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« Reply #200 on: January 19, 2017, 06:06:13 PM »

Trump Names Additional White House Staff
By Todd Beamon   |    Thursday, 19 Jan 2017

President-elect Donald Trump Thursday announced more appointments to his White House staff.

"These exceptional individuals will play key roles in supporting President-elect Trump's America-first agenda," said incoming White House Chief of Staff Reince Priebus. "I look forward to working with each and every one of them as we make the President-elect's vision for our country a reality."

Here are the appointments:

•Rob Porter, assistant to the president and staff secretary.
•Sean Cairncross, deputy assistant to the president and senior adviser to the chief of staff.
•Justin Clark, deputy assistant to the president and director of intergovernmental affairs.
•Gerrit Lansing, deputy assistant to the president and chief digital officer.
•Bill McGinley, deputy assistant to the president and Cabinet secretary.
•Sarah Huckabee Sanders, deputy assistant to the president and principal deputy press secretary.
•Michael Ambrosini, special assistant to the president and director of the Office of the Chief of Staff.
•Alexander Angelson, special assistant to the president for legislative affairs.
•Avrahm (Avi) Berkowitz, special assistant to the president and assistant to senior adviser Jared Kushner.
•Steven Cheung, special assistant to the president and assistant communications director.
•Boris Epshteyn, special assistant to the president and assistant communications director for surrogate operations.
•Helen Aguirre Ferre, special assistant to the president and director of media affairs.
•Stephanie Grisham, special assistant to the president and deputy press secretary.
•Mallory Hunter, special assistant to the president and executive assistant to the chief of staff.
•Cliff Sims, special assistant to the president and assistant communications director for White House message strategy.
•Lindsay Walters, special assistant to the president and deputy press secretary and adviser to the press secretary.
•Madeleine Westerhout, special assistant to the president and executive assistant to the president.

http://www.newsmax.com/Politics/trump-additional-white-house-staff/2017/01/19/id/769507/
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« Reply #201 on: January 19, 2017, 06:08:28 PM »

Sonny Perdue Is Trump’s Choice for Agriculture Secretary
By JULIE HIRSCHFELD DAVIS and MAGGIE HABERMAN
JAN. 18, 2017

WASHINGTON — President-elect Donald J. Trump on Wednesday selected Sonny Perdue, the former governor of Georgia, to be his secretary of agriculture, two senior transition officials said, making his final cabinet selection two days before he is to be sworn in as president.

Mr. Perdue, a onetime veterinarian who was elected in 2003 as Georgia’s first Republican governor since Reconstruction, campaigned heavily for Mr. Trump in the final months of the presidential race, although he had initially backed a rival, former Gov. Mike Huckabee of Arkansas.

His selection ensures that Mr. Trump will enter office with a full complement of chosen cabinet officials, although none have been confirmed. Senators are wrangling over how many nominees can be confirmed by the time Mr. Trump is sworn in on Friday, with Republicans insisting on a series of quick votes and Democrats objecting that they have not had adequate time to vet the candidates, many of whom submitted ethics disclosures late.

The two officials confirmed the decision on the condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to comment on it before the formal announcement.

Mr. Perdue has spoken with Mr. Trump in detail about his views on agriculture and trade, including ways to ensure American producers are not placed at a disadvantage in international agreements. In an interview in December, Mr. Perdue said Mr. Trump had quizzed him on what he would do about unfair trade deals. He said the president-elect “believes that we in the U.S. have been sort of patsies over the years in the way we’ve dealt with our foreign competitors and international trade.”

Mr. Perdue, who once ran a grain and fertilizer business, was among the first candidates Mr. Trump interviewed for the post. But the process dragged on for weeks as the president-elect’s team debated whether it would be better off choosing someone from a different part of the country or selecting an ethnic minority to balance out an overwhelmingly white, male and wealthy cabinet.

Mr. Perdue, though, pitched himself as an asset with the business and governmental experience to be successful in the post. He spent much of his career in the agriculture business before being elected governor, he told Mr. Trump, and returned to the field in 2011 after leaving office.
 
“Most people focus on the governor term of eight years, but for me, that was an interruption,” Mr. Perdue said in December. Mr. Trump, he said, “wants people who are experts in the field.”

As governor, amid a record-setting drought in Georgia in 2007, Mr. Perdue led several hundred people at the State Capitol in a prayer for rain, asking God to forgive Georgia for being wasteful with its water. He also called for strict water usage restrictions.

Eric Tanenblatt, Mr. Perdue’s former chief of staff, called him highly qualified for the post in a statement on Wednesday night.
   
“As a successful governor, Perdue has the requisite experience to direct a massive bureaucracy of the sort necessary to conduct the department’s many programs,” Mr. Tanenblatt said. He praised Mr. Perdue’s ability to shape agricultural policy and business.

Mr. Perdue, he said, “knows the challenges facing today’s farmers.”

Environmental activists condemned Mr. Trump’s choice, saying that Mr. Perdue had received hundreds of thousands of dollars in federal farm subsidies that help chemical companies and large agriculture conglomerates at the expense of small farmers and the environment.

“It’s certainly hard to imagine that a former fertilizer salesman will tackle the unregulated farm pollution that poisons our drinking water, turns Lake Erie green, and fouls the Chesapeake Bay and the Gulf of Mexico,” said Scott Faber, senior vice president of government affairs at EWG, an environmental research group.

If confirmed, Mr. Perdue would oversee an agency with a $150 billion budget. The Agriculture Department is in charge of farm policy and food safety, and it funds food stamps, other nutrition programs and the Forest Service.

A conservative Republican, Mr. Perdue has ties to at least one senator who will vote on his confirmation. Senator David Perdue, Republican of Georgia, is his cousin.

https://www.nytimes.com/2017/01/18/us/politics/sonny-perdue-agriculture-secretary.html?_r=0
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« Reply #202 on: January 24, 2017, 11:45:03 AM »

Pompeo confirmed as CIA chief
By Ashley Killough and Ted Barrett, CNN
Tue January 24, 2017

Washington (CNN)The Senate confirmed Mike Pompeo, President Donald Trump's pick for CIA director, on Monday night.

The vote was 66-32 in favor of confirmation, with Pompeo picking up some Democratic backing. The only Republican in opposition was Sen. Rand Paul.
The vote was held open longer than normal in an effort to let Senators delayed by the storm in the Northeast reach Washington, but it was gaveled closed before Sens. Chris Murphy and Richard Blumenthal could arrive.

"I just want to remind our colleagues that our country continues to face incredible threats, and they are not hitting the pause button," Senate Majority Whip John Cornyn, a Texas Republican, said in a statement issued before he voted in support of Pompeo. "The President needs his national security Cabinet, and particularly his CIA Director at his side, a Cabinet position integral to keeping our country safe."
Pompeo's view on electronic surveillance and torture drew the ire of some Democrats.

But Sen. Bernie Sanders, a Democratic Socialist from Vermont, cited Pompeo's support for the broad collection of metadata in his vote against the CIA nominee.

"What we are talking about is the United States government having in many ways more information about us than we may even understand about our own life," Sanders said. "In many ways, it sounds to me like we are moving toward an Orwellian society."

Sen. Ron Wyden, a Oregon Democrat, has been the most vocal opponent of Pompeo's nomination and had called for more time to debate the congressman's positions.

In a deal reached among Senate leaders, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell announced Friday night that the Senate would allow six hours for debate on Pompeo's nomination before a vote on confirmation.

Torture?

Pompeo drew criticism last week when he told Congress that he would consider bringing back waterboarding and other enhanced interrogation measures under certain circumstances.

In a series of written responses on Wednesday to questions from members of the Senate Intelligence Committee, Pompeo said that while current permitted interrogation techniques are limited to those in the Army Field Manual, he was open to making changes to that policy.

"If confirmed, I will consult with experts at the Agency and at other organizations in the US government on whether the Army Field Manual uniform application is an impediment to gathering vital intelligence to protect the country," he wrote. "If experts believed current law was an impediment to gathering vital intelligence to protect the country, I would want to understand such impediments and whether any recommendations were appropriate for changing current law."

During his Senate confirmation hearing on Thursday, however, he had dismissed the idea that he would approve of torture as CIA chief.

Pompeo also addressed Russia, China and the Middle East at the hearing, defending the agency's findings about alleged Moscow hacking during the election even as Trump had suggested that the Intelligence Community's determinations of Russian meddling were overblown.

Pompeo told the Senate that he embraced findings spelled out in a comprehensive report of the Intelligence Community on the Russian breaches compiled earlier this month.

"With respect to this report in particular, it's pretty clear about what took place here, about Russian involvement in efforts to hack information and to have an impact on American democracy," he said in response to questioning. "This was an aggressive action taken by senior leadership inside of Russia."

In his opening remarks, Pompeo listed Russia as well as China as "sophisticated adversaries" in the cyber realm, saying "hackers are all taking advantage of this new borderless environment" and "the CIA must continue to be at the forefront of this issue."

Along with Russia, Pompeo said other global threats include Iran's growing influence in the Middle East, ISIS's grip over major urban areas and the conflict in Syria.

"This is the most complicated threat environment the United States has seen in recent memory," he said.

http://www.cnn.com/2017/01/23/politics/mike-pompeo-cia-director-confirmation-vote/
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« Reply #203 on: January 24, 2017, 12:22:10 PM »

Pompeo confirmed as CIA chief
By Ashley Killough and Ted Barrett, CNN
Tue January 24, 2017

Washington (CNN)The Senate confirmed Mike Pompeo, President Donald Trump's pick for CIA director, on Monday night.

The vote was 66-32 in favor of confirmation, with Pompeo picking up some Democratic backing. The only Republican in opposition was Sen. Rand Paul.



Very interesting. I wonder what his reason was.
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« Reply #204 on: January 24, 2017, 03:02:53 PM »

Exclusive—Democratic Sen. Joe Manchin Backs Rex Tillerson for Secretary of State: Trump’s Pick ‘Honorable and Patriotic’
by Matthew Boyle
24 Jan 2017
Washington, D.C.

Democratic U.S. Sen. Joe Manchin of West Virginia becomes the first Democrat to publicly back President Donald J. Trump’s selection for Secretary of State in ExxonMobil CEO Rex Tillerson, telling Breitbart News exclusively he considers the president’s selection to represent the United States on the world stage to be “honorable and patriotic.”
Manchin told Breitbart News:

As a former Governor, I understand how crucial it is for an executive leader to have his team in place to conduct our nation’s foreign affairs. I have known Rex Tillerson for years through our work with the Boy Scouts of America and know him to be honorable and patriotic. I have no hesitation in supporting Rex Tillerson’s confirmation to be Secretary of State after the Office of Government Ethics described his ethics agreement as a sterling model for what they would like to see from other nominees. Rex Tillerson’s extensive career will bring a unique perspective to the state department, and I believe he will provide wise counsel and objective advice to the President on our nation’s foreign policy. I look forward to working with him in a bipartisan manner in the best interest of all West Virginians and Americans.

Manchin’s decision to support Tillerson essentially guarantees full U.S. Senate approval of the energy executive to serve as Secretary of State whenever the vote occurs. The vote in the full U.S. Senate may not happen until next week, as Republicans and Democrats head into their party retreats later this week, and Democratic leadership in the Senate has been using a variety of procedural measures to slow down confirmation of Trump’s nominees.

Tillerson was approved by the Senate Foreign Relations Committee on Monday, after Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL) dropped his opposition and joined with all his fellow committee Republicans to support approval—all the committee Democrats opposed Tillerson—setting up a floor vote sometime soon.

With 51 U.S. Senate Republicans not counting Sen. Jeff Sessions (R-AL)—Trump’s nominee for Attorney General, who has yet to be voted on in the Senate Judiciary Committee or the full U.S. Senate—it is likely that every single Trump nominee will be approved by the Senate. But Tillerson, who faced some criticism from people like Rubio and Sens. John McCain (R-AZ), Lindsey Graham (R-SC), and Jeff Flake (R-AZ), was not a done deal until after Rubio dropped his opposition.

Now that Manchin is on board after this Breitbart News exclusive, it is likely other red state Democrats up for reelection in 2018 will follow his lead and support Tillerson—giving the oil executive a little room for error inside the GOP when he didn’t have such room before Rubio dropped his opposition.

Senate Foreign Relations Committee chairman Sen. Bob Corker (R-TN) previously told Breitbart News exclusively that several Democrats were privately on board with Tillerson’s nomination, but he didn’t name them. Now, Manchin is public and several more are likely to come forward.

http://www.breitbart.com/big-government/2017/01/24/exclusive-democratic-sen-joe-manchin-backs-rex-tillerson-secretary-state-trumps-pick-honorable-patriotic/
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« Reply #205 on: January 31, 2017, 09:07:40 AM »

Senate panel backs Perry, Zinke nominations amid Sessions fight
By Barnini Chakraborty 
Published January 31, 2017 
FoxNews.com

A Senate panel on Tuesday approved President Trump’s nominees to lead the Energy and Interior departments, even as senators clashed elsewhere on Capitol Hill over the nomination of Jeff Sessions for attorney general.

In early-morning action, the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee advanced the nominations of Montana Rep. Ryan Zinke for Interior secretary and former Texas Gov. Rick Perry for Energy secretary.

The votes come on a very busy day for Senate lawmakers as they vote on a half-dozen Trump’s picks in committee.

But the biggest showdown is occurring before the Senate Judiciary Committee, which is expected to vote, eventually, on the nomination of Sen. Sessions to become the next United States attorney general.

Sessions, a conservative senator from Alabama, was an early backer of Trump. During his confirmation hearings he has been dogged by allegations of racism – something he strongly denies.

But his nomination was further complicated by the fallout from Trump's controversial executive order suspending the U.S. refugee program and restricting immigration from seven Muslim-majority countries. 

On Monday night, Trump fired Acting Attorney General Sally Yates, a holdover from former President Barack Obama’s administration, when she defiantly refused to defend Trump’s controversial immigration order.

Trump said Yates had betrayed the administration by not carrying out the order and replaced her with Dana Boente, a U.S. attorney for the Eastern District of Virginia. Boente announced he would rescind Yates’ policy – effective immediately.

Monday’s firing and escalating tension over Trump’s executive order made Tuesday’s vote on Sessions particularly contentious.

The Senate Finance Committee also will decide whether the nomination of Rep. Tom Price, R-Ga., for Health and Human Services secretary will move forward. They’ll also decide on the nomination of Steve Mnuchin to lead the Treasury Department and Betsy DeVos to head up Education.

All the candidates had strong Republican support going into the committee votes.

http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2017/01/31/senate-panel-backs-perry-zinke-nominations-amid-sessions-fight.html
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« Reply #206 on: February 01, 2017, 02:38:04 PM »

Senate confirms Tillerson as secretary of State, in GOP push to fill Trump Cabinet
Published February 01, 2017
FoxNews.com

The Senate on Wednesday confirmed Rex Tillerson as secretary of State, as part of a fast-paced day for majority Republicans who also pushed past Democratic resistance to advance three other President Trump Cabinet picks to a final vote.

The vote to confirm the former ExxonMobil executive as the country's top diplomat was 56-43.

Earlier in the day, Senate Republicans, frustrated by Democrats’ attempts to delay other Cabinet confirmations, moved swiftly to advance three nominees to a final vote.

On the most contentious nomination, the Senate Judiciary Committee voted along party lines, 11-to-9, to approve Sen. Jeff Sessions, R-Ala., for U.S. attorney general.

The move came after Democrats dragged out proceedings a day earlier. The committee advanced Sessions to the floor on an 11-9 vote.

“No doubt we have the votes” to confirm Sessions, said Sen. Mike Lee, R-Utah, a committee member. “It’s going to get done.”

Senate Democrats have attempted to hold up several of Trump’s Cabinet picks over concerns about their records, as well as Trump's new policies and recent executive orders on immigration.

Also on Wednesday, the Republican-led Senate Finance Committee sidestepped Senate Democrats' efforts to slow Trump’s picks for secretaries of Treasury and Health and Human Services by boycotting the votes.

Committee Chairman Orrin Hatch, R-Utah, suspended committee rules on the number of members required to vote, to allow Republican members to vote in favor of Steve Mnuchin as Treasury secretary and Rep. Tom Price, R-Ga., to serve as Health and Human Services secretary.

Oregon Sen. Ron Wyden, the committee’s top Democrat, argued that Hatch broke the rules.

“What you had was a rump group that met in violation of Democratic values to confirm two ethically-challenged nominees,” he told Fox News. “There’s no question about that.”

Mnuchin, Price and Sessions will almost certainly get the required simple majority needed for confirmation because Republicans have 52 senators and Democrats have 48.

Still, Democrats temporarily thwarted a Senate confirmation vote on Trump's pick to lead the Environmental Protection Agency, Scott Pruitt, by again boycotting a key committee meeting.

Senate Environment and Public Works Committee rules require at least two members of the minority party be present for a vote to be held.

Committee Chairman John Barrasso, R-Wyo., called the move “political theatre” and vowed to "do what is necessary" to advance Pruitt's nomination, raising the possibility the GOP majority may seek a rules change like the one Hatch got to push a vote before the full Senate.

Republicans created their own challenges Wednesday toward confirming Besty DeVos as Education secretary.

GOP Sens. Lisa Murkowski, Alaska, and Susan Collins, Maine, said they won't vote for DeVos in the final Senate vote.

That would create a 50-to-50 tied. But Republicans remain optimistic, considering GOP Vice President Mike Pence would cast the deciding vote in favor of DeVos.

On Tuesday, Democrats had refused to attend the meeting to consider Mnuchin and Price, demanding more information about the nominees.

Hatch called the Democrats’ decision to boycott the vote “the most pathetic thing.”

“We took some unprecedented actions today due to the unprecedented obstruction on the part of our colleagues,” he also said Wednesday.

The rule requires at least one Democrat be present for a vote. With the rules lifted, the committee advanced the nominations to the floor.

“They should be ashamed,” he said. “The only thing missing was a member from the minority side,” Hatch continued.  But, as I noted, they, on their own accord, refused to participate in this exercise.

Hatch said he made the move after getting an OK from the Senate Parliamentarian Office and that every Republican member of the committee was present and voting, exceeding the one-third requirement for a so-called “quorum.”

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2017/02/01/senate-confirms-tillerson-as-secretary-state-in-gop-push-to-fill-trump-cabinet.html
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« Reply #207 on: February 02, 2017, 01:33:05 PM »

GOP senators advance Trump EPA, budget office nominees
Published February 02, 2017
FoxNews.com
 
President Trump inched closer Thursday to getting key administration posts filled, as Senate Republicans advanced his nominees to lead the White House budget office and the Environmental Protection Agency to a full Senate vote.

The Senate Environment and Public Works Committee swiftly took up the nomination of Scott Pruitt to lead the EPA after Democrats boycotted a scheduled vote on Wednesday.

As colleagues on another committee did a day earlier to overcome Democratic delays, Chairman John Barrasso, R-Wyo., used a procedural maneuver to suspend committee rules requiring at least two Democrats to be present for a nomination vote.

With 10 Democrats absent and the rules suspended, the committee easily voted to send the Oklahoma state attorney general forward for consideration by the full Senate.

The move comes as Republicans scramble to advance a series of nominations that have been stalled amid Democratic resistance. In doing so, they've further inflamed tensions with the minority party.

“I am disappointed that our majority has decided to ignore our concerns and those of the American people, and break the Committee's rules in an effort to expedite Mr. Pruitt's nomination,” Sen. Tom Carper said in a statement, referring to efforts by him and others to extract more information from Pruitt.

Carper’s fellow Democrat, Sheldon Whitehouse of Rhode Island, suggested the nominee was engaged in “an effort to hide information from the Senate before his confirmation.”

Barrasso countered that the delay was “unprecedented,” particularly because Pruitt had answered a total of more than 1,200 questions, which is more than the EPA nominees from the Obama, Bush, and Clinton administrations.

He told reporters after the nomination hearing he was confident the Senate parliamentarian would sustain the rules change.

Also heading to the full Senate is the nomination of Rep. Mick Mulvaney to head the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) after clearing two separate committee votes.

The Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee and the Senate Budget Committee voted 8-7 and 12-11, respectively, to approve his nomination.

The homeland security committee was ready to vote on Wednesday, but Ranking Member Claire McCaskill of Missouri called for a delay until she could fully review Mulvaney’s FBI file.

The votes fell along party lines.

Mulvaney’s nomination hit a snag early in the process after the New York Times reported he failed to pay more than $15,000 in payroll taxes on a nanny.

“I have come to learn during the confirmation review process that I failed to pay FICA and federal and state unemployment taxes on a household employee for the years 2000-2004,” conceded Mulvaney.

Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., voted for the nomination in the committee, but has expressed concerns about Mulvaney’s commitment to strengthen the military considering the nominee’s support for budget cuts. McCain has not committed to backing him on the Senate floor.

http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2017/02/02/gop-senators-advance-trump-epa-budget-office-nominees.html
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« Reply #208 on: February 07, 2017, 10:50:57 AM »

DeVos confirmed as Education secretary, Pence casts historic tie-breaking vote
Published February 07, 2017 
FoxNews.com

School choice advocate Betsy DeVos was narrowly confirmed Tuesday as the next Education secretary despite deep opposition from teachers unions and other groups, after Vice President Pence intervened to cast a historic tie-breaking vote.

Pence’s vote marked the first time in American history a vice president has broken a tie on a Cabinet nominee’s Senate confirmation – and the first tie-breaking vote by a VP since 2008. Pence was compelled to cast the vote, in his role as president of the Senate, after two Republican senators – Susan Collins of Maine and Lisa Murkowski of Alaska – came out against DeVos.

With those two Republicans and all Senate Democrats opposing the nominee, she was confirmed on a 51-50 vote.

“She’s led the most effective school reform movement of the last 30 years,” Senate education committee Chairman Lamar Alexander, R-Tenn., said moments earlier on the floor, shoring up DeVos' Republican support.

The confirmation of the wealthy GOP donor will mark a sharp change in philosophy at the helm of federal education policy, given DeVos’ history boosting alternatives to public education.

Democrats mounted an all-night speaking marathon railing against her nomination in the run-up to the vote, though their opposition combined with lobbying efforts by teachers unions were not enough to block her.

"Mrs. DeVos demonstrated a complete lack of experience in, knowledge of and support for public education. She was unable to address basic issues that any New Hampshire school board member could discuss fluently," said Sen. Maggie Hassan, D-N.H., whose son has cerebral palsy but studied in public schools under a federal law that guarantees access for disabled students. Several Democrats questioned DeVos' commitment to and understanding of that law.

But Republicans accused Democrats of slow-walking DeVos and other qualified nominees to placate liberal base voters who still haven't come to terms with President Trump's election.

"[Democrats are] trying to humiliate and embarrass some of these nominees," White House Counselor Kellyanne Conway told Fox News earlier Tuesday, saying DeVos is committed to education.

"It seems this gridlock and opposition has far less to do with the nominees actually before us than the man who nominated them," said Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky. "Enough is enough."

In addition to DeVos, Republicans hope to confirm a series of other controversial nominees this week: Alabama Republican Sen. Jeff Sessions as attorney general, GOP Rep. Tom Price of Georgia as health secretary and financier Steven Mnuchin as treasury secretary.

In each case Democrats intend to use the maximum time allowed under the Senate's arcane rules to debate the nominations, which may result in a late-night votes this week and delay Mnuchin's approval until Saturday.

Republicans complain that previous presidents have been able to put their Cabinets in place more quickly. Democrats say it's Trump's fault because many of his nominees have complicated financial arrangements and ethical entanglements they claim they have not had enough time to dissect.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2017/02/07/devos-confirmed-as-education-secretary-pence-casts-historic-tie-breaking-vote.html
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« Reply #209 on: February 09, 2017, 02:08:13 PM »

Jeff Sessions sworn in as attorney general, Trump signs executive actions
CBS News/ February 9, 2017

The day after the Senate confirmed him as attorney general, Sen. Jeff Sessions was sworn in by Vice President Mike Pence in an Oval Office ceremony Thursday morning.

President Trump, in opening remarks, praised Sessions as “a man of integrity, a man of principle and a man of total, utter resolve.”

“He has devoted his life to the cause of justice and believes deeply that all people are equals in the eyes of the law - and very importantly for Jeff and so many of us also in the eyes of God,” the president said.

Sessions, in brief remarks afterward, thanked the president for “this great honor.”
 
“It’s something I never expected would happen in my life,” Sessions said. “The honor to lead it now is something I do not have words to express effectively.”

The former Alabama senator identified areas he’ll target in his new job -- a crime problem that he said is a “dangerous permanent trend that places the safety of the American people at risk.” He also pointed to “an increased threat from terrorism” and promised to “respond effectively.”

And Sessions also called for “a lawful system of immigration.”

“We need to end this lawlessness that threatens the public safety,” he said.

He praised the staff at the Justice Department, where he himself worked decades ago as a federal prosecutor, and said Americans need to “value and support and encourage the fabulous people who work there.” Sessions is going to the Justice Department in the afternoon and will meet with federal law enforcement officials later in the day. 

After the ceremony, Mr. Trump also signed three executive actions aimed at strengthening law enforcement, which he called “all very important,” though the actions have not yet been released.   

Of the first, he said,  “I’m directing Department of Justice and Department of Homeland Security to undertake all necessary and lawful action to break the back of the criminal cartels that have spread across our nation and are destroying the blood of our youth and many other people.”

The second directs the Justice Department “to form a task force on reducing violent crime in America.”

And the third, Mr. Trump said, would have the Justice Department “implement a plan to stop crime and crimes of violence against law enforcement officers. It’s a shame what’s been happening to our great - truly great - law enforcement officers. That’s going to stop as of today.”

Mr. Trump then congratulated his new attorney general, saying, “Jeff, I know you’ll do a fantastic job. Good luck.”

http://www.cbsnews.com/news/jeff-sessions-sworn-in-as-attorney-general-trump-signs-executive-actions/
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« Reply #210 on: February 09, 2017, 06:22:02 PM »

Jeff Sessions sworn in as attorney general, Trump signs executive actions
CBS News/ February 9, 2017

The day after the Senate confirmed him as attorney general, Sen. Jeff Sessions was sworn in by Vice President Mike Pence in an Oval Office ceremony Thursday morning.

President Trump, in opening remarks, praised Sessions as “a man of integrity, a man of principle and a man of total, utter resolve.”

“He has devoted his life to the cause of justice and believes deeply that all people are equals in the eyes of the law - and very importantly for Jeff and so many of us also in the eyes of God,” the president said.

Sessions, in brief remarks afterward, thanked the president for “this great honor.”
 
“It’s something I never expected would happen in my life,” Sessions said. “The honor to lead it now is something I do not have words to express effectively.”

The former Alabama senator identified areas he’ll target in his new job -- a crime problem that he said is a “dangerous permanent trend that places the safety of the American people at risk.” He also pointed to “an increased threat from terrorism” and promised to “respond effectively.”

And Sessions also called for “a lawful system of immigration.”

“We need to end this lawlessness that threatens the public safety,” he said.

He praised the staff at the Justice Department, where he himself worked decades ago as a federal prosecutor, and said Americans need to “value and support and encourage the fabulous people who work there.” Sessions is going to the Justice Department in the afternoon and will meet with federal law enforcement officials later in the day. 

After the ceremony, Mr. Trump also signed three executive actions aimed at strengthening law enforcement, which he called “all very important,” though the actions have not yet been released.   

Of the first, he said,  “I’m directing Department of Justice and Department of Homeland Security to undertake all necessary and lawful action to break the back of the criminal cartels that have spread across our nation and are destroying the blood of our youth and many other people.”

The second directs the Justice Department “to form a task force on reducing violent crime in America.”

And the third, Mr. Trump said, would have the Justice Department “implement a plan to stop crime and crimes of violence against law enforcement officers. It’s a shame what’s been happening to our great - truly great - law enforcement officers. That’s going to stop as of today.”

Mr. Trump then congratulated his new attorney general, saying, “Jeff, I know you’ll do a fantastic job. Good luck.”

http://www.cbsnews.com/news/jeff-sessions-sworn-in-as-attorney-general-trump-signs-executive-actions/
Finally!
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« Reply #211 on: February 13, 2017, 07:04:42 PM »

Labor secretary nominee Andrew Puzder in jeopardy
By John King, CNN Chief National Correspondent
Mon February 13, 2017

Washington (CNN) — Four Republican senators have told GOP leadership they are withholding support for President Donald Trump's choice for labor secretary, setting off an intense effort by Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and business groups to bring at least two back into the fold so that the nomination does not fail, several sources involved in the effort tell CNN.

The four, these sources say, are GOP Sens. Susan Collins of Maine, Lisa Murkowski of Alaska, Tim Scott of South Carolina and Johnny Isakson of Georgia.

Fast food executive Andrew Puzder is the President's choice, and among the last Cabinet picks to get a confirmation hearing because of controversies that include an admission he employed an undocumented housekeeper. His hearing, delayed several times, is now scheduled for Thursday.

Republicans are not counting on any Democratic votes for Puzder. So, with a 52-48 majority, they would need to hold at least 50 Republicans, as was the case last week when Vice President Mike Pence was called on to break the tie and advance the confirmation of Betsy DeVos as education secretary.

Murkowski and Collins were the two GOP defections on the DeVos vote, and of the four who have voiced reservations about Puzder are viewed as the most difficult to get back in the fold.

If at least two of the four reluctant Republicans cannot be swayed, McConnell could face the unwelcome task of advising the White House to pull the nomination instead of facing an embarrassing Senate floor defeat. But the sources involved in the urgent lobbying effort, speaking to CNN on condition of anonymity, said the leader viewed this as a test of party unity and his leadership, and was determined to round up the necessary votes.

To that, several business organizations with political clout have joined the effort, including the Chamber of Commerce, which sent lawmakers a letter supporting the Puzder nomination last week and has been working in concert with Senate GOP leadership to sway the senators who have reported their opposition or likely opposition to Puzder.

Collins told CNN she still has not made a decision about whether to support Puzder and is reviewing material about the nominee including an appearance his ex-wife made on Oprah. She insists she won't make up her mind until after Thursday's hearing.

"I have gone to review the Oprah show for an hour on which his former wife appeared and I'm reviewing the other information that has come to light. I'm sure all of this will explored fully," she said.

http://www.cnn.com/2017/02/13/politics/gop-senators-puzder/index.html
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« Reply #212 on: February 13, 2017, 07:35:53 PM »

Senate confirms David Shulkin as new VA Secretary
By: Leo Shane III,  February 13, 2017

WASHINGTON — The Senate easily confirmed Dr. David Shulkin as the new Veterans Affairs Secretary on Monday night, making him the first non-veteran ever to serve in the post.

Shulkin, who currently serves as the head of VA health programs, was approved by a vote of 100-0. He is expected to be sworn into the Cabinet post on Tuesday.

The 57-year-old physician was praised by lawmakers from both parties and veterans advocates as a leader with inside knowledge of the veterans bureaucracy and critical perspective of ways to reform those offerings from his time as a healthcare executive.

“The solutions to VA’s problems should be based on common sense rather than partisanship or an extreme agenda, and I think Dr. Shulkin recognizes that,” said Sen. Jon Tester, D-Mont., and ranking member of the Senate Veterans’ Affairs Committee.

“He is committed to our nation's veterans above all. Through the conversations I've had with him over the last year and a half, I think he understands the challenges that are ahead of us in the VA … Dr. Shulkin is on top of it.”

Committee chairman Sen. Johnny Isakson, R-Ga., called Shulkin “the right man for the veterans administration” and hailed the vote as a rare moment of bipartisanship in the increasingly divided chamber. 

Shulkin is the only member of President Donald Trump’s Cabinet to be held over from former President Barack Obama’s administration.

He’s also the first non-veteran to oversee the department or any of its predecessor agencies. Over the last 94 years, each of the 26 other men to serve in the job boasted military experience.

Military Times

Trump pick David Shulkin vows to reform — not privatize — VA services
 Shulkin’s parents both served in the Army, and he was born on a military base in Illinois. In his confirmation hearing earlier this month, Shulkin said the military and veterans care has played a persistent role in his life.

“As a young doctor, I trained in several VA hospitals,” he said. “I view my service at VA as a duty to give back to the men and women who secured the uniquely American freedoms and opportunities we all enjoy, because of sacrifices they made.”

He also repeatedly promised not to “privatize” VA services, and told lawmakers he would not have accepted Trump’s nomination if it came with such a requirement.

“What I told him is that I am a strong advocate for the VA, that the services that are available in VA are not available in the private sector,” Shulkin told senators. “My view of where VA needs to go is an integrated system of care, taking the best of VA and the best in the community, and that's what I would work towards.”

Military Times

Trump held his first VA listening session without veterans advocates
 In a statement, Veterans of Foreign Wars National Commander Brian Duffy praised the Senate vote as an important step ahead for the community.

"Veterans are very fortunate to have Dr. Shulkin voluntarily stay in what has evolved into the most scrutinized and criticized position in the country. And it should be," he said.

 "What he brings to the job is a love for veterans, for doing what's right, and for knowing what needs to be done to fix what's broken, to hold employees accountable, and to restore the faith of veterans in their VA. The VFW looks forward to working with him and his staff."


Paul Rieckhoff, CEO of Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America, in a statement said his membership supported Shulkin's confirmation "but now the hard work for Shulkin and the President begins."

"Big promises from the campaign must be followed by big outcomes," he said. "Dr. Shulkin knows the VA and should not require time to learn. We expect and deserve to see results right away."

Trump made VA reform a pillar of his presidential campaign, including releasing a 10-point plan which called for more mental health care professionals in the department, a private White House hotline devoted to fielding complaints from veterans, and a commission to “investigate all the fraud, cover-ups, and wrongdoing that has taken place in the VA” in recent years.

Much of that work has been stalled waiting for a new permanent head for the department. Decisions on who will serve as Shulkin’s chief of staff, top health official and other key deputies are expected to be announced in coming days.

Shulkin is the ninth permanent secretary confirmed by the Senate since the Department of Veterans Affairs was reorganized in 1989. Each of other eight were also approved without opposition, either through unanimous or voice votes.

http://www.militarytimes.com/articles/senate-confirms-shulkin-va-secretary?utm_content=buffer4cd95&utm_medium=social&utm_source=facebook.com&utm_campaign=buffer
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« Reply #213 on: February 14, 2017, 02:36:21 PM »

Senate Confirms Former Wrestling Exec McMahon to Lead SBA
Tuesday, 14 Feb 2017

In a rare display of bipartisanship, the Senate on Tuesday confirmed former wrestling entertainment executive Linda McMahon to lead the Small Business Administration as part of President Donald Trump's cabinet.

The Senate voted 81-19 to confirm McMahon, who helped start and grow World Wrestling Entertainment Inc.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., said McMahon will "prioritize growing jobs over growing government bureaucracy."

"In so many states, including mine, that's a welcome change from Washington," McConnell said.

McMahon served as the chief executive officer at WWE before stepping down in 2009 to run for the Senate. She helped WWE grow from about a dozen employees into an enterprise with more than 800.

She lost races in 2010 and 2012, spending nearly $100 million of her own money on the campaigns, but both of her Democratic opponents from Connecticut — Richard Blumenthal and Chris Murphy — endorsed her nomination to lead the Small Business Administration.

Sen. Jeanne Shaheen, D-N.H., said she has opposed several of Trump's Cabinet nominees, but she supported McMahon because she understands the agency plays a vital role in the economy through loans, disaster assistance and educational services. She said McMahon also assured her that it was important to keep the SBA as a separate agency rather than merge it with the Commerce Department, a concept she had once endorsed when running for the Senate.

The Senate has been split mostly along party lines on most of Trump's Cabinet choices. But McMahon breezed through her confirmation hearing, and a Senate panel moved her nomination to the full Senate with a vote of 18-1.
 
Leading up to the vote for McMahon, the Senate on Monday narrowly approved Steven Mnuchin to serve as the next secretary of the Treasury Department despite strong Democratic objections over a banker they dubbed the "foreclosure king." Later Monday, the Senate also approved David Shulkin to serve as the next secretary of the Department of Veterans Affairs.

The McMahon confirmation likely represents a lull before more hotly contested confirmation battles ensue, most notably that of Andrew Puzder to serve as the next labor secretary. Four Republicans on the Senate panel considering his nomination aren't saying publicly whether they will vote for him.

The SBA is best known for the small business loans it makes and the disaster aid it provides to companies and entrepreneurs. The agency is also tasked with monitoring government officials' compliance with contract laws. Its budget is generally under $1 billion.

http://www.newsmax.com/Politics/US-Senate-Trump-Cabinet/2017/02/14/id/773534/
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« Reply #214 on: February 14, 2017, 03:15:37 PM »

Steven Mnuchin Confirmed as Treasury Secretary
Posted on February 13, 2017
by Keith Koffler

From the Washington Examiner:

President Trump has his economic right-hand man in place.

The Senate voted Monday evening to confirm Steven Mnuchin, a former investor, banker and Trump campaign official, to be the 77th secretary of the treasury. Sen. Joe Manchin, D-W.Va., was the only Democrat to vote with Republicans, and the nominee was confirmed 53-47.

Confirmation means that Mnuchin will be in a position to help carry out Trump’s ambitious agenda for cutting tax rates, lessening financial regulation and revamping trade agreements.

The treasury secretary is the top economic post in an administration, and Mnuchin’s swearing-in will go a long way toward filling out Trump’s understaffed Cabinet and, potentially, facilitating the president’s legislative agenda.

http://www.whitehousedossier.com/2017/02/13/steven-mnuchin-confirmed-treasury-secretary/
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« Reply #215 on: February 15, 2017, 05:28:56 PM »

Labor pick Puzder withdraws from consideration amid controversy
By  Barnini Chakraborty   
Published February 15, 2017
FoxNews.com

Fast-food chain CEO Andrew Puzder withdrew from consideration for Labor secretary Wednesday afternoon, amid mounting controversy over his personal and professional past.

Puzder issued a statement removing his name on the eve of his scheduled Senate hearing, where lawmakers on both sides of the aisle were preparing for tough questioning.

"After careful consideration and discussions with my family, I am withdrawing my nomination for Secretary of Labor," he said in the statement.

"I am honored to have been considered by President Donald Trump to lead the Department of Labor and put America's workers and businesses back on a path to sustainable prosperity. I want to thank President Trump for his nomination. I also thank my family and my many supporters - employees, businesses, friends and people who have voiced their praise and hopeful optimism for the policies and new thinking I would have brought to America as Secretary of Labor."

The decision is the latest blow for the Trump administration, coming on the heels of national security adviser Michael Flynn resigning amid a controversy over his past contact with the Russian ambassador.

Puzder's problems have been mounting for weeks, but were concentrating as several Senate Republicans made clear they were withholding support ahead of his previously scheduled Senate hearing.

Well-placed senior Capitol Hill sources told Fox News that “about a dozen” Republican senators expressed reservations or concerns about Puzder, and told their leadership they were not prepared to support his nomination.

Puzder’s high-profile divorce including past abuse allegations from his ex-wife; revelations that his family had hired an undocumented immigrant as their housekeeper; and his business background all have cast a harsh spotlight on the executive. Puzder could not afford to lose much Republican backing, since the GOP has a slim majority in the Senate.

While several of Trump's Cabinet nominees have faced tight confirmation votes -- with Vice President Pence even being called to break a tie earlier this month -- Puzder becomes the first Trump pick to withdraw.

A total of three Cabinet picks withdrew from consideration under then-President Barack Obama; while two did so during the George W. Bush administration and five withdrew during the Bill Clinton administration.

While the abuse allegations from Puzder's ex-wife -- and especially an interview she did with Oprah Winfrey decades ago that resurfaced in light of his nomination -- have attracted the most attention, his ex-wife, Lisa Fierstein, has retracted those claims.

She told Fox News in a statement that her "privacy has been invaded," as she lashed out at the media and critics of her former husband.

But the issue has hung over his nomination.

Before he withdrew, top Republican leaders said they supported him and were confident he’d be confirmed.

"I'm a strong supporter of Andy Puzder. I think he's uniquely qualified for this job," Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., said Tuesday.

Puzder is the CEO of CKE Restaurants, which franchises the fast food chains Hardee’s and Carl’s Jr.

“It is extremely unfortunate that the confirmation process has resulted in a qualified and dedicated man withdrawing from the Labor Secretary nomination,” Leslie Shedd, a spokeswoman for the National Restaurant Association, said in a written statement. “Andy Puzder would have made a great Labor Secretary.”

Others were eager to see him out of the running. Democratic senators days ago had called on the administration to withdraw the pick, also citing his labor policy stances.

“Given his relationship to his employees, he wasn’t fit to lead a department responsible for defending workers,” Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders tweeted Wednesday afternoon.

Former Labor Secretary Tom Perez also weighed in on Twitter saying Puzder is “unfit to be in charge of protecting workers.”

“We need someone with moral authority,” Perez said.

Puzder, had he been able to survive the confirmation battle, would have been the first labor secretary in decades to hold the post with no prior public service experience.

Puzder had been a strong supporter of Trump on the campaign trail. In addition to serving as economic adviser to the president he and his wife also donated $332,000 to Trump, joint fundraising committees and to the Republican National Committee.

http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2017/02/15/labor-pick-puzder-withdraws-from-consideration-amid-controversy.html
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« Reply #216 on: February 16, 2017, 10:51:19 AM »

Trump to announce Alexander Acosta as labor secretary pick
By John King, Manu Raju and Dan Merica, CNN
Thu February 16, 2017

(CNN)President Donald Trump will announce Thursday his plan to nominate Alexander Acosta to be labor secretary, two sources familiar with the plan tell CNN. The nomination comes one day after Andy Puzder, Trump's first pick to lead the department, withdrew his nomination.

Acosta, who is currently the dean of the Florida International University School of Law, is a former member of the National Labor Relations Board, a position he was nominated to by former President George W. Bush.

If confirmed, Acosta -- the son of Cuban immigrants - would be the first Hispanic member of Trump's Cabinet.
NBC News first reported Acosta as the pick.

He clerked for Supreme Court Justice Samuel Alito when he sat on the Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit and practiced law at Kirkland & Ellis in Washington.

Puzder, Trump's first pick to leader the Labor Department, withdrew his nomination Wednesday after Republican senators began telling the White House that they would not back the nominee.

Puzder, the CEO of the company that owns the Hardee's and Carl's Jr. fast food chains, faced fierce opposition mostly from Democrats in part related to his position on labor issues as well as the fact that he employed an undocumented immigrant housekeeper.

But Republicans, too, had grown weary of the range of liabilities facing Puzder, and senior GOP officials informed the White House Tuesday night and Wednesday that Puzder lacked a viable path for confirmation.

The turbulent nomination process wore on Puzder, too, with aides close to the nominee telling CNN that he was taken aback by the harshness of politics.

http://www.cnn.com/2017/02/16/politics/donald-trump-white-house-announcement/
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« Reply #217 on: February 16, 2017, 10:52:28 AM »

Senate Confirms Mulvaney as Budget Chief
Thursday, 16 Feb 2017

The Senate has confirmed President Donald Trump's pick to run the White House budget office, giving Republicans' tea party wing a voice in Trump's Cabinet.

Rep. Mick Mulvaney squeaked through the Senate on a 51-49 vote. Armed Services Committee Chairman John McCain, who's emerging as perhaps the most vocal Republican critic of the Trump administration, opposed Mulvaney for backing cuts to Pentagon spending.

Mulvaney's confirmation promises to accelerate work on Trump's upcoming budget plan. The South Carolina Republican brings staunchly conservative credentials to the post, though Trump has indicated he not interested in tackling popular benefit programs like Social Security and Medicare and wants a major investment in infrastructure programs like highways.

Democrats opposed Mulvaney over his support for curbing the growth of Medicare and Social Security and other issues.

http://www.newsmax.com/Politics/US-Trump-Cabinet-The/2017/02/16/id/774003/
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« Reply #218 on: February 16, 2017, 12:52:38 PM »

best cabinet of all time....it just keeps getting better.


remember there is no such thing as crony capitalism.

Capitalism is endless boom.

cronyism is a feature of statism

lower gov spending and enforce property!

ban unions, building codes, disbar msot lawyers n judges, loer money to legal system 99% and run jails cheap

stop putting men in jail for domestic violence hysteria, make it financial penalty
end drug hysteria




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« Reply #219 on: February 17, 2017, 03:36:33 PM »

Pruitt narrowly confirmed to head EPA over Democratic objections
By  Barnini Chakraborty   
Published February 17, 2017
FoxNews.com

Oklahoma Attorney General Scott Pruitt was narrowly confirmed Friday afternoon to lead the federal agency he built a career fighting.

The Senate voted 52-46 to install Pruitt as administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency, after a heated debate.

While Democrats have blasted the nominee for his push to roll back regulations and his past statements challenging the science behind climate change, his bid more recently was complicated by a dispute over documents.

On the eve of his confirmation, Pruitt was ordered by an Oklahoma judge to hand over thousands of emails between his office and fossil fuel companies like Koch Industries and the National Coal Council to the Center for Media and Democracy, which requested the collection of emails in 2014.

CMD is accusing Pruitt and the Oklahoma attorney general’s office of ignoring multiple open records requests.

Oklahoma County District Judge Aletia Haynes Timmons said “there was an abject failure to provide prompt and reasonable access to documents requested.”

As of Thursday night, the attorney general’s office had provided only 411 of the more than 3,000 emails CMD requested. The 411 emails were turned over earlier this week. The open records request was made two years ago.

Pruitt’s office maintains they have done nothing wrong and that they handle requests on a “first-come, first-served system.”

Democrats used the developments to push for a delay in Pruitt’s confirmation vote but were repeatedly denied.

“Scott Pruitt and Senate Republicans have made a mockery of the confirmation process, permitting the nominee to escape scrutiny and hide his deep ties to the fossil fuel industry,” Sierra Club Legislative Director Melinda Pierce said in a written statement. “What is he hiding in all of these emails?”

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell slammed efforts to postpone it as another delay tactic by Democrats that was “unprecedented, harmful and pointless.”

“It’s one thing to obstruct to get some outcome, really these are a collection of futile gestures, not changing the outcome of these nominations,” he said from the Senate floor Friday.

Sen. Al Franken, D-Minn., pushed back on the accusations from Republicans that Democrats are purposely trying to stall the vote to get back at Trump.

“We have a nominee here who has sued the EPA 18 times!” Franken said. “We don’t think this nominee is qualified. It has nothing to do with us not recognizing the results of the election.”

Open records aside, Pruitt’s nomination has been controversial from the start.

As attorney general of Oklahoma, he sued the very department he was tapped by President Trump to run 14 times, often joining forces with the country’s largest fossil fuel companies against the EPA. He’s also openly questioned the science of climate change and challenged data that says humans contribute to global warming.

Pruitt’s also argued the EPA should have most of its authority stripped.  His open antipathy for the department had many wondering why he’d want to lead it.

The New York Times reported that employees of the EPA have been calling their senators to urge them to vote against Pruitt. The display of defiance foreshadows turmoil between those employed by the agency and a man who has built a career on fighting it.

“It seems like Trump and Pruitt want a complete reversal of what EPA has done,” Nicole Cantello, an EPA lawyer who heads the Chicago branch of the union representing EPA’s 15,000 employees nationwide. “I don’t know if there’s any other agency that’s been so reviled. So it’s in our interest to do this.”

Republican lawmakers supporting Pruitt say he’s the right man to “modernize the agency” and will work to make sure the EPA doesn’t overstep its authority.

“He has consistently fought against federal intrusion,” Sen. Orrin Hatch, R-Utah, said. “The EPA must accept the limits of federal power.”

Sen. Dan Sullivan, R-Alaska, also supported Pruitt’s nomination. He argues Pruitt will clean up the EPA which he says has abused its power over the past eight years.

“We’ve had an agency that doesn’t list mistakes, ignores rule of law… and believes it has the power to regulate every nook and cranny of American life.” Sullivan said in a floor speech. “It’s been an enormous power grab. They regulate puddles.”

Despite the pushback, Pruitt’s confirmation seemed to be a done deal. Two Democratic senators, North Dakota’s Heidi Heitkamp and West Virginia’s Joe Manchin, announced earlier they would vote in favor of his confirmation.

On the Republican side, Sen. Susan Collins of Maine opposed it. Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., skipped the vote to attend a conference in Germany.

http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2017/02/17/pruitt-narrowly-confirmed-to-head-epa-over-democratic-objections.html
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« Reply #220 on: February 17, 2017, 05:19:01 PM »

I see a theme here...
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« Reply #221 on: February 17, 2017, 06:29:05 PM »

Trump’s Team: Who’s who in president’s Cabinet, White House
Published January 24, 2017
FoxNews.com
 
President Trump quickly announced his picks for key Cabinet and White House positions after the November election. The following are his selections – Cabinet nominees are subject to Senate confirmation.

Cabinet members that have been confirmed
Individuals Trump has nominated and Senate has confirmed.

Rex Tillerson (CONFIRMED)
Secretary of State
CEO, ExxonMobil
GOP senators challenge Trump on secretary of state prospect's Russia ties

James Mattis (CONFIRMED)
Secretary of Defense
Retired Marine general; former commander of U.S. Central Command
Mattis says he's 'grateful' to be nominated as defense secretary; House GOP introduces waiver language

Steven Mnuchin (CONFIRMED)
Secretary of Treasury
Trump campaign finance chairman; former Goldman Sachs partner; Hollywood producer
Trump nominates Steven Mnuchin for Treasury secretary

Jeff Sessions (CONFIRMED)
Attorney General
U.S. senator, Alabama
Lobbying push in full swing to confirm Sessions as AG

Tom Price (CONFIRMED)
Secretary of Health and Human Services
U.S. representative, Georgia; chairman of House Budget Committee; orthopedic surgeon
Trump nominates Rep. Tom Price for HHS secretary

Betsy DeVos (CONFIRMED)
Secretary of Education
Charter school advocate; philanthropist; Republican donor
Trump picks charter school advocate Betsy DeVos for education secretary

Elaine Chao (CONFIRMED)
Secretary of Transportation
Former Labor secretary
Trump nominates Elaine Chao to be Transportation Secretary

Nikki Haley (CONFIRMED)
U.S. Ambassador to United Nations
Governor of South Carolina
Trump chooses South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley as UN ambassador

John Kelly (CONFIRMED)
Secretary of Homeland Security
Retired Marine general; former commander of U.S. Southern Command

Linda McMahon (CONFIRMED)
Administrator of the Small Business Administration
Former CEO of World Wrestling Entertainment

David Shulkin (CONFIRMED)
Secretary of Veterans Affairs
Under secretary for health for the Department of Veterans Affairs; former hospital executive

Mick Mulvaney (CONFIRMED)
Director of Office of Management and Budget
U.S. representative, South Carolina; former South Carolina state senator and representative
Trump taps conservative South Carolina Rep. Mulvaney as budget chief

Scott Pruitt (CONFIRMED)
Administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency
Oklahoma attorney general; former state senator
Trump to nominate EPA critic Pruitt to lead agency

Cabinet nominees pending confirmation
Individuals that Trump has nominated but Senate has not yet confirmed.

Rick Perry
Secretary of Energy
Former Texas governor; former Texas agriculture commissioner, two-time presidential candidate
Trump announces Perry as pick for energy secretary

Ryan Zinke
Secretary of Interior
U.S. representative, Montana; member of House Natural Resources Committee; former Navy SEAL
Trump announces Rep. Zinke as choice for Interior secretary

Ben Carson
Secretary of Housing and Urban Development
Former director of pediatric neurosurgery at Johns Hopkins Hospital; 2016 candidate for president
Trump to nominate Carson as HUD secretary

Wilbur Ross
Secretary of Commerce
Investor; former banker

Robert Lighthizer
U.S. Trade Representative
Former deputy U.S. trade representative

Sonny Perdue
Secretary of Agriculture
Former Georgia governor

Alexander Acosta
Secretary of Labor
Florida International University College of Law dean; former federal prosecutor; former labor relations board member

Nominees out of contention

Andrew Puzder (WITHDREW FROM CONSIDERATION)
Secretary of Labor
CEO, CKE Restaurants Inc.
Fast food exec Puzder is Trump's pick for Labor secretary
White House

Individuals Trump has appointed

Reince Priebus
Chief of Staff
Chairman of Republican National Committee
Priebus backs Trump, ‘Don’t want that drone back’

Michael Flynn
National Security Adviser
Former director of Defense Intelligence Agency; retired Army lieutenant general

Stephen K. Bannon
Chief Strategist
Executive chairman of Breitbart News

Donald McGahn
White House Counsel
Former member of the Federal Election Commission
Trump taps campaign attorney Donald McGahn as White House counsel

Kellyanne Conway
Counselor to the President
Former Trump campaign manager and senior adviser; pollster

Sean Spicer
Press Secretary
Chief strategist and communications director, Republican National Committee

http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2017/01/24/trump-s-team-who-s-who-in-president-s-cabinet-white-house.html
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« Reply #222 on: February 20, 2017, 03:14:57 PM »

Trump selects Lt. Gen. H.R. McMaster as national security adviser
Published February 20, 2017
FoxNews.com

President Trump on Monday tapped Army Lt. Gen. H.R. McMaster, a warrior-scholar deemed an expert in counter insurgency, to be the director of the White House's National Security Council.

The 54-year-old McMaster replaces retired Army Lt. Gen. Michael Flynn as the president’s national security adviser. Flynn was forced to resign after lying about talking to Russia, before he officially took the NSA post, about recently imposed sanctions.

“He is a man of tremendous talent and experience,” Trump said in announcing McMaster’s appointment. “He’s highly respected in the military, and we're lucky to have him.”

Trump also announced that Lt. Gen. Keith Kellogg will remain as the NSC’s chief of staff.

“I’m proud to continue my service to the nation,” said McMaster, sitting next to Trump inside the president’s Florida resort home Mar-a-Lago.

Trump on Sunday interviewed several NSC candidates, in an attempt to solidify the intelligence team, days after calling for Flynn’s resignation.

McMaster is a Philadelphia native and West Point graduate who fought in the Persian Gulf War and served in Iraq and Afghanistan.

“This is a great team,” Trump said. “The country is honored to have two people like this, and after having met so many people in the military, we're lucky to have all of them.”

Said Kellogg: "I'm honored and privileged to serve alongside Gen. McMaster. He's a great statesman."

Trump also thanked the others he interviewed this past weekend including former U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations John Bolton.

The president said Bolton has “a good number of ideas that I agree with very much" and that he will work for him in a “different capacity.”

McMaster is currently director of the Army Capabilities Integration Center. He joined the Army in 1984 and distinguished himself seven years later during the Gulf War in what would become known as the Battle of 73 Easting.

As captain of the 2nd Armored Cavalry Regiment's Eagle Troop, McMaster led a force of just nine tanks that took out more than 80 Iraqi Republican Guard tanks and armored vehicles.

He is the author of the 1997 book, "Dereliction of Duty," which criticized the U.S. government's handling of the Vietnam War.

In his latest role, McMaster was tasked with gauging the U.S, military capability against future threats. When he addressed lawmakers in April of last year, he warned that years of military cuts have left the U.S. vulnerable.

“We are outranged and outgunned by many potential adversaries,” McMaster said. “[And] our army in the future risks being too small to secure the nation.”

http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2017/02/20/trump-selects-lt-gen-h-r-mcmaster-as-national-security-adviser.html
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« Reply #223 on: February 27, 2017, 07:12:22 PM »

Wilbur Ross confirmed as Commerce secretary
Published February 27, 2017
FoxNews.com
 
The Senate voted Monday to confirm billionaire investor Wilbur Ross as secretary of commerce in President Trump's Cabinet.

Ross was approved by a vote of 72-27, with 20 Democrats and Sen. Angus King, I-Maine, joining 51 Republicans to vote "aye." Sen. Johnny Isakson, R-Ga., did not vote due to his ongoing recovery from back surgery.

The Senate later voted 67-31 to move forward on the nomination of Rep. Ryan Zinke, R-Mont., to lead the Interior Department. A final vote on Zinke's confirmation is expected Wednesday.

Ross is the 14th member of Trump's Cabinet to be cofirmed, with seven nominees still to be voted on.

Senators from both political parties were deferential to Ross at his nearly four-hour confirmation hearing, which was much more subdued than the confirmation hearings of other Trump nominees.

Former Commerce secretaries have praised him, including one who served under former President Barack Obama.

"I believe his extensive management experience in the private sector, and his understanding of the challenges faced by workers and businesses alike, will equip him well for the job of leading the Department of Commerce," said Sen. John Thune, R-S.D., chairman of the Commerce Committee.

Sen. Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass., who voted "nay," had criticized Ross' business ties to Russia and the way he ran a mortgage lender during the housing crisis.

"Mr. Ross has extensive ties to Russia. He plans to keep making money from his major oil shipping companies while working as Commerce Secretary. He's made billions off the backs of struggling home owners," Warren said. "He is practically a cartoon stereotype of a Wall Street fat cat."

At his confirmation hearing, Ross was not asked about business ties to Russia or his work as a mortgage lender, and he did not address the issues.

Senators did note that Ross is divesting from much of his business empire.

Breaking with Republican orthodoxy, Ross said the Trump administration will work quickly to re-do the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), a massive trade pact with Canada and Mexico that has boosted trade but still stings laid-off workers across the Midwest.

Ross said all free trade agreements should be systematically re-opened every few years to make sure they are working in the best interests of the U.S.

Ross said he is pro-free trade but noted his close relationship with the United Steelworkers union as proof that he will fight to protect American jobs. The union has endorsed him.

NAFTA was negotiated and signed by President Bill Clinton, with broad support among Republicans in Congress.

Worth an estimated $2.9 billion, Ross has extensive business ties around the globe. In 2000, he founded WL Ross & Co., a private equity firm. As part of his ethics agreement, Ross will divest from the firm, if confirmed.

The commerce secretary has several roles in promoting American business interests in the U.S. and abroad. The department handles trade issues, working to attract foreign investment to the U.S. The department also oversees agencies that manage fisheries, weather forecasting and the Census Bureau, which will conduct a count in 2020.

Ross said he has experience at that agency; he was a census-taker while he attended business school.

http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2017/02/27/wilbur-ross-confirmed-as-commerce-secretary.html
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« Reply #224 on: March 01, 2017, 05:47:55 PM »

Ryan Zinke was confirmed with less rancor than other Trump picks, but where he'll take Interior Department isn't clear
By William Yardley
March 1, 2017

The same cannot be said for exactly what direction Zinke intends to take a sprawling department of 70,000 employees who oversee about 75% of all federal public land, most of it in the West. The agency includes the National Park Service, the U.S. Geological Survey, the Bureau of Reclamation and the Bureau of Indian Affairs.

Many environmental groups have criticized his selection, though in more muted terms than they have used for the president’s other high-profile environmental nominee, Scott Pruitt, the former Oklahoma attorney general who won only two Democratic votes in his confirmation last month to lead the Environmental Protection Agency.

“Both are my clients,” Fred Davis, a Republican strategist, wrote in response to emailed questions on Wednesday. “Love ’em both, but apples and oranges. No comparison in background.”

Pruitt as attorney general brought a wave of legal challenges against the agency he now leads. Zinke, a former Navy SEAL, has frequently referred to himself as a “Teddy Roosevelt” Republican and conservationist who favors putting public lands to “multiple use” — hiking, hunting and other forms of recreation as well as fossil fuel extraction.

He has written with reverence of growing up amid the rivers and mountains of his native Whitefish, Mont., and of completing a Boy Scout Eagle project that steered him toward “a lifetime of conservation values.”

He has said that he “absolutely” opposes the sale or transfer of public land and that he intends to address what he said was a $12-billion maintenance backlog in national parks — positions that have earned him cautious praise from conservationists and Democrats.

But environmental groups have criticized him on other positions he laid out at his confirmation hearing in January before the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee. He testified that he would be willing to revisit several decisions by the Obama administration, including its moves to halt coal leasing, ban oil and gas drilling in most of the Arctic and use the Antiquities Act to set aside parts of the West as national monuments.

He said he would like to meet with Utah officials about Obama’s decision late last year to create the 1.35-million-acre Bears Ears National Monument, an area of ancestral tribal lands in the state’s southeast corner.

His views on climate change have been elusive and sometimes muddled.

Zinke was among hundreds of state lawmakers who signed a letter in 2010 saying climate change was a dangerous threat that needed to be addressed with a new energy policy focused on renewable energy sources.

At his confirmation hearing, however, Zinke demurred when asked whether he still believed those things, saying he was “not an expert in this field.”

He also testified that climate change is real and that humans play a role in causing it, but that there is debate on how much influence they have had and what can be done to address the problem.

An overwhelming majority of scientists say humans are the primary cause of climate change and that the use of fossil fuels must be drastically reduced to avoid catastrophic changes in the coming decades.

One factor in Zinke’s confirmation has little to do with his environmental views.

Before Trump selected Zinke, Senate Republicans had hoped to recruit him to challenge Senator John Tester of Montana, a Democrat, in 2018. A victory could strengthen Republicans’ slim majority, though it was also expected to be a bitter and potentially unsuccessful effort. Zinke’s appetite for it was unclear.

On Wednesday, Tester was among the Democrats who voted for Zinke.

“I know he’ll make us proud,” Tester wrote on Twitter.

http://www.latimes.com/nation/la-na-interior-zinke-confirmed-20170301-story.html
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