Chris Matthews asked his panel of guests to tell him something he doesn't know. American Urban Radio Networks' April Ryan said she heard rumors about people trying to get medical care from Ben Carson because they had to pay cash. When she caught up with the Republican presidential candidate, he confirmed that yes, he did run a cash practice for two years at Johns Hopkins.
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Other reporters on the Hardball Roundtable had scoops on the latest "omnibus" spending bill. Reuters' Jeff Mason says the bill put forward this week would allow U.S. exports of crude oil for the first time in decades. The White House has strongly opposed this measure because of concerns it would contribute to climate change, but President Obama is no longer threatening to veto the bill.
The change could be a gift to oil companies, but little is likely to change in the short term. Since oil prices are so low, oil producers would probably lose money shipping crude to foreign destinations that were previously prohibited. Though the White House is publicly walking back its opposition and playing down its impact, the move could create some tension with environmentalists less than a week after the president celebrated a historic international agreement in Paris to combat global warming.
And the Washington Post's Jonathan Capehart added that there’s $750 million in security and development assistance to Central America in the spending bill, which Obama committed to a while back. It’s for Guatemala, Honduras and El Salvador, which back in 2014 were some of the countries 50,000 unaccompanied children came to the United States from. While we’ve moved on from that story, the administration and Congress did something to try to prevent that from happening again.