Government at Work 10-9-2017 to 10-15-2010

Monday, Oct. 9

Š      After Congress failed to repeal the Affordable Care Act, President Donald Trump tweeted he would use “the power of the pen” to “give great HealthCare to many people – FAST.”

Š      EPA head Scott Pruitt announced he will sign a rule to roll back the 2015 Clean Power Plan, a part of the Paris climate agreement, which would have moved states away from coal generation of electricity and toward other sources that have fewer carbon emissions.

Š      Hope for negotiations to save Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals dimmed when Democrats rebuffed a list of demands the White House that included building a border wall, adding 10,000 new immigration agents, more restrictions against asylum seekers, cutting federal grants to “sanctuary cities,” and an end to immigration for extended families.

Š      NBC news reported via Twitter: New: The Vice President, on behalf of the administration, set to make major disaster declaration of California wildfires. VP called Gov. Jerry Brown this morning & is currently at Sacramento County Office of Emergency Services. Will deliver remarks soon.

Š      Business leaders have become spooked by the increasing odds of NAFTA’s demise, and, on Monday, more than 310 state and local chambers of commerce sent a letter to the administration urging the United States to remain in the trade agreement.

Tuesday, Oct. 10

Š      The EPA announced awards of $5.2 million to protect and restore San Francisco Bay at the 13th Biennial State of the San Francisco Estuary Conference in Oakland.

Š      Defense One reported that last Friday, at a Senior Leadership Conference at the Pentagon, Secretary of Defense Jim Mattis instructed top commanders to speak to the media more freely, hoping to end a misperception among some that they should keep quiet, in part because he wants them to speak up on the looming budget battle in Congress.

Š      The Federal Emergency Management Agency announced that federal disaster assistance has been made available to the state of California to supplement state, tribal, and local recovery efforts in the areas affected by wildfires from Oct. 8 and continuing in Butte, Lake, Mendocino, Napa, Nevada, Sonoma, and Yuba counties.

Wednesday, Oct. 11

Š      Trump threatened NBC over a news report that he pushed senior aides for a major expansion of the U.S. nuclear arsenal, calling it “pure fiction,” and suggesting NBC’s “license” be pulled.

Š      New polls released today show Americans are giving Trump failing grades for his response in hurricanes in Puerto Rico. In a series of new surveys, majorities think the Trump administration isn’t doing enough to help Puerto Rico — and one new poll even suggests that a majority of voters don’t think Trump cares about Puerto Rico’s problems.

Š      President Donald Trump nominated Barry Myers, top executive at AccuWeather, to lead the weather service's parent agency.

Š      Charles Phalen, the director of the National Background Investigations Bureau, which is responsible for clearing background checks, told a House subcommittee he has “never seen that level of mistakes” as in Jared Kushner’s security clearance application.

Thursday, Oct. 12

Š      Trump’s pick for NOAA chief evokes criticism from people who worry Myers will hobble the weather service to keep it from competing with private weather services.

Š      President Trump tweeted that he may withdraw federal relief workers from Puerto Rico and blamed the island for its failing infrastructure, hinting the government might abandon the U.S. territory after it was hit with two hurricanes. Trump said, “Electric and all infrastructure [in Puerto Rico] was disaster before hurricanes.” He said it would be up to Congress how much federal money to appropriate for recovery efforts there — and warned that relief workers would not stay “forever.”

Š      The White House confirmed late Thursday that it will immediately halt federal payments for cost-sharing reductions in premiums for low income people provided for in the Affordable Care Act..

Š      Sen. James Lankford (R-Okla.) said Trump told him he was willing to “give it some more time” to allow lawmakers to find a solution for “dreamers,” if Congress does not pass legislation extending protections before time is up. “The president’s comment to me was that, ‘We put a six-month deadline out there. Let’s work it out. If we can’t get it worked out in six months, we’ll give it some more time, but we’ve got to get this worked out legislatively,’” Lankford said outside a town hall in Tulsa.

Š      The Trump administration announced it will withdraw from UNESCO, the United Nations cultural organization, after years of America distancing itself because of what it called the group’s ‘anti-Israel bias.’

Friday, Oct. 13

Š      Speaking at the Institute for International Finance conference about the proposed Republican tax cut, Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchen said, “Obviously, the estate tax, I will concede, disproportionately helps rich people.” Mnuchin’s comments contrasted with Trump’s, who pilloried the estate tax in a speech in Indiana last month, saying it is a drag on the working class.

Š      Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s team interviewed former White House Chief of Staff Reince Priebus in a full-day session.

Š      NBC News reported results of its investigation that revealed $26 million changed hands in the form of a loan between a company linked to former Trump campaign manager Paul Manafort and the oligarch, Oleg Deripaska, a billionaire with close ties to the Kremlin.

Š      California Attorney General Xavier Becerra led a coalition of 18 states and the District of Columbia in filing a lawsuit in the Northern District of California against the Trump Administration’s decision to stop making healthcare subsidy payments authorized by the Affordable Care Act.

Š      President Trump wrote online Friday that he “will always be with” the people of Puerto Rico, one day after he suggested that federal help for the hurricane-ravaged island might not be limitless.

Š      Sen. Susan Collins announced she will not run for Maine governor: Collins’ decision preserves her role as a key moderate and swing vote in the Senate.

Š      A U.S. district judge in Chicago affirmed a national freeze on a Trump administration policy to withhold public safety grants to so-called sanctuary cities that don’t agree to cooperate in certain ways with federal immigration officials.

Š      The president announced that he will abide by Iran nuclear deal for now but withdrew presidential “certification” and said he will ask Congress to attach new caveats that could strengthen the deal or lead to its rupture.

Saturday, Oct. 14

Š      The five living former presidents attend a concert benefiting hurricane relief through their new joint fund-raising effort, the One America Appeal.

Sunday, Oct. 15

Š      Trump’s campaign paid more than $1 million in legal bills in the last three months as investigations continue into Russia’s role in the 2016 election,. The Trump campaign and the Republican National Committee have now disclosed a total of more than $2 million this year in payments to law firms and to lawyers with a company owned by the president’s family.