A Few More Obama Rule Repeals Now Await President Trump’s Signature

More legislation rolling back late Obama-era rules headed to President Trump’s desk this week, after they were approved by the Senate. Regulations that would have forced federal contractors to disclose wage and labor law violations going back three years now face the chopping block. So, too, do rules on land-planning that Republicans say would crowd-out the input of local and state governments. A resolution of disapproval on the contractor disclosure rule passed the Senate on Monday, while a similar procedure on the land regulation advanced… Keep Reading

Torture Architects and Overseers Ordered to Testify in Gitmo Trial

For the first time, key figures associated with the CIA’s post-9/11 enhanced interrogation program could be forced to testify under oath about their activities. During a death penalty trial at Guantanamo Bay on Tuesday, a military judge permitted defense attorneys to call as witnesses four former CIA officials with intimate knowledge of the agency’s torture tactics. Abd Al-Rahim Al-Nashiri is accused of plotting the 2000 bombing of the USS Cole. His defense team is moving to dismiss evidence against their client that was collected while Nashiri… Keep Reading

Trump Pick to Oversee DOJ Civil Matters Unprepared to Defend His “Two-For-One” Deregulation Order

President Trump’s nominee to oversee major regulatory organs at the Department of Justice wasn’t prepared on Tuesday to defend one of his first executive orders on federal rulemaking—the “two-for-one” decree requiring two old regulations to be repealed before a new one is implemented. Rachel Brand, Trump’s pick to be Associate Attorney General, told Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) that she wasn’t sure if the Jan. 30 order complies with federal law. “Any regulatory action taken by any agency of the government has to comply with the… Keep Reading

GOP’s Obamacare Replacement Under Fire From All Sides

Republicans in Congress introduced the American Health Care Act on Monday, drawing disappointment and disgust from several factions in Washington. Touted as the replacement to the Affordable Care Act (ACA), the bill is being panned by Democrats who argue it will result in fewer people covered and higher out-of-pocket costs. More of a concern for Republican leadership, fellow conservatives are also deriding the legislation. Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) described the proposal as “Obamacare Lite.” Rep. Justin Amash (R-Mich.) called it “Obamacare 2.0.” The highly influential… Keep Reading

SCOTUS Overturns Guilty Verdict Because of Racist Ex-Cop Juror

The Supreme Court ordered Colorado to reconsider a guilty verdict because one juror involved in the trial had openly expressed “anti-Hispanic bias.” Justices voted 5-3 on Monday to reverse and remand the decision back to the state’s court system. “It must become the heritage of our Nation to rise above racial classifications that are so inconsistent with our commitment to the equal dignity of all persons,” Justice Anthony Kennedy wrote for the majority. In 2007, Miguel Angel Pena-Rodriguez was convicted of unlawful sexual contact and… Keep Reading

Democratic Chiefs Unified: Sessions Must Resign

The minority party’s congressional leadership is calling on Attorney General Jeff Sessions to step down following revelations that he may have lied during his confirmation hearing, when denying he had spoken with Russian government officials during last year’s presidential campaign. According to a Washington Post report on Wednesday, while still a senator, Sessions met twice with Russia’s ambassador to the US, contradicting testimony he gave to the Senate Judiciary Committee. “After lying under oath to Congress about his own communications with the Russians, the Attorney General… Keep Reading

House Passes Bills to Give Trump More Power over Agency Rulemaking

The House of Representatives advanced two bills on Wednesday that would expand presidential influence over the federal rulemaking process. One piece of legislation would subject independent agency draft regulations to White House review—through the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs (OIRA). Another would create a board, composed of presidential appointees, “to determine if a rule or set of rules should be repealed.” Both proposals advanced roughly along party lines through the Republican-controlled body. No less than a dozen members on both sides crossed the aisle… Keep Reading

Golfer-in-Chief Gives Boosts to U.S. Courses, Including His Own

An Obama-era rule intended to protect waterways from run-off pollution was put on track for termination by the Trump administration on Tuesday, once again raising the specter that his administration is ridden by conflicts of interest. The “Waters of the United States” rule had long been a target of GOP politicos working at the behest of energy and agricultural interests that would be affected by the regulation. Its repeal was also heavily lobbied for by the golf course industry. The Trump Organization’s holdings include 12… Keep Reading

Trump National Park Overseer, Climate Change “Debater,” Passes Senate With Help of Seventeen Dems

President Trump’s Secretary of the Interior was confirmed on Wednesday by the Senate. Rep. Ryan Zinke (R-Mont.) was approved by the upper chamber in a 68-31 vote, with 17 members of the Democratic Caucus backing his nomination. Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) spoke out against Zinke’s selection before the vote, casting doubt on the Congressman’s prior pledges to oppose the sale of public lands. The Department of the Interior oversees, among other agencies, the country’s National Park Service. “You can’t be a Roosevelt Conservationist, when… Keep Reading

New District Sentinel Radio: Congressional Trump Stump Preview

We’re having some technical difficulties on Soundcloud & iTunes at the moment, so we’re temporarily posting the latest edition of District Sentinel Radio here. Enjoy! On the show: -A million reasons for Dems to interrupt -Scott Pruitt fibbed about going Hillary on emails -Corporate #Content: What the FCC craves -Jeff Sessions, Retire   Broadcasted from Washington, DC Music courtesy of Adam Fligsten (http://adamfligsten.com/)   Contribute to our Patreon: www.patreon.com/DistrictSentinel/ www.districtsentinel.com/ Facebook: www.facebook.com/DistrictSentinel/ Twitter: www.twitter.com/TheDCSentinel Keep Reading

“Insider Threat” Failures: Unauthorized Leaks Back Up in 2016

The Department of Justice received 37 allegations of illegal leaks within the federal government last year, almost double the number reported in 2015. Despite several measures put in place by former President Obama to prevent illegal disclosures, the latest figures track closely with a leak trend dating back to 2009. Since that year, the DOJ has received 39.7 leak crime reports on average every year. The 2016 figures were released on Monday in response to a Freedom of Information Act request from investigative journalists Steven… Keep Reading

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