Month: November 2016

r960-e9da8481f96a1f1a76cba471b78282df.jpg

Louisiana Democrat to lead Congressional Black Caucus


The Congressional Black Caucus, which is mostly Democrats and exclusive to African-Americans, elected Cedric Richmond in a secret ballot. (AP Photo)

Louisiana Rep. Cedric Richmond was elected chairman of the Congressional Black Caucus on Wednesday.

Richmond, whose district includes most of New Orleans, has represented Louisiana’s 2nd congressional district since 2011. He will take the post at the start of the new congress in early January, replacing outgoing Chairman Rep. G.K. Butterfield, D-N.C.

The influential caucus, which is mostly Democrats and exclusive to African-Americans, elected Richmond in a secret ballot.

“I’m honored and humbled by the confidence my colleagues have placed in me to serve as the chair of this revered caucus, the conscience and intellect of the Congress,” Richmond said in a statement, adding how the group looks to make progress on “voting rights, policing and criminal justice reform.”

Richmond’s victory came hours after House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi won re-election. Over Thanksgiving break, Richmond sent a letter to the California Democrat pushing back against her proposed leadership changes, worried that the CBC would lose power.

EPA in a rush to save auto rules from the Trump administration

Top Story

Study of fuel efficiency standards was supposed to be done next year, with a final determination in 2018.

11/30/16 2:13 PM

Subscribe to Alerts

Learn more about Washington Examiner’s Alerts

Loading Next Article



Source link

r960-fbd5857daae257ccf9903e862a1c62e3.jpg

Jill Stein's running mate not a fan of recounts


Former Green Party presidential nominee Jill Stein’s running mate is concerned about how the well-funded effort to initiate recounts in Wisconsin, Michigan and Pennsylvania makes their political party look.

“It’s a shame the recount has resulted in questions regarding our motives after waging a powerful campaign against 2 corrupt candidates,” Ajamu Baraka tweeted Wednesday.

The human rights activist came out against Stein’s recount push this week, telling CNN on Tuesday that it “was a potentially dangerous move” because to some people it looks like Stein is fishing for a way to overturn Republican Donald Trump’s Electoral College victory and hand the White House to Democrat Hillary Clinton.

“It would be seen as carrying the water for the Democrats,” Baraka said.

So far, Stein has raised over $6.5 million and has filed for recounts in Wisconsin, Michigan and a selection of precincts in Pennsylvania over the last week.

Stein has defended herself against accusations that she is pulling for an outcome favoring Clinton. Flipping the vote in all three swing states would hand Clinton enough Electoral College votes to defeat Trump. Fueling some pushback this week was news that Clinton’s lawyer has filed a motion Tuesday to join in on the Wisconsin recount effort.

Stein, however, has been resolute in characterizing her recount effort as a way to ensure the integrity of the vote, following reports of “irregularities” in vote counting machines used in each state.

“I believe that Dr. Stein sincerely believed that she had an obligation, grounded in her commitment to the principle of election integrity, to mount a challenge to the results in those three states,” Baraka wrote in a Facebook post this week, adding that “the notion that her decision was made for any other reason than that is a position that I cannot support.”

Veterans to defend pipeline protesters from police

Also from the Washington Examiner

“We’re doing this to support our country so let’s do it with honor, working together,” organizers said.

11/30/16 4:45 PM

While admitting some in the Green Party support Stein’s recount campaign, Baraka said “many” others are opposed to the decision.

“It is unfortunate that after waging a courageous campaign to build an independent, principled political opposition to the two racist, capitalist/imperialist parties,” Baraka wrote, “the recount effort has resulted in serious questions regarding the motivations of the recount that threatens to damage the standing and reputation of the Green party, its supporters, and activists.”

EPA in a rush to save auto rules from the Trump administration

Top Story

Study of fuel efficiency standards was supposed to be done next year, with a final determination in 2018.

11/30/16 2:13 PM



Source link

r960-5aa781e726eaeaefed6d4bc04645605a.jpg

Justice Department seeks uniform standards for halfway houses


The Justice Department will be reforming its system of halfway houses, officials announced Wednesday, in an effort to ensure that those who live in them don’t end up in jail again.

Roughly four out of five federal prisoners spend the final months of their sentences in halfway houses before being freed.

Deputy Attorney General Sally Yates announced in a memo that the federal Bureau of Prisons will be overhauling the halfway houses market in an effort to reduce recidivism and help prisoners safely return to society.

The bureau has agreements with 103 contractors to operate 181 facilities nationwide, serving more than 30,000 halfway house residents annually.

The announcement comes just months after the DOJ announced it would be ending its use of private prisons.

“Successful reentry is critical for public safety, and so it is crucial that we get those services right,” Yates said in the memo, adding that the Bureau of Prisons will move to establish uniform standards for all halfway houses.

The BOP will also help ensure all federal prisoners entering halfway houses will be provided with government-issued identification documents, including a Social Security card, a birth certificate and a state-issued photo ID.

The memo also requests that the BOP implement a single, nationwide location-monitoring service. Currently, each halfway house is in charge of implementing its own system for monitoring the whereabouts of residents when they leave.

The Justice Department has been pushing a broader prisoner re-entry program during President Obama’s second term, aiming to reduce the prison population and lower incarceration costs.

Justice Dept. files statement in South Carolina student tossing case

Also from the Washington Examiner

The incident was captured in multiple short video clips that went viral on social media in October 2015.

11/30/16 4:23 PM

EPA in a rush to save auto rules from the Trump administration

Top Story

Study of fuel efficiency standards was supposed to be done next year, with a final determination in 2018.

11/30/16 2:13 PM



Source link

r960-0cb8ea12997c53680f08dba59ac216f3.jpg

White House expands push to boost job applicants with criminal records


The newly added companies include Ben & Jerry's, Clif Bar, CVS Health, Gap, Intel, Kroger, LinkedIn, Monsanto, Perdue Farms, Shinola, Target, Tyson Foods, Union Square Hospitality Group and WeWork. (AP Photo/Damian Dovarganes)

The White House on Wednesday announced that more companies have pledged to change the way they evaluate job applicants with criminal records.

The Fair Chance Business Pledge, launched in April, is aimed at eliminating hiring barriers for job applicants with criminal records. With the new round of signatories, the total number of pledged employers is over 300.

The newly added companies include Ben & Jerry’s, Clif Bar, CVS Health, Gap, Intel, Kroger, LinkedIn, Monsanto, Perdue Farms, Shinola, Target, Tyson Foods, Union Square Hospitality Group and WeWork.

According to the White House, there are roughly 70 million people who have a criminal record. By eliminating these barriers to employment, the individuals are given “a fair chance to participate in the American economy.”

EPA in a rush to save auto rules from the Trump administration

Top Story

Study of fuel efficiency standards was supposed to be done next year, with a final determination in 2018.

11/30/16 2:13 PM

Subscribe to Alerts

Learn more about Washington Examiner’s Alerts

Loading Next Article



Source link

r960-4ef522ea66ff19cb0e7cc43d8c6b571e.jpg

Pelosi pledges Rust Belt outreach


"Where we can engage we will, where we need to oppose we will," Nancy Pelosi said. (AP Photo)

An elated Nancy Pelosi emerged Wednesday from winning a contentious leadership election promising to “put forth a message that does connect with the American people,” and to reach out to the blue-collar voters that Democrats lost in this month’s election.

Pelosi, who won an eighth term leading House Democrats after beating back a formidable challenge from Rep. Tim Ryan, of Ohio, said she was “heartbroken” about Hillary Clinton’s Nov. 8 loss to President-elect Trump.

But she said she was “exhilarated” and has “a special spring in my step,” after winning another term as leader. Pelosi did not address the 63 Democrats who voted against her — a full third of her caucus and the largest group to ever oppose her since she became the top leader in 2003.

But Pelosi, who represents San Francisco, acknowledged a need to reformulate the party’s message, which critics have argued did not resonate with the Rust Belt and working-class voters who helped Trump beat Clinton.

“Where we can engage we will, where we need to oppose we will,” Pelosi said. “But nonetheless, this affords an opportunity for congressional Democrats to go forward and remove all doubt that never again will we have an election where there is any doubt where Democrats are when it comes to America’s working families.”

Nancy Pelosi wins re-election, beats back Rust Belt challenger

Top Story

Lawmakers made their choice via secret ballot.

11/30/16 11:46 AM

Subscribe to Alerts

Learn more about Washington Examiner’s Alerts

Loading Next Article



Source link

r960-047e9bc57a14c3341dbe61204cc94854.jpg

Grassley demands info from DHS on Ohio State attacker


Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Chuck Grassley is pressing for the immigration and criminal history of the man responsible for the attack on Ohio State University’s campus Monday, which left 11 people injured.

News reports have identified Abdul Razak Ali Artan, a student at the university who crashed his car into a crowd then emerged with a knife he used to slash people, as a Somali refugee. Federal investigators also have said they believe Artan, 18, was inspired by the Islamic State, as well as the radical cleric Anwar al-Awlaki, and are treating the incident as an act of terrorism.

Grassley on Tuesday wrote a letter to Homeland Secretary Jeh Johnson asking for all records related to Artan’s immigration, and his criminal history, in order to gain a better understanding of the circumstances surrounding his arrival into the United States, as well as any encounters he may have had with immigration or law enforcement authorities.

The Iowa Republican requested copies of Artan’s “alien file,” including any temporary files, working files and all documents and items contained in them that were generated by the Department of Homeland Security whether in electronic or written form.

“I anticipate that your written reply and any responsive documents will be unclassified,” Grassley said. He asked DHS to send all unclassified material directly to the committee and if files contain classified material, to separate out all the unclassified documents and provide it to the panel and then provide a classified addendum to the Office of Senate Security, which maintains classified material, as required by law.

Nancy Pelosi wins re-election, beats back Rust Belt challenger

Top Story

Lawmakers made their choice via secret ballot.

11/30/16 11:46 AM



Source link

r960-7eb34965b3ffc67b34ac6bc6481af16c.jpg

House will work three extra weeks in 2017


The House will be in session for the equivalent of three additional weeks in 2017, Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy announced on Wednesday.

McCarthy, R-Calif., said the extra days are needed “to ensure that the United States House of Representatives has ample time to enact a conservative agenda.”

It’s not unusual for parties to add legislative time when they win both the White House and Congress. House Democrats in 2009 packed the calendar with legislative days in order to move President Obama’s agenda.

The House will notably remain in session after the opening day of Congress Jan. 3., as well as many of the days following President-elect Trump’s swearing-in.

McCarthy said the House 2017 calendar would still make room for plenty of district work weeks. McCarthy said he has included a recess week, “nearly every month so that elected Representatives can stay connected to their constituents.”

Minority Whip Steny Hoyer, D-Md., warned Wednesday that the GOP that Democrats will fight their agenda if it includes rolling back big Democratic programs, including Obamacare, which Republicans plan to do.

“As we look ahead to next year, Republicans should remember that they do not have an overwhelming mandate – in fact, more Americans voted for Hillary Clinton,” Hoyer said. “Democrats will represent the plurality of Americans and resist Republican efforts to pursue a divisive, controversial agenda.”

Senate Dems plan to 'Ashcroft' their good friend Jeff Sessions

Top Story

Democrats currently on the Judiciary Committee argued that Sessions’ hearings should be an involved process.

11/30/16 6:56 AM



Source link

r960-6c1b8164a2459a9a8b93b6b127ec57d3.jpg

Mnuchin, Ross confirm nominations to Trump's Cabinet


Goldman Sachs alumnus and financier Steven Mnuchin confirmed he has been nominated to be President-elect Trump’s treasury secretary, while billionaire investor Wilbur Ross confirmed he will be appointed commerce secretary Wednesday.

The duo appeared on CNBC to confirm reports that broke Tuesday they had accepted roles offered by Trump. Mnuchin served as Trump’s campaign finance director and Ross has no political experience.

“I didn’t think I’d ever have a boss again,” Wilbur said when asked if he ever thought he would work in government.

Mnuchin, a Wall Street banker and Hollywood insider, will be the second treasury secretary in 10 years to come from Goldman Sachs. He currently works as the CEO of a hedge fund and, like Ross, has no experience in government.

Mnuchin said he believes in Trump since the start of his presidential campaign, and that close relationship will benefit the American people.

“This was never a gamble from my perspective. I’ve known the president-elect for over 15 years, I believed in his policies and I thought he would win,” Mnuchin said. “I did this because I believed in it.”

He added that the top priority of the Trump administration will be not only that jobs return to the country but that they’re good jobs.

“For the average American worker, they’ve gotten nowhere [under President Obama],” Mnuchin said. “Our job is to make sure that the average American worker has wage increases and has good jobs. That’s the priority of this administration.”

Ross said he believes the low unemployment rate and seemingly solid foundation of the current economy is a ruse.

Trump vows to leave his business 'in total'

Also from the Washington Examiner

President-elect Trump announced Wednesday morning via social media that his lawyers were drawing up “legal documents” to remove him from the operations of his sprawling business empire amid concerns that the company could create conflicts of interest.

“I will be leaving my great business in total in order to fully focus on running the country,” Trump said, saying he will hold a press conference with his children on Dec. 15 to explain the decision.

“While I am not mandated to do this under the law, I feel it is visually important, as President, to in no way have a conflict of interest with my various businesses,” he added.

The president and vice president are exempt from the conflict of interest laws that apply to most

11/30/16 7:13 AM

“It’s just not true. And it’s also not true that all jobs are created equal,” he said. “The guy who used to work at the steel mill now flipping hamburgers knows it’s not the same.”

“It’s the quality of jobs as well as the quantity and one of the problems with the recovery is we’ve really created jobs not nearly as remunerative as the jobs we lost. That’s a very big structural problem.”

Pelosi's job on the line in leadership vote

Top Story

Rep. Tim Ryan believes the party’s November election debacle calls for a leadership shakeup.

11/30/16 12:01 AM



Source link

r960-209953329ea493328c19f64809c0ab8d.jpg

Rubio: Trump will 'get his nominees'


Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fl., said on Tuesday evening he expects the Republican-led Senate to approve President-elect Trump's Cabinet appointments, thanks to the low grade "nuclear option" Senate Democrats enabled three years ago when they controlled the upper chamber. (AP Photo/Wilfredo Lee)

Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fl., said on Tuesday evening he expects the Republican-led Senate to approve President-elect Trump’s Cabinet appointments, thanks to the low grade “nuclear option” Senate Democrats enabled three years ago when they controlled the upper chamber.

“If you look at the nominations, they changed the rules. And now by 51 votes we can get anybody confirmed except for the Supreme Court and so that’s why I fully anticipate that by and large, unless it’s someone – something troubling comes out, you’re going to see the president-elect get his nominees,” the recently reelected senator told Fox News host Sean Hannity on Tuesday evening.

In 2013, then-Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid rallied Democrats to change filibuster rules to make it easier to approve President Obama’s nominees, except for the Supreme Court. Reid’s move now gives Republican lawmakers the ability to pass through even controversial nominees with a simple majority, rather than the 60 votes required to end a filibuster.

The former 2016 GOP presidential candidate also predicted Republicans will be able “to get the Supreme Court with the current rules.” Rubio said once the administration has been staffed, it will set up the entire government to get moving on its policy agenda, including repealing and replacing Obamacare.

Pelosi's job on the line in leadership vote

Top Story

Rep. Tim Ryan believes the party’s November election debacle calls for a leadership shakeup.

11/30/16 12:01 AM

Subscribe to Alerts

Learn more about Washington Examiner’s Alerts

Loading Next Article



Source link

r960-f21f886af9d9726a7a47b384fc0b16b7.jpg

Sanders campaign manager: Primaries 'foreshadowing' for Trump victory


The surprisingly competitive Democratic primaries served as “foreshadowing” for Hillary Clinton’s eventual general election defeat, says Jeff Weaver, a longtime top aide to Bernie Sanders.

“Most of the country would be colored [Sanders’] color versus Secretary Clinton’s,” Weaver, who served as Sanders’ campaign chairman, said during a conference call Tuesday evening held by MayDay.us, a grassroots group dedicated to campaign finance reform.

Many of the millions of Millennials old enough to vote, who were largely energized by Sanders’ progressive campaign during the primaries, stayed home on Nov. 8, Weaver pointed out.

The 74-year-old (now 75) democratic socialist, who conceded the Democratic nomination to Clinton over the summer and later supported her presidential campaign, was very popular among Millennials due in part to his efforts to address issues impacting the younger generation, including his promise to make college tuition free.

Weaver said Clinton’s share of vote among Millennials (55 percent), which among voters 18 to 29 slipped by 5 percent from Obama’s numbers in 2012, was a “really disappointing number.”

Where Donald Trump largely carried small cities and rural areas during the general election, which fueled his victory, Weaver suggested that Sanders would have put up a good fight because he succeeded in those places during the primary. Meanwhile Clinton’s main body of support came from the larger urban areas, which typically lean heavily Democratic, during the primaries and general election alike.

Although union organizations largely threw their endorsements behind Clinton during the primaries, union households supported Trump in “historically high” numbers, Weaver said.

And despite the media narrative, Sanders over-performed among African American and Latino voters, Weaver added.

Addressing the general election across the board, at both the presidential and local levels, Weaver offered what he said the lesson of this campaign.

Rubio: Trump will 'get his nominees'

Also from the Washington Examiner

The Florida senator said Republicans will use Harry Reid’s rule change to take care of business.

11/30/16 12:48 AM

If you want to beat the Republicans, voters need to back “authentically progressive candidates” of all different races, genders and sexual orientations, he said.

Pelosi's job on the line in leadership vote

Top Story

Rep. Tim Ryan believes the party’s November election debacle calls for a leadership shakeup.

11/30/16 12:01 AM



Source link