Home Daily News Clips Monday News: GOP’s “dangerously dogmatic Supreme Court obstructionism;” “Scalia’s death could affect...

Monday News: GOP’s “dangerously dogmatic Supreme Court obstructionism;” “Scalia’s death could affect McDonnell appeal”

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by Lowell

Here are a few national and Virginia news headlines, political and otherwise, for a snowy Monday, February 15. Also, check out Mitch McConnell back in 2005, attacking Dems for obstructing President Bush’s judicial nominees, and arguing that “any president’s judicial nominees…deserve a simple up or down vote.”

  • Video: Dubya’s Chief of Staff says 9/11 was a “spectacular day” HUH?

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qn0HfMffz5w

  • From ProgressVA:

    Virginia Senate Votes To Gut Ethics Reforms

    Bipartisan group approves SB692, which rolls back recent ethics proposals

    Richmond, VA – The Virginia Senate voted 29-11 to approve SB692 this afternoon, which would gut Virginia’s recently instituted ethics reforms. The bill, which was significantly amended in committee, would create huge new gift loopholes, reduce reporting and disclosure, and even allow a small group of legislators to exempt some organizations from any gift rules.

    “Today’s passage of SB692 is an affront to public integrity,” said Progress Virginia executive director Anna Scholl. “It’s outrageous these 29 Senators approved gutting last year’s ethics reforms. Virginians demanded real reform after an embarrassing scandal. Now, some politicians are trying to undo that progress while they think their constituents aren’t paying attention. The last thing Richmond needs is fewer limits on gifts and decreased transparency. This vote is a slap in the face to transparency and accountability.”

    SB692 would significantly roll back the ethics reforms passed by the legislature in 2014 and 2015. Specifically, the bill would:

    Exempt gifts of food and drink, regardless of the amount

    Provide the Joint Rules Committee the ability to exempt gifts, including travel, from any 501c3 organization

    Reduce the filing schedule from semi-annual to annual for lobbyists and local office holders

    Increase the reporting threshold for gifts from $50 to $100, meaning fewer gifts will be reportable

    Prohibit the disclosure of the name of any official who attends an entertainment event hosted by a principal or lobbyist if they pay for their attendance

    Progress Virginia has been the commonwealth’s leading voice for ethics reform since 2014, issuing multiple reports on the impact of proposed ethics laws on gifts.

  • VHHA statement on today’s voting in the Virginia House of Delegates:

    The Virginia House of Delegates has voted for legislation that would make changes to a critical law that protects health care access in the Commonwealth. On such an important issue, the Virginia Hospital & Healthcare Association sincerely thanks the bi-partisan group of House of Delegates members whose vote signaled support for Virginia’s Certificate of Public Need program.

    For years, COPN has helped promote health care access, control costs, and offset the substantial amounts of charity care provided by hospitals and others. Virginia’s COPN system has served its purpose and continues to do so in an era when there are large numbers of low-income uninsured patients, when reimbursement for care hospitals provide to needy patients continues to decline, and when hospitals face massive federal funding cuts which are not being offset by other available funding. VHHA and local hospitals and health systems across the Commonwealth are open to sensible COPN reform. That is not a new development. VHHA and hospital representatives participated in the COPN work group process established by the Virginia General Assembly in 2015.

    Following an open process involving thorough study and public meetings, the diverse work group panel featuring health care providers, the insurance industry, and the business community recommended reforms to enhance COPN now and in the future while keeping it intact. VHHA previously demonstrated its willingness to compromise on COPN reform in 2001 when it supported a state deregulation plan that included substantial funding to support graduate medical education, low-income health care coverage, and hospital payment shortfalls in recognition of the role COPN plays in supporting our health care system.

    Unfortunately, the legislation that has emerged from the House of Delegates calls for COPN repeal without addressing the fundamental financial challenges related to adequately funding health care access and the strain that places on local hospitals and health systems. VHHA maintains that wholesale or piecemeal repeal of COPN without offsetting action to address these challenges poses a threat to our larger health care delivery system, health care access, and Virginia’s economy.

  • Video: George W. Bush rallies for “JEB” in SC

    https://youtu.be/A-kRu7Z0VTM

  • Video: Donald Trump says Ted Cruz “a very unstable person” who “can’t talk”

    https://youtu.be/TAzw0ycf1yQ

  • Video: Donald Trump attacks Marco Rubio for being a “choke artist,” says we can’t have that a president.

    https://youtu.be/wADEqfNXZhM