► In today’s Yakima H-R — Rep. Dan Newhouse hears from voters in Sunnyside (video and text) — Newhouse says tonight’s crowd is one of the largest he’s seen in a listening session since he’s taken office. He said his personal healthcare coverage through Congress is the same healthcare as residents’, which drew many boos from the crowd… Newhouse says, although there’s no law that requires Trump to do it, he thinks the president should release his returns. When pressed on the issue, Newhouse said he will help write a bill requiring that.
ALSO at The Stand — Demand to see Trump’s returns at Tax March Seattle on Saturday
► From TPM — Top Republican faces tough questions about health care at Oregon town hall — Rep. Greg Walden (R-OR), one of the Republicans who helped craft the GOP bill to repeal and replace Obamacare, defended his support for Trumpcare to a raucous crowd of more than 2,000 on Thursday at a town hall in Bend, Oregon.
► But then, there’s this profile in courage today from The Hill — Republicans try to tame their rowdy town halls — Rep. Dave Reichert (R-Wash.), for instance, plans to hold about 50 meetings and events to speak with more than 200 constituents rather than hold town halls with larger crowds, according to his office. The former sheriff, who voted for the GOP’s healthcare bill in the House Ways and Means Committee, is sticking with that plan despite pressure from local left-leaning groups to hold a traditional town hall.
ALSO at The Stand — Which members of Congress are playing hide-and-seek at recess?
► From KUOW — Maps show a dramatic rise in health insurance coverage under ACA — New data from the U.S. Census Bureau presents the most detailed picture yet of the dramatic rise in the number of people covered by health insurance since the Affordable Care Act went into effect.
► In today’s NY Times — Trump threatens health subsidies to force Democrats to bargain — Having failed to get enough support from his own party, Trump threatened to withhold ACA subsidy payments to states as a way to induce the Democrats to bargain with him. For now, Democrats are resisting and using his maneuver against him to energize their own party. And they warn that Trump will be blamed if the insurance markets collapse and people lose coverage next year.
► In today’s NY Times — Can Trump take health care hostage? (by Paul Krugman) — The president adopts a bargaining tactic that’s both nasty and stupid.
► From The Hill — Dems link ObamaCare payments to shutdown fight — Following Trump’s threat, congressional Democrats are demanding that key ObamaCare payments be included in the next spending bill, raising the possibility of a government shutdown if they are not.
► From The Hill — GOP centrists push back on ObamaCare repeal — The centrists object to demands from conservatives that states be given waivers that would allow them to repeal ObamaCare requirements, arguing that the move would put insurance out of reach for people with pre-existing conditions.
► In the Auburn Reporter — Brown throws hat in City Council ring — Auburn, like other city governments, is struggling to provide many necessary services to residents. Longtime Auburn resident Larry Brown said he has a lot to contribute to that effort. Which is why Brown recently filed for Position 6 on the Auburn City Council, longtime incumbent Rich Wagner’s seat.
EDITOR’S NOTE — WSLC President Jeff Johnson:
“The Washington State Labor Council, AFL-CIO has long advocated for union members and community partners to run for elected office. It is our strong belief that union members bring with them a vision of what shared prosperity means for a community. Larry Brown, Legislative and Political Director of the IAM 751, is a labor leader with the experience and values to help the Auburn community live up to its great potential.”
► In today’s Tri-City Herald — Workers, bidders will have to wait longer to hear Hanford’s new contracting plan — The Department of Energy may not release a master plan for new Hanford contracts for a few months longer. The new contracting strategy is expected to shape the way work that will cost taxpayers billions of dollars is divided up at the nuclear reservation and which companies will employ more than 6,000 Hanford workers over the next decade.
► In today’s Seattle Times — Hunger strike at Tacoma immigration detention center grows to 750, activist says — Female detainees have joined in a hunger strike to protest conditions at the 1,500-bed Northwest Detention Center in Tacoma, an anti-detention activist said. Maru Mora Villalpando, a spokeswoman for NWDC Resistance, a group run by detainees, said as many as 750 detainees are refusing meals at the privately run detention center.
ALSO at The Stand — Hunger strikers decry conditions at Tacoma detention center
► From The Stranger — ICE: “We don’t have a hunger strike. We have people refusing meals.” — “We don’t have a hunger strike,” said an ICE spokeswoman. “We have people refusing meals… People refuse meals, that’s not uncommon. They may not like what’s being served a particular day or they may not be hungry.”
EDITOR’S NOTE — “Nothing to see here. Move along.”
► In today’s (Everett) Herald — Immigration agency puts detainer ‘shame’ reports on hold — The Trump administration has stopped producing a weekly scorecard of law enforcement agencies it says are not cooperating with stepped-up federal efforts to deport those in the country illegally.
► In today’s News Tribune — One doctor’s pain at Western State Hospital (by Dr. Joseph Wainer) — Despite a tremendous influx of resources at the state mental health institution, the core problem remains: a deficit of quality leadership, according to a psychiatrist who works there.
► In the (Everett) Herald — House budget address state tax system’s unfairness (letter)
► In the (Everett) Herald — House budget would fully fund schools, improve tax system (letter)
► In today’s NY Times — For Trump, a steep learning curve leads to policy reversals — Prseident Trump, the first occupant of the White House never to serve in government or the military, has discovered that some issues are more complex than he knew.
► From Politico — Trump’s base turns on him — As Trump struggles to keep his campaign promises and flirts with political moderation, his most steadfast supporters — from veteran advisers to anti-immigration activists to the volunteers who dropped their jobs to help elect him — are increasingly dismayed by the direction of his presidency.
► In today’s Washington Post — EPA chief Scott Pruitt calls for an ‘exit’ from the Paris climate agreement — The comment appeared to be the first time such a high-ranking official has so explicitly disavowed the agreement endorsed by nearly 200 countries to fight climate change.
► This week, we lost guitarist J. Geils, leader of the band bearing his name that is known by casual fans for hits like “Centerfold,” “Freeze Frame” and “Love Stinks.” J. (John) passed away in his home in Massachusetts of natural causes at the age of 71. His Boston/Detroit band was legendary for its energetic, interactive live performances. See for yourself…
The Stand posts links to Washington state and national news of interest every weekday morning by 10 a.m.
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