House GOP Rushes to Block Federal Funds For Sanctuary Cities
Huffington Post – House Republicans are moving swiftly to punish so-called sanctuary cities, and have already introduced at least three measures to block federal funds for municipalities or college campuses that limit their cooperation with federal officials on deporting undocumented immigrants.
Rep. Lou Barletta (R-Pa.) introduced HR 83, known as the Mobilizing Against Sanctuary Cities Act, last week to strip federal funding from such jurisdictions. As mayor of Hazleton, Pennsylvania, Barletta gained a national profile for approving ordinances aimed at driving out undocumented immigrants, most of which were found unconstitutional.
GOP Senators: Give States The Option Of Keeping Obamacare
The Hill – Two Republican senators on Monday unveiled the outlines of an ObamaCare replacement plan that they hope would be able to attract some Democratic support.
The plan, from Sens. Bill Cassidy (R-La.) and Susan Collins (R-Maine), contains less drastic changes than some Republican proposals. It envisions keeping many of ObamaCare’s taxes in place in order to provide revenue for the replacement plan and gives states the choice of whether they want to keep ObamaCare.
Trump Executive Order Pulls Out of TPP Trade Deal
BBC – The 12-nation trade deal was a linchpin of former President Barack Obama’s Asia policy.
“Great thing for the American worker what we just did,” said Mr. Trump as he dumped the pact with a stroke of a pen.
He also cut funding for international groups that provide abortions and froze hiring of some federal workers. Mr. Trump’s executive order on TPP was largely symbolic since the deal has not been ratified by a divided US Congress.
Supreme Court Won’t Review Texas Voter I.D. Law–Right Now
SCOTUSblog – The Supreme Court issued orders from its January 19 conference this morning. After granting review in two cases from that conference last week, the justices did not add any new cases to their merits docket today. But there was one notable denial on today’s order list: Abbott v. Veasey, the challenge to a Texas law that requires voters to present specific forms of government-issued photo IDs to cast a ballot. The plaintiffs, including the federal government, argued that the law violates Section 2 of the Voting Rights Act, which bars voting practices or procedures that discriminate based on race. The lower courts agreed, and the state asked the Supreme Court to take up the case, but (after considering the case at three consecutive conferences) the justices declined to do so.
Federal Judge Blocks Aetna-Humana Health Insurance Megamerger
Washington Post – A federal judge has prohibited the merger of two health insurance giants, Aetna and Humana, upholding the Justice Department’s decision that the $37 billion deal would hurt competition and raise prices for consumers.
“The Court is unpersuaded that the efficiencies generated by the merger will be sufficient to mitigate the anticompetitive effects for consumers in the challenged markets,” U.S. District Judge John D. Bates wrote in his 158-page opinion.
Israeli Hard-liners, Emboldened by Trump, Push for West Bank Territory Grab
CBS News – The municipality of Jerusalem granted final approval Sunday for the construction of hundreds of new homes in east Jerusalem, while a hard-line Cabinet minister pushed the government to annex a major West Bank settlement as emboldened Israeli nationalists welcomed the presidency of Donald Trump.
However, shortly after the approval was granted, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s office says his Security Cabinet has unanimously agreed to postpone their vote on the proposal to annex the settlement.