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Posts by michaelscotto

Carter says health care could kill House immigration reform efforts

Rep. John Carter says language in a draft version of a House immigration reform bill would set up a “slush fund” to provide undocumented immigrants with health insurance.

Carter says he’s so upset by the language that it might kill bipartisan efforts he’s been involved with for the last several years to overhaul the immigration system.

“It’s a fund that would be paid into to provide them with health care or maybe put them in the Obamacare system,” said Carter.

Earlier this month, disagreements over how to handle health insurance for undocumented immigrants led Rep. Raul Labrador (R-Idaho) to quit the House’s so-called gang of eight.

According to a House Democratic staffer familiar with discussions, the bill does not give undocumented immigrants access to subsidies under the Affordable Care Act. It does, however, set up a fund that would take the money generated by the collection of fees and fines from undocumented immigrants and dole it out to help states cover costs associated with health care and education.


New York Republicans keeping distance from Ted Cruz

Wherever Sen. Ted Cruz goes, it’s a safe bet that controversy will follow.

Case in point: the Senator’s planned speech at a New York State Republican dinner scheduled for tomorrow in Manhattan.

Today, Democrats tried to turn Cruz’s appearance into a talking point against some New York Republicans. Across parts of that state, Cruz is persona non grata due to his efforts earlier this year to block federal aid for Hurricane Sandy victims.

Rep. Peter King, a Republican Congressman from Long Island, said today that he would not attend the dinner, telling BuzzFeed, “I don’t think we should be acknowledging people who are voting against us in our hour of need.”

Rep. Michael Grimm, a Republican who represents Sandy-devastated Staten Island, also said that he would not attend, after getting a beating from the Democratic National Committee and The House Majority PAC, a group leading the Democratic Party’s efforts to take back the House of Representatives.

In a statement, Grimm did not take issue with Cruz, but instead the Democrats who criticized him.

“To use an event as tragic as Sandy to try and score a few cheap political points is beyond reprehensible, and I expect more from my NYC colleagues, who quite frankly should know better,” said Grimm.

“I could only hope that that they will put as much effort into Sandy relief as they have launching baseless political attacks. I invite them to join me in my ongoing efforts to return displaced families to their homes and reopen the small businesses that have yet to open their doors – instead of wasting time on partisan nonsense that only divides our country and makes average citizens lose more faith in Congress.”