Senator Jeff Bingaman, D-NM, US Senator from 1983-2013

Air Dates: July 15-17, 2017

This week's guest on REPORT FROM SANTA FE is New Mexico's former U.S. Senator Jeff Bingaman, discussing the current state of affairs in the U.S. Senate and Washington, D.C.

Jeff Bingaman served in the United States Senate for 30 years from 1983-2013. Bingaman chaired the powerful Senate Energy Committee and after his retirement was a fellow at Stanford University reviewing state energy laws and developing policies to assist states and local communities in promoting increased use of clean energy.

The Senator shares his perspective on the dilemmas and dysfunction in the current US Senate, and describes the current conflicts between the branches of the Republican party.

On the topic of the health care bills, Bingaman elaborates on the battle for the Republican goal to repeal the tax increases that the Democrats put in the Affordable Care Act to pay for the expansion of services.

Bingaman points out that the new Senate Republican health care plan is to block grant Medicaid. If that happens, federal funding for healthcare coming to New Mexico will be slashed and the 900,000 New Mexicans depending on Medicaid will be severely affected.

Bingaman warns, “So if our state legislature is worried about how they can make a budget now, wait till they block grant Medicaid, then they will really find out how difficult it is.”

Other hot topics discussed are the possible reversal of our National Monument designations, ethics and violations of the emoluments clauses, the privacy of voters' social security numbers / voting records, climate change / renewable energy, and the dissolution of the State Department and the diplomatic corps.