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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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.

College Democrat of the Week: Tyler Bauer

College Democrat of the Week: Tyler Bauer

Tyler Bauer (center) and members of the Frostburg State College Democrats at the Western Maryland Democratic Summit

Tyler Bauer is a junior at Frostburg State University double majoring in Political Science and Criminal Justice and a minor in Sociology. During his freshman year at Frostburg, he revived the Frostburg State College Democrats. He has remained the President of the organization throughout the entirety of his time at Frostburg. During the spring of his freshman year, he teamed up with several of his colleagues to start the National General Assembly. After his freshman year, he interned with the Washington County Democratic Central Committee where he learned how run and organize under former Chairman of the Central Committee, Peter Perini. After his internship he began working with Roger Manno and his congressional campaign. During his time interning with Roger Manno, he was also a volunteer with Ben Jealous. Soon after, he was offered an internship with Ben Jealous. While interning with Ben Jealous, he was also volunteering with, Peter Perini, who was running for the House of Delegates as well as Carmen Jackson and her run for school board. Tyler is now working at Frostburg as a tutor and with Frostburg State University’s Upward Bound program as a tutor counselor. With election season being over he has directed the College Democrats attention toward Brownsville which was an African American community that used to exist on the land that Frostburg stands on today. Their goal is to help raise awareness and to find different ways to honor Brownsville and its people.

College Democrat of the Week: Carissa Antonis

College Democrat of the Week: Carissa Antonis

Carissa Antonis serves as the Secretary of the College Democrats of Maryland and was the former President of the College Democrats of Salisbury University. She has been on the State Executive Board for two years, making her the current longest-standing member. Right now, she is studying abroad in pursuit of a dual degree in International Relations and Civil Engineering. Carissa was influential in the election of Anne Arundel County Executive Steuart Pittman in the 2018 midterms, and was inspired by his background in community organizing. “Working on that campaign made me realize that my passion for politics can bleed into my passion for the sciences; and I decided that I wanted to be a city planner. It just goes to show that there’s a place for everyone who wants to get involved in politics.”