Time dwindling for major successes on GOP legislative agenda


Republican divisions over spending priorities could make that task hard. The changes are expected to include increased funding for rural hospitals that lose subsidies under Affordable Care Act repeal, providing a larger share of tax credits to lower income consumers nearing Medicare age (aged 50 to 64) and beefing up the high-risk pool funding for states. It's unclear when a physical draft of the bill will be produced.

Lawmakers return to Washington on Monday under pressure to advance Trump's agenda, notably bills to repeal and replace Barack Obama's health care reforms and overhaul USA tax law.

"I think it's something that's worth trying", she said.

The differing ideas reflect not only contrasts in policy but sensitivities to opposite ends of the political spectrum, with some concerned about an electoral backlash from centrist or left-leaning voters who oppose major changes to Obamacare and others anxious a less aggressive assault on the ACA will leave right-leaning opponents of the law dispirited. The one piece of consensus is that the House-passed American Health Care Act is a non-starter in the Senate. Richard Burr, R-N.C., told a local TV station on Thursday. Jeff Flake (R-Ariz.) said he doubted a bill could pass before the August recess. They are relying on using a tool known as "reconciliation" that allows leaders to push through a tax reform bill through the Senate with a simple majority of votes, avoiding a Democratic filibuster.

The 2017 Legislature is responsible for bringing state funding to K-12 schools into compliance with the Kansas Constitution and closing a projected $900 million state government deficit over the next two fiscal years.

The small window for action and policy disagreements has upped the chatter among Senate GOP aides and associates that making good on their often-repeated promise to undo parts of Obamacare may not be possible.

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A top Republican in the Kansas Senate says he's open to a new plan from other GOP lawmakers for raising taxes to fix the state budget and boost spending on public schools.

"We have never approved of dedicated streams", said Mark Desetti, a lobbyist with the Kansas-National Education Association. But this year's budget is a critical component of the GOP's legislative strategy.

Others want to balance the budget on a faster timetable than their leaders, slashing some federal agencies with deep cuts that are unpopular in swing states and districts where some in the GOP worry about the impact on the 2018 midterm elections.

The House was to debate the bill first Monday morning. How to craft a bill that can win over warring factions and pass procedural hurdles is a question without an answer.

Still, number two Senate Republican John Cornyn assured that an Obamacare repeal will be ready by the summer recess. For one, he's expressed lukewarm opposition to defunding Planned Parenthood, but it's unclear whether that would prompt him to vote against the bill. "At the end of the day, this is too important to get wrong". In fairness, plenty of readers agreed, even if many of them wished they didn't.

Asked if this is "crunch time", Blunt said yes.