Senate Republicans Begin Process to Undo the ACA
NPR – On Tuesday, Senator Mike Enzi (R-Wyoming) introduced a resolution to defund the Affordable Care Act, thus beginning the Republican process to “repeal and replace” Obamacare. Because they do not have enough votes in the Senate to overcome a filibuster, Republicans have had to reply on a budget resolution, essentially undoing the parts of the law that have budget and tax components via the new budget.
Thus, the first step to “repeal and replace” seems to be cutting the subsidies that help millions of Americans afford health care. Enzi’s resolution calls on senators “to report legislation to their Budget Committee by January 27, 2017” so watch for that date. In the meantime, it is not at all clear what, if any, measures the Republicans will be putting in place for the “replace” part of the equation.
Meanwhile, Congressional Democrats met with President Obama to discuss their strategy to fight back against the Republicans. While no official statements were released, the Washington Post reports that “participants said [Obama] told members of his party that they did not have to ‘rescue’ Republicans and that they should ‘stay strong’ as the GOP labors to replace the law Republicans and Democrats alike call Obamacare.”
Bipartisan Senate Resolution Introduced to Object to UN Resolution on Israel
On Wednesday, U.S. Senators Tom Cotton (R-Arkansas), Marco Rubio (R-Florida), and Ben Cardin (D-Maryland) introduced a Senate resolution that objects to the recent UN Security Council Resolution 2334, which condemned Israeli settlements in the West Bank and East Jerusalem. The United States abstained from voting on the resolution, which allowed it to pass.
The Senate resolution enjoys bipartisan support from 20 senators, whom the resolution states “[Object] to United Nations Security Council Resolution 2334 and to all efforts that undermine direct negotiations between Israel and the Palestinians for a secure and peaceful settlement.” The resolution further states that the Senate “calls for United Nations Security Council Resolution 2334 to be repealed or fundamentally altered” among other things.
The House is also considering a similar resolution, which they will be voting on Thursday.
Israeli Soldier Convicted of Manslaughter for Killing Unarmed Palestinian Attacker
Wall Street Journal – On Wednesday, an Israeli soldier was convicted by a military court of manslaughter after he killed an unarmed Palestinian attacker. The court case has divided Israel, with many calling for the Israeli soldier, Elor Azaria, to be pardoned, including Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.
— Ruth Marks Eglash (@reglash) January 4, 2017