THIS WEEK IN POLITICS: SEPTEMBER 13, 2019

THIS WEEK IN POLITICS: SEPTEMBER 13, 2019

SATURDAY SEPT. 7, 2019: TRUMP ADMINISTRATION CONSIDERS TO CUT REFUGEE ADMISSIONS

The White House has been discussing cutting refugee admissions to the United States in the upcoming year. They have been discussing different options, all of them hurting the worldwide refugee crisis. One option discussed would cut refugee admissions by half, which means only 10,000-15,000 would be admitted and many of those spots would be reserved for people with “special status”. That special status could simply mean that those people have cooperated with U.S. troops, diplomats etc. in the past. Another option discussed would cut the refugee admissions number to zero, and would allow the President to admit refugees only in the case of an emergency. The number of refugees admitted into the U.S. has been cut more than 70% since President Obama left office.

SUNDAY SEPT. 8, 2019: GOP SENATOR CALLS ON PRES. TRUMP FOR GUN LEGISLATION

Senator Roy Blunt (MO-R) is calling on Pres. Trump to “step up and set some guidelines for what he would do” with legislation focused on reducing gun violence. GOP leaders in the Senate are afraid that no comprehensive gun control legislation could potentially be passed, since Senate Majority leader Mitch McConnell (R) has agreed to not vote on bills that Pres. Trump won’t sign into law.

MONDAY SEPT. 9, 2019: CALL TO ABOLISH GOP HOUSE LEADERS TERM LIMITS

Pres. Trump called on the House Republicans to abolish term limits for their congressional committee leaders, meaning they would stay as those committee chairs for more than 6 years (3 terms). He believes that the term limit should be abolished because it “forces great people, and real leaders, to leave after serving”.

TUESDAY SEPT. 10, 2019: GOVERNOR BANS OIL AND GAS DRILLING

Gov. Chris Sununu (NH-R)

The Governor of New Hampshire, Chris Sununu (R), signs a bill that will ban oil and gas drilling from the state’s coasts. The bill came in opposition of a proposal by the Trump administration that would offshore drilling in that state. The reason for the expansion of offshore drilling is to make the United States “energy independent”, but it will be harming even more the climate change crisis the world is facing.

WEDNESDAY SEPT. 11, 2019: HEARING ON END OF IMMIGRANT MEDICAL RELIEF

The House Oversight and Reform Committee will hold a hearing on the Trump administration decision to end the consideration of requests from immigrants seeking to defer deportation for serious medical treatment and other hardships. The “deferred action” program allows people to work legally and receive health benefits while their family members receive treatment for serious medical issues in the United States, but the Trump administration ended that in August.

THURSDAY SEPT. 12, 2019: T.P.S. WILL NOT BE GRANTED TO BAHAMIAN REFUGEES

The Trump administration announced that they will not be granting Temporary Protected Status to Bahamian refugees affected by Hurricane Dorian. The administration chose to not grant them T.P.S. because of “statutory obstacles” and the time it would take to provide relief and assistance to everyone affected by the hurricane.

FRIDAY SEPT. 13, 2019: PRES. TRUMP AND BIPARTISANSHIP IN THE HOUSE

House leaders have been debating whether or not they should allow Pres. Trump’s U.S.M.C.A. (U.S.-Mexico-Canada Agreement) deal to go up for a vote in the House. If they allowed the bill to be voted on in the House , it would potentially show bipartisanship but it would help Pres. Trump with his 2020 campaign in the long run. For House Democrats this is a debate of whether they should give in or resist Trump’s requests. If House Democrats oppose to vote on the bill, it is possible that Pres. Trump will start threatening on pulling out of N.A.F.T.A. (North American Free Trade Agreement).

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THIS WEEK IN POLITICS: JULY 12, 2019

THIS WEEK IN POLITICS: JULY 12, 2019

SATURDAY JULY 6, 2019: I.C.E. RAIDS TO START “FAIRLY SOON”

Pres. Trump announced that Immigration and Customs Enforcement (I.C.E.) raids in communities would begin “fairly soon”, which is as soon as the upcoming weekend. During interviews he told reporters that he doesn’t consider them as raids, but I.C.E. will be “removing people, all of these people who have come in over the years illegally”. Last month I.C.E. said the raids would target newly arrived migrants in order to discourage future migrants and refugees from coming in the United States.

SUNDAY JULY 7, 2019: TOM STEYER WILL BE JOINING THE 2020 PRESIDENTIAL RACE

Presidential candidate Tom Steyer (D).

The billionaire environmental activist who is known for running the “Need to Impeach” campaign, Tom Steyer, will be joining the 2020 Presidential race in the upcoming days. Steyer will be joining the already crowded Democratic primary field with over 20 candidates. His campaign will most likely be mainly focused on economics, the environment and holding Pres. Trump accountable. Steyer has previously spend millions in midterm and general elections and on his campaign “Need to Impeach” which is focused on impeaching Pres. Trump.

MONDAY JULY 8, 2019: FIRST 2020 CANDIDATE DROPS OUT OF RACE

Congressman Eric Swalwell (D-CA)

U.S. Congressman from California, Eric Swalwell, announced that he will be dropping out of the Presidential race and will instead run for his fifth term in the House of Representatives. Swalwell entered the race in April but has not had significant improvements in his polling numbers since then, which resulted in him staying at the bottom. Swalwell’s priorities for running were tackling gun violence and fixing the student debt crisis. Swalwell was one of the youngest candidates in the race, alongside Mayor Pete Buttigieg and Rep. Tulsi Gabbard.

TUESDAY JULY 9, 2019: U.S. IS SENDING ASYLUM SEEKERS TO MEXICO

The Trump administration has started a new program called “Migrant Protection Protocols” whose purpose is to reduce the number of migrants who live and work in the U.S. while waiting for their asylum hearings. Due to the new program, the U.S. has started sending migrants seeking asylum to the northeastern state of Tamaulipas, Mexico. It’s a part of Mexico that the U.S. State Department warns against all travel, because it is known for high crime and kidnapping rates. In most cases, many asylum seekers are not warned that they will be taken back to Mexico where they may have to wait for months, with no food or a place to sleep at unless they can afford it for themselves.

WEDNESDAY JULY 10, 2019: FEDERAL JUDGE BLOCKS LAWYERS FROM QUITTING CENSUS FIGHT

Protest outside of the Supreme Court about the citizenship question on the 2020 Census.

A federal judge had received a notification by the Justice Department that there may be a possible replacement of lawyers in the 2020 Census fight and that it “won’t cause any disruption in the matter”. The judge blocked that decision, because there was not a reason provided as to why judges would be replaced. After the citizenship question on the 2020 Census was blocked by a federal judge, the Justice Department announced they would not continue the fight to have it but Pres. Trump reversed that decision. He is now fighting to keep the question on the census, which shows an urgency to keep the same lawyers in order to resolve those legal claims once again.

THURSDAY JULY 11, 2019: HOUSE JUDICIARY COMMITTEE AUTHORIZES SUBPOENAS

The U.S. House Judiciary Committee authorized subpoenas for 12 current and former members of the Trump administration regarding matters of Russian meddling in the 2016 Presidential election and the separation of families at the U.S.-Mexico border. The committee will be seeking testimony and documents relating to ” the Trump administration’s ‘zero tolerance’ policy and other family separation policies and practices; detention of children and families; and discussions about or offers of presidential pardons to Department of Homeland Security officials or employees” .

FRIDAY JULY 12, 2019: SECRETARY OF LABOR ANNOUNCES RESIGNATION

Former Secretary of Labor,
R. Alexander Acosta.

Labor Secretary, R. Alexander Acosta, has announced he will be resigning from his position after continued question about his handling of a sex crimes case involving financier Jeffrey Epstein. In 2008, Acosta had agreed to a plea deal which would give Jeffrey Epstein 13 months in jail after being accused of sexually abusing dozens of young women and girls. Acosta’s resignation will come into effect on July 19 and his Deputy, Patrick Pizzella, will serve as the acting Labor Secretary.

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THIS WEEK IN POLITICS: JULY 5, 2019

THIS WEEK IN POLITICS: JULY 5, 2019

SATURDAY JUNE 29, 2019: PRES. TRUMP APPEALS JUDGE’S BORDER WALL RULING

A federal judge had recently blocked the Trump administration from using $2.5 million to construct a wall along the southern border of Mexico. On Saturday, Pres. Trump announced that they will be appealing that decision and believe that they will win the appeal since the border wall is “an immediate need for this country. Pres. Trump has been unable to receive congressional approval for the project.

SUNDAY JUNE 30, 2019: KIM JONG UN AND DONALD TRUMP MEET AT THE D.M.Z.

Pres. Trump and Kim Jong Un at the North Korean side of the D.M.Z.

Pres. Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un met at the Demilitarized Zone (D.M.Z.) on Sunday, which is the border that separates North and South Korea. The two leaders shook hands on the North Korean side, making Trump the first U.S. president to cross the border into North Korea. Pres. Trump also invited Kim Jong Un to the White House and both leaders agreed to visit each other’s countries “at the right time”.

MONDAY JULY 1, 2019: PRES. TRUMP SIGNS HUMANITARIAN AID PACKAGE FOR MIGRANT CARE

Pres. Trump signed a $4.6 billion humanitarian aid package that is meant to assist the federal government cope with the immigrants coming to the U.S.- Mexico border. However, the package is not meant to help the conditions of the facilities migrants are being kept at. The bill is supposed to help support the care of migrants taken into custody and sets guidelines of how the Trump administration must handle the situation.

TUESDAY JULY 2, 2019: INSPECTOR REPORT SHOWS DANGEROUS CONDITIONS AT FACILITIES

Dangerous overcrowding at a facility in Texas.

A new inspector report shows dangerous overcrowding conditions at detention facilities migrants are being held at. The report also showed that around 30% of minors were being held for longer than the 72 hours permitted, some more than two weeks while awaiting trial.

Earlier in the week, Democratic lawmakers had visited the detention facilities in Texas and are calling this a “human rights crisis” because of the inhumane and unsanitary conditions experienced at these facilities.

WEDNESDAY JULY 3, 2019: FEDERAL JUDGE BLOCKS OHIO ABORTION LAW

Protestors when the bill passed in Ohio.

A federal judge temporarily blocked the Ohio law that would ban abortions after a fetal heartbeat could be detected, which can be as early as six weeks when most women do not know yet they are pregnant.This temporary block will allow clinics to continue to provide the procedure in Ohio, even though a legal faceoff will continue in the courts.

THURSDAY JULY 4, 2019: TRUMP’S 4TH OF JULY CELEBRATION COULD HAVE COSTED $92 MILLION

Pres. Trump’s 4th of July celebration in Washington D.C.

The Trump administration has not yet disclosed how much their Fourth of July celebration in Washington D.C. fully costed. Only the National Park Service cost was $2.5 million in taxpayer money. The aircraft show was another major cost, which most likely cost over $2 million. The administration was thinking about a military parade again in 2018, but defense officials had estimated the costtwould have been around $92 million. A Pentagon spokesman mentioned that the finalized costs of the parade will be finalized after the event is over.

FRIDAY JULY 5, 2019: PRES. TRUMP CONSIDERING EXECUTIVE ORDER FOR CENSUS QUESTION

After federal courts challenged the administration’s attempt to add a citizenship question to the 2020 census, Pres. Trump said on Friday that he is considering issuing an executive order. The reason for the executive order would be to add a citizenship question onto the 2020 census, which federal courts blocked. Lawyers and the administration have a court-ordered Friday afternoon deadline to provide a reason as to why the question should be including in the 2020 census.

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THIS WEEK IN POLITICS: JUNE 28, 2019

THIS WEEK IN POLITICS: JUNE 28, 2019

SUNDAY JUNE 23, 2019: FORMER CONGRESSMAN JOE SESTAK ANNOUNCES 2020 PRESIDENTIAL RUN

Former Congressman Joe Sestak (D-PA).

Retired Navy Admiral and former Pennsylvania Congressman Joe Sestak, announced on his website that he will be joining the 2020 Presidential race and the already crowded Democratic field. Sestak was also a part of former U.S. President Bill Clinton’s national secutiry team. Sestak had postponed announcing his candidacy, because he had to care for his daughter who was ill with brain cancer.

MONDAY JUNE 24, 2019: U.S. ANNOUNCES NEW IRAN SANCTIONS

Earlier in the week, Pres. Trump had called off military strikes against Iran that would have killed at least 150 people. The “close-call” strikes came after a U.S. drone was shot down by Iranian military. The reason behind the actions taken by Iran was that the U.S. drone had entered Iranian airspace but the U.S. is arguing that it was international territory. The Trump administration is interested in holding negotiations with Iran, but they will not comply until the sanctions placed on Iran are lifted.

TUESDAY JUNE 25, 2019: STEPHANIE GRISHAM NAMED NEW WHITE HOUSE PRESS SECRETARY

New White House Press Secretary, Stephanie Grisham

The Chief Spokeswoman for First Lady Melania Trump, Stephanie Grisham, has been named the new White House Press Secretary. Grisham will be replacing former White House Press Secretary Sarah Sanders, whom earlier this month announced that she would be stepping down from her position.

WEDNESDAY JUNE 26, 2019: SPECIAL COUNSEL ROBERT MUELLER WILL TESTIFY INFRONT OF CONGRESS

Special Counsel Robert Mueller, has agreed to testify before congressional committees in the upcoming month. After multiple subpoenas issued by the chairmen of the U.S. House Judiciary and Intelligence Committees, it is planned for Mueller to appear in front of those committees on July 17 to testify about his report on the Russia interference investigation.

THURSDAY JUNE 27, 2019: SUPREME COURT RULES AGAINST CITIZENSHIP QUESTION ON 2020 CENSUS

The U.S. Supreme Court ruled that the Trump administration did not provide an adequate explanation as to why they were planning on adding the citizenship question onto the 2020 census. The Trump administration was planning on adding a citizenship question to the 2020 census that would require people to declare whether they were citizens or not. The administration argued that the question would have been used to enforce voting rights but many believed it was for a different motive. Many organizations and states challenged the plan, which led to a federal judge barring the question for the future census.

FRIDAY JUNE 28, 2019: FIRST DEMOCRATIC PRIMARY DEBATES

All of the Democratic Presidential candidates during the First Primary Debates.

Two nights, 20 candidates and one Democratic Presidential nomination. The first Democratic primary debates were ones to remember, with candidates stealing the spotlight each night and “underdogs” proving that they were capable of the Presidential duties. Candidates in both nights focused mostly on policies involving healthcare, climate change, foreign policy and immigration.

Many believed that Sen. Elizabeth Warren won the first night of debates with her slogan “I have a plan for that”, and Julián Castro showed that even though he has been a “background candidate”, he had great plans involving immigration. Many candidates such as Sen. Cory Booker and Mayor Pete Buttigieg also showed off their Spanish skills in the first night of the debates. Booker had received the most airtime on Wednesday night but did not particularly stand out with any of his plans or policies, compared to other candidates.

In the second night of debates, many believe that Sen. Kamala Harris won the night because she was able to connect with the audience through her personal experiences and also confronted Former Vice President Joe Biden about past actions anf comments. Sen. Bernie Sanders was able to stand out on the stage with his Medicare-for-All plan, whereas Biden held on to the already established Obamacare. Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand is one of the only candidates that is primarily focusing her campaign on women, but it is believed that some of her policies were overshadowed by other candidates during Thursday’s debate.

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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: 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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