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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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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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.

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.