06-20-2018  7:38 pm      •     
The Skanner Report
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NEWS BRIEFS

AG Rosenblum Seeks Info from Oregonians

Oregon Attorney General seeks information on children separated from families at border ...

Community Forum: How Does Law Enforcement Interact With Vulnerable Populations?

Forum will focus on public safety and examine mental health and addiction issues ...

King County Council Recognizes Juneteenth

The Metropolitan King County Council recognizes a true 'freedom day' in the United States ...

Unite Oregon Hosts ‘Mourn Pray Love, and Take Action’ June 20

Community is invited to gather at Terry Schrunk Plaza at 6 p.m. on World Refugee Day ...

MRG Foundation Announces Spring 2018 Grantees

Recipients include Oregon DACA Coalition, Kúkátónón Children’s African Dance Troupe, Komemma Cultural Protection Association ...

Oregon gun-storage proposal won't make November ballot

PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) — Oregonians will not be voting this fall on a proposal to require safe gun storage.Supporters of the initiative petition said Wednesday there isn't enough time to obtain the more than 88,000 valid signatures necessary to get the item on the November ballot.They had until...

Oregon Senator sues governor, state revenue department

SALEM, Ore. (AP) — An Oregon state senator has filed a lawsuit against top lawmakers and the governor, saying the passage of a controversial March tax measure violated the state constitution.Brian Boquist, a Republican from Dallas, Oregon, filed the suit Tuesday in state tax court, naming...

Suspect arrested in 1986 killing of 12-year-old Tacoma girl

TACOMA, Wash. (AP) — Tacoma police have arrested a man suspected of killing a 12-year-old girl more than three decades ago.The News Tribune reports 66-year-old Gary Hartman was booked into Pierce County Jail Wednesday afternoon on suspicion of first-degree murder in the death of Michella...

Trudeau: Canada to legalize marijuana on Oct. 17

TORONTO (AP) — Marijuana will be legal nationwide in Canada starting Oct. 17 in a move that should take market share away from organized crime and protect the country's youth, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said Wednesday.The Senate gave final passage to the bill to legalize cannabis on...

OPINION

How Washington’s 'School Achievement Index' Became School Spending Index

New assessment categorizes schools not by quality of education, but level of funding officials believe they should receive ...

Black Mamas Are Dying. We Can Stop It.

Congresswoman Robin Kelly plans to improve access to culturally-competent care with the MOMMA Act ...

Hey, Elected Officials: No More Chicken Dinners...We Need Policy

Jeffrey Boney says many elected officials who visit the Black community only during the election season get a pass for doing nothing ...

Juneteenth: Freedom's Promise Still Denied

Juneteenth is a celebration of the de facto end of slavery, but the proliferation of incarceration keeps liberation unfulfilled ...

AFRICAN AMERICANS IN THE NEWS

AP Explains: US has split up families throughout its history

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) — Some critics of the forced separation of Latino children from their migrant parents say the practice is unprecedented. But it's not the first time the U.S. government has split up families, detained children or allowed others to do so .Throughout American history,...

The Latest: Messi gets a chance to save face against Croatia

MOSCOW (AP) — The Latest on Wednesday at the World Cup (all times local):12:16 a.m.Lionel Messi is going to have a hard time keeping up with Cristiano Ronaldo at this year's World Cup.Ronaldo has all of Portugal's goals, a tournament-leading four so far, and has been getting in digs at Messi...

Ex-NAACP chief who posed as black pleads not guilty to fraud

SPOKANE, Wash. (AP) — A former NAACP leader in Washington state whose life unraveled after she was exposed as a white woman pretending to be black pleaded not guilty to welfare fraud on Wednesday.Nkechi Diallo, formerly known as Rachel Dolezal, made a brief appearance in Spokane County...

ENTERTAINMENT

Jimmy Fallon reveals personal pain following Trump fallout

NEW YORK (AP) — Jimmy Fallon is opening up about the personal anguish he felt following the backlash to his now-infamous hair mussing appearance with Donald Trump.The host of "The Tonight Show" tells The Hollywood Reporter he "made a mistake" and apologized "if I made anyone mad." He adds...

After 4,000 episodes, a halt for Jerry Springer's show

NEW YORK (AP) — Somehow it doesn't seem right for Jerry Springer to exit quietly.There should be one last thrown chair or a bleep-filled tirade, at the very least. Instead, it was announced with no fanfare this week that he will stop making new episodes of his memorably raucous talk show,...

Peter Fonda apologizes for 'vulgar' Barron Trump tweet

NEW YORK (AP) — Peter Fonda apologized Wednesday for a late-night Twitter rant in which he suggested 12-year-old Barron Trump should be ripped from "his mother's arms and put in a cage with pedophiles."The all-capitals tweet in the wee hours went on to call President Donald Trump an...

U.S. & WORLD NEWS

GOP senator defends EPA chief, calls ethics allegations lies

WASHINGTON (AP) — A Republican senator who had expressed concerns about Environmental Protection Agency...

AP Explains: US has split up families throughout its history

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) — Some critics of the forced separation of Latino children from their migrant...

Trump supporters steadfast despite the immigration uproar

CINCINNATI (AP) — Cincinnati resident Andrew Pappas supported President Trump's decision to separate...

Burger King says sorry for Russian World Cup pregnancy ad

MOSCOW (AP) — Burger King has apologized for offering a lifetime supply of Whoppers to Russian women who...

Volgograd provides the proper perspective at World Cup

VOLGOGRAD, Russia (AP) — Nearly 60 years since it changed its name to Volgograd, the Russian city once...

Live animals, meat, ivory, wood seized in trafficking stings

PARIS (AP) — Thousands of live animals along with tons of meat, ivory, pangolin scales and timber were...

Paul Steinhauser and Deirdre Walsh CNN

WASHINGTON (CNN) -- Here they go again.

House Republicans are expected to vote Thursday to repeal President Obama's 2010 health care law. This will be the third time the House has voted to overturn the Affordable Care Act, better known as Obamacare, since the GOP took over the chamber in January of 2011. And House Republicans have voted over 30 times to repeal or defund parts of the law.

But this time, thanks to the raging scandal over the IRS targeting of tea party and other grassroots conservative groups, the GOP has some extra ammunition.

The vote, on a bill to repeal the law, will pass. And then it will die in the Democratic controlled Senate. Over the past week House Republican leaders have been touting the vote on the legislation, H.R.45, which would eliminate the law, leading to the end of the controversial individual mandate as well as some popular provisions such as allowing children to remain on their parents' health insurance until they're 26.

"Today the House is voting to repeal the president's health care law because it's increasing the cost of health insurance," said House Speaker John Boehner Tuesday.

"Obamacare repeal is there again because we do not believe that an individual mandate is the direction, Washington based health care is the direction we ought to go," House Majority Leader Eric Cantor, the number two Republican in the chamber, said Wednesday.

"Clearly this law is making it worse for Americans. From all backgrounds, from all walks of life, from every corner of this country. It imposes higher costs, it is limited access. It's very difficult to find a doctor who will take a new Medicare patient. It is threatening the very health innovation and medical technology that this country has led," added Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers, GOP conference chairwoman.

House Democrats call the vote a waste of time. House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi says there hasn't been a vote on a jobs bill so far this year, adding that "instead, we're wasting time once again on the Republican repeal of the Patient's Rights. This is something that is stunning, because not only is it a waste of time, it's a waste of money. $52 million, over $52 million calculated, the cost of taking up this bill over and over again, which they know is going nowhere."

Democrat Rep. Rosa DeLauro of Connecticut agreed.

"Welcome to Groundhog Day. This is the 37th time that the majority has attempted to repeal the Affordable Care Act," said DeLauro "Instead of working together to move forward, this majority persists in re-litigating the healthcare fight of 2010. They need to face it. Healthcare reform was passed by the House of Representatives, it was passed by the US Senate, it was signed by the President, it was upheld by the Supreme Court, it is the law of the land."

The most recent polling indicates Americans remains divided over the law. Thirty-five percent of those questioned in a Kaiser Family Foundation survey conducted last month said they had a favorable view of the law, with four in ten holding an unfavorable view and a quarter unsure. A Quinnipiac University national poll conducted a few weeks earlier had similar numbers.

Polling indicates an expected wide partisan divide. Nearly three-quarters of Democrats questioned in the Quinnipiac survey said the approved of the law. That figure dropped to 38% for independent voters and down to just 8% for Republican voters.

"Republicans don't know how to quit Obamacare. Obamacare is at the core of Republicans' criticism of the President Obama, and until public opinion shows that Americans are wildly happy with it, I don't see Republicans giving up on repealing it anytime soon," says Nathan Gonzales, deputy editor of the non-partisan Rothenberg Political Report.

And 2014 politics is also behind this vote. All 435 House members are up for re-election next year.

"As Speaker Boehner said, I think this vote is about getting Members on the record for this Congress - Members that are new to Congress and haven't had a chance to vote on the health care bill one way or another. I don't think this vote is just about Republicans proving their conservative credentials, it's also about Democrats having to take a position on the issue after only making statements on the campaign trail before they were elected," adds Gonzales.

So what does the IRS controversy have to do with repealing the health care law?

The agency is a key player in implementing the Affordable Care Act. Starting next year the IRS is expected to distribute subsidies, through the planned state exchanges, for health care coverage, and the agency would penalize individuals who don't get insurance and small businesses that don't provide coverage.

GOP Sen. Dean Heller of Nevada said he'd introduce a bill this week to freeze any future heath care funding directed towards the IRS until Congress is given more oversight.

"With the recent events related to the Internal Revenue Service, I feel it is necessary that both Congress and the Department of Health and Human Services look closely at the money given to the IRS through the health care law," wrote Heller, in a letter to Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius.

Other Republican lawmakers are making similar arguments.

"With the implementation of Obamacare at hand, and knowing it's the IRS - the Internal Revenue Service - who will be the enforcing mechanism for this new entitlement program of Obamacare, it is very important to ask - and now it is reasonable to ask - could there be potential political implications of access to healthcare, denial of healthcare. Will that happen based upon a person's political beliefs, or their religiously held beliefs?" asked Rep. Michele Bachmann, Thursday morning, at a tea party event on Capitol Hill concerning the IRS scandal.

"Those questions would have been considered out of bounds a week ago. Today these questions are considered more than reasonable, and more than fair for the American people," added Bachmann, a former GOP presidential candidate who's the head of the long dormant House Tea Party caucus.

The IRS scandal is taking an already combustible battle over health care and turning up the heat even higher.

 

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