House Democrats Call For Bill Barring Preemptive Nuclear Strike
January 03, 2018
ObamaCare repeal and entitlement reform top priorities for House Republicans in 2018; House Democrats call for bill barring Trump for launching preemptive nuclear strike on North Korea without Congressional approval; U.S. factory activity accelerates as construction spending reaches record high.
- ObamaCare repeal and entitlement reform top priorities for House Republicans in 2018. Majority Whip Steve Scalise (R-La.) said on Tuesday that ObamaCare repeal and entitlement reform are top priorities for House Republicans in 2018. House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) has said recently that Republicans will focus on giving states “more flexibility in Medicaid,” which could involve allowing them to impose work requirements on recipients. Scalise also indicated that House Republicans would revisit ObamaCare repeal in 2018. Congress has already eliminated the Affordable Care Act’s individual mandate through its tax reform legislation that passed at the end of last year. However, Senate GOP leadership are doubtful about focusing on these two priorities. Senator Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) noted that Senate Republicans were unable to completely repeal and replace ObamaCare with a 52-48 Senate, much less with a 51-49 Senate now. [The Hill]
- House Democrats call for bill barring Trump for launching preemptive nuclear strike on North Korea without Congressional approval. Rep. Ro Khanna (D-Calif.) called on Wednesday for lawmakers to pass a measure that prevents President Trump from launching a preemptive nuclear strike on North Korea without receiving congressional approval. Khanna’s comments followed Trump’s claim on Tuesday that the U.S. has a “much bigger” and “much powerful” nuclear arsenal than that of North Korea, after North Korea’s leader, Kim Jong Un, said that he has a nuclear launch button on the desk in his office. Rep. Eric Swalwell (D-Calif.) also called on Tuesday for lawmakers to have a say in whether Trump launches a preemptive nuclear strike on North Korea. Democrats in both the House and the Senate have introduced legislation to limit the president’s ability to conduct such a strike without receiving approval from lawmakers. [The Hill]
Economic Indicators & News
- U.S. factory activity accelerates as construction spending reaches record high. U.S. factory activity increased more than expected in December after a surge in new orders growth. The Institute for Supply Management (ISM) reported that its index of national factory activity jumped to a reading of 59.7 last month from 58.2 in November. A reading above 50 indicates growth in the manufacturing sector, which accounts for about 12 percent of the U.S. economy. The production sub-index increased 1.9 points to a reading of 65.8 and a gauge of new orders rose 5.4 points to 69.4. Manufacturers also reported an increase in export orders. However, factory employment fell to 57.0 last month from 59.7 in November. Manufacturing is likely to be boosted this year from a $1.5 trillion tax cut that was approved by the Republican-controlled Congress last month. Other data on Wednesday showed construction spending rising to a record high level in November with broad gains in private and public outlays. The Commerce Department reported that construction spending rose 0.8 percent to an all-time high of $1.257 trillion in November, advancing 2.4 percent on a year-on-year basis. [Reuters]