Amid a table full of documents, arguments with the media, and claims of germ-phobic tendencies, President-elect Donald Trump’s news conference did shed some light on how his policies may unfold. Here at the tracker, we sifted through it all to bring you the most important nuggets.
WHAT’S NEW TODAY ON …
Voting on the Senate budget resolution, the first official step on the road to Obamacare repeal, which begin Wednesday night. The so-called vote-o-rama could carry on past midnight. The repeal itself is several weeks away.
- Trump told reporters that once Tom Price is confirmed as Health and Human Services secretary, Obamacare will be repealed and replaced “essentially simultaneously … Probably the same day. Could be the same hour.” Trump also attacked Big Pharma and said the US must “create new bidding procedures for the drug industry because they’re getting away with murder.”
- Axios points out that Trump’s latest comment “suggests his proposal to Congress will look a lot like the past proposals from Price.” Price’s latest formal proposal can be found here. Back in November, CNN looked at how Price wants to replace Obamacare.
- House Ways and Means Chair Kevin Brady told Hugh Hewitt this morning that the Republican Obamacare replacement will be shorter and more piecemeal than the original ACA. This is similar to what Sen. Cornyn told Manu Raju earlier this week and fits into Speaker Ryan’s plans.
- The pro-Ryan group American Action Network is beginning a million dollar ad blitz in 15 congressional districts pitching the House Republican repeal-and-replace plan, though one doesn’t necessarily exist.
- Trump doubled down on his promise to build a wall (“not a fence”) on the southern border that Mexico. He opened the door to being reimbursed via tax, something he says he’ll negotiate with Mexico in the next 18 months. Trump also said: “Mike Pence is leading an effort to get final approval through various agencies and through Congress for the wall to begin.” CNN reported last week about the difficulties that Trump will face.
- The LA Times reports that Los Angeles County is creating a new Office of Immigrant Affairs to provide assistance for immigrants, including legal representation to fight deportation cases. California Democrats’ have previously announced plans to fight Trump on immigration, even hiring former Attorney General Eric Holder to fight Trump on a number of issues in federal court.
Within the last 24 hours, Trump’s trade policies have been vocally opposed by the outgoing US Trade Rep, the leader of the US Chamber of Commerce, and Trump’s own secretary of state nominee, Rex Tillerson:
- At his confirmation hearing, Tillerson broke with Trump on TPP, saying he “does not oppose” the trade deal that Trump vilified throughout the campaign.
- Tom Donahue, president and CEO of the US Chamber of Commerce, took shots at Trump’s trade policies Wednesday, warning against “erecting barriers to trade,” and claiming that 14 million US jobs depend on trade with Canada and Mexico.
- On Tuesday, outgoing US Trade Rep. Michael Froman warned, without mentioning Trump by name, that his protectionist trade and tariff proposals will risk America losing its dominance of the global economy.
- In her confirmation hearing, Transportation Secretary nominee Elaine Chao addressed Trump’s trillion dollar infrastructure proposal, saying that when it comes to funding it, “we must be creative because the federal government does not have the resources to fully fund infrastructure.” Chao also told Sen. Bill Nelson she would share Trump’s infrastructure plan within 30 days. CNN previously reported that the head of the House Transportation Committee said there will not be an infrastructure package in the first hundred days.
- The Wall Street Journal has a deep dive on Obama’s unprecedented expansion of national monuments as president, with a lot of movement in his final days in office, and highlights the difficulties that Trump and Congress will have in undoing Obama’s recent actions.
- Bloomberg takes a look at how Trump’s tax cut proposal could impact British American Tobacco’s $47 billion bid for Reynolds American. In today’s press conference, Trump was asked how soon we will see corporate tax cuts, but didn’t answer it.
- House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi holds her weekly news conference at 10:45 a.m.
- House Speaker Paul Ryan holds his weekly media briefing at 11:30 a.m.
- Stay tuned for news on the budget resolution vote-a-rama, which is expected to last well into Wednesday night, and could go into Thursday morning.