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CHQ Receives White House Briefing

Yesterday CHQ Editor George Rasley joined a group of conservatives for a meeting and staff briefing conducted by the offices of President Donald Trump and Vice President Mike Pence.

“While there was a frank exchange of views on the recent health care bill, the focus of the meeting was on President Trump’s conservative agenda going forward – particularly his plans for reducing the size and scope of Rasley White Housethe federal government, cutting taxes and spending, the full budget and the President’s requests for increases in military spending and for funds to build the border wall,” said CHQ Editor George Rasley.

The President’s recent discretionary budget proposal defunding several liberal sacred cows like the National Endowment for the Arts covered only about one-third of the federal government’s spending noted Rasley. “We were assured that the full budget, when released in May, will include conservative proposals to address entitlement reform and other so-called mandatory spending,” noted Rasley.

“I think the most important information the staff shared was the President’s plan for a supplemental spending request,” said Rasley.

While still in the planning stages, the supplemental could be a one-time spending request of around $30 billion. This would be $25 billion to rebuild the military and ramp-up the fight against ISIS, $2 billion for other needs and $3 billion for border security and building the southern border wall.

“According to what we were told the Department of Homeland Security is moving ahead with soliciting bids and identifying which sections of the wall can and should be built first,” reported Rasley. So obtaining the supplemental funding to keep the project on track is key.

However, Senator Roy Blunt, a member of the Senate Republican leadership, told reporters on Tuesday that money for the wall likely would not be coupled with a spending bill that must pass by April 28 to avoid shutting down federal agencies whose funding expires then.

According to reporting by Reuters and other outlets, Blunt said the must-do funding "comes together better" without Trump's additional request for the border wall and military programs and could be considered "at a later time."

The phrase “comes together better” is Capitol Hill-speak for Democrats threatening to block the bill funding federal agencies from April 29 to Sept. 30, the end of the current fiscal year, if money for the border wall is included, observed Rasley.

What’s more, noted Rasley, a former White House and Capitol Hill staffer, if Democrats are against it now there’s no reason to believe they will be less against it once the hammer of being blamed for a government shutdown is removed.

Plus, funding the border security supplemental shouldn’t be all that controversial the CHQ editor suggested. “About $ 2 billion is for existing policy implementation and $1 billion is for wall construction, so it seems like Capitol Hill Republicans should be all for it.”

When pressed about the overall cost of the supplemental the White House staff noted that about half – $15 billion – would be “paid for” by unwinding a spending deal negotiated between former President Obama and former establishment Republican Speaker of the House John Boehner.

“My overall impression after the meeting was that the White House is very engaged and committed to pushing the President’s government reform and spending priorities. Whether the President pushes his priorities through a tweet storm or by turning on his legendary sales skills remains to be seen, but this isn’t the kind of ‘show vote’ government that we are used to from Capitol Hill Republicans, this is real.”

“With staff assuring us that the President is ‘extremely committed’ to getting the supplemental passed I think this is going to set-up a very interesting dynamic between the White House and Capitol Hill’s establishment Republicans,” concluded Rasley.

“Conservatives should not accept excuses from the establishment Republican leadership, we should start to demand that Capitol Hill’s squishy Republican establishment stand-up to the Democrats and get the wall and the rebuilding of our Obama-depleted military funded immediately.”

The Capitol Switchboard is 1-866-220-0044 we urge CHQ readers to call their Senators; tell them you disagree with Senator Blunt and you want the wall funded immediately.

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Healthcare Exchange w/ WH

Possible to get a few more words on what you expressed to the WH RE: it's attack on the FC, and how it was a flawed bill and not a flawed FC. The President's attack was alarming. IYO, could it be a veiled attempt to end up with a single payer system, which might be what the Prez has wanted all along? My guess that is where 'working with the Dems will lead.

Thanks,

Joel

Health Care Discussion at White House

Keep in mind this meeting was before the Preibus - Ryan inspired tweet trashing the Freedom Caucus, so the focus was on the future. There were about 40 people in attendance and a lot of the conversation focused on personnel, the coming tax cuts and economic growth package. The discussion of health care could be best summed-up as conservatives telling the President's staff opposition to Ryan's bill was appropriate because it was not going to lower health care costs or make health insurance cheaper so thank us because we just saved the President from being screwed by Ryan.