But there were warning signs even hours before GOP leaders unveiled the proposal. Four key Senate Republicans in a Monday letter balked at the House plan to repeal the Medicaid expansion after 2020, underscoring how sharply divided the party still remains over how to transform the health care system and accomplish a core campaign promise.
House conservatives, meanwhile, had yet to commit to backing the proposal. GOP leadership, in an olive branch to the far-right, curbed eligibility of the health care tax credits in the final draft, a central component of the plan.
House GOP leaders have also yet to release the official budget score that details the cost of the plan and how many people could lose insurance, a huge issue for moderates who fear blowback in their swing districts.
“We are concerned that any poorly implemented or poorly timed change in the current funding structure in Medicaid could result in a reduction in access to life-saving health care services,” wrote the four Republican senators to Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.). Signatories included Sens. Rob Portman of Ohio, Shelley Moore Capito of West Virginia, Cory Gardner of Colorado and Lisa Murkowski of Alaska—Republicans from states that expanded Medicaid under Obamacare.
President Donald Trump’s immigration Executive Order directs federal officials to set new immigration rules that will identify and exclude people who support the use of violence, and also hints at the exclusion of people who embrace orthodox Islam’s “violent extremism.”
Senior officials “shall implement a program, as part of the process for [immigration] adjudications, to identify individuals who seek to enter the United States on a fraudulent basis, who support terrorism, violent extremism, acts of violence toward any group or class of people within the United States, or who present a risk of causing harm subsequent to their entry,” said Section 5 of the new Executive Order, which likely will reverse President Barack Obama’s open-door policies to foreign migrants.
The anti-extremist language in the new March 6 Executive Order is narrower and more legalistic than the pro-American language in the judge-blocked Jan. 27 Executive Order, which said:
In order to protect Americans, the United States must ensure that those admitted to this country do not bear hostile attitudes toward it and its founding principles. The United States cannot, and should not, admit those who do not support the Constitution, or those who would place violent ideologies over American law. In addition, the United States should not admit those who engage in acts of bigotry or hatred (including “honor” killings, other forms of violence against women, or the persecution of those who practice religions different from their own) or those who would oppress Americans of any race, gender, or sexual orientation.
Allied left-wing and Islamic advocates, including Democratic activist Khizr Khan, complained that Trump’s “hostile attitudes” language was intended to exclude immigrants with Islamic beliefs.
This lets the government “be more transparent with the American people and to implement more effectively policies and practices that serve the national interest,” the order states. Department of Homeland Security Secretary John Kelly and U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions must work together to provide the public with a report on foreign nationals charged with and convicted of terrorism-related offenses, including those who associate with or provide support to terrorist organizations.
The order also instructs the government to release information on honor-killings. The government will now track cases involving foreign-born individuals who commit “gender-based violence against women,” or honor killings. Honor killings are a brutal practice wherein Muslim males will murder or mutilate female family members accused of bringing shame and dishonor to their families and Islam. Like female genital mutilation, it is a practice that would not exist in the U.S. without mass immigration bringing its practitioners into U.S. communities.
“Cases of honor killings and/or violence in the U.S. are often unreported because of the shame it can cause to the victim and the victim’s family. Also, because victims are often young women, they may feel that reporting the crime to authorities will draw too much attention to the family committing the crime,” former U.S. government analyst Farhana Qazi explained to Fox News in November 2015.
Homeland Security Secretary John Kelly said the executive order reflects the president’s concern for the safety of the American people.
“We must undertake a rigorous review of our visa and refugee vetting programs to increase our confidence in the entry decisions we make for visitors and immigrants to the United States. We cannot risk the prospect of malevolent actors using our immigration system to take American lives,” he said.
“The executive order signed today is prospective in nature—applying only to foreign nationals outside of the United States who do not have a valid visa,” Kelly said.
“If you have a current valid visa to travel, we welcome you. But unregulated, unvetted travel is not a universal privilege, especially when national security is at stake,” he said.