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Congressional Black Caucus expected to decline Trump meeting

Rep. Cedric Richmond is pictured.

Congressional Black Caucus Chairman Cedric Richmond, center, and other lawmakers speak to members of the media after a meeting with President Donald Trump in the White House on March 22. | AP Photo

The Congressional Black Caucus is expected to reject an invitation to meet with President Donald Trump, according to four sources close to the group.

The Trump administration, sources said, has done nothing to advance the CBC's priorities since the group's executive board first met with Trump in March. And members are worried the request for a caucus-wide meeting would amount to little more than a photo op that the president could use to bolster his standing among African-Americans.

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“No one wants to be a co-star on the reality show,” said one senior Democratic aide.

Lawmakers in the 49-member group each received an invitation last week from Omarosa Manigault, the-reality-TV-star-turned-White-House-aide who has pitched herself as an unofficial liaison to the CBC.

“As requested by the president, we would like to schedule a follow-up meeting with the entire membership of the Congressional Black Caucus to discuss issues pertinent to your members,” Manigault wrote in the invitation, obtained by POLITICO.

But multiple CBC members said they were put off that she signed the invitation as “the Honorable Omarosa Manigault,” saying she hasn’t earned that title nor has she helped raise the profile of CBC issues within the White House as promised.

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CBC Chairman Cedric Richmond (D-La.) isn’t expected to make an official announcement until after the group discusses the invitation during its weekly meeting Wednesday. Kamara Jones, a spokeswoman for the CBC, declined to comment on the record.

But sources close to the group say they have been told the caucus-wide meeting with the president is "off the table."

There are both logistical and political hurdles to the entire caucus meeting with Trump.

With nearly 50 members, assembling even most of the caucus for a meeting would be difficult. “How do you get 30-plus members into a room having a meeting and make it meaningful?” said one source familiar with the caucus’ deliberations.

But members of the caucus are also worried about the optics of a meeting. During their meeting with Trump in March, members of the leadership tried to avoid taking a picture with Trump for fear it would be used to make it look like they had thrown their support behind the president.

If the majority of the caucus were to go to the White House, the pressure to huddle with Trump in the Oval Office for a group photo could be tougher to avoid. “The entire caucus goes down there, it’s sort of harder to control,” the source familiar with the situation said.

Aside from the optics, Trump has done little, if anything, to address any of the policies important to the

...

Congressional Black Caucus expected to decline Trump meeting

Rep. Cedric Richmond is pictured.

Congressional Black Caucus Chairman Cedric Richmond, center, and other lawmakers speak to members of the media after a meeting with President Donald Trump in the White House on March 22. | AP Photo

The Congressional Black Caucus is expected to reject an invitation to meet with President Donald Trump, according to four sources close to the group.

The Trump administration, sources said, has done nothing to advance the CBC's priorities since the group's executive board first met with Trump in March. And members are worried the request for a caucus-wide meeting would amount to little more than a photo op that the president could use to bolster his standing among African-Americans.

Story Continued Below

“No one wants to be a co-star on the reality show,” said one senior Democratic aide.

Lawmakers in the 49-member group each received an invitation last week from Omarosa Manigault, the-reality-TV-star-turned-White-House-aide who has pitched herself as an unofficial liaison to the CBC.

“As requested by the president, we would like to schedule a follow-up meeting with the entire membership of the Congressional Black Caucus to discuss issues pertinent to your members,” Manigault wrote in the invitation, obtained by POLITICO.

But multiple CBC members said they were put off that she signed the invitation as “the Honorable Omarosa Manigault,” saying she hasn’t earned that title nor has she helped raise the profile of CBC issues within the White House as promised.

Sign up for our must-read newsletter on what's driving the afternoon in Washington.

By signing up you agree to receive email newsletters or alerts from POLITICO. You can unsubscribe at any time.

CBC Chairman Cedric Richmond (D-La.) isn’t expected to make an official announcement until after the group discusses the invitation during its weekly meeting Wednesday. Kamara Jones, a spokeswoman for the CBC, declined to comment on the record.

But sources close to the group say they have been told the caucus-wide meeting with the president is "off the table."

There are both logistical and political hurdles to the entire caucus meeting with Trump.

With nearly 50 members, assembling even most of the caucus for a meeting would be difficult. “How do you get 30-plus members into a room having a meeting and make it meaningful?” said one source familiar with the caucus’ deliberations.

But members of the caucus are also worried about the optics of a meeting. During their meeting with Trump in March, members of the leadership tried to avoid taking a picture with Trump for fear it would be used to make it look like they had thrown their support behind the president.

If the majority of the caucus were to go to the White House, the pressure to huddle with Trump in the Oval Office for a group photo could be tougher to avoid. “The entire caucus goes down there, it’s sort of harder to control,” the source familiar with the situation said.

Aside from the optics, Trump has done little, if anything, to address any of the policies important to the

...

Looming Obamacare deadline forces decision from skittish insurers

Looming Obamacare deadline forces decision from skittish insurers

There’s confusion about whether the Trump administration will continue enforcing the 2010 health law’s mandate that most Americans obtain coverage — and about the fate of congressional Republican efforts to repeal and replace the ACA. | Getty

Decision day is here for the health insurers that serve Obamacare markets.

The health plans must decide by Wednesday whether to file plans to sell through the federal exchange HealthCare.gov in 2018. But they’re still waiting for assurances the Trump administration will fund subsidies to reduce low-income customers’ health costs.

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The White House on Tuesday agreed to make the payments for June. But uncertainty over what happens after that is turning efforts to cover Obamacare’s poorest customers into a game of chicken — and adding instability to already shaky insurance markets. At least a half-dozen plans have already announced plans to drop out, leaving tens of thousands of customers uncovered if no one else steps in.

“There’s absolutely no guarantee they will get those payments, and that’s what’s driving insurers crazy,” said Tim Jost, a legal expert on the Affordable Care Act.

That’s not the only uncertainty hampering insurers’ decisions about marketplace participation and pricing. There’s also confusion about whether the Trump administration will continue enforcing the 2010 health law’s mandate that most Americans obtain coverage — and about the fate of congressional Republican efforts to repeal and replace the ACA. Senate GOP leaders are still trying to cobble together enough votes to pass a bill by the end of next week.

An HHS spokeswoman said Tuesday the agency is “weighing our options and still evaluating the issues” surrounding the subsidy payments. “Congress could resolve any uncertainty about the payments by passing the AHCA and reforming Obamacare’s failed funding structure,” she said, referring to the House Obamacare repeal plan.

The muddled outlook is leading plans to retrench or dramatically raise prices to protect themselves from what’s proven to be a turbulent, money-losing experience over the last three years.

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“The market is still a very challenged market,” said Caroline Pearson, a senior vice president at Avalere Health. “That very challenged market is exacerbated by political uncertainty around ACA repeal and cost-sharing reduction payments.”

Opting in by Wednesday’s deadline doesn’t commit plans to remain in the marketplaces. They can walk away as late as the end of September, when they have to sign contracts. But just going through the initial rate-setting process is costly and time-consuming.

Some plans have already had enough and are exiting markets, citing uncertainty over the subsidy payments and the GOP repeal efforts. That includes Anthem’s decision to drop out of Ohio, potentially leaving up to 18 counties without any options for coverage.

The current state of play shows as many as 44 bare counties for 2018, accounting for 31,000 Obamacare customers, according to the Kaiser Family Foundation. Federal subsidies,

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Allison Williams re-imagines ‘Girls’ in the Trump era

Actress Allison Williams says she doesn’t like to get political – a feature, she claims, of being the daughter of MSNBC anchor Brian Williams.

But she has some distinct opinions about how President Donald Trump would have knocked her hit HBO show “Girls” in a dramatically different direction.

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In the latest episode of POLITICO’s Women Rule podcast, Williams explains that in today’s political environment, Shoshana would “probably live in a sleeping bag outside the White House.” Marnie, the character Williams played, “would probably run for office.”

And as for the show itself, Williams says she has “a really hard time imagining that the show wouldn’t immediately have to move to D.C.”

“Girls needed to live in the Obama era,” Williams tells POLITICO editor Carrie Budoff Brown earlier this month at the MCON millennial activism conference in Washington. “I think there was a luxury to existential peace and calm that allowed the girls to live the lives they did.”

Williams – who recently starred in Jordan Peele’s “Get Out,” a horror flick that delves into social commentary on the state of U.S. race relations – says she tries to keep her political views out of the public eye. Even when she chooses to advocate for a charitable cause, Williams says it’s not without serious consideration for her father’s reliability as a journalist.

The Global Politico

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“It’s a choice I make,” Williams tells Women Rule. “He doesn’t mandate that. But I believe in having him around right now.”

She adds: “To take any kind of credibility away from that and away from what he’s saying would be destructive to the things that I want.”

Here are highlights from the interview:

4:00 Williams discusses how she chooses the causes she advocates for.

She points to her father’s career in journalism as a reason to be more restrained in voicing her political opinions.

“It behooves me, for the causes I care about,” Williams says, “to keep him being honest and impartial so that he can inform as many people as possible without them being able to just immediately write off what he’s saying because of what his daughter believes in.”

7:10 Williams details the causes she advocates for, including the Horizons program, which provides summer enrichment learning programs for low-income students.

And though her causes are fairly apolitical, the Hollywood star says her political views seep into her acting career choices.

“I’m going to act in ‘Get Out,’ and if you go see it, you’re going to end up thinking about race in a way that you maybe haven’t before,” Williams says. “There are people like Lena [Dunham] who are much more eloquent and able to speak out in a kind of advocacy way than I believe that I am. I think that my greatest opportunity to affect change

...

Allison Williams re-imagines ‘Girls’ in the Trump era

Actress Allison Williams says she doesn’t like to get political – a feature, she claims, of being the daughter of MSNBC anchor Brian Williams.

But she has some distinct opinions about how President Donald Trump would have knocked her hit HBO show “Girls” in a dramatically different direction.

Story Continued Below

In the latest episode of POLITICO’s Women Rule podcast, Williams explains that in today’s political environment, Shoshana would “probably live in a sleeping bag outside the White House.” Marnie, the character Williams played, “would probably run for office.”

And as for the show itself, Williams says she has “a really hard time imagining that the show wouldn’t immediately have to move to D.C.”

“Girls needed to live in the Obama era,” Williams tells POLITICO editor Carrie Budoff Brown earlier this month at the MCON millennial activism conference in Washington. “I think there was a luxury to existential peace and calm that allowed the girls to live the lives they did.”

Williams – who recently starred in Jordan Peele’s “Get Out,” a horror flick that delves into social commentary on the state of U.S. race relations – says she tries to keep her political views out of the public eye. Even when she chooses to advocate for a charitable cause, Williams says it’s not without serious consideration for her father’s reliability as a journalist.

The Global Politico

Susan B. Glasser’s new weekly podcast takes you backstage in a world disrupted.

By signing up you agree to receive email newsletters or alerts from POLITICO. You can unsubscribe at any time.

“It’s a choice I make,” Williams tells Women Rule. “He doesn’t mandate that. But I believe in having him around right now.”

She adds: “To take any kind of credibility away from that and away from what he’s saying would be destructive to the things that I want.”

Here are highlights from the interview:

4:00 Williams discusses how she chooses the causes she advocates for.

She points to her father’s career in journalism as a reason to be more restrained in voicing her political opinions.

“It behooves me, for the causes I care about,” Williams says, “to keep him being honest and impartial so that he can inform as many people as possible without them being able to just immediately write off what he’s saying because of what his daughter believes in.”

7:10 Williams details the causes she advocates for, including the Horizons program, which provides summer enrichment learning programs for low-income students.

And though her causes are fairly apolitical, the Hollywood star says her political views seep into her acting career choices.

“I’m going to act in ‘Get Out,’ and if you go see it, you’re going to end up thinking about race in a way that you maybe haven’t before,” Williams says. “There are people like Lena [Dunham] who are much more eloquent and able to speak out in a kind of advocacy way than I believe that I am. I think that my greatest opportunity to affect change

...
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