If someone left a bouquet of May Day flowers on your front door today, we want to hear about it. Seriously. It’s time to Get More Smarter! If you think we missed something important, please include the link in the comments below (here’s a good example). If you are more of a visual learner, check out The Get More Smarter Show.
TOP OF MIND TODAY…
► Congress has come to agreement on a budget proposal that will keep the federal government funded through September. As the Washington Post reports, President Trump got absolutely rolled on the negotiations:
Perhaps the best negotiators are not the people who tell everyone that they are the best negotiators.
A spending agreement was reached last night that will keep the government funded through the end of September. This will be the first significant bipartisan measure passed by Congress since Donald Trump took office.
The White House agreed to punt on a lot of the president’s top priorities until this fall to avert a shutdown on Friday and to clear the deck so that the House can pass a health-care bill…
…But Democrats are surprised by just how many concessions they extracted in the trillion-dollar deal, considering that Republicans have unified control of government.
► Congressional Republicans, meanwhile, are casting this week as the last real chance to approve a potential plan to repeal Obamacare. The White House is taking its usual blustery stance about having enough votes from Republicans to pass a bill out of the House, though the outlook is not so rosy when you ask Congressional leaders. It is unclear whether House Republicans have enough support from moderates to pass something along to the Senate, and there is little reason to believe that any potential legislation could move at all if it were to land in the Senate.
The main sticking point in the current healthcare negotiations revolves around pre-existing conditions. Trump maintains that any new Obamacare repeal “will be every bit as good on preexisting conditions as Obamacare.” But in order to gain the support of right-wing Republicans, such as the Freedom Caucus, Congressional Republicans are actually trying to gut protections for pre-existing conditions.
► By the end of the day today, there will be little evidence left of a weekend snowstorm in the Denver metro area. But it did snow — quite a bit, in fact — and the weather didn’t stop a huge crowd from turning out in Denver in support of efforts to combat Climate Change. Thousands of people showed up at Civic Center Park on Saturday to take part in a march and rally that was also happening simultaneously in more than 300 cities around the world.
► Republicans in the State Senate are crowing about a new budget proposal in an effort to pretend that they are actually interested in governing. From John Frank of the Denver Post:
Colorado’s top lawmakers are negotiating a far-reaching measure in the final days of the legislative session that is designed to save hospitals from major budget cuts, generate $1.8 billion for road repairs and lower the state’s spending cap.
Senate President Pro Tem Jerry Sonnenberg, R-Sterling, unveiled the details early Monday after days of closed-door negotiations with top Democratic lawmakers. But moments after he announced an agreement on the legislation, an aide passed him a note from Democrats that declared no deal.
We don’t doubt that many Democrats aren’t happy with this latest funding proposal, considering some of the nonsense included in Sonnenberg’s bill:
The latest negotiations include requiring the maximum federal co-pay for Medicaid, the government-funded health care program for people with low-income, as well as a cut to the business personal property tax for small business owners, up to $25,000. Other provisions would change how TABOR refunds are issued and funnel more money to rural schools.
Republican lawmakers continue to insist that there is plenty of money hidden away in government coffers that could pay for everything if they could just move some decimal points around here and there. Note also how Republicans would include a tax cut for businesses alongside a big new financial burden for low-income Coloradans.
Get even more smarter after the jump…
IN CASE YOU ARE STANDING NEAR A WATER COOLER…
► Senator Cory Gardner (R-Yuma) is a big fan of President Trump so long as he is speaking to an audience that wants him to be a big fan of President Trump.
► There is much disagreement between state and federal officials regarding the fate of federal lands that have previously been declared as “National Monuments.”
► Colorado will be represented at the top levels of the Department of Interior after all. From the Denver Post:
Colorado native David Bernhardt, who works as a natural resources lawyer in a firm that makes millions in federal lobbying revenue, has been nominated by President Donald Trump for the post of deputy interior secretary.
Bernhardt, originally from Rifle, has held several positions at the Department of the Interior, including solicitor — the agency’s third-ranking official and chief legal officer.
The White House said in an announcement Friday that Bernhardt leads the natural resource law practice at the law firm Brownstein Hyatt Farber Schreck.
Two of the last Interior Secretaries have been Coloradans — former Secretaries Ken Salazar and Gale Norton.
► President Trump has been known to say some weird things to members of the media, but he raised the bar on his own wackiness over the weekend. As Chris Cillizza writes for CNN:
Let’s start with Trump’s interview with “Face the Nation” host John Dickerson, the full text of which is making its way around the Internet this morning.
There’s a LOT in there — transcript is here — but one passage stood out to me as particularly outlandish. After Trump said, “You saw what happened with surveillance,” Dickerson asked the President whether he stood by his totally and completely unproven claim that then President Obama had wiretapped Trump Tower during the 2016 election — and that Obama was a “sick” and “bad” guy for doing so.<
Here’s Trump’s response:
“I don’t stand by anything. I just– you can take it the way you want. I think our side’s been proven very strongly. And everybody’s talking about it. And frankly it should be discussed. I think that is a very big surveillance of our citizens. I think it’s a very big topic. And it’s a topic that should be number one. And we should find out what the hell is going on.”
“I don’t stand by anything”!!!!!
In a separate interview, Trump suggested that former President Andrew Jackson — a man to whom he is often compared — was “really angry that he saw what was happening in regard to the Civil War.” Jackson died in 1845. The Civil War began in 1861.
► The Colorado Springs Gazette shares the story of Coloradan Dustin Olson, a Republican political operative who has had an up-close view of the first 100 days of the Trump Presidency.
► Attorney General Jeff Sessions sounds like he may be backing away from the idea of increasing federal enforcement of marijuana regulations in states where weed has been legalized.
► Watch Rep. Ken Buck (R-Greeley) literally run away from 9News reporter Brandon Rittiman in Washington D.C.
► President Trump has invited Philippines President Rodrigo Duterte to visit the White House. Here’s why this is a bit of a head-scratcher.
OTHER LINKS YOU SHOULD CLICK
► Another FOX News executive has resigned.
► Republicans in the state legislature were chanting, “Jesus! Jesus! Jesus!” on Friday as part of a resolution to honor former Senator Bill Armstrong.