THIS WEEK IN POLITICS: MAY 5, 2019
SUNDAY MAY 5, 2019: OBAMA ADMINISTRATION BORDER PATROL CHIEF NOMINATED AS I.C.E. DIRECTOR
The former Border Patrol Chief under the Obama administration, Mark Morgan, was nominated by Pres. Trump to become the new U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (I.C.E.) director. Morgan is a former F.B.I. agent and the first “outsider” to be the Chief of the Border Patrol. Morgan is known as a an outspoken supporter of Pres. Trump’s desire to build a border wall on the U.S.-Mexico border. Originally Ron Vitiello, a former Border Patrol agent, was nominated for the I.C.E. Director position but Pres. Trump withdrew his nomination last month.
MONDAY MAY 6, 2019: TREASURY DENIES REQUEST FOR PRES. TRUMP’S TAX RETURNS
In a letter on Monday, Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin, said that the request for Pres. Trump’s tax returns “lack a legitimate legislative purpose”. Mnuchin also mentioned that the Treasury Department is not “authorized” to disclose the tax returns and the Justice Department will soon provide a legal justification as to why. The House Ways and Means Committee requested for the tax returns to be available by early April, but that did not happen. Now the House Committee has the option to subpoena the the I.R.S. for the tax returns or file a lawsuit.
TUESDAY MAY 7, 2019: GEORGIA GOVERNOR SIGNS “FETAL HEARTBEAT” BILL INTO LAW
Governor Brian Kemp (R-GA) signed a bill into law that bans abortions once a heartbeat is detected, which can be as early as six weeks. The bill has sparked outrage and protests across the country, with some of them being in front of the State Capitol in Atlanta. The Legal Director of the American Civil Liberties Union (A.C.L.U.) of Georgia, Sean Young, said that the group will be challenging the new bill in court. The bill is expected to face many legal struggles, but if it is not blocked in court it will go into effect on January 1, 2020.
WEDNESDAY MAY 8, 2019: WHITE HOUSE ASSERTS EXECUTIVE PRIVILEGE OVER MUELLER REPORT
Pres. Trump and the White House asserted executive privilege over Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s report on Russian relations and interference in the 2016 election. Pres. Trump has asserted executive privilege over all of the subpoenaed items. Assistant Attorney General, Stephen Boyd, mentioned that the White House will fully assert executive privilege over the report if the House Judiciary Committee does not delay their vote. The House Judiciary, later that day, voted that they should hold Attorney General, William Barr, in contempt after not complying with the subpoena issued for him.
THURSDAY MAY 9, 2019: PRES. TRUMP NOMINATES NEW SECRETARY OF DEFENSE
On Thursday the White House announced that Pres. Trump will nominate Pat Shanahan as the next Secretary of Defense. Shanahan has served as the acting Secretary of Defense since January but had not officially been nominated. Shanahan has spent more than thirty years in the private industry working for the Boeing aircraft manufacturing company, and concerns have been raised about his lack of military experience. Even though there are concerns present, Pres. Trump believes that Shanahan is “beyond qualified” to take the role as the Secretary of Defense.
FRIDAY MAY 10, 2019: HOUSE PASSES DISASTER RELIEF PACKAGE FOR PUERTO RICO
Despite opposition from Pres. Trump, the House passed a $17.2 billion disaster aid bill that would assist Puerto Rico with the devastation caused by Hurricane Maria in 2017. The bill passed in a 257-150 vote. The bill faced major opposition from House Republicans. Pres. Trump had urged the House Republicans to vote against the bill, because he saw it as “excessive funding” for Puerto Rico. Despite opposition and pressure from the President, 34 Republicans voted in favor of it.
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