The Approval of DeVos and Sessions
On February the seventh, Betsy DeVos was approved to be Secretary of Education by the Senate. It was the first time in the history of the US, that the Vice-President, in his office as President of the Senate had to use his tie-breaking vote in order to get a member of the cabinet being appointed. This was necessary because along to the 46 democratic Senators and the 2 independent ones, 2 Republican Senators chose to vote “Nay”. I want to thank both Republican Senators, Susan Collins (Maine) and Lisa Murkowski (Alaska) for their courage to vote in Advantage of American pupils. This Confirmation has to be seen very critically because she wants to support Charter Schools, which are often run by companies and cost a lot of money, which many people, especially African Americans, don’t have. How this should go along with the America First Program of the President is to be seen, because it won’t help the hard working American (low-paid) workers, who are in the focus of Donald Trump’s legislation.
At the Nomination of Jefferson Sessions to be Attorney General, there are a few things to be considered. At first the candidate himself: In his time as Attorney in Alabama he did many questionable things, e.g. that he tried to persecute voter fraud by “The Marion Three”, three African-Americans, but didn’t try to persecute it when Whites did it in another county (read here). This was a reason for him being denied by the Judiciary Committee of the Senate to be a federal judge back in the 80’s. Even Martin Luther King’s widow, Coretta Scott King opposed his nomination back then in a letter. This brings us to the second point, which is that the Senate at sometimes has a very questionable view on gender and racial equality.
To Stop Warren, Republicans invoked something called Rule 19, which prohibits a Senator impugning the character of another sitting senator. […] So to recap: A black person can’t get their message heard, even when a white person is saying it, unless that white person is a guy, because this morning a bunch of white male Senators were allowed to read excerpts from King’s letter on the Senate floor. Of course, the men weren’t silenced because that would violate Rule 18 “Bro’s before hoes”.
~ Stephen Colbert in: The Late Show (view here)
Colbert is essentially summarizing what happened on Tuesday and Wednesday. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) tried to read out parts of the mentioned letter and was silenced by the Presiding Officer. On the next day various Senators, f.i. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) quoted this influential writing without being silenced.
Pictures of the Week
The swearing in ceremony was held by the man who got her into office, which is in my view another weak point in the American System. Pence untied the vote of the 50-50 divided house with his vote he has as both, the Vice President and President of the United States Senate.
Kellyanne Conway got under pressure on Thursday after she gave an interview to Fox in which she advertised for Ivanka Trump’s clothing label. The Committee on Oversight of Government Ethics asked the Director of the Office of Government Ethics to start an investigation 8see the letter here).
Executive Orders and other Legislation
The first Order officially wants to give the possibility for Americans to make independent and informed decisions in the marketplace. Also, the regulations shall be made more efficient. This basically means that he wants to reduce regulations introduced after the Financial Crisis of 2008. This makes, according to many economists, another crisis more possible.
The second Order creates a Taskforce trying to reduce Crime in the US. Therefore the Taskforce shall identify legislation which is not efficient in reducing crime and propose new legislation which tackles those deficiencies. This is something I can agree with, as long as it doesn’t mark every foreigner as a threat.
The Law Enforcement Community is in the center of the third paper. Trump wants to protect them from Violence, thus creating new laws in the limits set by the constitution and other legislation. This is to be seen very critically, since it may lead to higher penalties for Activists, by stating that their action may harm the Law Enforcement.
As announced in his “issues” he wants to tackle Criminal Organizations and Trafficking, which he introduces in his fourth signed order. It gives the “Threat Mitigation Working Group” (consisting of some secretaries, for example, the Secretary of Homeland Security or the Attorney General) some possibilities which are not good at all. They shall oversee the budget of any federal agency which may lead to budget cuts when the agency doesn’t do what the President wants them to do, even though it’s their job confirmed by congress and law.
The last and fifth order of the week changes the succession in the Department of Justice. If the Attorney General, his deputy, the Associate Attorney General or any officer named by the Attorney General is unable to perform the Function of Attorney General, three other Attorney Generals of some districts will perform the office in a line of succession. This is a political thing and probably the old line, which was passed by Obama just 4 weeks ago, were more liberal and the new ones are more conservative. I think this is not a big deal.
Trumps Muslim Ban was repealed by two federal courts which were both heavily criticized afterward by the President on Twitter. The Department of Justice may go to the last, the Supreme Court, where it may be repelled again since there is a vacancy which leads to a split Court of 4 more liberal and 4 more conservative judges. Even if there was a conservative vote more it’s questionable, that this order will make it through, since some of the lower court judges who opposed the bill were nominated by G.W. Bush and so thought to be more conservative.
This is, as you know a webpage that gives an overview on Trump’s action. For more detailed analyses on many topics e.g. Bannon’s role on Trump’s policies, read this blog. It’s also a blog from millennials and they have some good ideas!
Question of the Week
Please answer the following in the comments!
Will Betsy DaVos change the school system permanently? If yes, how?
Last week’s question was on Neil Gorsuch’s nomination. 67% percent of all votes (2 out of 3) said, that he will be approved by a Supermajority, only one thought he would be accepted but with Absolute Majority.
All the information is gathered by me from Official Governmental Websites (such as http://www.whitehouse.gov) and reliable news sites from any kind of political side. Photos are from different kinds of Websites but stated in all cases from where.
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