10:49 AM, Jan 29, 2015 • By JEFFREY H. ANDERSON
Wednesday evening’s Fox News Special Report featured the following exchange between Bret Baier and House Speaker John Boehner:
Baier: “You know, Scott Pelley, with CBS, asked you and Senator McConnell about a Republican alternative to Obamacare. You said you didn’t have one. Will you by the end of this Congress?”
Boehner: “There are three committee chairmen that have the jurisdiction over the health care policy in our country. And those three chairmen are working together to craft what we believe would be a better approach with regard to health care for the American people than Obamacare.”
Baier: “So there will be one alternative?”
Boehner: “There — there will be an — there will be an alternative, and you’ll get to see it.”
This is welcome news. However, we won’t have to wait until the end of this Congress to test Republicans’ seriousness — for the true test will be whether they’ll prepare an alternative in time for the Supreme Court’s ruling in King v. Burwell. If the Supreme Court rules that President Obama has been lawlessly paying out subsidies in the 36 states with federal exchanges (at taxpayer expense), Republicans will either be ready with a GOP alternative that would effectively repeal and replace Obamacare in those 36 states (and in any of the other 14 that want to jump ship), or else they will start expanding Obamacare at the state level while negotiating “fixes” to it at the federal level. The former scenario (effective repeal and replace) is an inviting one; the latter (expanded and “fixed” Obamacare) would be a disaster.
A GOP alternative that would effectively repeal and replace Obamacare in 36 states need not be a complete alternative — it could be a circumscribed one — but to be meaningful and politically potent, it cannot merely punt the matter to the states on the federal taxpayers’ dime. Rather, it will have to deal with the tax treatment of health insurance. For 70 years, those who have gotten health insurance through their employer have gotten a substantial tax break, while those who have bought it on their own through the individual market (because their employer didn’t offer it) have not. Obamacare doesn’t lower anyone’s taxes — and hence didn’t fix this inequality in the tax code — but a GOP alternative could. A very simple tax credit that’s entirely flat apart from having three basic age bands — and which would go to everyone who buys health insurance in the individual market — would do the trick.
Such a tax credit, in connection with wiping out all of Obamacare’s insurance requirements, would provide relief for those who lost their Obamacare subsidies. Just as important, it would also provide a tax cut for millions of Main Street taxpayers who get nothing out of Obamacare except for inflated health costs and diminished liberty. Hence, it would be a very potent political offering — one that would put the country on track for full repeal and replacement in 2017.
Jeffrey H. Anderson is executive director of the 2017 Project, which is working to advance a conservative reform agenda, including a winning conservative alternative to Obamacare.
10:25 AM, Jan 27, 2015 • By JEFFREY H. ANDERSON
In a 60 Minutes interview with Scott Pelley, parts of which aired on Sunday, House speaker John Boehner and Senate majority leader Mitch McConnell made it sound like they are no closer to producing the elusive Obamacare alternative than they were five long years ago.
9:09 PM, Jan 25, 2015 • By DANIEL HALPER
Speaker of the House John Boehner told CBS's 60 Minutes that he's "interested in working with" President Barack Obama:
"Listen, the president and I talk, and I know Mitch [McConnell] talks to the president. Wnd we had a meeting at the White House last week. It was all very cordial, it was all very straightforward. I don't think that's the issue," said Boehner in response to a question about whether Republicans and Democrats can work together.
9:21 AM, Jan 5, 2015 • By DANIEL HALPER
Fred Barnes, writing in the Wall Street Journal:
President Obama invited Mitch McConnell , soon to become Senate majority leader, to the White House on Dec. 3. At Mr. McConnell’s insistence, they met one-on-one. They discussed trade, tax reform and infrastructure, the three issues on which they believe compromises are possible in 2015.
7:25 AM, Nov 12, 2014 • By DANIEL HALPER
Late last night, the White House announced a carbon deal with China. As the Washington Post explains:
Chinese leader Xi Jinping and President Obama struck a deal Wednesday to limit greenhouse gases, with China committing for the first time to cap carbon emissions and Obama unveiling a plan for deeper U.S. emissions reductions through 2025.
With Mitch McConnell.3:46 PM, Nov 5, 2014 • By DANIEL HALPER
President Obama said he'd "enjoy having some Kentucky bourbon with Mitch McConnell:"
"Are you going to have the drink with Mitch McConnell now -- that you joked about at the White House Correspondents Dinner?" the president was asked.
7:40 AM, Nov 5, 2014 • By DANIEL HALPER
In a live interview late last night on CNN, Texas senator Ted Cruz refused to commit to supporting Mitch McConnell for majority leader in the Senate.
"You are now going to be in the majority in the United States Senate," said CNN host Wolf Blitzer. "Quickly, will you support Mitch McConnell as your leader in the United States Senate?"
7:22 PM, Nov 4, 2014 • By MARK HEMINGWAY
Despite the quick victory, it's obviously too early to tell whether this is a good omen for Mitch McConnell's chances of becoming Senate Majority Leader. Looking at the map, a few key things jump out. It looks like McConnell overperformed in coal country compared to his 2008 victory in the state, which is likely a consequence of the Obama administration's so-called "war on coal." And his Democratic challenger Allison Lundergan Grimes underperformed in key Democratic areas relative to 2008.
Will Unpopularity of Obama Hand Senate to GOP?5:50 PM, Oct 9, 2014 • By TWS PODCAST
The WEEKLY STANDARD podcast with staff writer Jay Cost on the 2014 elections.
2:43 PM, Oct 9, 2014 • By MICHAEL WARREN
In a few minutes, Democratic Senate candidate Alison Lundergan Grimes of Kentucky will meet with the editorial board of the Courier-Journal in Louisville.
10:17 AM, Sep 10, 2014 • By DANIEL HALPER
In a speech delivered this morning, Senate minority leader Mitch McConnell blasts President Obama's foreign policy for making America weaker.
"[W]e’ve all seen how eager the President was to declare an end to the War on Terror," McConnell said, according to a draft of his prepared remarks.
11:25 AM, Sep 2, 2014 • By MICHAEL WARREN
Just before the start of the Labor Day holiday weekend, the reelection campaign for Mitch McConnell of Kentucky announced its campaign manager, Jesse Benton, was resigning. Benton was leaving the campaign, Politico reports, "citing potential distractions over renewed attention to a scandal from the Iowa 2012 caucuses."
4:49 PM, Jul 30, 2014 • By MICHAEL WARREN
Alison Lundergan Grimes, the Democratic candidate for U.S. Senate and Kentucky's secretary of state, is turning heads with her confusing answer to a question about the military conflict between Israel and the Hamas-led government in Gaza. Asked by the Lexington Herald-Leader about American support for Israel's "Iron Dome" missile-defense system, Grimes had this to say:
5:00 PM, Jun 18, 2014 • By DANIEL HALPER
President Obama sought the advice of three initial supporters of the Iraq war on the current situation in Iraq. According to a White House readout of the meeting, the president this afternoon met with Harry Reid, Nancy Pelosi, Mitch McConnell, and John Boehner, all of whom voted to authorize the Iraq war (except Pelosi, who supported intervening recently in Syria).
10:18 AM, May 21, 2014 • By MICHAEL WARREN
Alison Lundergan Grimes, the newly minted Democratic nominee for U.S. Senate in Kentucky, is out with her first ad of the general election. The 60-second spot features Grimes speaking directly to the camera about how "no matter how many elections we have, nothing gets better in Washington--it only gets worse." She blames "people at the top in both political parties," not mentioning by name her opponent, Republican minority leader Mitch McConnell.
Watch the ad below: