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Azar warns of ‘long fight’ ahead against opioids

“Maggie Hassan, D-N.H., had challenged Azar, saying that the Trump administration’s proposed cuts to Medicaid would make it harder for her state to address its opioid crisis” reports washingtonexaminer.com. Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar said Thursday that the government was seeing results in its efforts to stop the opioid crisis, but that success would not come easily. Source: washingtonexaminer.com

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US senators say the Pentagon’s budget plan would use a ‘slush fund’ for Trump’s border wall

“The Pentagon’s budget request included $165 billion in OCO funding” writes Mike Stone for businessinsider.com. WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Democratic US senators berated top Defense Department officials on Thursday over the Trump administration’s plan to sidestep Congress by using money intended for ongoing wars to finance the president’s long-desired border wall with Mexico.Last year’s OCO request was only $69 billion with no separate funding broken out.On top of the extra OCO request, another $9 billion would be put in an “emergency” account that could be used to fund a US-Mexico border…

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The Trump budget’s economic forecasts should work, for now

“As for labor force growth, Hassett points to rising levels of labor force participation as an indication that even in times of low population growth, we can still enjoy the contributions of a growing labor force” reports washingtonexaminer.com. When the Trump administration unveiled its 2020 budget proposal this week, attention quickly focused on its strong assumptions about future economic growth.The next chart shows that year-over-year growth in output per hour for U.S. labor, labor productivity, in other words, hit 1.76 percent.Ultimately, the limits of GDP growth are set jointly by…

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Trump Wants EVs Tax Credit Gone. GM, Tesla Want It Expanded.

“Tesla and General Motors not only want to see the tax credit remain, but they also want it expanded beyond 200,000 vehicles” writes Bill Howard for extremetech.com. Most of the auto industry wants to see the tax credits continued.Critics of the tax credits say they want to see companies stand on their own feet.By the most amazing of coincidences, Tesla and GM are also the only two companies that have run through their allocation of 200,000 $7,500 tax credits and are in the one-year wind-down phase that provides partial credits.President…

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U.S. missile defense budget cut as North Korea pushes ahead

“In the budget, the Missile Defense Agency, or MDA, saw its appropriation cut by $1 billion to $9.4 billion” writes Midwest Communications Inc for 95kqds.com. Trump’s smaller request comes on the heels of a significant budget boost last year after several North Korean missile tests.The U.S. Missile Defense Agency – charged with developing, testing and fielding a ballistic missile defense system – will delay the expansion of the Ground-based Midcourse Defense (GMD) system by two years because of a delay in the redesign of the Raytheon Co-made “kill vehicle” the…

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Trump’s $750 billion defense budget spends more on warships but cuts orders of fighter jets and tankers

“The Pentagon budget request reflects a shift away from smaller regional conflicts as the US military refocuses on the possibility of fighting powerful nation states” writes Mike Stone for businessinsider.com. WASHINGTON (Reuters) – US President Donald Trump’s $750 billion defense budget includes more money to build ships, fulfilling a campaign promise to strengthen the Navy, but also cuts the number of Boeing KC-46 tanker jets, the Pentagon said on Tuesday.The Air Force had a slightly larger budget increase of 6.1%, or $11.8 billion. Last year, members of Congress increased the…

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Daily on Energy: Murkowski and Manchin won’t go for carbon tax

“In the tax and dividend model, the carbon tax revenue is distributed into monthly rebates to American households, protecting them from higher energy costs” reports washingtonexaminer.com. TRUMP’S COAL BOUND BUDGET: Trump’s fiscal 2020 budget energy , nuclear and national security over renewable energy and climate change.In addition, no utility companies are building coal power plants in the United States, including these more efficient plants.The R&D push appears to prioritize a type of coal power plant technology known as “supercritical,” based on what the official explained.Bipartisan carbon tax and dividend bills…

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The Health 202: HIV prevention is the part of Trump’s budget Congress might pass

“Rosa DeLauro (D-Conn.) holds the key to the HIV funding Trump wants” writes March At Am for washingtonpost.com. “It’s pretty simple — we can’t end the AIDS crisis by cutting programs proven to fight this disease.” Carl Schmid, deputy executive director of the AIDS Institute, told me he’s frustrated by those proposed cuts.As Politico’s Dan Diamond notes, the HHS budget would provide $20 million for a mobile children’s hospital project at Miami’s Nicklaus Children’s Hospital.Despite the president’s vows to protect Medicare funding, Trump’s budget also calls for a marked cut for the…

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