Indian Country politics and public policy

Commentary by Mark Trahant

One-party government? Get real. Mark Trahant / Trahant Reports September is going to be a mess. Congress must sort out some really complicated fiscal issues. There is the budget, an increase in the debt limit, how much to spend on federal programs and services, and, if there’s time, tax reform. This should be easy in …

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Mark Trahant / Trahant Reports The Senate is broken. Republicans control 52 seats only part of the time. Enough votes to win a majority and pass a judicial nominee. But not enough votes to fix the healthcare legislation sent up by the House. Or, more important, not enough votes to govern. Watch that problem grow …

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When every senator could be the 50th vote, any one absence means no healthcare bill Trahant Reports The Senate healthcare bill looked like it was going to pass on Friday. There were only two public no votes (when three are needed to defeat the measure.) And you can only imagine how much pressure leadership was putting …

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Senate bill ‘mostly dead,’ but will it revive after break? Mark Trahant / Trahant Reports The Senate’s health care bill is “mostly dead.” But that’s not the same as all dead. And this holiday weekend will decide either the legislation has a second life or if there is a better way to proceed. Republican Senate …

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Mark Trahant / Trahant Reports The Congressional Budget Office report on the Senate majority’s health care bill — the ironically titled “Better Care Reconciliation Act of 2017” — ought to be enough to put to rest any idea that Republicans want to improve health care in this country. There are legitimate conservative ideas about how …

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    Mark Trahant / Trahant Reports Reality TV works for one simple reason: The antics of the characters are beyond what’s believable in fiction. It’s compelling drama because normal people do not do such things. So part of watching is to find out when the story arc ends, to discover when the situation becomes …

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Mark Trahant / Trahant Reports Remember this: There is always another election.  And the 2018 congressional elections already promise to be extraordinary. Let’s look at the landscape so far. Last week voters in Kansas surprised Republicans by barely winning a district that’s supposed to be safe. President Donald J. Trump tweeted: “Great win in Kansas last night for …

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Governing without a working majority   Mark Trahant / Trahant Reports President Donald J. Trump’s legislative agenda has crashed. The Republican promise to quickly repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act on Friday failed to win enough votes from conservatives to make it so. As House Speaker Paul Ryan said in a post-failure news conference: “Obamacare …

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Mark Trahant / Trahant Reports The story of Alaska and Montana is not front and center in the health care debate in the House today. But it should be. Montana does not get a vote. (The state does not currently have a member of Congress after former Rep. Ryan Zinke was confirmed as Secretary of …

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Mark Trahant / Trahant Reports Remember the sequester? Ah, the good old days. The new Trump Administration budget is short on details, but clear on direction. And we do know two things. First: If enacted, this budget would shrink the federal government to a much smaller size. Except for the military and the Veterans Administration. …

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