Acting US Environmental Chief to Continue Deregulation

Posted: July 11, 2018, 7:10 pm

Acting US Environmental Chief to Continue Deregulation Environmental Protection Agency Acting Administrator Andrew Wheeler speaks to EPA staff, July 11, 2018, at EPA headquarters in Washington. The acting head of the Environmental Protection Agency plans to keep cutting anti-pollution rules and regulations on industry.
Andrew Wheeler held his first meeting with EPA employees Wednesday after taking over the job for Scott Pruitt, who resigned last week amid allegations of ethics violations.
Wheeler, like Pruitt and President Donald Trump, believes the nation's air and water can still be protected without what they say are job-killing regulations and pollution standards on industry.
Wheeler said the EPA would make cleaning up Superfund industrial waste sites and investing in water infrastructure priorities.
He promised to listen to all voices within the agency. “I value your input and your feedback, and you will find me and my team ready to listen,” Wheeler told staffers.
Wheele..

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Partisan Divide Deepens Over Trump’s Supreme Court Pick

Posted: July 11, 2018, 2:33 pm

Partisan Divide Deepens Over Trump’s Supreme Court Pick Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh leaves a meeting with Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., on Capitol Hill, July 11, 2018. CAPITOL HILL — A partisan divide over U.S. Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh deepened Wednesday, with Republican senators extolling his judicial record while Democrats demanded time to thoroughly vet his writings and opinions on matters ranging from environmental regulation to executive authority.
“Judge Kavanaugh is the real deal,” Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, a Kentucky Republican, said one day after a closed-door meeting with the nominee. “He has the all-star legal resume, top-flight academic credentials. His extensive judicial record is defined by fairness, thoughtfulness, thoroughness and analytical precision.”
President Donald Trump nominated Kavanaugh, 53, on Monday, making his second high court pick in as many years.
FILE – U.S. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell greets S..

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Trump High Court Pick Kavanaugh May Face Contentious Cases Soon

Posted: July 10, 2018, 7:55 pm

Trump High Court Pick Kavanaugh May Face Contentious Cases Soon With the U.S. Supreme Court building in the background, Supreme Court nominee judge Brett Kavanaugh arrives prior to meeting with Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell on Capitol Hill in Washington, July 10, 2018. WASHINGTON — President Donald Trump's Supreme Court nominee may not have to wait too long for controversial cases if he is confirmed to the job, with disputes involving abortion, immigration, gay rights, voting rights and transgender troops possibly heading toward the justices soon.
Republicans are hoping Brett Kavanaugh, the conservative U.S. appeals court judge selected on Monday by Trump to replace retiring Justice Anthony Kennedy, will be confirmed by the Senate before the next Supreme Court term opens in October.
There are no blockbusters among the 38 cases already on the docket for the justices, but they could add disputes on controversial issues being appealed from lower courts.
Abortion
Legal ba..

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Trump Replacement for Obama Climate Plan Moves Forward

Posted: July 10, 2018, 6:56 pm

Trump Replacement for Obama Climate Plan Moves Forward FILE – Smoke rises from the Colstrip Steam Electric Station, a coal-burning power plant in Colstrip, Mont., July 1, 2013. The Trump administration is advancing its plan to replace the centerpiece of President Barack Obama's efforts against global warming with a new rule expected to be more friendly to the coal industry. BILLINGS, MONTANA — The Trump administration is advancing a proposal for electric utilities that would supplant President Barack Obama's principal attempt to curtail U.S. contributions to global warming, with a new rule that's expected to go easier on the coal industry.
The Environmental Protection Agency disclosed Tuesday that it sent the new rule the White House for review. The document itself was not released, but President Donald Trump has been outspoken in his desire to prop up the ailing coal industry by rolling back what he considers burdensome regulations.
Burning coal to generate electricit..

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Senate Panel OKs Trump’s Pick to Lead Troubled VA

Posted: July 10, 2018, 6:32 pm

Senate Panel OKs Trump's Pick to Lead Troubled VA Veterans Affairs Secretary nominee Robert Wilkie testifies during a Senate Veterans Affairs Committee nominations hearing on Capitol Hill in Washington, June 27, 2018. WASHINGTON — A Senate panel voted Tuesday to approve President Donald Trump's nominee to lead Veterans Affairs, a department beset by political infighting and turmoil over providing health care.
The Senate Veterans Affairs Committee agreed on voice vote to back Robert Wilkie, currently serving as a Pentagon undersecretary. Independent Sen. Bernie Sanders of Vermont cast a “no” vote.
Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., joins protesters outside the Capitol as Republicans in the Senate work to pass their sweeping tax bill. Wilkie has pledged to “shake up complacency” at the VA, which has struggled with long waits in providing medical treatment to millions of veterans.
Under repeated questioning by Democrats during his confirmation hearing last month, the Air Force and..

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Former Trump Aide Flynn Eager to Get to Sentencing, Lawyer says

Posted: July 10, 2018, 6:30 pm

Former Trump Aide Flynn Eager to Get to Sentencing, Lawyer says Former Trump national security adviser Michael Flynn leaves federal courthouse in Washington, July 10, 2018, following a status hearing. Michael Flynn, President Donald Trump's former national security adviser who pleaded guilty in a case related to the Russian election collusion investigation, is eager to move to the sentencing phase and put his legal ordeal behind him, Flynn's lawyer said at a hearing on Tuesday.
Robert Kelner confirmed at the hearing that his client continues to cooperate with U.S. Special Counsel Robert Mueller's investigation of any links between Trump's 2016 presidential campaign and Russia. Kelner also indicated the evidence the judge had ordered Mueller provide to Flynn's legal team had not altered his case.
Flynn's court appearance on Tuesday was his first since he pleaded guilty in December to lying to agents from the Federal Bureau of Investigation about his discu..

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Proposed Rule May Affect US Legal Immigration  

Posted: July 10, 2018, 5:45 pm

Proposed Rule May Affect US Legal Immigration FILE – People line up outside the building that houses the immigration courts in Los Angeles, June 28, 2018. By the end of July, the Trump administration is expected to take a step closer to another sweeping policy shift that could block millions of foreigners from coming to the United States or from staying in the country if they have had access to certain public benefits, like children's health care.
One team of analysts says the revamped “public charge” policy could lead to U.S. citizens in mixed-status families not getting crucial services they need and are entitled to out of fear that it could jeopardize a relative’s immigration status.
It all comes down to how the U.S. government defines a “public charge,” and the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) is pushing for a change.
Draft versions of the document leaked to media outlets earlier this year reveal the U.S. government intends to broaden which immigrants could be consider..

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Abortion Issue Likely to Dominate Top Court Pick Hearings

Posted: July 10, 2018, 2:44 pm

Abortion Issue Likely to Dominate Top Court Pick Hearings FILE – A pro-choice supporter is confronted by pro-life supporters at a rally in front of the U.S. Supreme Court in Washington January 22, 2007. WASHINGTON — If recent history is any indication, the confirmation hearing of Brett Kavanaugh, President Donald Trump's latest Supreme Court pick, is likely to be dominated by questions about his views of Roe v. Wade.
The landmark 1973 Supreme Court ruling, which held that the U.S. Constitution protects a woman's right to a have an abortion, stands as one of the high court's most controversial and divisive decisions of the past century.
While polls show a majority of Americans support legal abortion, Roe v. Wade continues to divide broad swaths of society, pitting advocates, who see the decision as giving women power over their lives, against foes, who view it as an affront to the sanctity of life.
But the fracas over abortion predates Roe v. Wade. According to Peter C..

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Trump’s Supreme Court Pick Woos Senators Amid Partisan Storm

Posted: July 10, 2018, 1:00 pm

Trump's Supreme Court Pick Woos Senators Amid Partisan Storm U.S. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell greets Supreme Court nominee Judge Brett Kavanaugh and Vice President Mike Pence for a meeting in his office at the U.S. Capitol on Capitol Hill in Washington, July 10, 2018. CAPITOL HILL — One day after U.S. President Donald Trump nominated him for the Supreme Court, federal judge Brett Kavanaugh on Tuesday met with Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and other top Republicans, accompanied by Vice President Mike Pence.
“The president really could not have done a better job of picking an extraordinarily well-qualified nominee,” McConnell, who represents Kentucky, said after the encounter. “We believe it's possible to handle this nomination fully by the fall.”
Kavanaugh, 53, took part in investigations of former President Bill Clinton, helped former President George W. Bush prevail in the 2000 Florida vote recount battle, and served in the Bush administration before Bu..

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