The U.S. Senate has begun to hold hearings on cabinet nominees for the incoming Trump administration, despite many of them not having been fully vetted with background checks and financial disclosures. In parallel, the first act of the House of Representatives in the new Congress was a proposal brought forth literally under the cover of night by Rep. Goodlatte (R-Va) to gut the House Ethics Office (because it should be clear to all that Congress does not need the burden of ethical oversight). Fortunately, a public outcry and our Twitter-happy President-Elect quickly squashed those plans.
But wait, there’s more! Just this week, here’s a list of the hightlights from Washington (cross posted from a Facebook post by Rep. Marie Corfield (D-NJ):
- Trump fired all politically-appointed Ambassadors and Special Envoys, ordering them out by inauguration day.
- The House brought back the Holman rule, exposing civil servants to political winds (effectively shielded since 1983, when it was dropped). This allows Congress to reduce the salary to $1 of any individual in civil service, a political appointee, effectively firing them by amendment to any piece of legislation.
NOTE: it’s now clear why the Trump transition team wanted names and positions of people working on specific initiatives in the Energy and State Departments.
- The Senate scheduled 6 simultaneous hearings on cabinet nominees and triple-booked those hearings with Trump’s first press conference in months and an Affordable Care Act budget vote, effectively preventing any concentrated media coverage or protest.
- The House GOP expressly forbade the Congressional Budget Office from reporting or tracking ANY costs related to the repeal of the ACA.
- Trump continued to throw the intelligence community under the bus to protect Putin, despite the growing mountain of evidence that the Russians deliberately interfered in our election.
- Trump asked Congress (in other words, taxpayers) to pay for the wall with Mexico, breaking a central campaign promise to make Mexico pay for it.
- Trump threatened Toyota over a new plant that was never coming to the US nor will take jobs out of the US.
NOTE: Every time Trump attacks a company publicly, their stock price falls (Boeing, Toyota). Why is nobody spotlighting the potential for insider trading by his cronies?
- The House passed the REINS act, giving them veto power over any rules enacted by any federal agency or department. As an example, the FDA or EPA might ban a drug or pesticide, and Congress could overrule the ban. So if your company has problems with an endangered species designation or delay on approving a new drug – their lobbyists can work overtime to convince Congress to change it.
And all of this is going on while the President-Elect has never disclosed his tax returns as he promised and now claims that we don’t care.
We all need to wake up to what’s happening in Washington. The Carolina Coup that happened in the special sessions before this past Christmas is indeed advance notice of what’s probably in store at the national level.
Wake up – speak up – and make sure your Senators and Congressional representatives hear from you:
As always, thank you for following!