THIS WEEK IN POLITICS: APRIL 12, 2019

THIS WEEK IN POLITICS: APRIL 12, 2019

SUNDAY APRIL 7, 2019: D.H.S. SECRETARY RESIGNING

Pictured above: Kirstjen Nielsen

Kirstjen Nielsen who is the Secretary of Homeland Security will be leaving the Trump administration. The current U.S. Customs and Border Protection Commissioner, Kevin McAleenan, will temporarily be taking over her position as secretary in the D.H.S. Nielsen was known as the “face” of the Trump administration’s immigration push, which had not been working majorly in their favor.

MONDAY APRIL 8, 2019: MUELLER ASKED TO TESTIFY BEFORE HOUSE JUDICIARY COMMITTEE

The chairman of the House Judiciary Committee, Rep. Jerrold Nadler (D-N.Y.) , requested for Special Counsel Robert Mueller to testify in front of the committee on Monday. Naddler asked for Mueller to release the full report before he testifies, so the committee is able to ask the right questions concerning the report. They are expected to hear from Attorney General, William Barr, by May 2nd about the full report.

TUESDAY APRIL 9, 2019: WILLIAM BARR FORMS TEAM TO REVIEW F.B.I. DECISIONS

Pictured above: William Barr

Attorney General William Barr formed a new team that will review counterintelligence decisions and results made by the Justice Department and F.B.I., during the 2016 probe into Pres. Trump’s campaign during the elections. Barr mentioned that he is reviewing the “conduct” of that investigation, and expects is to be completed by May or June.

WEDNESDAY APRIL 10, 2019: DECISION ON PRES. TRUMP’S TAX RETURNS DELAYED

Last week the House Ways and Means Committee Chairman, Richard Neal (D-Mass.), requested to see Pres. Trump’s tax returns in a letter. This week the Treasury Secretary, Steven Mnuchin said that the department is still debating on whether or not to comply with that request and hand in Pres. Trump’s tax returns. They were given a deadline by Neal, this Wednesday, which most likely won’t be met. Pres. Trump also mentioned that he is not willing to release his tax returns while he is under audit.

THURSDAY APRIL 11, 2019: DAVID BERNHARDT CONFIRMED AS NEW INTERIOR SECRETARY

Pictured above: David Bernhardt

The U.S. Senate confirmed David Bernhardt as the new Interior Secretary, replacing former Montana Congressman Ryan Zinke. Bernhardt is a former energy lobbyist, with plans to expand offshore drilling. He is expected to be approved by the Senate, that is majority Republican, meanwhile there are concerned raised by the Democrats about his plans.

FRIDAY APRIL 12, 2019: PRES. TRUMP CONSIDERING SANCTUARY CITIES FOR MIGRANTS

Immigrant detention center in Arizona.

Pres. Trump has threatened to open sanctuary cities where they would “release” migrants currently held at detention centers, after accusing Democrats of being “unwilling to change immigration laws”. Pres. Trump is also considering sending more troops at the U.S.-Mexico border to deal with what he calls an “immigration crisis”.

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THIS WEEK IN POLITICS: APRIL 5, 2019

THIS WEEK IN POLITICS: APRIL 5, 2019

SATURDAY MARCH 30, 2019: PRES. TRUMP ORDER ON OIL LEASING OVERTURNED

The Trump administration had ordered an expanded oil leasing program at the beginning of 2019 into the Arctic and Atlantic Oceans, reversing Obama’s order to protect them from such events. A federal judge in Alaska, overturned Pres. Trump’s order to undo Obama’s order that protected those oceans from oil and gas leasing. The federal judge ruled Pres. Trump’s order “unlawful and a violation of the federal Outer Continental Shelf Lands Act”.

SUNDAY MARCH 31, 2019: OBAMACARE IN THE COURTS

After a losing battle in Congress, Pres. Trump’s only hopes in Obamacare “dying” will be if courts decide to take it on and strike it down in its entirety. That is an unpopular move nationally, since most courts have ruled in favor of Obamacare but several against it. This issue is resurfacing, because the 2020 Presidential Election and that is a promise Pres. Trump had made to his voter but has not been able to fulfill yet.

MONDAY APRIL 1, 2019: SUBPOENA FOR FULL MUELLER REPORT

House Judiciary Chairman Jerry Nadler is planning on authorizing a subpoena on Wednesday to obtain the full report from Special Counsel Robert Mueller. The House Judiciary Committee is also planning a vote to authorize subpoenas for five former White House staffers, who possibly may have received documents relating to the Mueller report. The subpoena for the report is to be released a day after the deadline given by Democrats for Attorney General William Barr to release it to Congress.

TUESDAY APRIL 2, 2019: SENATE WILL NOT BE PASSING HEALTHCARE LEGISLATION

The A.C.A. logo

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) announced Tuesday that the Senate will not be voting on any comprehensive healthcare legislation before the 2020 Presidential Election. McConnell had discussed that with Pres. Trump on Monday, since he has been asking Senate Republicans to vote on a package that would repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act (A.C.A.). McConnell also mentioned to Pres. Trump that Senate Republicans will be working on bills that would keep down the cost of healthcare.

WEDNESDAY APRIL 3, 2019: SUBPOENA FOR FULL MUELLER REPORT AUTHORIZED

On Wednesday, the House Judiciary Committee, voted to authorize a subpoena for the full report by Special Counsel Robert Mueller to be released. The vote calls for the full report, as well as
“any accompanying exhibits, annexes, tables, appendices, other attachments and all evidence referenced in the report” and “underlying evidence collected, materials prepared, or documents” used by Mueller’s office during the investigation. The vote would also issue subpoenas for five former White House staffers that could have evidence tied to the report.

THURSDAY APRIL 4, 2019: TIM RYAN JOINS 2020 PRESIDENTIAL RACE

Congressman Tim Ryan (D-OH)

Congressman Tim Ryan (D-OH) has joined the 16-person pool of candidates for the 2020 Presidential Election. He represents an area of Ohio that in 2016 voted for Donald Trump during the election, but he is hoping his name recognition in the area will give him the votes this time around. He became widely known when he challenged Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi, for the position of House Democratic Leader in 2016.

FRIDAY APRIL 5, 2019: PRES. TRUMP TAX RETURN REQUEST

Earlier this week, the head of the House Ways and Means Committee formally requested I.R.S. to turn in Pres. Trump’s tax returns from the past six years. On Friday, a lawyer for Pres. Trump urged the Treasury Department to reject the request made by House Democrats. The reason being is because “lawmakers do not have a legislative reason for seeking the returns” as he said in a statement later on that day. He believes that the House Democrats are “abusing” their power since they are the majority.

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ANNAPOLIS LOBBY DAY 2019

ANNAPOLIS LOBBY DAY 2019

Members in attendance with Senator Cheryl Kagan (District 17) and the College Democrats of Maryland previous President, Ryan Kirby.

On March 11, 2019 students from all across Maryland gathered at the Annapolis Statehouse to lobby. Once our students arrived at the Statehouse, they split up into two groups and began meeting with Delegates and Senators. They were able to meet with Legislators such as Sen. Cheryl Kagan, Del. Terri Hill, Sen. Sarah Elfreth and many more! They even ran into our previous President, Ryan Kirby, who currently works for Sen. Cheryl Kagan as the Chief of staff.

During their meetings with the legislators, they were able to advocate and lobby for bills that were significant to them. Several bills they lobbied on include: improved funding for HBCU’s, accessibility of Senatorial and Delegate scholarships to undocumented students, prohibition of 3D-printed firearms and more concerning college students and the state of Maryland as a whole. Meanwhile one of the groups was meeting with legislators, the other had some free time between meetings and were able to attend the “March for Our Schools” that occurred outside of the Statehouse.

After all of the scheduled meetings of the day were over, our students attended a Senate session in the Statehouse. At the beginning of the session, U.S. Sen. Chris Van Hollen gave a speech to the Senate since he was attending the “March of Our Schools” and the College Democrats were even recognized in the chamber by Sen. Sarah Elfreth. It was a very successful lobby day for our College Democrats and an unforgettable experience.

THIS WEEK IN POLITICS: MARCH 29, 2019

THIS WEEK IN POLITICS: MARCH 29, 2019

SUNDAY MARCH 23, 2019: ROBERT MUELLER REPORT CONCLUSIONS

On Sunday, Attorney General William Barr, released a summary on the report from the investigation by Special Counsel Robert Mueller. The investigation started almost two years ago, to investigate a possible Russian collusion with the 2016 Presidential Election and Trump administration. Mueller concluded that there was no Russian collusion found when it came to Pres. Trump’s 2016 campaign and the election. Even though there was no interference found with the 2016 Presidential Election, A.G. Barr included in his summary of the report that “The report does not conclude that the president committed a crime, it also does not exonerate him.” The House earlier this month had voted for the report to made public and lawmakers have been requesting to see evidence that prove Mueller’s conclusions.

MONDAY MARCH 25, 2019: HOUSE DEMOCRATS DEMAND FULL MUELLER REPORT

Rep. Elijah Cummings (D-MD) is one of the six House leaders demanding the report.

After Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s conclusions, House Democrats are demanding to see the full report from the investigation. The report concluded that Pres. Trump had not committed a crime when it came to the 2016 election, and House Democrats are requesting to see the full report because they believe A.G. Barr’s summary was not “sufficient”. Six leaders of multiple House Committees, in a letter to A.G. Barr, are requesting to see the full report of the Mueller investigation. They have demanded in their letter to obtain the report by next week, and if not, they are willing to issue a subpoena in order to obtain it.

TUESDAY MARCH 26, 2019: U.S. BANS FOREIGN AID TO INTERNATIONAL ABORTION PROVIDERS

Earlier this year the Trump administration had announced that they would block Title X health care providers, such as Planned Parenthood, from referring patients for abortion. This ruling blocks such providers from receiving federal family planning money( Title X funding) if they do provide or refer patients for abortions. This Tuesday, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, expanded that ban and mentioned that they would cut funding assistance to the Organization of American States. The reason given is that O.A.S. had at least two agencies lobbying for women’s health availability in the Western Hemisphere, which included abortions.

WEDNESDAY MARCH 27, 2019: U.S. SENATE REJECTS GREEN NEW DEAL

Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez when the Green New Deal was introduced.

The Green New Deal, a resolution introduced by Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY), was up for a vote at the U.S. Senate. The resolution needed 60 votes to pass, but the vote ended up being 57-0 against the resolution. The resolution was not expected to pass in a Republican-lead U.S. Senate. Fourty-three Senate Democrats were expected to vote, but only ended up voting present, not formally taking a position on the issue. The Green New Deal has been a controversial resolution that has been mostly favored in the House than Senate.

THURSDAY MARCH 28, 2019: PRES. TRUMP OVERRULES DEVOS’S SPECIAL OLYMPICS FUNDS CUT

Special Olympics logo

Secretary of Education, Betsy Devos, had announced earlier this week that she was planning on cutting around $18 million from the Special Olympics, which would have been a part of the Trump administration’s 2020 budget proposal. Pres. Trump on Thursday, released a statement saying that he will overrule Devos’s funding cuts and the Special Olympics will continue to be federally funded.

FRIDAY MARCH 29, 2019: PRES. TRUMP THREATENS TO CLOSE U.S.-MEXICO BORDER

Pres. Trump threatened on Twitter that he could possibly close down the U.S.-Mexico border next week. He mentioned that unless Mexico takes action and stops immigrants from illegally crossing the border, he would take action by closing down the border. In those same tweets, he blamed the Democrats for the U.S. having “weak immigration laws” and Mexico for “benefiting” economically from the situation.

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COLLEGE DEMOCRAT OF THE WEEK: DYLAN BEHLER

COLLEGE DEMOCRAT OF THE WEEK: DYLAN BEHLER

Dylan Behler is currently a junior at the University of Maryland College Park and also serves as the Political Director of the College Democrats of Maryland. Over the past summer Dylan got involved in Anne Arundel County Democratic politics, primarily serving as staff on County Executive Pittman’s campaign, but before that he worked as a Committee Analyst for Senate President Mike Miller. Currently he serves as Senator Elfreth’s Legislative Aide in the State Senate. He also is a member of the Democratic Central Committee of Anne Arundel County, serves on the State Executive Committee for the Maryland Sierra Club, and serves on the boards of both the South County Democratic Club and the District 30 Democratic Club.

THIS WEEK IN POLITICS: MARCH 22, 2019

THIS WEEK IN POLITICS: MARCH 22, 2019

SATURDAY MARCH 16, 2019: MISSISSIPPI ORDERED TO REDRAW A DISTRICT

Senate District 22 in Mississippi was ordered to be redrawn by the 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, because it was not offering African- Americans an equal opportunity in voting. A judge had found that African-American’s voting power of that district had been weakened. This problem came to the judges attention, after three residents had sued the state in July because the way the district was put together, it violated the Voting Rights Act. The district stretches through six counties, with 51% of the population being African- Americans of voting age.

SUNDAY MARCH 17, 2019: KIRSTEN GILLIBRAND LAUNCHES 2020 PRESIDENTIAL CAMPAIGN

2020 Presidential hopeful Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY)

Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY) earlier this year had launched an exploratory committee for the 2020 Presidential Election, and this Sunday officially declared her bid in the race. Even though she officially launched her campaign now, she had been campaigning in states that hold early primary contests. Sen. Gillibrand is set to deliver her first major speech of her campaign, on Sunday March 24th in front of Trump International Hotel in New York City.

MONDAY MARCH 18, 2019: BETO O’ROURKE’S RECORD BREAKING FUNDRAISING

2020 Presidential hopeful, Congressman Beto O’Rourke (D-TX)

Former Congressman Beto O’Rourke (D-TX) raises $6.1 million, in the first 24 hours after he had launched his presidential campaign, making it the largest amount raised within the first 24 hours. The previous record-breaking amount was held by Bernie Sanders. Sen. Sanders was able to raise $5.9 million within the first 24 hours after launching his 2020 presidential campaign, but Congressman O’Rourke was able to take that spot after the record-smashing online donations towards his campaign.

TUESDAY MARCH 19, 2019: MICHAEL COHEN INVESTIGATION HAD BEEN GOING ON SINCE 2017

Records released on Tuesday show that the Michael Cohen investigation had been going on for longer than everyone thought. In the records it is said that the FBI started investigating Michael Cohen in July 2017. The FBI was able to keep their investigation secret, but it became public after Cohen’s home and office were raided by the FBI last April. The raid led to Cohen receiving three years in prison for tax evasion and campaign finances violations.

WEDNESDAY MARCH 20, 2019: DEFENSE SECRETARY UNDER ETHICS PROBE

Acting Defense Secretary Patrick Shanahan

Acting Defense Secretary Patrick Shanahan is under investigation for being suspected of violating ethics rules by promoting products of Boeing during his role in the Pentagon. Before taking the position as the acting Defense Secretary, Shanahan had worked for Boeing for over 30 years. C.R.E.W. (Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington) filed a complaint leading to the investigation, because Shanahan’s actions violated his signed ethics agreement, that calls for no conflicts of interest during his time at the Pentagon.

THURSDAY MARCH 21, 2019: PRES. TRUMP SIGNS FREE SPEECH EXECUTIVE ORDER

On Thursday, Pres. Trump signed an executive order aimed at protecting free speech on college and university campuses. This executive order was previously mentioned during his speech at the
Conservative Political Action Conference (C.P.A.C.) a few weeks ago. This executive order is supposed to “guarantee” free speech on campuses and schools that do not comply to these rules will lose federal research funding. An official from the Trump administration mentioned that this order will not affect aid programs that go towards tuition.

FRIDAY MARCH 22, 2019: ROBERT MUELLER’S INVESTIGATION IS COMPLETE

Special Counsel, Robert Mueller

Special Counsel Robert Mueller has officially finished his investigation on Russian intervention during the 2016 Presidential Election. The report had been delivered to Attorney General William Barr on Friday evening. Attorney General Barr is currently reviewing the report and may announce Mueller’s results over this upcoming weekend.

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THIS WEEK IN POLITICS: MARCH 15, 2019

THIS WEEK IN POLITICS: MARCH 15, 2019

SUNDAY MARCH 10, 2019: PRES. TRUMP LOOKING TO INCLUDE $8.6 BILLION IN 2020 BUDGET FOR WALL

Pres. Trump visiting border prototypes in San Diego.

Pres. Trump is set to announce his budget on Monday, where the White House announced he will be seeking for $8.6 billion to go toward his border wall. That request does not stop the national emergency declaration. He is asking for the $8.6 billion on top of the previously requested $7 billion. In order to receive that money, he will have to strip several programs benefiting people and the environment from their funding.

MONDAY MARCH 11, 2019: PRES. TRUMP’S BUDGET OF $4.75 TRILLION

Pres. Trump announced his $4.75 trillion budget on Monday which he sent to Congress for the 2020 fiscal year. This budget is said to be one of the biggest in federal history. The new budget would drastically increase military spending and cut funding for education, environmental protection programs, Medicaid and Medicare. The budget would cut around $1.5 trillion from Medicaid and $818 billion from Medicare. Social security programs would also lose $26 billion and the Environmental Protection Agency’s funding would decrease by 31%. The new budget proposal would decrease education funding by 10% and have $8.6 billion towards the border wall.

TUESDAY MARCH 12, 2019: PRES. TRUMP SIGNS PUBLIC LANDS LAW

On Tuesday, Pres. Trump signed the John D. Dingell, Jr. Conservation Management and Recreation Act into law. This bipartisan law includes natural resources and public lands proposals. This law would permanently reauthorize the Land and Water Conservation fund. This act was originally named the Natural Resource Management Act, but was renamed after the passing of former Rep. John Dingell, Jr. (D-MI) to honor him.

WEDNESDAY MARCH 13, 2019: PAUL MANAFORT RECEIVED EXTRA TIME

The former campaign chairman of Pres. Trump, Paul Manafort, was sentenced 3.5 additional years for conspiracy linked to lobbying in Ukraine for a pro-Russian political party. Manafort was sentenced to almost 4 years last week, which his sentence now is about 7.5 years. There is a possibility Manafort could be pardoned from his sentence by Pres. Trump but he has said that he has not entirely considered it yet.

THURSDAY MARCH 14, 2019 (PART 1): BETO O’ROURKE JOINS 2020 PRESIDENTIAL RACE

Former Congressman Beto O’Rourke (D-TX)

Former Texas Congressman of Texas, Beto O’Rourke announced he is running for President Wednesday morning. O’Rourke gained his popularity after his run for Senate against Ted Cruz, where he lost by only 3 points. During the 2018 Senate race, he was able to increase the numbers of young and Democratic voters in Texas, which showed at the results of the race.

THURSDAY MARCH 14, 2019 (PART 2): RESOLUTION TO BLOCK NATIONAL EMERGENCY PASSED IN SENATE

The Senate voted 59-41 to overturn Pres. Trump’s national emergency declaration where 12 Republicans joined Democrats to vote in favor of it. The resolution was passed by the House last week and surprisingly in the Senate this week. This showed weakness within the Republican party, since many Republicans turned away from Trump’s request for the national emergency. Even though it was passed by the House and Senate, there is a possibility for it to be overturned by the President vetoing it. Pres. Trump attempted to persuade Senate Republicans to vote against the resolution, but that did not work for many as the vote showed.

FRIDAY MARCH 15, 2019: RESOLUTION TO BLOCK NATIONAL EMERGENCY VETOED BY PRES. TRUMP

Pres. Trump rejected the resolution to block his declared national emergency, by issuing the first veto of his presidency. Next steps after the vote are that the legislation will be send back to Congress for a vote but it is unlikely that it will be overridden. The American Civil Liberties Union (A.C.L.U.) released a statement saying that if Congress is not able to override the veto, they will take the national emergency declaration to court. The House will vote on March 26th to override the veto.