March 15, 2017

Top Stories

Trump Decries MSNBC Tax Reveal As 'FAKE NEWS' After WH Confirms Info

The Gist: After reporter David Cay Johnston revealed President Donald Trump's 2005 tax returns on Rachel Maddow's MSNBC show Tuesday night, Trump tried to delegitimize the report in an early-morning tweet on Wednesday.

Whether You Want to Have a Baby or Not, the GOP Repeal Bill Makes Life Harder

The Gist: Tucked into the GOP bill to repeal the Affordable Care Act is a multi-pronged effort to limit women's access to reproductive health services, including contraception, abortion, and maternity care.

Cruz Throws Cold Water On GOP's 'Three-Pronged' Obamacare Repeal Plan

The Gist: Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) on Tuesday offered a reality check to top Republicans who have been touting a three-part plan to repeal and replace Obamacare, arguing that the third phase will never come to fruition.

From The Reporter's Notebook

The Republican response to the highly-anticipated Congressional Budget Office report on the GOP health care bill—which found it would cause 24 million people to lose their health insurance over a decade—has been all over the map, TPM's Alice Ollstein reported. After a closed-door lunch with Vice President Mike Pence and Health and Human Services Secretary Tom Price, Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) told reporters that the CBO score vindicated Republicans' fiscal promises for the repeal of the Affordable Care Act. "It shows we have a pathway to lower premiums, lower taxes, lower deficits, and the most significant entitlement reform in history," McConnell said. Minutes later, from the same podium, with McConnell standing by his side, Sen. Roy Blunt (D-MO) said the CBO is not a credible source of information.

Agree or Disagree?

Josh Marshall: "Here's the key. No one wants to be the last one holding on for an unpopular or dead bill. The more electeds pull their support, the more perilous the situation gets for those holding on. There are any number of reasons why this is true. If the bill goes down, you want to say you were always against it. If an unpopular bill goes through and everybody in the party supported it, at least then you have all the party machinery and all the forces of partisanship making the case for the vote. If you supported the legislation but the party abandons it, you're really on your own in your next reelection fight. What this all amounts to is that the political pressure against repealing Obamacare is working. Senators see the consequences in their states and are either moving into opposition to Trump care or getting skittish. The more those people (and the same applies to those getting cold feet in the House) are confirmed in their opposition, the better. Just as important, the more move into that camp the more intense the pressure gets on those that remain. More pressure to cave and more bad electoral consequences down the road. "

Say What?!

"Can you imagine what the outcry would be if @SnoopDogg, failing career and all, had aimed and fired the gun at President Obama? Jail time!"

- President Donald Trump is firing back at Snoop Dogg days after the release of a music video in which the rapper points a toy gun at a clown dressed like Trump and pulls the trigger.

BUZZING: Today in the Hive

From a TPM Prime member: "There's an alternative theory to Trump's trying to cause the bill to fail as part of a larger plan to take down Ryan. Specifically, that Trump wants to make sure that if the 'repeal' fails, somebody else gets the blame -- and Ryan's the easy target. There are easier ways for Trump to cause healthcare reform to fail than to make a series of promises he can't keep, followed by a series of inconsistent statements about Ryan's bill, followed at the end by a Breitbart story about Ryan that is unlikely to actually affect the outcome of the vote in Congress. Breitbart's sitting on the Ryan tape until now may also be intended as a warning to Republicans who might be tempted to get on the wrong side of Trump (or perhaps more specifically Bannon), that the right-wing media machine can be turned against them, and that Breitbart collects and holds material that can be used for that purpose."

Related: Breitbart Leaks Oct. Ryan Call With House GOP: 'Not Going To Defend' Trump

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What We're Reading

The Real Peril Of Crowdfunding Health Care (BuzzFeed)

Kellyanne’s Alternative Universe (The Atlantic)