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.

THIS WEEK IN POLITICS: MARCH 8, 2019

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

Gathered crowd at Edmund Pettus Bridge for 54th anniversary.

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

2020 Presidential Candidate and former Governor, John Hickenlooper (D).

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

F.D.A. Commissioner
Scott Gottlieb

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

House Majority Leader, Nancy Pelosi (D), along with other House members.

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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THIS WEEK IN POLITICS: MARCH 1, 2O19

THIS WEEK IN POLITICS: MARCH 1, 2019

SATURDAY FEB. 23, 2019: FIRST FEMALE AMBASSADOR APPOINTED BY SAUDI ARABIA TO U.S.

Princess Reema bint
Bandar Al-Saud

Princess Reema bint Bandar Al Saud was appointed as the first female ambassador to the U.S. on Saturday. She was raised in Washington and eventually graduated from George Washington University. She is also the daughter of a former Saudi Arabia ambassador to the U.S. and in the past has advocated for women and the increase of opportunities for them in Saudi Arabia. The former Saudi Arabia ambassador to the U.S. Prince Khalid bin Salman, abruptly left the U.S. last October when information about the killing of Washington Post columnist Kamal Khashoggi began to surface.

SUNDAY FEB. 24, 2019: TRUMP DELAYS TARIFF INCREASES ON CHINA

President Donald Trump announced that he first will be meeting with China’s President Xi Jinping and therefore will be delaying the increased U.S. tariffs on China. The purpose of the planned summit with China’s President will be to finalize the trade agreement that would end the “trade war” going on between the U.S. and China, and if an agreement is reached that could potentially prevent the $200 billion tariff Pres. Trump was planning on putting on Chinese imports.

MONDAY FEB. 25, 2019: SENATE DEMOCRATS BLOCK ABORTION BILL

Sen. Ben Sasse (R) from Nebraska had introduced a bill that would “penalize doctors who fail to exercise the proper degree of care in the case of a child who survives an abortion or attempted abortion”. The bill needed 60 votes to pass, but ended up getting 53-44 resulting in it not passing. Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R) tried to sway the votes of a few democrats by saying that “It isn’t about changing the options available to women. It’s just about recognizing that a newborn baby is a newborn baby. Period.”. That did not work with those opposed to the bill because the introduced bill would expose doctors to lawsuits or even imprisonment, even though they would still exercise their medical practices to their best judgement no matter if the baby was just regularly born or had survived an abortion. There was a bipartisan act passed in 2002 called “Born-Alive Infants Protection Act” that is still in effect today and touches upon many of the things mentioned in Sen. Sasse’s new bill.

TUESDAY FEB. 26, 2019: RESOLUTION PASSED IN HOUSE TO OVERTURN PRES. TRUMP’S NATIONAL EMERGENCY DECLARATION

U.S. Capitol in Washington D.C.

President Donald Trump had declared a national emergency to unlock funds for his border wall, but this Tuesday the House was able to vote on a resolution that would overturn that action. The resolution ended up passing in the House with the vote being 245-182, with 13 Republicans voting to pass the resolution. With a Democratic majority in the House, it was easy for such a resolution to pass but it will face a challenge in the Senate. The Senate currently has a Republican majority, so that will definitely challenge the resolution to pass in the Senate but so far three Republican Senators have announced that they are in favor of the resolution passing. Majority Leader, Mitch McConnell (R), in the Senate announced that it is expected the resolution will be voted on in the week of March 18th, which is before the next Senate recess.

WEDNESDAY FEB. 27, 2019: BILL EXPANDING BACKGROUND CHECKS DURING GUN SALES PASSED IN THE HOUSE 

On Wednesday, the House passed a bill that would require background checks on gun sales, especially private ones mostly made at gun shows or online. The bill ended up passing with a 240-190 vote, with eight Republican lawmakers voting to pass the bill. This was one of the most significant gun control bills that had been passed in several years since a bipartisan legislation had failed in 2013 in the Senate. House Democrats held a victory with this bill passing but so did House Republicans. Before the final vote for this bill, Republican House members won on a procedural vote that allowed them the motion to add to the bill that would require sellers to notify U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) when immigrants who do not have legal status attempt to purchase a firearm. The passed bill now has to move from the House to the Senate where it will face a challenge there as well since is it majority Republican, but the added motion should be able to sway a few Republican in favor of the bill.

THURSDAY 28, 2019: GREEN NEW DEAL ALTERNATIVE INTRODUCED BY SENATE DEMOCRATS

Senator Tom Carper (D-Del.)

On Thursday, there was a joint resolution alternative introduced in the Senate by Democrats for the Green New Deal that has significantly split both parties. This resolution was introduced by Delaware Senator Tom Carper (D), who is also on the Senate Energy and Public Works Committee. This alternative Green New Deal doesn’t specifically address ways to decrease emissions and fight climate change, but is seen as a first step to start moving in the right direction in order to combat climate change since the GOP hasn’t been successful in releasing such bills. This legislation was co-sponsored by all 47 members of the Senate Democratic Caucus.

FRIDAY MARCH 1, 2019: PROPOSAL FOR $2 BILLION FOR SPACE FORCE

The Pentagon, headquarters of the Department of Defense.

Last week the Trump administration had announced plans for the creation of a future Space Force. This new branch would fall under the Air Force and the Trump administration has announced that they are planning on spending $2 billion and over five years to create this new branch. In June, Pres. Trump had first signed an order for the Pentagon to create this new Space Force.

THIS WEEK IN POLITICS: FEBRUARY 22, 2019

THIS WEEK IN POLITICS: FEBRUARY 22, 2019

MONDAY FEB. 18, 2019: STATES FILE LAWSUIT TO STOP DECLARED NATIONAL EMERGENCY

Maryland Attorney General Brian Frosh (D) joined 15 other attorneys general in filing a lawsuit against President Donald Trump’s so-called national emergency.

California Attorney General, Xavier Becerra, filed a lawsuit against Pres. Trump’s declared national emergency for the border wall. Fifteen other states eventually joined California in the lawsuit, with those states being: Connecticut, Colorado, Delaware, Maryland, Illinois, Maine, Hawaii, New Jersey, Michigan, Minnesota, Nevada, New York, Oregon, Virginia and New Mexico. Some legal experts argue that fighting the national emergency declared could be challenging, because the “National Emergencies Act” allows the President to invoke certain statutory authority. The House Democrats are also fighting this decision, by putting together a joint resolution, which will be voted on next Tuesday and then possibly headed to the Senate. Since actions like those are possible to be taken by lawmakers, White House adviser Stephen Miller indicated that Trump would cast the first veto of his presidency if lawmakers attempted to stop the national emergency.

TUESDAY FEB. 19, 2019: BERNIE SANDERS ANNOUNCES 2020 PRESIDENTIAL CAMPAIGN

Senator Bernie Sanders of Vermont, after his loss in the 2016 primaries for the Presidential Election, announced Tuesday morning that he will be running for the Presidential seat once more in 2020. Despite criticism received by some in the Democratic party, Sen. Sanders currently has a stronger Democratic support than he did four years ago, at the 2016 election. In the first 24 hours of his campaign launching, he was able to raise $6 million, surpassing the amount raised by other candidates in the first 24 hours of their campaign. The highest amount previously raised in the 2020 presidential race was by Senator Kamala Harris, with $1.5 million in 24 hours.

WEDNESDAY FEB. 20, 2019: COMPLETION OF SPECIAL COUNSEL ROBERT MUELLER’S INVESTIGATION AS EARLY AS NEXT WEEK

Robert Mueller was appointed to investigate whether there were links or coordination between the Trump campaign and Russia during the 2016 election. Attorney General Bill Barr is planning to announce the completion of this almost two-year investigation as early as next week, but the timing of this announcement is subject to change.

THURSDAY FEB. 21, 2019: NEW HOUSE ELECTION ORDERED IN NORTH CAROLINA

Dan McCready (right) is running again to become the first Democrat to represent North Carolina’s 9th district in over two decades.

A new U.S. House election was announced in the ninth district of North Carolina on Thursday, after filed claims of voter fraud. There was testimony that an absentee ballot scheme had occurred, in order to sway the election results in favor of the Republican candidate, Mark Harris. By the results, it showed that Harris had 61% of the absentee ballots, even though Republicans in Bladen county accounted for just 19% of them. This remains the only undecided house election since these past midterms, and a new one with new candidates will be active soon. The 2018 Democratic candidate, Dan McCready, has relaunched his campaign for the new elections. The 2018 Republican candidate Mark Harris, whose campaign was the basis of the fraud allegations, has not relaunched a campaign yet since he’s been suffering from health problems. Harris’s run may be unclear yet, but many Republicans have been considering of running for the U.S. House seat in the ninth district of North Carolina.

FRIDAY FEB. 22, 2019: TRUMP ADMINISTRATION BLOCKS FUNDS FOR PLANNED PARENTHOOD AND OTHER PROVIDERS

The Trump administration has announced that it will block Title X health care providers, such as Planned Parenthood, from referring patients for abortion. This will also block such providers from receiving federal family planning money( Title X funding) if they do provide or refer patients for abortions.This would dismantle the Title X program, which helps people with lower incomes to have access to essential reproductive health care, making this rule unjust and biased since majority of patients in the Title X program identify as people of color.