The Children’s Health Insurance Program is a cheap, successful program that provides health care coverage to 9 million low- and middle-income children. Its budget expired 101 days ago — and Republicans in Congress have done next to nothing about it.
Multiple states have sent out letters warning families that their kids’ health insurance could end on January 31. Congress did pass a temporary bill that it expected to extend CHIP’s life span until March — but it turns out they got the math wrong, and states may run out of funding as early as January 19. Eleven days from now.
In the meantime, Congress managed to pass a tax bill along party lines that will give about $1.5 trillion in tax breaks to corporations and the very wealthy. How did they pay for it? They didn’t. The cost is piled onto the deficit.
The blue wave struck early here in California. Today, Rep. Ed Royce (R-CA39), the powerful chairman of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, announced his retirement. He saw the writing on the wall and knew that he faced a groundswell of opposition from the California Resistance. We daresay this now open seat is suddenly a likely Democratic pickup! Indeed, the Cook Political Report just shifted it from “lean Republican” to “lean Democrat.”
Royce is the eighth Republican House committee chair to announce his retirement this election cycle. Senior Republicans like Royce know that they’re going to lose by the dozens for repeatedly voting to harm their constituents while remaining silent as Trump tears our country apart.
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“This is really bad news for California Republicans,” said Raphael Sonenshein, executive director of CSU Los Angeles’ Pat Brown Institute of Public Affairs. “Great danger in potential wave election is retirement of incumbents. Incumbency is a way to resist the wave.” ...
Royce has been circumspect in his public comments about Trump, rarely mentioning his name in response to questions. That held true Monday. Asked if his decision had anything to do with the president, he simply repeated his statement that he wanted to focus 100 percent on foreign affairs.
Some states are facing a mid-January loss of funding for their Children's Health Insurance Program despite spending approved by Congress in late December that was expected to keep the program running for three months, federal health officials said Friday.
The $2.85 billion was supposed to fund states' CHIP programs through March 31. But some states will start running out of money after Jan. 19, according to the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services. CMS did not say which states are likely to be affected first.
The latest estimates for when federal funding runs out could cause states to soon freeze enrollment and alert parents that the program could soon shut down.
We’re not alone in seeing a blue wave on the horizon. The New Year brings with it a deluge of stories about the state of the election 11 months out, and we’ve never felt more confident.
Take Stuart Rothenberg, the well-known non-partisan political analyst. He penned an article in Roll Call, “House Seats You Think Can’t Flip but Might”, which reminds us what happened during the 2006 blue wave election. In eight races, an incumbent Republican won between 59%-67% of the vote in 2004 only to lose reelection in 2006! By comparison, only two of the 14 Congressional Republicans in California won reelection in 2016 by more than 67%, and one of them is the thoroughly compromised Devin Nunes.
“This year, the focus has been on 23 House Republicans sitting in districts carried by Hillary Clinton in 2016,” he writes. “That’s certainly a good place to start, but it’s a bad place to stop, especially in an electoral wave.”
GOP strategists had done a good job drawing district lines to protect Republicans. Most political junkies look to past election results to see which incumbents and districts could be at risk in the next election. This year, the focus has been on 23 House Republicans sitting in districts carried by Hillary Clinton in 2016.
That’s certainly a good place to start, but it’s a bad place to stop, especially in an electoral wave. Where else should you look for vulnerable House Republicans?