Betting that thin is in — and might be the only way forward — Senate Republicans are eyeing a “skinny repeal” that rolls back an unpopular portion of the federal health law. But experts warn that the idea has been tried before, and with little success. Senators are reportedly considering a narrow bill that would eliminate the Affordable Care Act’s “individual mandate,” which assesses a tax on Americans who don’t have insurance, along with penalties for employers with 50 or more workers who fail to offer health coverage. Details aren’t clear, but it appears that — at least initially — the rest of the 2010 health law would remain, including the rule that says insurers must cover people with preexisting medical problems.
In remarks on the Senate floor Wednesday, Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) said that “we just heard from the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office that under such a plan … 16 million Americans would lose their health insurance, and millions more would pay a 20 percent increase in their premiums.” A bipartisan group of 10 governors – including Ohio’s John Kasich and Nevada’s Brian Sandoval – signed a letter echoing these concerns and urging the Senate to reject it. But earlier in the day, some Republicans saw this concept as a means to advance the debate.
New Mexico journalists shouldn’t feel too upset that Gov. Susana Martinez’s office doesn’t return phone calls or emails—the governor reportedly did the same to Donald Trump’s campaign manager. That’s part of a story in The New York Times about how Trump came to choose Indiana Gov. Mike Pence as his running mate. A list of 16 names, put together by then-campaign manager Corey Lewandowski and campaign chairman Paul Manafort, did not include Martinez. It did include five women. Update: Martinez’s camp said they never were called by Lewandowski.
The Federal Election Commission (FEC) announced today that it will fine three dark money groups a total of $233,000 for concealing the sources of funds spent on political ads in 2010. Three groups — the American Future Fund, 60 Plus Association and Americans for Job Security — received money from the Center to Protect Patient Rights (CPPR), now American Encore. CPPR is linked to the Koch brothers — it was founded by Sean Noble, who was, at the time, central to the Kochs’ dark money efforts. As head of CPPR, he “handed out almost $137 million in 2012 alone — all of it so-called dark money from unnamed donors.” The American Future Fund spent millions during the Republican presidential primary this year to oppose Donald Trump and John Kasich. In 2013, CPPR admitted to failing to properly disclose money spent on a California ballot proposition that year.
It seems that Gov. Susana Martinez may be the new face of the conservative anti-Donald Trump movement. Establishment Republicans and even the head of one of the Super PACs backing Trump either defended Martinez or criticized the Republican presumptive nominee. Tuesday night during an Albuquerque rally, Trump slammed Susana Martinez. He cited facts that unemployment went up (though he said it doubled), that food stamp usage skyrocketed and that she allowed Syrian refugees to relocate to the stage “in large numbers” (when in reality just four Syrians have been relocated in the state). He also cited numbers from 2000, ten years before Martinez became governor.
Donald Trump essentially clinched the Republican nomination Tuesday after handily winning the Indiana primaries. The win, which came more than a month before New Mexico’s primaries, prompted U.S. Senator Ted Cruz to announce that he is suspending his campaign. Cruz was the Republican candidate with the second most amount of delegates and even then only had a goal of denying Trump a majority of delegates before the party’s convention this summer. After Cruz dropped out, some Republicans are coming together to support the presumptive nominee. On Twitter, Republican National Committee chairman Reince Priebus declared Trump the “presumptive” nominee and urged Republicans to unite around him.
The campaigns of Ted Cruz and John Kasich are pushing further in their effort to deny Donald Trump a majority of delegates—and New Mexico is a key part of the plan. In a statement sent to media, Kasich’s chief strategist John Weaver said the campaign will not campaign in Indiana. Instead, they will cede the state Cruz. Meanwhile, the Cruz campaign will sit out from campaigning in Oregon and New Mexico, deferring to Kasich in those two states. Weaver called New Mexico and Oregon “structurally similar to the Northeast politically, where Gov. Kasich is performing well.”
Cruz campaign manager Jeff Roe sent a similar statement about the unusual arrangement.
Steve Pearce will back Donald Trump if the New York businessman wins the Republican nomination. Pearce told the Associated Press he will back the Republican nominee against Hillary Clinton—even if that nominee is Trump. Trump is a controversial figure that many thought would not still be left in the race—let alone be the lone candidate with a chance to gain a majority of delegates before the Republican National Convention this summer. Pearce, who represents the border region of New Mexico, said he disagrees with some of Trump’s proposals on the U.S.-Mexico border. Among other things, Trump has called for a border wall, and wants the country of Mexico to pay for it.
After a bruising defeat in New York, Ted Cruz is retooling his outlook on how the Republican Party will pick its nominee. The U.S. senator from Texas, once hopeful he could win the nomination without a contested convention, is now conceding a floor fight is his only hope. With frontrunner Donald Trump collecting almost all of the 95 delegates that were at stake Tuesday in his home state, Cruz appears to be mathematically eliminated from capturing the 1,237 delegates he needs to secure the nomination before the convention. “We are headed to a contested convention,” Cruz said Wednesday morning in an interview on Philadelphia radio. “At this point, nobody is getting 1,237. Donald is going to talk all the time about other folks not getting to 1,237.
Headlines about Donald Trump and other Republican presidential candidates sent Susana Martinez to secondary status in a New York City gala to honor the New Mexico governor. The Republican Party in New York state invited Martinez, the Republican Governors Association chair, to be the guest of honor at an annual gala that serves as a fundraiser for the party. But after the Republican presidential nomination battle stretched on to make New York a key state, all three remaining Republican candidates decided to also attend the gala. The event took place just five days before New York Republicans go to the polls. Martinez, for her part, joked about the Republican primary.
The talk about Susana Martinez filling out the ticket for Republicans this November may hit a new peak as the New York Republican primary looms.
New York Republican Party chairman Ed Cox said that Susana Martinez is a potential vice presidential candidate. “She’s got a wonderful personal story, a great history as governor and having all three of the presidential candidates there while she delivers her keynote speech, and then you got them delivering their speeches, it’s going to be quite an evening,” Cox said. Martinez will be the guest of honor at a Republican gala later this week. However, she will be joined at the event by all three remaining Republican candidates. Cox made the remarks on “The Cats Roundtable,” a conservative talk radio show hosted by billionaire grocery store magnate John Catsimatidis.