Federal Government -- August 25, 2017
President Trump has officially issued a Presidential Memorandum instructing the Department of Defense (DOD) and the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) to reinstate the ban on transgender people from serving in the military and Coast Guard. This memo also halts "all use of DoD or DHS resources to fund sex reassignment surgical procedures for military personnel, except to the extent necessary to protect the health of an individual who has already begun a course of treatment to reassign his or her sex."
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Federal Government -- July 31, 2017
President Trump has repeatedly called for the Senate to end the filibuster via the so-called "nuclear option" of changing Senate rules to allow a simple majority to end debate before a vote.
Currently, ending debate requires 60 votes, a super-majority. Therefore, for most votes, 41 Senators can prevent a measure from ever being voted on. However, the Senate can change this rule that makes a filibuster possible with only 51 votes, a simple majority. This option has only been used twice, once by the Democrats in 2013 for executive and judicial nominees (except for Supreme Court nominees), and once by the Republicans in 2017 for Supreme Court nominees.
President Trump has expressed his desire for the Senate to change the rules allowing for any filibuster, and he has begun to increase...
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Federal Government -- May 23, 2017
Overall, President Trump's 2018 budget request would decrease the total size of the federal government, but it contains specific spending increases for defense, border security, and public safety. These relative increases help to highlight President Trump's policy priorities by detailing which areas of government he believes should get spending increases instead of spending cuts.
Specifically, the "President’s Budget includes $639 billion of discretionary budget authority for the Department of Defense (DOD), a $52 billion increase above the 2017 annualized continuing resolution (CR) level, fully offset by targeted reductions elsewhere." The request also allocates funds to build a wall along the border with...
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Federal Government -- May 23, 2017
Because Congress holds power over spending and taxation, presidential budget requests have no binding authority; however, President Trump's 2018 budget request does clearly demonstrate his goal to dramatically reduce the size of the federal government.
Long term, Trump seeks to reduce non-defense discretionary spending by 2 percent a year for 10 years from $519 billion and 2.7 percent of GDP in 2017 to $385 billion and 1.2 percent of GDP in 2027. To meet this aggressive goal for budgetary reduction, the administration proposes eliminating or reducing numerous programs across the federal government. These proposals are outlined in the Major Savings and Reforms document, and would produce "savings of $57.3 billion in discretionary programs, including $26.7 billion in program...
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Federal Government -- May 11, 2017
This executive order addresses cybersecurity for the federal government, critical infrastructure, and for the nation as a whole. Overall, the order shares continuities with both the Bush and Obama administrations’ efforts to modernize U.S. cybersecurity.
Regarding federal networks, the “President will hold heads of executive departments and agencies (agency heads) accountable for managing cybersecurity risk to their enterprises.” Because this shifts ultimate responsibility for cybersecurity up to the agency heads, it should incentivize each agency to give these issues high priority. The president has also ordered that agencies immediately begin using the Framework for Improving Critical Infrastructure Cybersecurity developed by the National Institute of Standards and...
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Federal Government -- May 11, 2017
President Trump has established a commission to study voter registration and voting for federal elections. The commission is tasked with identifying laws, rules, etc. which "enhance" or which "undermine the American people's confidence in the integrity of the voting processes used in Federal elections" and also with identifying "vulnerabilities in voting systems and practices" that could allow "improper" or "fraudulent" voter registrations and voting.
The commission will be chaired by Vice President Pence, and the vice chair will be Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach (R). Other announced members of the commission currently include: Connie Lawson (R), the Secretary of State of Indiana; Bill Gardner (D), Secretary of State of New Hampshire; Matthew Dunlap (D), the Secretary of State...
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Federal Government -- April 26, 2017
The order instructs the Department of the Interior to review potential abuses of the 1906 Antiquities Act made since January 1, 1996, "where the designation covers more than 100,000 acres, where the designation after expansion covers more than 100,000 acres, or where the Secretary determines that the designation or expansion was made without adequate public outreach and coordination with relevant stakeholders".
The Antiquities Act was primarily intended to help protect Native American sites from looters, but broadly allows the president to declare "historic landmarks, historic and prehistoric structures, and other objects of historic or scientific interest" to be national monuments. However, since its inception, some of the declarations have been seen as overreaching. In response,...
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Federal Government -- January 30, 2017
This executive order requires any executive department or agency that proposes one new regulation to identify two regulations to be repealed. For fiscal 2017, it instructs that the total incremental cost of all new regulations and repealed regulations be no greater than zero. Essentially, new regulations must be paid for with the savings produced by removing old regulations.
For fiscal 2018, the director of the Office of Management and Budget is required to issue for each agency a maximum total cost of all new regulations and repealed regulations for the fiscal year. No agency is allowed to issue a regulation whose costs exceed that maximum, “unless required by law or approved in writing by the Director.”
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Federal Government -- January 28, 2017
This executive order bars “every executive appointee in every executive agency” from engaging in “lobbying activities with respect to that agency” for five years after leaving the agency. It also bars them permanently from lobbying for any foreign government or political party.
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Federal Government -- January 20, 2017
The Memorandum freezes all pending regulations until they are approved directly by the administration or by an agency led by Trump appointees. The action, given in a memorandum from White House chief of staff Reince Priebus, delays all regulations with the exception of health, safety, financial or national security matters allowed by the Office of Management and Budget director.
Memorandum - Regulatory Freeze Pending Review
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