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.