Morning Action: House, Senate Promise Economic Aid to Ukraine, Sanctions Against Russia

UKRAINE.  The House and Senate leaders are promising swift action on U.S. economic aid to Ukraine and possible sanctions against Russia:

House and Senate leaders in both parties are promising quick action on potentially hundreds of millions of dollars in U.S. economic aid to Ukraine along with possible sanctions against Russia after its invasion of Crimea.

House Majority Leader Rep. Eric Cantor (R-VA) said he had spoken to House committee chairmen on Monday about assembling a Ukranian aid package, including possible loan guarantees.

“Specifically, the House will review how we can expeditiously consider assistance to Ukraine in the form of loan guarantees,” Cantor said in a statement released by his office Monday. “I believe there is bipartisan support for such assistance, but we must make sure it is done responsibly and any legislation is not delayed by adding divisive provisions. We should be focused on moving such a package as quickly as possible.”

FLOOD INSURANCE.  Today the House will vote on the flood insurance bill under suspension, meaning no amendments are allowed (sub. req’d).  Read our key vote against the bill here.

Repealing reforms to NFIP further inhibits any path forward to an authentic private flood insurance market. NFIP will continue to offer subsidized rates while maintaining access to borrow from taxpayers whenever necessary. 

TAX PLAN.  Discussion of the motivations behind Rep. Dave Camp (R-MI)‘s tax plan continue this week:

The tax reform plan from Michigan Rep. Dave Camp was unimaginable as a Republican document just a few years ago, the result of a shifting political landscape that has seen the triumph of President Obama‘s tax message and the influence of conservative populism.

The House Ways and Means Committee chairman sought a blueprint that was impervious to charges that it would benefit the wealthy and burden the middle class. That was a direct reaction to the beating Republicans took on the issue in the 2012 presidential contest, with Obama’s “fairness” pitch to increase taxes on the so-called wealthy resonating better than GOP nominee Mitt Romney‘s traditional Republican proposal for across-the-board cuts to stimulate economic growth.

Breaking with GOP orthodoxy, Camp also wanted a plan that, while lowering tax rates for all income brackets, received a “revenue neutral” score from Congress’ nonpartisan accounting agencies. Camp wanted to avoid potent Democratic attacks that tax cuts increase the deficit and cost Washington money it needs for cherished programs. Republicans had long dismissed the concept of paying for tax cuts on the grounds that they create jobs and boost revenue, while asserting that the government’s money belongs to the people and reducing their tax load shouldn’t require offsets.

Camp’s draft has received perhaps the most attention for proposing to simplify the tax code by scaling back typically politically sacred exemptions, such as the mortgage interest deduction popular with voters and the housing industry. For years, Republicans — including Camp — promoted these carve-outs as crucial economic drivers. But in a nod to the Tea Party‘s sway with House Republicans, Camp was liberated to target a host of breaks the conservative grassroots deride as “crony capitalism.”

OBAMACARE.  The Obama administration is set to announce yet another Obamacare delay:

The Obama administration is set to announce another major delay in implementing the Affordable Care Act, easing election pressure on Democrats.

As early as this week, according to two sources, the White House will announce a new directive allowing insurers to continue offering health plans that do not meet ObamaCare’s minimum coverage requirements.

Prolonging the “keep your plan” fix will avoid another wave of health policy cancellations otherwise expected this fall.

The cancellations would have created a firestorm for Democratic candidates in the last, crucial weeks before Election Day.



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