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Indian-American Congressman Ro Khanna calls US President Donald Trump “devil” and his budget proposal “dumb”

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Washington, March 28, 2017: Indian-American Congressman Ro Khanna, a Democrat who represents the 17th Congressional District of California, known as the Silicon Valley, called US President Donald Trump a “devil” and his budget proposal “dumb”.

“You talk to members of Congress and they don’t agree with everything he says. Even Republicans. They are as embarrassed,” Khanna — a teacher, lawyer and a politician — said in a video interview to news channel TYT Politics, published on Monday.

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“Why aren’t they speaking out? It’s because he is helping achieve their vision which is the dismantling of the administrative state. The dismantling of the new deal, in a way that Ronald Reagan even didn’t,” he said.

“… So they are saying, OK, we are gonna make the bargain with the devil. He is giving us what we want. Let’s ignore everything else.”

Responding to a question on what bothers him the most about the Trump administration’s budget proposal, which might get passed, too, Khanna said “foreign aid”.

“I mean, I can’t think of a more dumb proposal than, frankly, than cutting that [foreign aid].”

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Khanna said that he is worried that the Republicans would not push back on cutting the US foreign aid. He said, on humanitarian grounds, the US should continue to extend help to other countries, reported the American Bazaar Online.

Questioning Trump’s proposal to cut foreign aid, Khanna said that it is un-American. He said that America’s foreign aid budget is less than one percent and it should be defended as it goes for “humanitarian causes”.

The 40-year-old Khanna said that he felt “annoyed” after Trump commented that it is in “America’s national interest” and advised other nations to follow their self-interest.

Citing former President George W. Bush, Khanna said that even Bush helped resuscitate people from the HIV in Africa.

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“And here, you know, George Bush, I disagreed with him about everything Bush-Cheney did. The one thing he did, what we should all give him credit for is he helped save people in Africa with HIV,” Khanna said.

“We put billions of dollars in foreign aid to help people with the anti-viral drugs.”

Khanna said, “The whole idea about American exceptionalism is that we are not all nations… We care about morality. We care about humanity. That’s what makes America exceptional. So, we should care about the moral case of what we are gonna do for other countries.”

–IANS

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Obamacare Ruling Attracts Little Comment From Republicans

Some legal observers believe Congress is unlikely to pass a new law while the case is in the courts.

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Obamacare, republican
A sign on an insurance store advertises Obamacare in the San Ysidro district of San Diego,Calif., Oct. 26, 2017. VOA

Republican lawmakers have been mostly silent on Friday’s court ruling that the Affordable Care Act, known commonly as Obamacare, is unconstitutional. Democrats, however, have said they’ll hold the GOP to its commitment to retain popular provisions of the law, such as guaranteed coverage for those with pre-existing health conditions.

“The GOP spent all last year pretending to support people with pre-existing conditions while quietly trying to remove that support in the courts,” Senate Democratic leader Chuck Schumer of New York said in a tweet Saturday. “Next year, we will force votes to expose their lies.”

USA, republicans, democrats
House Democratic leader Nancy Pelosi of California holds a news conference at the Capitol in Washington, Dec. 13, 2018. VOA

U.S. Rep. Nancy Pelosi, a California Democrat who will assume the speaker’s role next year, said the House “will move swiftly to formally intervene in the appeals process to uphold the lifesaving protections for people with pre-existing conditions and reject Republican effort to destroy” the law.

U.S. District Judge Reed O’Connor in Texas ruled Friday that a change in tax law last year eliminating a penalty for not having health insurance invalidated the entire ACA. The decision is expected to be appealed to the U.S. Supreme Court, and the ACA will remain the law during the appeal.

U.S. President Donald Trump had promised during his presidential campaign to dismantle the ACA, a program that made affordable health insurance available to millions of Americans.

Obamacare, U.S., republican
Protesters gather across the Chicago River from Trump Tower to rally against the repeal of the Affordable Care Act, March 24, 2017, in Chicago. VOA

‘Great news’

The president took to Twitter Friday night: “Wow, but not surprisingly, ObamaCare was just ruled UNCONSTITUTIONAL by a highly respected judge in Texas. Great news for America!”

White House spokeswoman Sarah Huckabee Sanders said the judge’s decision “vindicates President Trump’s position that Obamacare is unconstitutional. Once again, the President calls on Congress to replace Obamacare and act to protect people with pre-existing conditions and provide Americans with quality, affordable health care.”

Americans with pre-existing conditions, before ACA, faced either high premiums or an inability to access health insurance at all.

Schumer said in a statement Friday that the ruling “seems to be based on faulty legal reasoning, and hopefully it will be overturned. Americans who care about working families must do all they can to prevent this district court ruling from becoming law.”

Obamacare, republicans
A person walks by a health care insurance office in Hialeah, Fla. VOA

 

“Today’s misguided ruling will not deter us,” California Attorney General Xavier Becerra, the leader of an alliance of states opposing the lawsuit, said in a statement Friday. “Our coalition will continue to fight in court for the health and well-being for all Americans.”

New law unlikely for now

Some legal observers believe Congress is unlikely to pass a new law while the case is in the courts. Many senior Republican lawmakers have said they did not plan to also strike down provisions such as pre-existing condition coverage when they repealed the law’s fines for people who can afford coverage but remain uninsured.

Also Read: Obamacare Unconstitutional: U.S. Federal Judge

If the case reaches the Supreme Court, it would be the third time the high court considers a challenge to ACA provisions. The law’s opponents lost the first two cases.

Polls have regularly shown wide public support for the guarantee of health insurance coverage regardless of pre-existing health conditions, an issue Democrats successfully leveraged in last month’s midterm elections to win control of the House of Representatives. (VOA)