November, 2016

Trump Considers Goldman Exec as Budget Chief

President-elect Donald Trump is considering Goldman Sachs President Gary Cohn for a senior administration job, possibly as director of the Office of Management and Budget, Politico reports.

“People familiar with the matter say Cohn’s meeting with Trump on Tuesday included talks about a potential job in the new administration, possibly to run OMB, a sprawling office that will handle much of Trump’s budget policy after he takes office in January.”

Pelosi Fends Off Leadership Challenge

Rep. Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) beat back a challenge from Rep. Tim Ryan (D-OH)  to win her party’s re-election to continue serving as House Democratic leader in the next Congress, the Wall Street Journal reports.

“Mrs. Pelosi prevailed despite concerns from some rank-and-file Democrats that she represented an outdated approach that neglected to see the party’s failure to connect with voters in the Midwest and South, particularly the white working-class voters who flocked to Donald Trump on Election Day and probably provided the margin for him to defeat Hillary Clinton.”

Democrats Show Historic Unwillingness to Drop Leaders

Joshua Spivak: “Despite being out of power in the House for all but four of the last 22 years, the Democrats have not kicked out any of their leaders. While Speaker Jim Wright resigned in 1989 due to scandal, no other Democratic speaker or leader (either majority or minority) has been removed by the party or left early.”

“After losing control in the House in 2010, Nancy Pelosi stayed atop the caucus as the Minority Leader. Her predecessor, Dick Gephardt, maintained his job despite continual failed elections. The same thing happened during Democratic losses of control in 1946 and 1952, with Sam Rayburn sliding from Speaker to Minority Leader.”

Trump Reaches Deal to Save 1,000 Indiana Jobs

“Carrier Corp. has reached an agreement with President-elect Donald Trump to keep ‘close to 1,000 jobs’ in the city, scrapping a plan to shift all of its Indianapolis operations to Mexico. The heating and air conditioning giant confirmed the agreement on Twitter, but did not provide details,” the Indianapolis Star reports.

“Trump and Vice President-elect Mike Pence are scheduled to appear in the city Thursday for a formal announcement, according to a transition official who requested anonymity.”

Trump Assembles a Conservative Dream Team

“Donald Trump’s education secretary nominee is a huge critic of public schools and has pushed to steer taxpayer dollars to charter schools and voucher programs. His Health and Human Services pick wants to dismantle Obamacare and privatize Medicare,” Politico reports.

“His attorney general nominee would crack down on ‘sanctuary cities’ and increase deportations of undocumented immigrants. And his choice to run the CIA believes shutting down ‘black site’ prisons was a mistake, while his national security adviser contends Islam is a threat to Western civilization.”

“Add them all up, and the president-elect is well on his way to building a conservative dream team that has Republicans cheering and liberals in despair.”

Anti-Trump Forces Launch Assault on Electoral College

“Anti-Trump forces are preparing an unprecedented assault on the Electoral College, marked by a wave of lawsuits and an intensive lobbying effort aimed at persuading 37 Republican electors to vote for a candidate other than Donald Trump,” Politico reports.

“It’s a bracing stress-test for an institution that Alexander Hamilton envisioned as a safeguard against popular whims, and a direct challenge to the role that the Electoral College has evolved to play in picking the president: constitutional rubber stamp.”

“Behind the overt anti-Trump push is a covert agenda: If the courts establish that individual electors can switch allegiances, supporting candidates other than those who win their states, it would inject so much uncertainty into the process that states may be willing to junk the Electoral College in favor of a popular-vote winner.”

Trump Picks Signal Intent to Cut Health Programs

“President-elect Donald Trump’s choices for health secretary and administrator of the government’s largest health insurance programs have for years pursued a sharply conservative agenda that includes redefining Medicare, placing ‘personal responsibility’ requirements on low-income recipients of Medicaid, and dismantling the Affordable Care Act,” the Washington Post reports.

“If adopted, this agenda could dramatically alter access to insurance and medical services for more than 100 million Americans covered through the two entitlement programs and the ACA.”

Politico: Trump signals he’s serious about repealing Obamacare.

Trump Says He’ll Leave His Business to Be President

President-elect Donald Trump says he intends to set aside his business interests to focus on “running the country,” Bloomberg reports.

In a series of tweets on Wednesday, the President-elect wrote: “I will be holding a major news conference in New York City with my children on December 15 to discuss the fact that I will be leaving my great business in total in order to fully focus on running the country in order to make America great again!”

Trump Seems Less Interested In ‘Draining the Swamp’

“President-elect Donald Trump is turning to a reliable stable of Republican and business world power brokers to fill out his administration, signaling he’s looking to push his agenda using the political apparatus he famously pledged to dismantle,” CNN reports.

“Trump is expected to name his top fundraiser and former Goldman Sachs banker Steven Mnuchin to the Treasury Department, pulling from a Wall Street world he once criticized as having ‘total control’ over his campaign opponents. Wilbur Ross, a billionaire businessman, will be his Commerce secretary. Tuesday’s announcements of Georgia Rep. Tom Price to run the Department of Health and Human Services and Elaine Chao to lead the Department of Transportation added two more Washington movers and shakers to the Trump Cabinet.”

“Trump pledged in his campaign to ‘drain the swamp’ in Washington, but has also repeatedly said that he will look to people who understand the capital to help him govern. His selection of Indiana Gov. Mike Pence, a former congressman, as vice president and chairman of his transition and choosing long-time political powerbrokers like GOP fundraiser Betsy DeVos as secretary of Education is part of that pattern.”

More Than a Dozen Democrats May Turn on Pelosi

“But while Ryan is still expected to fall short in his bid for leader, more than a dozen lawmakers who have told Pelosi they planned on supporting her have told BuzzFeed News they were either wavering or fully intended to support Ryan. The members spoke on the condition of anonymity for fear of alienating their once, and probably future, leader. The vote will be held on a secret ballot, allowing members to publicly declare their intent for Pelosi while later voting against her.”

Trump Picks Mnuchin for Treasury Secretary

Steven Mnuchin, “a financier with deep roots on Wall Street and in Hollywood but no government experience, is expected to be named Donald Trump’s Treasury secretary as soon as Wednesday,” the New York Times reports.

“As Treasury secretary, Mr. Mnuchin would play an important role in shaping the administration’s economic policies, including a package of promised tax cuts, increased spending on infrastructure and changes in the terms of foreign trade. He could also help lead any effort to roll back President Obama’s nuclear deal with Iran and opening to Cuba by reimposing sanctions on Tehran and Havana.”

Trump Offering Big Perks for Inaugural Donors

“Donald Trump’s inaugural committee is offering huge perks — prime tickets, luxurious lodging, access to the president-elect himself — in exchange for six- and seven-figure contributions from individual and corporate contributors,” according to the Center for Public Integrity.

Meanwhile, the Wall Street Journal reports Trump’s transition team “is offering supporters a rare opportunity: breakfast in New York with the next president for $5,000 — pocket change for many of the team’s wealthy fundraisers. Wall Street investors and lobbyists top the list of fundraisers for next week’s event, which is expected to raise $4 million.”

Democrats Plan Assault on Trump’s Ethics

“Democrats are looking to create big headaches for Donald Trump over his unprecedented ethical conflicts,” Politico reports.

“In the 11 days since the Republican’s upset victory, the president-elect’s political opponents have hammered him for giving no sign that he will follow historic norms and really separate himself from his vast financial holdings. They’re baffled that Trump and his family are still promoting their businesses, especially on an official transition website, and they’re questioning how Trump’s son-in-law can legally land a job in the White House.”