Donald Trump is finishing up his first full week as President. Things are not going well in the White House. It’s time to Get More Smarter with Colorado Pols. 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…
► President Donald Trump is embarking on what could end up being a full-scale trade war with Mexico. As the Denver Post reports, this makes plenty of Coloradans very nervous:
The Trump Administration on Thursday raised the possibility of imposing a 20 percent levy on Mexican imports to help pay for a border wall, a move that could cause Mexico to retaliate.
But any kind of trade war would put Colorado’s ranchers, manufacturers and natural gas producers most at risk, while also raising costs for U.S. consumers, trade experts said Thursday.
“Colorado firms rely on North American supply chains, and this import tariff will ultimately be passed on to the American consumer. Worse, it could lead to Mexico enacting retaliatory tariffs on U.S. goods going into Mexico,” said Karen Gerwitz, president of the World Trade Center Denver.
The Denver Business Journal has more on the potential impact on Colorado businesses should relations with Mexico continue to deteriorate. But it’s not just Colorado where concern is rising; newspapers across the country are panning Trump’s proposed tariffs with Mexico. Trump spoke by telephone today with Mexican President Enrique Peña Nieto less than 24 hours after Nieto cancelled a planned meeting with the White House.
► Congressional Republicans are privately fretting about actually repealing Obamacare since they don’t have a plan to replace the legislation. As the Washington Post explains:
Republican lawmakers aired sharp concerns about their party’s quick push to repeal the Affordable Care Act inside a closed-door meeting Thursday, according to a recording of the session obtained by The Washington Post.
The recording reveals a GOP that appears to be filled with doubts about how to make good on a long-standing promise to get rid of Obamacare without explicit guidance from President Trump or his administration.
Senators and House members expressed a range of concerns about the task ahead: how to prepare a replacement plan that can be ready to launch at the time of repeal; how to avoid deep damage to the health insurance market; how to keep premiums affordable for middle-class families; even how to avoid the political consequences of defunding Planned Parenthood, the women’s health-care organization, as many Republicans hope to do with the repeal of the ACA.
“We’d better be sure that we’re prepared to live with the market we’ve created” with repeal, said Rep. Tom McClintock (R-Calif.). “That’s going to be called Trumpcare. Republicans will own that lock, stock and barrel, and we’ll be judged in the election less than two years away.”
► Meanwhile, Colorado Republicans are moving forward with plans to eliminate the State Health Exchange and direct Coloradans to a Federal Health Exchange that may or may not exist in the near future. As the Grand Junction Sentinel reports, GOP Sen. Jim Smallwood doesn’t quite have his talking points in order, however:
Still, Smallwood, who said he doesn’t oppose all aspects of Obamacare, said he couldn’t guarantee that eliminating the state exchange and forcing people to use the national exchange would help lower their premiums or give them more options. [Pols emphasis]
“Unless we have parallel universes, we’ll never know what would have been better one way or the other,” he said. “I think we can look to other states that made the transition, like Kentucky and Nevada, where they have seen a slightly improved marketplace because of that transition. The way I look at it is, I don’t think that it could be any worse.”
The bill is scheduled for its first hearing on Tuesday.
This might actually make things worse, but let’s do it anyway!
Get even more smarter after the jump… (more…)