Posts Tagged ‘Mitch McConnell’

McCain to oppose latest Republican health care bill — Keeps Obamacare alive

September 23, 2017

The US senator has said he will oppose the latest Republican attempt to replace Barack Obama’s health care law. Another ‘nay’ from the Arizona senator could be the fatal blow, given the party’s small Senate majority.

Münchner Sicherheitskonferenz (picture-alliance/dpa/M. Balk)

The announcement by Arizona Senator John McCain – a Republican often at odds with President Donald Trump and who cast a deciding ‘no’ vote in July that helped defeat the second Republican repeal bill this year – could sink Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell’s plans to pass the bill before the end of September.

“I cannot in good conscience vote for the Graham-Cassidy proposal,” McCain said of the bill proposed by Republican senators Lindsey Graham and Bill Cassidy. “I believe we could do better working together, Republicans and Democrats, and have not yet really tried,” the senator said in a statement.

McConnell has been trying to schedule a vote by September 30, the last day on which the bill could pass with only a simple majority of 51 votes in the Senate. A vote taken any later than that would have to get at least 60 votes.

To pass the Graham-Cassidy bill, the Republicans will need at least 50 votes in the 100-seat Senate, which they control 52-48, with Vice President Mike Pence casting a potential tie-breaking vote.

Several other Republicans are undecided, while no Democrats support the bill.

McCain said he would consider supporting the bill if it had come after extensive hearings, debate and amendment. “But that has not been the case,” he said.

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The bill

The bill would take federal money spent on the Medicaid program for the poor and disabled, as well as subsidies to help Americans buy private insurance, and then allocate it to the states in block grants.

The Center on Budget and Policy Priorities – a liberal think tank in Washington – has estimated the bill would cause more than 30 million people to lose insurance.

Third time unlucky

If it fails, it would be the third failed attempt to repeal the Affordable Care Act, the 2010 law often referred to as “Obamacare,” which brought health insurance to millions of Americans and became former Democratic President Barack Obama’s signature domestic achievement.

President Donald Trump made repealing Obamacare one of his top campaign promises in 2016. Democrats have fiercely defended it.

In July, McCain made a dramatic return to Washington from Arizona after a brain cancer diagnosis to become one of three Republican senators who helped sink their party’s earlier efforts to replace Obamacare.

After McCain’s surprising vote against that effort, Graham said in a statement he was not giving up. “We press on,” he said.

“The Jimmy Kimmel test”

Late night television host Jimmy Kimmel, who criticized the Graham-Cassidy bill on his show, thanked McCain on Twitter. “Thank you @SenJohnMcCain for being a hero again and again and now AGAIN,” he tweeted on Friday. Kimmel became part of the healthcare debate in May when he discussed his newborn son’s emergency heart surgery.

The talk show host said he felt a sense of personal betrayal from the bill’s co-sponsor Cassidy, who made an appearance on “Jimmy Kimmel Live” in the spring. Cassidy came on the show to promise that the health care reforms he was proposing would “pass the Jimmy Kimmel test,” meaning that no family should be denied medical care because they cannot afford it.

Kimmel said earlier this week that Cassidy “lied right to my face” by giving him false assurances of Republican health care plans. Cassidy, in turn, said the comedian was misinformed and did not understand the bill’s components.

jbh/kl (AFP, Reuters)

http://www.dw.com/en/mccain-to-oppose-latest-republican-bill-to-sink-obamacare/a-40649988

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With Timing Tight for GOP’s Graham-Cassidy Health-Law Effort, Opponents Rush to Mobilize

September 21, 2017

Critics step up attacks on latest bill amid narrow window for Senate vote

Republican Sen. Lindsey Graham and Rick Santorum in Washington on Wednesday.

Republican Sen. Lindsey Graham and Rick Santorum in Washington on Wednesday. PHOTO: REYNOLD/EPA-EFE/REX/SHUTTERSTOCK/EPA/SHUTTERSTOCK

Opponents of a Republican plan to dismantle most of the Affordable Care Act are scrambling to ramp up a resistance campaign before a possible Senate vote next week on a bill many never expected would gain traction.

With such a narrow window, consumer and other groups are seeking to pressure specific GOP senators they see as most likely to waver. They also assert that Republicans are trying to ram through a bill outside the normal process while reneging on a promise to preserve the ACA’s consumer protections, claims the bill’s sponsors reject.

Timing is clearly a challenge for the bill’s supporters, who must cobble together votes by a Sept. 30 deadline, when a parliamentary vehicle that enables the Senate to pass legislation with a simple majority expires. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R., Ky.) has said he plans to hold a vote next week, by Sens. Lindsey Graham of South Carolina and Bill Cassidy of Louisiana.

But it also doesn’t leave much time for the bill’s opponents, who had weeks to build up resistance to previous ACA-repeal attempts, including legislation that failed in July to pass the Senate.

“This bill is complicated and far-reaching,” said Larry Levitt, a senior vice president at the Kaiser Family Foundation. “Interest groups don’t have a lot of time to mobilize and figure out what it means.”

Republican leaders have begun responding to the attacks on their bill to topple much of the ACA. They say it protects people with pre-existing conditions and returns control over health care to the states. They disagree with critics who say they have been secretive with the bill’s process, pointing out that they’re holding public hearings early next week on the legislation.

“Under Graham-Cassidy-Heller-Johnson, more people will have coverage and we protect those with pre-existing conditions,” Mr. Cassidy said Wednesday on CNN, referring to the other sponsors of the bill.

The attacks seek to hit the bill’s sponsors in areas of political vulnerability.

Save My Care, a health-care advocacy group, has launched ad campaigns in Nevada, Alaska, West Virginia, Maine, Tennessee and Arizona. An ad this week targets Sen. Dean Heller (R., Nev.) for co-sponsoring a bill that lets states waive ACA protections for people with pre-existing conditions. Nevada’s Republican Gov. Brian Sandoval opposes the legislation.

“We’re pulling out all the stops. We’re putting out a lot of phone calls,” said Brad Woodhouse, campaign director at Protect Our Care, an advocacy group focused on blocking the repeal. “Calls are going into Washington and state offices.”

The proposal would let states get waivers to end the ACA prohibition on insurers charging higher premiums to people with pre-existing health conditions. That was the situation before the ACA established the restriction.

A few months ago, Mr. Cassidy spoke out in favor of protections for people with pre-existing conditions. Mr. Cassidy has said the bill would protect these consumers because it stipulates that coverage must be affordable. Critics say that definition is so vague that rates for sick people still could become prohibitively expensive.

The bill is more far-reaching in some ways than earlier GOP repeal attempts. It would end the mandate that most people have coverage or pay a penalty and the requirement that many employers provide health insurance to workers.

The proposal essentially turns over federal ACA funding—estimated at more than $1 trillion through 2024—to states, allowing them to set up their own health-care systems. It would cut federal health funds to states by more than $4 trillion through 2026, according to a report Wednesday by Avalere Health, a health-care consulting firm.

States that expanded Medicaid under the ACA would see some of the largest cuts, according to the report.

With repeal possibly within Republicans’ grasp, a bipartisan group of 10 governors on Tuesday sent Mr. McConnell a letter saying they favored a bipartisan process instead of the repeal bill.

Planned Parenthood Federation of America, which the bill seeks to exclude from the federal Medicaid program, held a rally outside the Capitol on Tuesday, where senators and activists took turns speaking. The group has held rallies outside the offices of Sens. Lisa Murkowski (R., Alaska.) and John McCain (R., Ariz.), who are both undecided, as well as Sen. Shelley Moore Capito (R., W. Va.), who voiced concerns about previous repeal efforts.

Industry groups including the American Medical Association, the American Hospital Association, and America’s Health Insurance Plans, the major health insurers’ group, have come out against the proposal.

The repeal fight is likely to come down to a one-vote margin. If GOP leaders vote by Sept. 30, they will need 50 votes in the 100-member Senate, where they hold a 52-48 majority, with Vice President Mike Pence casting a potential tie-breaking vote. After Sept. 30, they would need 60 votes, which is unlikely given the unified Democratic opposition to GOP repeal efforts.

Sen. Rand Paul (R., Ky.) has said he will vote no, and Sen. Susan Collins (R., Maine) has signaled her serious reservations, meaning the bill’s sponsors cannot lose another vote.

Republican leaders maintain their bill presents the best chance GOP lawmakers have to deliver on a yearslong pledge to repeal the ACA.

“I’m giving you the chance to do something different than Obamacare because this is not working,” Mr. Graham said of his bill Wednesday. “It’s not working in Alaska, it’s not working in South Carolina.”

 https://www.wsj.com/articles/with-timing-tight-for-gops-health-law-repeal-effort-opponents-rush-to-mobilize-1505986206
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The latest Republican stab at overhauling the Affordable Care Act manages to be both more timid and more sweeping than previous efforts to replace Obamacare. Known as Graham-Cassidy, it was written by a quartet of Republican senators led by Lindsey Graham of South Carolina and Bill Cassidy of Louisiana.

In the timid sense, the proposal would keep much more of Obamacare’s taxes and spending in place than previous Republican plans this year. Yet Graham-Cassidy makes more sweeping changes by turning money currently used on insurance subsidies and the Medicaid expansion into block grants to states. This change would give states more flexibility to design their own health care systems.

The prospects for Graham-Cassidy remain in doubt, but the battle over whether states or the federal government should have more control over health care policy will remain no matter what happens in the coming weeks. There is a strong case for a system that takes a less Washington-centric approach to health care and turns more decisions over to the states.

Commentators often bemoan how divided the nation is, pointing to our bitter elections and the toxic nature of political discourse. But the current level of partisan and regional polarization is a natural consequence of a political system that cedes so much power to the federal government. When distant lawmakers and unelected bureaucrats are in a position to make decisions that have enormous implications for the entire nation, the stakes of any decision become much higher. This is especially true when it comes to health care policy, which has the most personal and life-altering effects on individuals and their families.

A more flexible system would give states latitude to pursue health care programs that are a better fit for their populations’ ideological sensibilities. And there are practical reasons to think of health care as a state-based issue: Every one has its own demographics, health challenges and other unique characteristics.

For instance, median household income is much higher in New Hampshire than in Arkansas; heart disease and obesity are much bigger problems in Mississippi than in Colorado; the opioid epidemic is much worse in West Virginia than in Nebraska. Relatively sparsely populated areas struggle with the closings of rural hospitals, leaving large geographic areas underserved, while urban areas have a high concentration of large hospitals, many of which struggle with overcrowding.

Some states have both major cities and vast rural areas. Some skew younger while others skew older. State-specific factors help explain why even under the centralized Obamacare, premium increases and the participation of insurers have varied widelyacross the country. It makes sense to allow states to set their priorities and direct their resources based on the characteristics of their populations.

As states come up with innovative solutions to their health care problems, it means there are 50 opportunities to experiment. States can test solutions that worked elsewhere, or steer clear of ideas that failed. This path makes more sense than having politicians and distant regulators impose one giant experiment on the entire nation that is harder to undo if it fails.

The idea of turning more power over to the states has long been advocated by conservatives, but there are compelling reasons for liberals to get behind devolving power from the federal government.

When Congress passed the Affordable Care Act in 2010, it left many of the details to the discretion of the Department of Health and Human Services, giving vast powers to the secretary to determine everything from fast-food menu labeling requirements to when individuals could purchase insurance. During the Obama years, the administration used its regulatory discretion — pushing and arguably exceeding the limits of the law — to prop up the president’s signature legislative accomplishment as the program ran into implementation problems.

When President Trump took office, he appointed Tom Price, a longtime foe of Obamacare during his time in Congress, to run H.H.S. In the past several months, liberals have shouted “sabotage” as they have witnessed Mr. Price take actions such as slashing Obamacare’s advertising budget, tweaking the rules on the types of plans insurers are allowed to offer and cutting in half— to six weeks — the program’s open enrollment period. Mr. Trump himself has created uncertainty over whether he will continue to authorize payments to insurers that congressional Republicans sued Mr. Obama over.

Any national health care system that assumes one party will control Washington for all eternity is doomed to fail. New Yorkers would have much less to fear about a Trump presidency if the president didn’t control agencies that set policies for the entire country.

From the perspective of somebody who wants to see genuine federalism in health care, Graham-Cassidy leaves a lot to be desired. Because it keeps many of Obamacare’s regulations on the books at the national level, it limits the amount of innovation that can occur at the state level. The fact that it keeps most of Obamacare’s taxes means that states preferring to take a more free market approach will still be paying for a big government footprint in other states. Under one scenario, for instance, Texans could be subsidizing single-payer health care in Vermont.

But the idea of giving states more control over their health care systems should survive no matter what happens with Graham-Cassidy.

McConnell Plans Vote on GOP Health Bill Next Week

September 20, 2017

Senate leader is still trying to secure enough Republican votes for Graham-Cassidy measure

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The latest proposal, written by Sens. Lindsey Graham (left) and Bill Cassidy (center), would turn federal health insurance funding into block grants for states. | Alex Brandon/AP

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell plans to hold a vote next week on the latest GOP effort to unwind the Affordable Care Act, his spokesman said Wednesday, even though Republicans haven’t yet secured enough support to pass the legislation.

“It is the leader’s intention to consider Graham-Cassidy on the floor next week,” David Popp, a spokesman for Mr. McConnell, said Wednesday. The statement didn’t commit the Senate to a vote,…

 https://www.wsj.com/articles/trump-urges-gop-senators-to-back-new-health-bill-1505923011
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McConnell spokeswoman: Senate to vote next week on Graham-Cassidy

The majority leader’s office does leave some wiggle room, however.

Updated 

The Senate will vote next week on the latest bill to repeal Obamacare — but the outcome is anything but certain.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) plans to put a bill written by Sens. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) and Bill Cassidy (R-La.) to a vote, hoping that a looming Sept. 30 deadline to pass the bill with just 50 votes will create enough pressure to finally pass a repeal of the health care law, his office said.

“It is the leader’s intention to consider Graham/Cassidy on the floor next week,” a spokeswoman said.

McConnell has told colleagues he will only bring up the bill if it will succeed. The statement does leave some wiggle room to not proceed with a vote.

It’s still anyone’s guess whether the bill’s backers can get to 50 votes.

Sens. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) and Susan Collins (R-Maine) are viewed as hard “no’s.” And Sens. John McCain (R-Ariz.) and Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska), who opposed a previous iteration of repeal in July, are not sold on the proposal.

In an interview, McCain sounded like he could end up tanking a bill written by Graham, his close friend.

“Nothing has changed. If McConnell wants to put it on the floor, that’s up to McConnell,” McCain said. “I am the same as I was before. I want the regular order.”

Asked if that means he’s a “no” vote, McCain said: “That means I want the regular order. It means I want the regular order!”

The latest proposal would turn federal health insurance funding into block grants for states, wind down Obamacare’s Medicaid expansion and rescind the law’s coverage mandates. Notably, there will be no complete analysis by the Congressional Budget Office by the time a vote comes up, leaving lawmakers unsure what the bill’s effects on premiums and coverage will be.

That uncertainty has kept many center-right senators on the sidelines, including McCain, Murkowski and Sens. Rob Portman (R-Ohio) and Shelley Moore Capito (R-W.Va.). Graham and Cassidy spent Wednesday morning meeting with McConnell and working on Murkowski and Sen. Dan Sullivan (R-Alaska), hoping to overcome their concerns that block grants could slash funding to Alaska.

“We’re very interested in helping Alaska because Alaska has 750,000 people. And a land mass bigger than Texas,” Graham said.

Most of the whipping will focus on McCain and Murkowski. Both took an immense political risk in rejecting the GOP’s “skinny” repeal in July, and Republican senators believe that if the two of them support the bill, the rest of the undecided Republicans will fall in line.

“It’s going well,” Cassidy said of the discussions with McCain and Murkowski. “I don’t want to say in play … but they are open to these discussions.”

Bannon on 60 Minutes: Paul Ryan, Mitch McConnell ‘Trying to Nullify 2016 Election’ — Bannon at war with the Republican establishment

September 8, 2017

Breitbart

In an interview with CBS anchor Charlie Rose that will air on Sunday’s 60 Minutes, Bannon said that is why he is going to “war” with the Republican establishment. He also revealed that McConnell even told Trump’s team to “back off” the “drain the swamp” talk during one of their first meetings.

“The Republican establishment is trying to nullify the 2016 election,” Bannon told Rose, in a clip that the CBS Evening News previewed on Thursday evening. “That’s a brutal fact we have to face.”

When Rose asked him to name names, Bannon answered, “I think Mitch McConnell, and to a degree, Paul Ryan. They do not want Donald Trump’s populist, economic nationalist agenda to be implemented. It’s very obvious.”

Bannon then told Rose that during one of the first meetings with McConnell at Trump Tower, the Senate Majority Leader told Trump’s team, “I don’t wanna hear any more of this ‘drain the swamp’ talk.”

The Breitbart News executive chairman said McConnell told them that “a guy up on Capitol Hill can’t buy a Coke unless it’s gotta be reported” and, as a result, he “can’t hire any smart people.”

McConnell, according to Bannon, insisted Trump’s team stop talking about draining the swamp, saying, “you gotta back off that.”

Bannon also told Rose that Messrs. Ryan and McConnell are not going to help Trump “unless they’re put on notice. They’re gonna be held accountable if they do not support the President of the United States. Right now there’s no accountability. They do not support the president’s program. It’s an open secret on Capitol Hill. Everybody in this city knows it.”

Rose then asked, “now that you’re out of the White House, you’re going to war with them?”

Bannon replied, “absolutely.”

http://www.breitbart.com/big-government/2017/09/08/bannon-paul-ryan-mitch-mcconnell-trying-to-nullify-2016-election/

Trump Defends Legislative Deal With Democrats, Citing Senate Rules

September 8, 2017

On Twitter, president warns of GOP  ‘death wish’ in party-line legislation

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WASHINGTON—President Donald Trump made a case for working with Democratic leaders on legislative deals over the objections of fellow Republicans in tweets Friday morning.

Mr. Trump said that it was a “death wish” for GOP legislators to pursue bills on party lines, noting Senate rules require that most legislation pass with 60 votes, and the Republicans control only 52.

He also cited GOP lawmakers’ failure to pass a bill overturning and replacing the 2010 Affordable Care Act.

“Republicans, sorry, but I’ve been hearing about Repeal & Replace for 7 years, didn’t happen! Even worse, the Senate Filibuster Rule will never allow the Republicans to pass even great legislation. 8 Dems control—will rarely get 60 (vs. 51) votes. It is a Repub Death Wish!” he wrote.

The tweets come at the end of a week in which Mr. Trump scrambled the partisan equation by siding with Democratic leaders Chuck Schumer, a New York senator, and Nancy Pelosi, a California congresswoman, on a three-month deal that tied an extension on government borrowing and spending to hurricane relief.

GOP leaders had argued against the proposal, though House Speaker Paul Ryan (R., Wis.) later suggested that it was specifically tied to the need for swift action on hurricane relief.

On Thursday, Mr. Trump also praised the deal in remarks to reporters and said that it could reflect a new order of business in the capital.

“I think we will have a different relationship than you’ve been watching over the last number of years,” he said. “I hope so. I think that’s a great thing for our country. And I think that’s what the people of the United States want to see.”

Mr. Trump also invited his vice president, Mike Pence, to echo his remarks.

“For me it was a great moment,” Mr. Pence said. “And I think the American people and this president welcome a break from the harsh partisanship that has defined this city too long.”

Write to Louise Radnofsky at louise.radnofsky@wsj.com

 https://www.wsj.com/articles/trump-justifies-legislative-deal-with-democrats-citing-senate-rules-1504879990

Trump to promote ‘vision’ for job creation via tax overhaul

August 30, 2017

By  CATHERINE LUCEY and JOSH BOAK
The Associated Press

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Donald Trump will kick off his lobbying effort for a tax overhaul at an event with a Midwestern manufacturing backdrop and some economic tough talk.

The one thing missing? A detailed proposal.

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President Donald Trump (AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais)

Instead, in Springfield, Missouri, Wednesday, Trump will give remarks that the White House said will focus on his “vision” for spurring job creation and economic growth by cutting rates and revising the tax code. Details will come later, officials said, when lawmakers work them out.

After a year with no major legislative wins, the stakes are high for the White House and GOP leaders, who face mounting pressure to get points on the board before next year’s midterm elections. Complicating matters, the tax push comes amid an intense September workload that requires Congress to act by month’s end to fund the government and raise the debt limit, as well as pass emergency spending for the Harvey disaster.

After failing to deliver on seven years of promises to repeal and replace Obamacare, many Republicans believe they must produce on taxes or face a reckoning in next year’s congressional midterm elections. If they don’t have something to show for full control of Congress and the White House, voters could try to take it all away, beginning with the GOP’s House majority.

On Twitter Sunday, Trump previewed his trip, stressing the politics. Calling Missouri a “wonderful state,” he said the state’s Democratic Sen. Claire McCaskill — up for re-election next year — is “opposed to big tax cuts” and said a “Republican will win” the state.

Trump is kicking the effort off in Springfield, considered the birthplace of the historic Route 66 highway, known as “America’s Main Street.” Emphasizing domestic jobs, he’s appearing at the Loren Cook Company, which manufactures fans, gravity vents, laboratory exhaust systems and energy recovery ventilators.

A key challenge is to frame a tax plan that could include cuts for corporations and top earners as a boon for the middle class. Officials suggested Trump would argue that cutting business taxes will benefit American companies and workers. The remarks were drafted by Trump policy adviser Stephen Miller with the speechwriting team, under Trump’s guidance, the White House said.

Trump will be joined by Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin, Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross, Gary Cohn, director of the National Economic Council, and Small Business Administrator Linda McMahon, said the White House. Also expected are Missouri elected officials, including Sen. Roy Blunt and Gov. Eric Greitens, as well as local business owners.

Trump is expected to continue his sales pitch and Republicans are hoping the president commits in a way he never did for health care.

“If you’re a Republican, you have to be encouraged by the president’s recent focus on tax reform,” said Brian McGuire, former chief of staff to Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell. “Not only does presidential leadership make the chances of success here far more likely, it could also very well be the difference between Donald Trump presiding over a jobs boom and Nancy Pelosi presiding over an impeachment trial.”

But in order to clear their other priorities and focus to rewriting the tax code, Congress will need a steady partner in the White House, something that’s been sorely lacking from Trump thus far. If the president chooses to renew fights with key lawmakers like McConnell or double down on contentious issues like funding his border wall, which he’s already threatened to shut down the government to achieve, that could only hurt chances of reaching success on taxes.

“He’s a liability,” said Republican consultant Rick Tyler. “He proved that in the whole health care repeal and replace. He just can’t stay focused on one thing.”

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Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (Photo by T.J. Kirkpatrick/Getty Images)

The Trump administration released a one-page set of goals in April, followed by a joint statement in July with congressional leaders. In an interview with the Financial Times last week, Cohn said the White House and GOP leaders have agreed on a “good skeleton” for a tax overhaul, and said the House tax-writing committee would be drafting legislation while the White House tries to sell the plan.

Republican House Speaker Paul Ryan touted tax reform efforts during an appearance in suburban Seattle last week. He pledged to simplify the code, calling it “the worst, the least competitive tax system in the industrialized world.”

White House officials declined to discuss details Tuesday. Trump has promised the largest tax cut ever, saying he’d like to see the corporate tax rate drop from a top tax rate of 35 percent to a top rate of 15 percent. But it’s not clear if it will end up being that low in the plan. It is also not clear what kind of break a typical taxpayer will see.

Cohn told the Financial Times a bill could be passed in the House and Senate in 2017, pushing back the administration’s timetable for a bill to reach the president’s desk. The White House had said previously that it expected final passage in November.

Cohn said that if Democrats are not interested in working together, they will pursue legislation using a maneuver that only requires Republican votes.

Democrats have already gone on the attack. Democratic House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi said on Twitter recently that House Speaker Paul Ryan’s “tax plan is not reform — it’s a tax cut for billionaires.”

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AP Congressional Correspondent Erica Werner contributed to this report.

Healthcare: Senator Lindsey Graham pushing “fundamentally different approach than Obamacare.”

August 30, 2017

By SEAN MORAN

Breitbart

29 Aug 2017

Senator Lindsey Graham (R-SC) told Breitbart News in an exclusive interview that while the congressional  leadership’s healthcare bills kept Obamacare’s infrastructure in place, his coalition’s plan to repeal and replace “is truly and fundamentally a different approach than Obamacare.”

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Lindsey Graham. Credit J. Scott Applewhite for AP

Breitbart News reported on former Senator Rick Santorum’s plan to block grant Obamacare to the states. Santorum continues to work with Sen. Lindsey Graham, House Freedom Caucus Mark Meadows (R-NC), and Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker on a Republican alternative to the Affordable Care Act. These lawmakers’ support for the idea could culminate in a consensus that could allow the bill to pass through the Senate and fulfill Republicans’ promise to repeal and replace Obamacare. Meadows told Breitbart News Daily that the plan has “real merit.”

Santorum told Breitbart News that the plan could pass through the House and the Senate. Graham concurs with Santorum, suggesting that bill goes much further than the House-passed American Health Care Act (AHCA) and the Senate leadership’s Better Care Reconciliation Act (BCRA). Graham told Breitbart News:

Number one, we promised to repeal and replace, not to change the margins here. The House and the Senate bills were definitely improvements to Obamacare; however, it’s a stretch to say that they were a Replace because we did not really, the infrastructure stayed in place. This is truly and fundamentally a different approach than Obamacare. It relies upon the concept of federalism. Instead of Washington, D.C. managing Obamacare, having national exchanges, having payments going to insurance companies to prop up the system that cannot work. We’re going to block grant the health care to the states.

The House-passed AHCA and the Senate’s BCRA kept much of the infrastructure of Obamacare in place. Instead of the Obamacare subsidies for low-income Americans to purchase health insurance, congressional leadership swapped out the subsidies for refundable tax credits for Americans to purchase health insurance. Unlike the Santorum and Graham plan, the AHCA and the BCRA kept Obamacare’s federal exchanges and winded down Obamacare’s Medicaid expansion, although, Medicaid expansion was eliminating after several years. Graham’s plan eliminates Obamacare’s Medicaid expansion. Conservatives chided the original AHCA for not repealing enough of Obamacare, labelling the legislation, “Ryancare” and “Obamacare-Lite.”

Senator Graham explained to Breitbart News the construct behind the plan to repeal and replace Obamacare through block grants. Graham told Breitbart News:

They’ll have to cover pre-existing illnesses; they cannot use the money for roads and bridges or football stadiums. They have to spend the money on health care. It gives the consumer a voice they would never have in Obamacare. You can complain to your congressman or senator, but we do not run the program. Trying to find somebody in charge of your health care is almost impossible. Most of the people that run Obamacare are unelected bureaucrats. It is very hard to get their attention when things do not work well and Obamacare is based upon the idea of an unlimited printing press, you just keep printing money. Under the block grant approach, you can complain to somebody about the quality of your health care. That somebody would be your representative and the governor of the state. Chances are the person you are complaining has the same doctor that your family has. From a consumer’s point of view you have a much stronger voice, from an accountability perspective you have a much stronger voice in how it works because it will not be a 50 state conglomerate. There will be 50 different state solutions.

Here’s the construct. We are going to repeal the individual mandate, and the employer mandate. That generates about $200 billion in savings. The states can reemploy the individual mandate and the employer mandate if they would like but you cannot drag everyone else down with you. You can go to single-payer health care in a state if you wanted to, I think you would be foolish, but you cannot drag 49 other states with you.

So, what we did this will repeal the individual and employer mandate, and medical device tax. We left the other taxes in place and created a block grant. Under Obamacare, 4 states got 40% of the money. That’s New York, California, Maryland, and Massachusetts. They’re 20 percent of the population and so by 2026 our goal is to have parity. It will be roughly the same no matter whether you live in South Carolina or California. We help states that did not expand their Medicaid under Obamacare catch up. High-cost expansion states will have a glide path down to a number that will be parity by 2026.

Senator Graham told Breitbart News that key to getting the new Obamacare repeal plan to pass through Congress remains the governors’ support for the bill. Graham said, “So what we’re trying to do is get governors on board. The intellectual force behind this for governors has been Scott Walker from Wisconsin and Doug Ducey from Arizona. One expansion state and one non-expansion state. Most Republican states did not take Medicaid expansions. By 2026 we want to have parity. We’re trying to lock the formula down this week and send the text to CBO so they can score it.”

Senator Graham explained how the bill will increase flexibility for states to implement their own health care systems. Conservative states will have much greater freedom to implement their health care plans compared to Obamacare.

Graham continued: “There’s going to be three forms of flexibility. 1332 waivers from the HHS, which the governors like. There is going to be waivers through the children’s health program CHIP, which is a fairly flexible program, we’re going to be as flexible as possible with reconciliation and the parliamentarian. The fourth level of flexibility comes through the administration, Labor Department, HHS, they will have a wide ability to make waivers and grant flexibility.”

Increased flexibility with health insurance regulations could allow Republican states to design more innovative and more affordable health care plans.

Sen. Graham revealed that not only has he worked with Health and Human Services (HHS) Secretary Tom Price and Centers for Medicare and Medicaid (CMS) Administrator Seema Verma on a plan for his proposal, they have will also work to draft the formula used to figure out how much money every state gets for their local health care system.

“They have helped us design the formula. We have been working close with the administration to try to find a formula that would have been spent on Obamacare and block grant it back to the states and achieving parity by 2026, with as much flexibility as possible. This will be the end of single-payer health care, because the money and the policy making will be out of Washington,” the South Carolina senator said.

Graham told Breitbart News that he believes that the bill will score better than the House-passed American Health Care Act (AHCA) and the Senate leadership’s Better Care Reconciliation Act (BCRA). Graham told Breitbart News:

I think this bill will score very well. I think it will score well in terms of fiscal deficit impact. I think it will do as good as the House bill if not better. Once you repeal the individual and employer mandate, 14 million people will drop coverage because they no longer have to pay the fine. So 14 million just made a personal choice. I don’t feel like I’m denying anyone coverage because they made a choice.

Here’s what they can’t lose sight. Obamacare is a nightmare, it will never work, these exchanges cannot be propped up. It was always the plan to go to single-payer health care. It’s to make insurance so costly in the private sector that people will drop coverage and then pay the fine and their employees will join the exchanges and then people will have cradle to grave health care. I think that’s Obamacare goals was.

I think that the goal of Obamacare was to take over the patients that to exchange. This is a stake in the heart of Obamacare through a block grant.

Graham said that he believes that Sen. Lamar Alexander (R-TN) – the Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions (HELP) Committee chairman – will likely hold hearings in September on his proposed plan to repeal and replace Obamacare.

Graham also suggested that the plan could get to the 50 votes necessary for a repeal and replace legislation to pass through the Senate and perhaps a couple of votes from the Senate Democrats.

Graham explained, “When it comes to getting to 50, Alaska does very well under this approach. I think we can get Senator McCain, Senator Murkowski if it works out well for their states. So, conceptually John likes it if it’s good for Arizona. If you can get it to 50, I do not think that a Democrat is going to make it the 50th vote, but I do believe that once we get 50 Republicans there’s going to be a handful of Democrats that will vote for more money and more flexibility for their states.”

Graham criticized the House and Senate leadership’s approach to repealing and replacing Obamacare, arguing that the leadership “got too much in the weeds of tweaking Obamacare.” He argued that Republicans should have started from their principles to revert power back to the states, rather than tweaking the government’s power to hand out health care as an entitlement. Graham also said that he will continue to work with Senators Ted Cruz (R-TX) and Mike Lee (R-UT) on empowering states with more regulatory flexibility to implement their health care plans and lower premiums.

Graham also suggested that House Freedom Caucus members Mark Meadows and Sen. Bill Cassidy (R-LA), and former Senator Rick Santorum have been instrumental in pushing forward this strategy to empower states to create their own health care systems. Rick Santorum was instrumental in passing welfare reform in the 1990s, and Freedom Caucus chairman Mark Meadows led the drive that improved the AHCA enough for the bill to pass through the House.

Graham told Breitbart News:

I’m working with Mark Meadows in the House. The Freedom Caucus guys have been terrific. You know, this should have been our first idea, not our last idea. As Republicans, I think we got too much in the weeds of tweaking Obamacare. We should have went back to our basic philosophy of getting as much money and power out of Washington as possible. If we started with this concept, we would’ve had it done by now. I had a bill that would have allowed people to opt out of Obamacare and so Rick Santorum called me and said, ‘Why don’t we just block grant and instead opting out?’ So myself, Rick Santorum, and Mark Meadows started meeting and if this becomes law it will be because of Rick Santorum, he’s been indispensable. Bill Cassidy has been a great partner. Santorum has been instrumental, he knows his stuff backwards and forwards. We just need to remember this whole experience. When you [are] confronted with what happened in Washington you shouldn’t try to make Frankenstein look better, we should build something new.

Graham concluded, “This is may be the most important thing that I’ll ever do. If we can take money and power out Washington when it comes to health care, then we can achieve a great feat. Health care that is closest to the patient is the best health care.

http://www.breitbart.com/big-government/2017/08/29/exclusive-senator-lindsey-graham-block-grants-truly-and-fundamentally-a-different-approach-than-obamacare/

Are Trump’s August Controversies Careless—Or Calculated?

August 28, 2017

Did the president mindlessly pick fights, or did he deliberately choose his targets to speak to middle America?

President Donald Trump at a campaign rally in Phoenix last week lashed out at the news media and attacked fellow Republicans for failing to repeal the Affordable Care Act.
President Donald Trump at a campaign rally in Phoenix last week lashed out at the news media and attacked fellow Republicans for failing to repeal the Affordable Care Act. PHOTO: JOSHUA ROBERTS/REUTERS

Aug. 28, 2017 11:07 a.m. ET

Here are two ways of looking at how President Donald Trump has spent his August:

He has ruined the month—perhaps even his presidency—by mindlessly picking fights with Republican congressional leaders and the media, and by wallowing in divisive cultural issues rather than pushing his economic agenda.

But here is another:

Rather than stumble and fumble into these controversies, Mr. Trump has quite deliberately chosen his issues and his enemies.

He has drawn attention to cultural issues—immigration, his border wall, defending Confederate symbols, Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio—precisely because they speak clearly to middle America. There, they resonate with both his core supporters and a wider universe of people who don’t love the president but think the nation’s elites have walked away from them on social issues.

Donald Trump, Joe Arpaio

Similarly, he has picked his targets for wrath—the media and the Republican establishment—carefully rather than cavalierly.

Targeting the news media is a winner with his base as well as a much broader segment of GOP votes. And by attacking Republican Senators, he is trying to be sure they are blamed rather than him for failures on health care—while also creating grass-roots pressure on them to atone for that failure by delivering on tax reform this fall.

“He’s framing the fall,” says Jason Miller, who was communications director of the Trump campaign and maintains close ties to the White House. “I think the president masterfully knows how to work the synergy of this counterculture, anti-Washington-elite sentiment to help him push forward on his agenda.”

In short, perhaps Mr. Trump is simply doing exactly what he did during last year’s presidential campaign, which is to use controversy and even seeming chaos to show that he stands apart from establishment forces that many Americans think have failed them. He won by running essentially as a political independent and, after seven rocky months in office, he appears to be gambling on that course again.

That doesn’t mean this is the wisest approach, or that it won’t blow up in the president’s face. It’s certainly risky to think that angering rather than wooing congressional leaders of his own party is going to produce a productive working relationship this fall. It’s equally hard to grasp why Mr. Trump is pursing this approach after having eased out of the White House its main proponent, Steve Bannon.

Still, it isn’t mindless. It is controversy generated for a purpose.

Trump aides believe—and there is ample evidence to support them—that cultural anxiety among working-class voters was as big a factor as economic anxiety in his campaign victory. Look at the list of issues Mr. Trump has touched upon in recent weeks—transgender Americans in the military, sanctuary cities, the racially charged march in Charlottesville—and you can see him returning to that path.

In doing so, he has stoked deep divisions in the country, particularly with his language that appeared to equate white supremacist marchers with those who protest them. Yet while many in Washington hear defense of neo-Nazi groups when Mr. Trump talks, his supporters make clear that what THEY hear is defense of historic Confederate statues—and, by implication, a traditional version of American culture.

House Democratic leader Nancy Pelosi has responded by calling for removing every Confederate statue from the U.S. Capitol—something Mr. Miller calls “a very dangerous spot of overreaching.”

Similarly, when Mr. Trump revives tough immigration talk, he is embracing an issue that helped him steal white working-class voters away from the Democrats.

Democratic pollster Stanley Greenberg calls immigration a “critical element of the Democrats’ working-class challenge.” His survey work has found that, among 2016 voters, white working-class men—a traditional Democratic group who became a core Trump constituency—were twice as likely to call immigrants an economic burden on the country as were college-educated white women, a core Democratic constituency.

Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel, who is in Mr. Trump’s crosshairs over his city’s policies toward immigrants, thinks he see another motive: an attempt to distract attention from the administration’s failure to produce economic policies that help the working class. “Each of these announcements is of a single piece: to grab voters they have lost on economic issues with cultural red meat,” he says.

Heading into the fall, the paramount economic issue for the Republican Party and the White House is the quest for tax reform and a broad tax cut. Across the GOP there is no more important priority, and party leaders know they can ill afford to fail.

Mr. Trump’s criticisms of party leaders are designed, Mr. Miller says, to add to the pressure. The president is saying: The party establishment failed me—and you—on health care. It’s not my fault. Don’t let them fail us on taxes.

Write to Gerald F. Seib at jerry.seib@wsj.com

https://www.wsj.com/articles/are-trumps-august-controversies-carelessor-calculated-1503932851

Is The Republican Party Committing Suicide?

August 27, 2017

By Brent Bozell — For Breitbart

The Grand Old Party is about to commit suicide.

All this talk about Trump this, and Trump that, masks a far bigger political controversy. The Republican Party leadership in Washington, D.C., has fundamentally betrayed its constituents and they are about to learn that they’ve been double-crossed — for years.

Every Republican candidate’s stock speech sounds the same, the thunderous roar about a government out of control, federal spending out of control (insert charts and graphs and why, if you stack hundred dollar bills, they will reach the edge of the universe), federal taxes out of control (insert comparisons to socialist countries), the federal bureaucracy out of control (insert metaphors about chains, yokes, and the like), the family shattered with federal funding of abortion a crime against humanity (watch for it — there! The heart-wrenching sob), and our military is emasculated.

Two more items were added to the menu, courtesy of Obama. Obamacare Will Be Repealed! and Illegal Immigration Will Not Stand!

In 2009, the Democrats controlled everything, partly due to the Republicans’ cowardice on Capitol Hill, and in part because of some of the most inept candidates and campaigns America has seen in years. The Obama folks could have played it safe but went for socialist gold, using the power of the legislative and the executive branches (and later the judiciary, thank you Justice Roberts) to advance their agenda.

That included federal spending on a level unmatched in human history resulting ultimately in a $19 trillion in debt we simply cannot pay, and with so many tens of trillions of dollars in unfunded liabilities that “infinity” is not far behind. One seventh of the economy was confiscated by the federal government with the passage of Obamacare. Our national borders were declared open and discussions over our national sovereignty closed. And to top it off, the Democrats all but declared themselves above the law.

The GOP harrumphed that this would not stand, by God! If only… if only America would vote them into the majority.

In 2009, the Tea Party was born. The Grand Old Party was rejuvenated. Happy days were here again.

Just one year later, the Republicans captured the House, and with that, the power of the purse. They now had the authority to stop the insane spending on so many obnoxious and wholly unnecessary ventures. They could end Obamacare simply by not funding it.

Instead, under the “leadership” of John Boehner, it did absolutely nothing. Why, if only we had the Senate! Then we could take on the President!

So in 2014, after spending hundreds of millions of campaign dollars running hundreds of thousands of television and radio ads pledging to end illegal immigration while repealing Obamacare “root and branch” (author: Mitch McConnell), they were given control of the Senate.

And within a month McConnell re-authorized both, along with every single other thing Harry Reid and Obama wanted for yet another year.

But that’s because we can’t do what we promised until we have the Presidency! The excuse was as predictable as summer heat in the Sahara.

In 2016, they were given that too.

They were given everything.

In January of this year, they formally controlled both houses of Congress and the executive branch. Every single thing they’d ever promised was now possible.

They now had the power to enact every single spending cut they’d ever solemnly pledged. All those wasteful programs designed to fill the liberal sandbox — PBS, NPR, Planned Parenthood, NEH and the rest of the alphabet soup; all the hundreds of billions of dollars in corporate welfare to multi-billion-dollar corporations; all of the hundreds of billions of dollars directed toward leftist social engineering — poof! All of it could come to an end with a stroke of a pen.

They now had the power to restore fiscal tax sanity too. Remember the flat tax? The fair tax? Slashing the highest corporate taxes in the world? Giving you a tax break? All of it could be done with a snap of the fingers.

Repeal Obamacare? Check. End illegal immigration? Check. Build the wall? Check.

Crush the Deep State? Done, by God, done!

There was not a damn thing the Democrats could do to stop them from draining the swamp.

Except the Republican leadership didn’t mean it. With the exception of the Freedom Caucus in the House, and literally a handful in the Senate, the rank-and-file didn’t either. Not one word of it.

The opportunity arose for the vote to repeal Obamacare, and after huffing and puffing, and huffing and puffing some more, the dust settled and socialized health care remains the law of the land, perhaps permanently.

The opportunity arose for tax reform, to enact the cuts America desperately needs. It was never a matter of if, it was a matter of how much. It is now mid-August and nothing, absolutely nothing has been accomplished — even attempted!

And now we face the final test: the debt ceiling. Will we or won’t we stop the spending madness? Will the Republicans enact the cuts they’ve promised, or will they now be the ones to kick the can, piling evermore trillions of dollars of debt on their own grandchildren?

By every indication that’s precisely what they plan to do. The signal has come from President Trump, from Speaker Ryan, and from Majority Leader McConnell. The debt ceiling will be raised and no fiscal sanity will be restored.

There is no difference between Republicans and Democrats. Put them together. They are the swamp.

Just as Republicans have the power to enact the agenda they’ve pledged in toto, so too do they now own the federal government, in toto. It’s no longer Obamacare. It’s GOPcare. It’s no longer crazy liberal Democratic spending. It’s crazy liberal Republican spending. It’s no longer socialist Democratic Party taxation, it’s socialist Republican Party taxation. All the legislation authorizing all these programs, all the graft, all the waste, all the obscenity, all the immorality, and where Planned Parenthood is concerned, all the killing — all of it is now formally authored by the Republican Party.

Come the Congressional elections next year, and the presidential election in 2020, the Grand Old Party will once again bellow its hallowed promises. But this time it won’t work. This time there will be no straw men to blame. This time their voters will know those hallowed promises are not even hollow promises. They are lies.

These voters are tasting betrayal. They will not vote to swallow more vomit.

We are watching the GOP systematically committing suicide.

Brent Bozell is the Chairman of ForAmerica, a national grassroots organization whose mission is to use social media to reinvigorate the public with the principles of American exceptionalism: freedom, prosperity, and virtue. ForAmerica has over 9 million members and is a non-profit 501(c)4. www.ForAmerica.org

http://www.breitbart.com/big-government/2017/08/27/exclusive-brent-bozell-the-slow-death-of-the-republican-party/

“Never Trump” Gang Calls for ‘Shadow Government’ to Undermine Trump

August 27, 2017
 

Writing in the New York Times, of course, Wehner declares “what’s required now is a comprehensive, consistent case by Republican leaders at the state and national levels that signals their opposition to the moral ugliness and intellectual incoherence of Mr. Trump.”

“Rather than standing by the president, they should consider themselves liberated and offer a constructive, humane and appealing alternative to him,” Wehner writes in his “Sunday Review” column. “They need to think in terms of a shadow government during the Trump era, with the elevation of alternative leaders on a range of matters.”

He says “this approach involves risk and may not work” and predicts it will provoke “an angry response” from the “Breitbart-alt-right-talk-radio part of the party.”

“So be it,” Wehner continues, adding that “Republicans who don’t share Mr. Trump’s approach have to hope that his imploding presidency has created an opening to offer a profoundly different vision of America, one that is based on opportunity, openness, mobility and inclusion.”

He calls for a “new intellectual infrastructure to address what may prove to be one of the largest economic disruptions in history” and implores “people in positions of influence” to “appeal to moral idealism.”

Wehner believes “confrontation is inevitable” and urges anti-Trump Republicans to go all-in because “half-measures and fainthearted opposition are certain to fail.”

Using the tired threat that every establishment “pundit” reflexively spews when the Republican establishment does not get what they want on issues like amnesty for illegal immigrants and other corporatist or neoconservative policies, Wehner warns that if Republicans do not “make a clean break with” Trump, “it will be generational.”

Wehner—the insufferable elitist who also bashed Tea Party conservatives nearly every chance he got during President Barack Obama’s tenure to enable the legacy media to use him as their go-to useful moron—never mentions that his establishment Republicans friends in Congress and former boss George W. Bush lost blue-collar Reagan Democrats, young voters, people of color, and the conservative base with their oh-so-brilliant neoconservative foreign policy agenda, crony capitalism and excessive spending at home that turned Washington into the nation’s boomtown, and support for policies like No Child Left Behind and comprehensive amnesty legislation.

While Wehner’s “Never Trump” allies like Bill Kristol have been plotting behind the scenes to “oust” Trump in 2020, Wehner may be proposing a “shadow government” because he realizes that, as a House Republican apparently told him,” anti-Trump Republicans are “never going to have a majority of people against him [because Trump’s voters still make up the biggest faction in politics].”

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REPUBLICAN lawmakers have seen the Trump disaster coming for a while now. They simply have no clue what to do about it.

A couple of months ago — before we learned that Donald Trump Jr. wanted to spend quality time with people he believed represented the Russian government, before the president publicly humiliated his attorney general and was abandoned by top business executives, before he claimed “some very fine people” were marching in Charlottesville, Va., alongside neo-Nazis and white supremacists — a Republican member of Congress I spoke with called the president a “child king,” a “self-pitying fool.”

Even then, the words that came to mind when some congressional Republicans described the president were “incompetent” and “unfit.” There were concerns about his emotional stability. “There’s now a realization this isn’t going to change,” one top Republican aide on Capitol Hill said. Yet there is the simultaneous realization, as a House member told me when talking about Republicans in their home districts, that “we’re never going to have a majority of people against him.”

Maybe, but for now this presents Republican members of Congress who are privately alarmed by Mr. Trump with a predicament. Regardless of what he does, a vast majority of his core supporters are sticking with him. A recent Monmouth University poll found that of the 41 percent of Americans who currently approve of the job he’s doing, 61 percent said they cannot see Mr. Trump doing anything that would make them disapprove of him. Mr. Trump was on to something when he said in January 2016, “I could stand in the middle of Fifth Avenue and shoot somebody and I wouldn’t lose voters.”

The political problem facing Republicans is that Mr. Trump’s presidency is a wreck. His agenda is dead in the water. A special counsel is overseeing an investigation of his campaign. The West Wing is dysfunctional. And President Trump is deeply unpopular with most Americans.

A new Washington Post-ABC News poll illustrates the dilemma Republican politicians face. It found that 28 percent of polled voters say they approved of Mr. Trump’s response to Charlottesville. But among Republican voters, the figure was 62 percent, while 72 percent of conservative Republicans approved.

The more offensive Mr. Trump is to the rest of America, the more popular he becomes with his core supporters. One policy example: At a recent rally in Phoenix, the president said he was willing to shut down the government over the question of funding for a border wall, which most of his base favors but only about a third of all Americans want.

Much of this mess is of the Republican Party’s own making. Let’s not forget that Mr. Trump’s political rise began with his promulgation of the racist conspiracy theory that President Obama was not a natural-born American citizen. The Trump presidency is the result of years of destructive mental habits and moral decay. So there’s no easy solution for responsible Republicans. But there is a step they have to take.

They need to accept, finally, the reality — evident from the moment he declared his candidacy — that Mr. Trump is unfit to govern. He will prove unable to salvage his presidency. As the failures pile up, he’ll act in an even more erratic fashion.

The mental hurdle Republicans have to clear is that in important respects the interests of the Republican Party and those of Donald Trump no longer align. The party has to highlight ways in which it can separate itself from the president.

So far the response of many Republican leaders to Mr. Trump’s offenses has been silence or at most veiled, timid criticism. The effect is to rile up Trump supporters and Mr. Trump himself without rallying opposition to him. It’s the worst of all worlds.

What’s required now is a comprehensive, consistent case by Republican leaders at the state and national levels that signals their opposition to the moral ugliness and intellectual incoherence of Mr. Trump. Rather than standing by the president, they should consider themselves liberated and offer a constructive, humane and appealing alternative to him. They need to think in terms of a shadow government during the Trump era, with the elevation of alternative leaders on a range of matters.

This approach involves risk and may not work. It will certainly provoke an angry response from the Breitbart-alt-right-talk-radio part of the party. So be it. Republicans who don’t share Mr. Trump’s approach have to hope that his imploding presidency has created an opening to offer a profoundly different vision of America, one that is based on opportunity, openness, mobility and inclusion.

This requires a new intellectual infrastructure to address what may prove to be one of the largest economic disruptions in history. People in positions of influence need to make arguments on behalf of principles and ideas that have for too long gone undefended. They must appeal to moral idealism. And the party needs leaders who will fight with as much passionate intensity for their cause as Mr. Trump fights for his — which is simply himself. There’s no shortcut to forging a separate Republican identity during the Trump presidency. Half-measures and fainthearted opposition are certain to fail.

If Republicans need more encouragement to break with Mr. Trump, they might note that the president, who has no institutional or party loyalty, is positioning himself as a critic not just of Democrats but also of Republicans. During his rally in Arizona, he went out of his way to attack both of that state’s Republican senators, including one battling brain cancer. He followed that up with tweets attacking the House speaker, Paul D. Ryan, the Senate majority leader, Mitch McConnell, and other Republican lawmakers.

A confrontation is inevitable. The alternative is to continue to further tie the fate and the reputation of the Republican Party to a president who seems destined for epic failure and whose words stir the hearts of white supremacists.

We are well past the point where equivocations are defensible, and we’re nearly past the point where a moral reconstitution is possible. The damage Mr. Trump has inflicted on the Republican Party is already enormous. If the party doesn’t make a clean break with him, it will be generational.