News Roundup

Legislative Watch

Executive Orders

  • Vox Roundup, Week #2: resistance is slowing things down on ethics reform, immigration ban, Cabinet confirmations, privatization of Medicare and public lands, and repealing the Affordable Care Act. “Citizens do have the power to win them, by making Republicans scared.”
  • NPR Roundup, Week #1: White House attempts on ACA, Immigration, Voter fraud, environment, government hiring freeze

Non-Executive Action

  • Conflict of interest: Trump’s plan to step back from his businesses day-to-day is “meaningless from a conflict of interest perspective,” said the nonpartisan director of the federal Office of Government Ethics: “The President is now entering a world of public service. He’s going to be asking our men and women in uniform to risk their lives in conflicts around the world. So no, I don’t think divestiture is too high a price to pay to be President of the United States of America.”

Cabinet Inventory

  • Defense: President Trump’s first Cabinet secretary was confirmed: Secretary of Defense and (recently) retired Gen. James Mattis, who is widely respected. When the Senate held a hearing on civilian control of the military, the testimony was essentially a plea from experts to appoint Mattis so he could prevent “wildly stupid, dangerous, or illegal things from happening” (an actual quote!). [Senate Armed Services Committee / Eliot A. Cohen] The only senator to vote against Mattis was Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY), who made an important point: In the face of a president determined to break norms, the temptation to break norms oneself is both harder and more important to resist. [NYT / Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand]
  • State: Exxon CEO Rex Tillerson. “ExxonMobil successfully lobbied against a bill that would have made it harder for the next president to lift sanctions against Russia, clearing the way for the oil giant to restart a program worth billions of dollars if Donald Trump eases those restrictions as president.”

Blowin’ in the Wind

when the goal is to not turn away from wrongdoing

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