THIS WEEK IN POLITICS: JUNE 7, 2019

THIS WEEK IN POLITICS: JUNE 7, 2019

SUNDAY JUNE 2, 2019: PRES. TRUMP CALLS MEXICO “ABUSER” OF THE UNITED STATES

Migrants at the U.S.-Mexico border

In a tweet on Sunday, Pres. Trump mentioned that Mexico is an “abuser” of the United States because they have not “stopped” the migrants coming in from Central America. Pres.

Trump is threatening to impose a 5% tariff on all exports sent from Mexico to the U.S., unless Mexico blocks the migrants trying to come to the United States.

MONDAY JUNE 3, 2019: CONGRESS SENDS DISASTER AID BILL TO PRES. TRUMP

After a 10-day recess, the $19B disaster aid bill for Puerto Rico is finally being send to Pres. Trump. The bill was first held up in recess by conservative Republicans, because they believed the bill should not be rushed through without a recorded vote since the bill was originally supposed to be voted on by a voice vote. There was also a feud between Democrats and Republicans on how much aid should actually be given to Puerto Rico for disaster relief.

TUESDAY JUNE 4, 2019: HOUSE VOTES TO PROTECT “DREAMERS”

DACA advocates during a protest

By a vote of 237-187, the House of Representatives voted to pass a bill that would end the threat of deportation for “Dreamers” who entered the U.S. when they were children. Out of the 237 Yes votes, only 7 Republicans voted to pass the bill. However, there is not much hope for the bill to also pass in the Senate since it has a Republican majority.

WEDNESDAY JUNE 5, 2019: SENATE LAUNCHES BID TO BLOCK SAUDI ARMS SALES

Senate Democrats and Republicans have united to introduce more than a dozen resolutions that would block the Trump administration’s arms sales to Saudi Arabia. This bipartisan stance displays a major push-back on Pres. Trump’s foreign policy regarding Saudi Arabia. Leading this effort is Sen. Bob Menendez (D-N.J.) who is the top Democrat on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee. His effort is supported by many but two of the top ones are Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) and Sen. Rand Paul (R-K.Y.).

THURSDAY JUNE 6, 2019: DEPARTMENTS OF JUSTICE AND COMMERCE REJECT HOUSE SUBPOENAS

The Trump administration has been considering to add a citizenship question to the 2020 census. The House Oversight and Reform Committee subpoenaed the Departments of Justice and Commerce for documents that would validate the want to add a citizenship question to the 2020 census. The Assistant Attorney General, Stephen Boyd, said the documents requested by the Committee are protected by attorney-client privilege and therefore cannot be disclosed with the Committee.

FRIDAY JUNE 7, 2019: JOE BIDEN REVERSES STANCE ON ABORTION FUNDING

Presidential nominee, Joe Biden

Earlier this week, Presidential nominee Joe Biden had mentioned that he supported the Hyde amendment which bars the use of federal funds to pay for abortion. During a speech at a Democratic Party fundraiser in Atlanta, Biden mentioned that he had changed his long-standing stance on federal funds for abortion, after the major backlash he had received. He also mentioned that he makes “no apologies” for his previous stance on the Hyde amendment. Biden had once opposed efforts to add abortion exemptions for victims of rape or incest when he was a senator for Delaware. 

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THIS WEEK IN POLITICS: MAY 31, 2019

THIS WEEK IN POLITICS: MAY 31, 2019

MONDAY MAY 27, 2019: TRUMP ADMINISTRATION EXPANDS BORDER PROCESSING

Migrants at the U.S.-Mexico border

The number of migrants has increased to 100,000 each month crossing the southern border of Texas. Due to the increased amount, the Trump administration has decided to fly migrants to San Diego, TX and bus them to centers in California and Texas. When the migrants arrive at those centers, they are processed and usually after released to await a court date. This is the first time in U.S. history an administration has taken those steps for migrants.

TUESDAY MAY 28, 2019: SUPREME COURT ON INDIANA ABORTION RULING

The Supreme Court blocked an Indiana law that barred abortions based on a fetus’ race, sex or disability. However, the Supreme Court allowed a measure to pass in Indiana that would require the burial or cremation of fetal remains. This measure was first signed into law by Vice President Mike Pence in 2016, when he was governor of Indiana, but was blocked by a court. Currently, the Supreme Court has a conservative majority.

WEDNESDAY MAY 29, 2019: SPECIAL COUNSEL ROBERT MUELLER SPEAKS ABOUT INVESTIGATION

Special Counsel, Robert Mueller, at the U.S. Justice Department.

Special Counsel Robert Mueller spoke about the investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 Presidential election, at the US Justice Department on Wednesday. Mueller mentioned that the option to charge Pres. Trump with obstruction of justice was not one his office could consider, because of certain Justice Department guidelines. He also announced that he will be closing his office, as special counsel, since the investigation has been concluded.

THURSDAY MAY 30, 2019: DEMOCRATIC GOVERNOR SIGNS ABORTION BAN INTO LAW

Protesters in Louisiana

Governor John Bel Edwards (D-LA), signed an abortion ban into law that would ban abortions as early as six weeks into a pregnancy, when one may not even know yet they are pregnant. The new law made Louisiana the fifth state to enact a law prohibiting abortion as early as six weeks. The new law in Louisiana does not include exceptions for situations involving rape or incest. Despite being a Democratic Governor, Edwards has mentioned that he is pro-life and it is an issue he has been consistent on his whole life.

FRIDAY MAY 31, 2019: LICENSE NOT EXPIRED FOR SOLE ABORTION CLINIC IN MISSOURI

A judge in Missouri has ruled that the only Planned Parenthood left, that has abortion services available, can continue their services. The clinic’s license was supposed to expire this Friday, but the judge ruled that the current license can remain into effect. This ruling does not renew the clinic’s license but allows them to continue their services till a court date on June 4th. If the license does not renew on June 4th, Missouri would be the first state to completely block abortions after Roe v. Wade.

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THIS WEEK IN POLITICS: MAY 5, 2019

THIS WEEK IN POLITICS: MAY 5, 2019

SUNDAY MAY 5, 2019: OBAMA ADMINISTRATION BORDER PATROL CHIEF NOMINATED AS I.C.E. DIRECTOR

Nominated I.C.E. Director, Mark Morgan

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

Protesters outside of the State Capitol in Atlanta, GA.

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

Secretary of Defense nominee, Pat Shanahan.

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

Aftermath of Hurricane Maria in 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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THIS WEEK IN POLITICS: MAY 5, 2019

THIS WEEK IN POLITICS: MAY 5, 2019

MONDAY APRIL 29, 2019: U.S. DEPUTY ATTORNEY GENERAL RESIGNS

Deputy Attorney General,
Rod Rosenstein

The U.S. Deputy Attorney General, Rod Rosenstein, announced on Monday that he will be resigning from his position. His resignation will go into effect May 11 and since it was expected, Pres. Trump has already nominated Deputy Transportation Secretary Jeffrey Rosen to replace him. Rosenstein is who appointed Special Counsel Robert Mueller to take on the investigation, and stayed in his position longer in order to assist Attorney General William Bar with Mueller’s findings.

TUESDAY APRIL 30, 2019: DEMOCRATS REACH AGREEMENT ON INFRASTRUCTURE BILL WITH PRES. TRUMP

Speaker of the House, Nancy Pelosi (D- CA), and Senate Minority Leader, Chuck Schumer (D-NY), have agreed with Pres. Trump on a $2 trillion infrastructure bill. The purpose of this bill would be to fix the nation’s bridges, roads, waterways etc. Even though there has been tension in D.C. over the Mueller report findings, that did not affect the meeting and productivity between the three leaders.

WEDNESDAY MAY 1, 2019: ATTORNEY GENERAL WILLIAM BARR FACES SENATE PANEL

Attorney General William Barr at the Senate Judiciary hearing.

On Wednesday, Attorney General William Barr, appeared to testify in front of the Senate Judiciary Committee. Barr was asked about the 4-page summary he provided when the 400+ page Mueller report was released. He compared it as to offering a verdict in a trial and believes that the media was “reading too much” into the findings of Robert Mueller. Barr also went into detail about the “rumored” firing of Robert Mueller from the case and questioned the origins of the FBI counterintelligence probe.

THURSDAY MAY 2, 2019: SEN. MICHAEL BENNET ANNOUNCES 2020 PRESIDENTIAL BID

Sen. Michael Bennet (D-CO)

Sen. Michael Bennet (D-CO) has announced that he is joining the crowded 2020 Presidential Race. Bennet believes that the two main challenges that the U.S. is currently facing are economic mobility and opportunity, and need to restore integrity in the government. Since his entry was delayed, he may face fundraising challenges but he is very optimistic about his political future.

FRIDAY MAY 3, 2019: ATTORNEY GENERAL WILLIAM BARR MAY BE HELD IN CONTEMPT OF CONGRESS

After Attorney General William Barr failed to appear at a Judiciary panel hearing on Thursday and did not provide the full Mueller report, the House Judiciary Committee is threatening to hold him in contempt of Congress. Chairman Jerrold Nadler provided A.G. William Barr with a new deadline to provide the report, this upcoming Monday. Chairman Nadler also narrowed his request for
underlying materials to those directly cited in the report.

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THIS WEEK IN POLITICS: APRIL 26, 2019

THIS WEEK IN POLITICS: APRIL 26, 2019

MONDAY APRIL 22, 2019: MASSACHUSETTS REPRESENTATIVE JOINS 2020 PRESIDENTIAL RACE

Rep. Seth Moulton (D-MA)

U.S. Representative of Massachusetts, Seth Moulton (D-MA), announced that he is joining the 2020 Presidential race. Moulton is an Iraq War veteran and he has gained attention in the past, because he tried to lead efforts for Democrats to reject Nancy Pelosi as the House Speaker. Moulton is the third politician from Massachusetts that has announced a Presidential bid, alongside Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) and Gov. William Weld (R-MA).

TUESDAY APRIL 23, 2019: FORMER TRUMP ADMINISTRATION OFFICIAL CALLS FOR IMPEACHMENT

J. W. Verret, an official who worked on Pres. Trump’s transition team, is calling for impeachment of Pres. Trump after the release of Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s report. Verret has said that there is enough information available in the report to justify impeachment, and is calling on Congress to begin that process. Calls for impeachment from both Republicans and Democrats began after (mostly) the full Mueller report was released to the public and that Mueller was unable to determine that no criminal conduct had occurred in regards to obstruction of justice.

WEDNESDAY APRIL 24, 2019: SUBPOENAS AND THE TRUMP ADMINISTRATION

Chairman Rep. Elijah Cummings (D-MD)

The Chairman of the House Oversight and Reform Committee, Elijah Cummings (D-MD), is accusing the Trump administration of a “massive pattern of obstruction” after ordering federal employees to not comply with congressional requests. The administration has openly asked for federal employees to not comply with congressional subpoenas and investigations, and simply not show up. Cummings is warning those federal employees to consider their own legal interests as a priority.

THURSDAY APRIL 25, 2019: FORMER V.P. JOE BIDEN JOINS 2020 PRESIDENTIAL RACE

Former V.P., Joe Biden

Former Vice President to Barack Obama, Joe Biden, announced that he is joining the 2020 Presidential race. The announcement comes after multiple speculations of whether or not Biden would be running for President in 2020. Before Biden was the two-term Vice President of Barack Obama, he served as a Senator for Delaware. Biden had ran for President twice in the past, in 1988 and 2008, but had failed to gain significant support.

FRIDAY APRIL 26, 2019: FEDERAL JUDGE BLOCKS TRUMP ADMINISTRATION’S TITLE X RULE

A federal judge from Washington state granted a nationwide preliminary injunction that blocks the Trump administration’s revised Title X regulations. These new regulations were to go into effect on May 3, but now Title X providers and people protected by it will be unaffected. The new rule that the Trump administration had introduced in February would have blocked Title X health providers, such as Planned Parenthood, from referring patients for abortions. It would also prevent such providers from receiving federal family planning money if they did refer their patients to an abortion.

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THIS WEEK IN POLITICS: APRIL 19, 2019

THIS WEEK IN POLITICS: APRIL 19, 2019

SUNDAY APRIL 14, 2019: PETE BUTTIGIEG FORMALLY ANNOUNCES PRESIDENTIAL BID

Mayor Pete Buttigieg

The mayor of South Bend, Indiana, Pete Buttigieg, formally announced his 2020 Presidential run on Sunday. Since announcing his exploratory committee, he has been able to raise over $7 million, winning a spot at the primary Democratic debates starting in June. If Buttigieg were to win the 2020 Presidential Election, he would become America’s first openly gay president.

MONDAY APRIL 15, 2019: BILL WELD, FIRST REPUBLICAN TO CHALLENGE PRES. TRUMP IN 2020

Former Governor Bill Weld

The former Governor of Massachusetts, Bill Weld, officially announced on Monday that he is joining the 2020 Presidential race, being the first Republican to challenge Pres. Trump. He has publicly condemned many stances of Pres. Trump, such as those on climate change and overall conduct in office. In 2016, Weld was on the Libertarian party ticket as the vice president of former New Mexico governor, Gary Johnson.

TUESDAY APRIL 16, 2019: PRES. TRUMP VETOES BILL TO END U.S. INVOLVEMENT IN YEMEN WAR

Earlier this year, Congress had passed a bill that would end U.S. military assistance in the war in Yemen. The bill came after members of Congress had expressed concern about the thousands of civilians killed in the conflict in Yemen, with U.S. providing millions of dollars worth of weapons Saudi-led coalition fighting. Pres. Trump argued against the bill, and vetoed it on Wednesday but Congress lacks the votes needed to override that decision. Pres. Trump said that “This resolution is an unnecessary, dangerous attempt to weaken my constitutional authorities…” when he was talking about the bill, after vetoing it.

WEDNESDAY APRIL 17, 2019: HOUSE DEMOCRATS REQUEST FOR WHITE HOUSE AIDE TO TESTIFY

White House Aide, Stephen Miller

The House Oversight and and Reform Committee has requested for White House aide, Stephen Miller, to testify in front of the committee with matters concerning Pres. Trump’s policies on immigration. Miller is one of the most conservative and influential voices in the White House when it comes to immigration policies, and was one of the driving forces behind the travel ban. The Committee wants Miller to make his case as to why the Trump administration has been taking the actions it has, such as sending illegal immigrants to sanctuary cities, and why they believe those policies are good. Chairman Rep. Elijah Cummings (D-MD) said in the letter, that he would like Miller to testify on May 1st and is expecting a response back by April 24th.

THURSDAY APRIL 18, 2019: SPECIAL COUNSEL ROBERT MUELLER’S REPORT RELEASED TO PUBLIC

The Department of Justice released the full report by Special Counsel Robert Mueller to the public. The nearly 400 page report on the investigation into Russian interference during the 2016 Presidential Election was ready by many members of Congress, news journalists and citizens. A few of the main points found in the report were:

-The investigation was unable to clear Pres. Trump of obstruction and that no criminal behavior had occurred.

-Pres. Trump tried to remove Special Counsel Robert Mueller from the investigation, because of “conflicts of interest”.

-Congress has the right to investigate and take action against Pres. Trump on obstruction of justice.

-Pres. Trump had asked a few of his campaign aides to look for Hillary Clinton’s deleted emails, so that they could be used against her.

-Members of the Trump campaign expected Russian help because they knew it would benefit them, but did not take steps towards it.

-White House Press Secretary, Sarah Sanders, misled the media and public about information concerning the firing of F.B.I. director, James Comey.

-Pres. Trump believed it would be the end of his Presidency after Robert Mueller got appointed as Special Counsel.

You can read the full report here:
https://dataviz.nbcnews.com/projects/20190415-mueller-report-embed/assets/full-mueller-report.pdf

FRIDAY APRIL 19, 2019: CALLS FOR IMPEACHMENT OF PRES. TRUMP AFTER RELEASE OF MUELLER REPORT

(Left) Rep. Alexandria Ocasio Cortez (D-NY) alongside (right) Rep. Rashida Tlaib (D-MI).

Democrats, such as Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY) and 2020 Presidential hopeful Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) join calls for Pres. Trump to be impeachment after the release of the Robert Mueller report. This past March, Rep. Rashida Tlaib (D-MI) an impeachment resolution to Congress, gaining a few more signatures since then. House Democrats are also calling for Special Counsel, Robert Mueller, to testify before the House Judiciary Committee no later than May 23rd.

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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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