Jamie Dupree 

Jamie Dupree’s Washington Insider

Trump signs new law to allow VA to more quickly fire workers for poor performance

  • 12:33 pm Friday, June 23rd, 2017 by Staff Writer

With strong bipartisan support from both houses of Congress, President Donald Trump on Friday signed into law a plan to make it easier for the Veterans Affairs Department to get rid of employees for poor performance or misconduct, all in an effort to improve veterans health care and other services.

“We’re taking care of our veterans and we’re taking care of them properly,” said the President, as he signed the bill at a White House ceremony.

“Those entrusted with the sacred duty of serving our veterans will be held accountable for the care they provide,” Mr. Trump said.

New legislation was needed [More]

Armed with new health bill, GOP leaders look for 50 votes in Senate

  • 10:30 pm Thursday, June 22nd, 2017 by Staff Writer

With the public release on Thursday of an updated health care bill from Senate Republicans, the focus on Capitol Hill quickly shifted from what is in the measure to how many votes the GOP could muster, as separate groups of moderates and conservatives expressed concern about some of the details, even as the Senate Majority Leader was aiming to hold a vote late next week.

Here’s some of the back story on who is not on board in the Senate:

1. Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) – A negotiator on the fence. Cruz was one of the 13 GOP Senators who spent weeks [More]

Trump admits he has no tapes of conversations with Comey

  • 1:20 pm Thursday, June 22nd, 2017 by Staff Writer

Almost six weeks after he suggested on Twitter that he might have “tapes” of conversations with former FBI Director James Comey, President Donald Trump on Thursday acknowledged that he “did not make” and does “not have” any such recordings, which had drawn interest from lawmakers in Congress.

“James Comey better hope that there are no “tapes” of our conversations before he starts leaking to the press!” the President tweeted just three days after firing Comey last month.

But in a pair of tweets on Thursday afternoon, Mr. Trump said if there are tapes, he doesn’t have them.

Asked if the President regretted his [More]

Senate Republicans release details of GOP health overhaul bill

  • 11:19 am Thursday, June 22nd, 2017 by Staff Writer

After weeks of closed door negotiations, Senate Republicans on Thursday released their plan to overhaul the Obama health law, as GOP leaders again signaled they are ready to push ahead with a vote in the full Senate as early as next week.

The 142 page bill – labeled a ‘discussion draft’ – was posted online by the GOP, as the Senate Majority Leader made clear he’s ready to move forward.

(Here is a summary put out by the GOP on the new Senate bill.)

“Obamacare isn’t working – by any nearly any measure it has failed,” said Sen. Mitch [More]

Trump basks in glow of election wins, presses Democrats to cooperate in Congress

  • 10:48 pm Wednesday, June 21st, 2017 by Staff Writer

Back in Iowa for the first time since the November elections, President Donald Trump used a campaign rally in the Hawkeye State to reaffirm his vow to supporters that he will pursue a battery of plans to force change in the federal government and Washington, D.C., as Mr. Trump said his early successes are driving his critics “crazy.”

“All we do is win, win, win,” the President said to cheers in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, as he pressed Democrats to support his legislative agenda in the Congress.

“If we had even a little Democrat support, just a little, like a couple of votes [More]

FBI: Congressional baseball gunman acted alone, no ties to terrorism

  • 11:49 am Wednesday, June 21st, 2017 by Staff Writer

A week after an Illinois man shot a top Republican in Congress and wounded several others, law enforcement officials said the investigation has found that the gunman acted alone when he fired dozens of bullets at lawmakers gathered for a Republican baseball practice, and that no links to any wider plot had been found by the FBI.

“At this time, the FBI has assessed that the deceased shooter, James Thomas Hodgkinson, acted alone,” said Timothy Vale, a top official in the FBI’s Washington, D.C. Field Office.

“We also assess that there was no nexus to terrorism,” Vale told reporters at a news [More]

Democrats struggle to find election formula to dent Trump, Republicans

  • 11:28 pm Tuesday, June 20th, 2017 by Staff Writer

Determined to derail President Donald Trump, Democrats thought they had a good chance to spin an upset victory in a special election runoff in Georgia for the U.S. Congress on Tuesday. Instead, they watched in disbelief as the Republican candidate, Karen Handel, won handily in a race that some Democrats had said might well be a ‘referendum’ on the Trump Administration.

It left some Congressional Democrats pained, and searching for answers.

“We need a genuinely new message, a serious jobs plan that reaches all Americans, and a bigger tent not a smaller one,” said Rep. Seth Moulton (D-MA), who has tried [More]

Republicans to unveil revised Senate GOP health care bill on Thursday

  • 3:52 pm Tuesday, June 20th, 2017 by Staff Writer

Senate GOP leaders told reporters that they should be ready on Thursday to publicly release a revised plan to overhaul the Obama health law, even as some Republican Senators acknowledged their concern about the development of the bill, which has taken place behind closed doors and with no public hearings.

“I expect to have a discussion draft on Thursday,” Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell told reporters, saying consideration of the health care bill on the Senate floor was “likely next week.”

“For weeks now we’ve been in intense discussions with all Republican Senators,” McConnell said, defending the decision to proceed without any [More]

The road to a GOP health care deal – is it really that different?

  • 9:00 pm Monday, June 19th, 2017 by Staff Writer

As Democrats took to the Senate floor on Monday evening to denounce closed door Republican negotiations on a GOP plan to overhaul the Obama health law, both parties traded barbs over how this bill was being put together, with Democrats once more zeroing in on a lack of public hearings, as it still wasn’t clear when the full Senate would vote on the top agenda item for Republicans in 2017.

“If there is not going to be a hearing, then we shouldn’t vote,” said Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-CA).

In recent days, I’ve heard from partisans on both sides about the current situation [More]

Senate Democrats try to turn up political heat over GOP health care bill

  • 11:57 am Monday, June 19th, 2017 by Staff Writer

In a bid to derail GOP efforts to overhaul the Obama health law, Democrats are vowing to use the rules to slow legislative work in the Senate, trying to call more attention to closed door Republican negotiations on a GOP health care plan, and the lack of public details on how the Senate might change a health bill approved by the House in May.

“Here’s the order of people seeing the healthcare bill,” wrote Sen. Brian Schatz (D-HI) on Twitter. “13 dudes in secret, then Republican lobbyists, then CBO, then you and me. Sick.”

Democrats planned to showcase their frustration on health [More]