THIS WEEK IN POLITICS: MARCH 8, 2019
SATURDAY MAR. 2, 2019: PRES. TRUMP PROMISES EXECUTIVE ORDER REQUIRING “FREE SPEECH” ON COLLEGE CAMPUSES
The annual Conservative Political Action Conference (C.P.A.C.), in Oxon Hill, MD, was held last week and Pres. Trump spoke at it last Saturday (March 2). During his speech, he mentioned that soon he will be signing an executive order that would require universities and colleges in the U.S. to maintain “free speech” on their campuses. It was later on mentioned in his speech, that schools that would not comply with the new executive order, could potentially lose federal research funds which annually are more than $30 billion total.
SUNDAY MAR. 3, 2019: DEMOCRATS VISIT SELMA TO ATTEND “BLOODY SUNDAY” MARCH
On Sunday it was the 54th anniversary of the horrific “Bloody Sunday” march, in which on March 7th, 1965 peaceful protesters trying to cross the Edmund Pettus Bridge during a civil rights march were violently attacked by law enforcement. Many 2020 Democratic Presidential candidates attended Sunday’s march, including Sen. Cory Booker and Sen. Bernie Sanders. Sen. Booker was able to give a speech to the crowd in attendance, followed by 2016 Presidential candidate, Hillary Clinton who also spoke at the event.
MONDAY MAR. 4, 2019: JOHN HICKENLOOPER ANNOUNCES 2020 PRESIDENTIAL CAMPAIGN
On Monday the former Governor of Colorado, John Hickenlooper (D), announced his 2020 presidential campaign joining many other hopefuls for the Presidential spot. Hickenlooper is only the second Governor that has joined the race, along with the Governor of Washington, Jay Inslee (D). Hickenlooper held his first rally this past Thursday, March 7th, at a park in Denver.
TUESDAY MAR. 5, 2019: COMMISSIONER OF U.S. F.D.A. ANNOUNCES RESIGNATION
Scott Gottlieb, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration Commissioner, announced on Tuesday that he will be stepping down from his position as soon as next month. Gottlieb was nominated by Pres. Trump. As the head of F.D.A., he took many measures against the increasing teen vaping rates and has taken an aggressive stance towards e-cigarette makers. He is also known for his fight to reduce tobacco levels in combustible cigarettes and lower consumer prices for prescription drugs. He mentioned that the reason he will be stepping down, is to be able to spend more time with his family.
WEDNESDAY MAR. 6, 2019: DEMOCRATS REVIVE NET-NEUTRALITY BATTLE
Democratic leaders introduced a new bill called “Save the Internet Act” that would restore regulations from former Pres. Obama’s administration. This bill would prohibit internet service providers from prioritizing or blocking certain web traffic. There’s optimism that this bill will be accepted by both sides, but soon after it was announced, Republican leaders announced their opposition for the new net-neutrality bill. A similar bill was introduced last year in the Senate but it eventually died in the House, since it was controlled mostly by the G.O.P.
THURSDAY MAR.7, 2019: PAUL MANAFORT SENTENCED TO 47 MONTHS IN PRISON
Paul Manafort, former Trump campaign chairman, was sentenced to 47 months in prison on Thursday. He faced charges on conspiracy against the U.S. and conspiracy to obstruct justice by tampering with witnesses in D.C.. Sentencing guidelines for such charges are usually 19-24 years, therefore Judge T.S. Ellis III has been strongly criticized for sentencing Manafort to only 47 months in prison. Manafort was also ordered to serve 3 years of supervised release and pay a $50,000 fine and $24 million in restitution. This past August, Manafort was also convicted of 8 criminal charges by a jury which are: five counts of filing false tax returns, two counts of bank fraud and one count of failing to report foreign bank accounts. Manafort is facing almost 4 years in prison, but there is a possibility that the charges could be dropped if Pres. Trump pardons him.
FRIDAY MAR. 8, 2019: HOUSE DEMOCRATS PASS ELECTORAL REFORM BILL
In a 234-193 vote, the House was able to pass H.R. 1, the “The For The People Act”, which aims to expand voting rights, implement new ethics rules and increase transparency in elections. This bill would more specifically enable automatic voter registration and make Election Day a national holiday for federal workers. The bill would also force the President and Vice President to disclose a decade of their tax-records. The vote was very split between the two parties, since Republicans have been openly opposed to it because they believe that it limits free-speech and oversteps on rights the states have. The bill has passed onto the Senate which has low chances of passing, since the Republican majority, including majority leader Mitch McConnell (R), have been extremely opposed to the passing of this bill.
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