Saturday Morning Open Thread: Doubling Down

During a normal presidency — remember those? — this kind of legislative breakdown would be front-page news for at least a week. Per the Washington Post:

President Trump issued the first veto of his presidency Friday to secure federal money for a border wall that he promised as a candidate and considers a crucial priority for his reelection, capping a week of confrontation with both political parties…

Rebuffed by Congress in his demands for billions for the wall, Trump had declared a national emergency at the Mexican border last month, a move that would allow the president to circumvent the will of lawmakers and spend billions on border barriers.

Congress backed a resolution of disapproval, with the Senate voting 59-to-41 on Thursday for the measure. Twelve Republicans defied Trump and joined Democrats on the legislation.

The rare rebuke from members of his own party was symbolically important, but Congress does not have the votes to overturn Trump’s veto. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) immediately announced a March 26 vote to try, saying that “House Republicans will have to choose between their partisan hypocrisy and their sacred oath to support and defend the Constitution.”…
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Policy matters

From yesterday:

I am experiencing the frustration of an academic as I have three relevant papers that I can’t say much about right now.

Paper #1 looks at the enrollment changes in the last ten days of the 2017 Open Enrollment compared to the same time period in 2016. The last ten days were the first ten days of the Trump Administration. Policy and messaging matter and we’ll talk a lot more about that when the paper is published this summer.

Paper #2 examines the impact of advertising on enrollment. Unshockingly, it matters a lot. This paper is part of an invited submission for 2020.

Paper #3 we just submitted for the first time last week. Pricing matters and odd pricing situations matter a lot. In this case, the Trump administration’s policy implementation helps enrollment out.

There has been significant barriers to access for Medicaid. There have been significant barriers erected to the exchanges. Policy matters. A policy choice to actively and positively use the current framework to decrease the uninsurance rate has a reasonable chance of achieving that goal. It did over the last six years of the Obama Administration. A policy choice of either benign indifference or active obstruction of the goal of decreasing the uninsurance rate will, unshockingly, not achieve that goal.



Monday Morning Open Thread: Prepared for the Battle on All Fronts


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Saturday Morning Open Thread: Democrats Are Pro-Voters; Repubs Are Not

The Washington Post, paper of record in the company town where national politics is the monopoly industry, has a good explainer:

The House approved a far-reaching elections and ethics bill Friday — one that would change the way congressional elections are funded, impose new voter-access mandates on states and, in one of several provisions targeting President Trump, force disclosure of presidential candidates’ tax returns.

Democrats dubbed the bill H.R. 1, a designation meant to signal its place as a centerpiece of their congressional agenda. The measure, which has more than 500 pages, contains dozens of provisions favored by liberal advocacy groups, labor unions and other Democratic allies.

“It’s a power grab, a power grab on behalf of the people,” House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) said at an event on the Capitol steps ahead of the planned vote.

The bill is headed for a brick wall in the Republican-controlled Senate, where Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) has made clear it will not get a vote. However, Democrats and their allies said the bill’s passage would build momentum for action in coming years if and when Democrats solidify control in Washington.

“If Mitch McConnell is the immovable object, H.R. 1 is the unstoppable force,” said Rep. John Sarbanes (D-Md.), the lead author of the bill. “We’ll keep pushing on it.”…

Read the whole thing for a full list of the bill’s (excellent!) provisions.

Ed Kilgore, at NYMag:

Aside from its scope, what’s most remarkable about HR1 is that every single House Democrat voted for it… And every Republicans voted against it, which means the GOP is determined to use barriers to full participation in elections — along with related abuses like partisan gerrymandering and unregulated campaign spending — to maintain its competitive position, regardless of public opinion….

The vote on HR1 should also provide something of a counterargument to all the recent “Democrats in disarray” story lines stemming from intraparty debates over socialism or Israel. No, the bill won’t even get a hearing in the Senate, where Mitch McConnell has denounced it as the “Democrat Politician Protection Act.” Mitch has a point: It might well help Democrats in the long run, for the rather honorable reason that they are defending rather than resisting the full expression of the popular will.



Wednesday Morning Open Thread: Bigly Numbers, At Last!

(Mike Luckovich via GoComics.com)
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