States After Trump Mob Left
The joint congress of the United States on Thursday, January 7, 2021 certified Joe Biden as the 46th President of the United States following President Trump’s mob action that disrupted the congress joint proceeding on Wednesday.
After ordering his followers to disrupt proceedings on Wednesday, President Trump later announced that there will be an orderly transition on January 20.
“Even though I totally disagree with the outcome of the election, and the facts bear me out, nevertheless there will be an orderly transition on January 20th,” Trump said in a statement issued by White House Deputy Chief of Staff Dan Scavino.
“I have always said we would continue our fight to ensure that only legal votes were counted. While this represents the end of the greatest first term in presidential history, it’s only the beginning of our fight to Make America Great Again!” Trump added.
While the certification was just a mere formality as Biden had secured enough electoral college votes (270) required to clinch the world’s most powerful seat, the refusal of Donald Trump to accept the results of the November 2020 election made the session a keenly watched, especially after Trump mob disrupted a joint session of the Senate.
Finance4 weeks ago
Central Bank Closes 42 Microfinance Banks
Government4 weeks ago
List of Approved National Identification Number (NIN) Enrolment Centres Nationwide
Technology4 weeks ago
Here is how to Link Your National Identification Number(NIN) to Your SIM Card
Finance4 weeks ago
Zenith Bank Invests Over N12 Billion in Targeted Interventions, Posts N178 Billion PAT
Crude Oil4 weeks ago
Senate Pegs Oil at $40, Forex at N379/US$ as it Passed the 2021-2023 Medium Term Expenditure Framework and Fiscal Strategy Paper
Finance4 weeks ago
CBN Closed All Naira Accounts of IMTOs
Cryptocurrency3 weeks ago
US Securities and Exchange Commission Goes After Ripple(XRP)
News2 weeks ago
Heartbroken American Mistress Displays Dangote’s Buttocks in a Viral Video