Since University of Maine students have been gone, newly inaugurated President Donald J. Trump has made a number of allegations that the Obama administration has been spying on him since the 2016 election. There have also been conversations regarding the American Health Care Act, as well as fervent debates about whether the bill should be passed, amended, or scrapped.
Earlier in the month, President Donald J. Trump posted a series of tweets accusing former president Barack Obama of wiretapping him during the 2016 election, even comparing it to the Nixon/Watergate scandal. Following these tweets, Sean Spicer, the current White House Press Secretary, announced that no one from the White House (including the president) will comment on the story.
As the days went on, Spicer added that, “There is no question something happened. The question is, is it surveillance, is it a wiretap, or whatever.” Days later, Spicer began to backtrack on his previous statements, saying that in President Trump’s original tweet, he put the word “wiretap” in quotes, as he intended to infer a more broad surveillance and other activities that are not strictly limited to wiretapping.
He continued, “there is no question that the Obama administration, that there were actions about surveillance and other activities that occurred in the 2016 election.”
On March 15, President Trump made an appearance on Fox’s “Tucker Carlson Tonight,” where he was asked about what brought his attention to the wiretapping allegations. Trump referred to an article that was posted by the “New York Times” regarding intelligence investigations into some of Trump’s associates. The article never mentions Barack Obama ordering a wiretap on the Trump administration. Toward the end of his appearance, Trump adds, “I think you’re going to find some very interesting items coming to the forefront over the next few weeks.”
On Friday, March 24, members of the House also began to debate on a bill that will replace the Affordable Care Act (ACA), also known as “Obamacare.” The bill, which is called the American Health Care Act (AHCA), differs from the ACA as it will be putting an aged-based tax credit system to purchase health insurance, which could potentially save the government billions of dollars and also cut taxes.
But, Democrats argue, the program will add an additional 24 million citizens to the list of Americans that do not have health care.
It became clear throughout the day that there was not enough support for the bill in the Republican party to pass it, as both the Freedom caucus and more moderate Republican members peeled away their support, despite threats from the Trump administration that a failed bill would result in a red light from the White House on further attempts to restructure health care.
As the afternoon played out, President Trump asked Paul Ryan, the current Speaker of the House, to pull the proposed repeal. Moments after this was announced, Ryan encouraged Republicans to move on. There are debates on whether or not it was Trump or Ryan that ultimately made the call to pull the bill.