SPLASH! News for March 31, 2017

Dive Into the News of the Day

Kiran Opal


Kansas Gov. Vetoes Medicaid Expansion, Leaving 150K Poor Residents Uncovered

Vox – Brownback moved quickly to reject the bill. The legislature only officially delivered the legislation on Thursday morning, and he had 10 days to make a decision. Clearly, the governor had already made up his mind.

This is, obviously, a huge setback for Medicaid expansion efforts — but the fight isn’t completely over. The Kansas legislature is likely to explore whether they can garner enough support to override the governor’s veto, which would require a two-thirds majority in both the House and the Senate.
Specifically, Medicaid expansion would need 27 votes in the 40-member Senate and 84 votes in the 120-member House. It received 25 votes in the Senate and 81 votes in the House, meaning the bill is just a few votes shy of a veto-proof majority.

Kansas hospitals, it appears, plan to be involved in pushing for a veto override, according to Marketplace’s Dan Gorenstein.

Some Democrats Say They’ll Vote to Confirm Gorsuch

TIME – A Democratic senator facing a tough re-election is warning her party there is a political risk in voting to block President Donald Trump’s Supreme Court nominee.

Missouri Sen. Claire McCaskill, who says she is torn over how to vote, highlighted the dilemma for Democratic senators running next year in states that Trump won.

Should they vote for Judge Neil Gorsuch and anger their liberal base? Or vote to block Gorsuch and prompt Republicans to permanently change Senate rules to eliminate the filibuster? The rule change would allow Gorsuch to be confirmed quickly and also make it easier for the majority party to confirm justices in the future.

How the Senate Vote to Block Abortion Funding Affects Planned Parenthood

PBS –  The debate over abortion and women’s health entered a new phase Thursday as Congressional Republicans delivered what’s arguably their first real blow in years to Planned Parenthood and other abortion providers.

In a dramatic vote in the Senate, Vice President Mike Pence cast the tie-breaking 51st vote on a bill that would let states block more than $200 million in Title X funding from going to Planned Parenthood or any organization that provides abortions. “Title X” refers to the federal family planning program, established in that section of the 1970 Public Health Service Act.

The move reversed a rule protecting abortion provider, something President Barack Obama put in place on his second-to-last day in office. The bill has already passed the House and now moves to President Donald Trump’s desk. He is expected to sign it.

So, what just happened?

The US Is Ramping Up Military Engagement, Which Could Be A Risk For Trump

NPR – While the political world continues to focus on the machinations of congressional investigations about Russia (which won’t have conclusions drawn for months, if not longer) and where health care goes from here, there’s another, arguably more important story going on — ramped-up military engagement.

Here’s the New York Times Thursday:
“The United States launched more airstrikes in Yemen this month than during all of last year. In Syria, it has airlifted local forces to front-line positions and has been accused of killing civilians in airstrikes. In Iraq, American troops and aircraft are central in supporting an urban offensive in Mosul, where airstrikes killed scores of people on March 17.

“Two months after the inauguration of President Trump, indications are mounting that the United States military is deepening its involvement in a string of complex wars in the Middle East that lack clear endgames.”

Written by Pamela Getz

Writer and Activist. Follow Pamela on Twitter @goddesspamela.

Pamela Getz is Editor of International Affairs for Progressive Army and a member of its Editorial Board.

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SPLASH! News for March 31, 2017