web analytics
a

Facebook

Twitter

Copyright 2015 Libero Themes.
All Rights Reserved.

8:30 - 6:00

Our Office Hours Mon. - Fri.

703-406-7616

Call For Free 15/M Consultation

Facebook

Twitter

Search
Menu
Westlake Legal Group > Posts tagged "Trump, Donald J" (Page 97)

House Votes to Block Arms Sales to Gulf Nations, Setting Up Trump’s Third Veto

Westlake Legal Group 17dc-saudi--facebookJumbo House Votes to Block Arms Sales to Gulf Nations, Setting Up Trump’s Third Veto Yemen War and Emergency Powers (US) Vetoes (US) United States Politics and Government United States International Relations United Arab Emirates Trump, Donald J Saudi Arabia Mohammed bin Salman (1985- ) Law and Legislation Human Rights and Human Rights Violations House of Representatives Arms Trade

WASHINGTON — The House gave final passage on Wednesday to a series of measures that would block the sale of billions of dollars of arms to Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates, sending to President Trump a fresh rebuke of his administration’s efforts to circumvent Congress to help Persian Gulf allies prosecute a disastrous war in Yemen.

A scattering of Republicans and the House’s lone independent, Justin Amash of Michigan, joined Democrats in three back-to-back votes, submitting for the record their stewing anger at Mr. Trump’s resolute support of Saudi Arabia and his use of emergency powers to sidestep Congress, this time with a declaration of an emergency over Iran.

“If the administration wants to sell these weapons, they should follow the law — not misuse it — and come to Congress,” said Representative Eliot L. Engel, the New York Democrat who is the chairman of the Foreign Affairs Committee. The Iran emergency, he continued, was “phony” and devised “to trample on this body’s constitutional duties.”

It is the second time in recent months that Congress has passed bipartisan legislation condemning the administration’s relationship with Saudi Arabia. Lawmakers in both parties have been incensed that the president has done nothing to punish the kingdom for the grisly killing of Jamal Khashoggi, a Saudi dissident and Virginia-based Washington Post columnist, even after the Central Intelligence Agency concluded that Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman ordered the killing.

In April, lawmakers voted to end American military involvement in Saudi Arabia’s war in Yemen by invoking the rarely used War Powers Act of 1973, only to see Mr. Trump veto the resolution.

No other foreign policy issue has created as large a rift between the president and Congress, and the vote to block the arms sales deepens the divide. But the outrage on Capitol Hill has limits, particularly in the president’s own party. The measures approved on Wednesday, and already passed by the Senate, are likely to meet the same fate as the resolution to end military support to the war in Yemen: death by veto. Republicans are unlikely to provide enough votes to override what would be Mr. Trump’s third veto of his presidency.

The White House announced the munitions sales in May, invoking an emergency provision in the Arms Export Control Act to allow American companies to sell $8.1 billion worth of munitions in 22 pending transfers. Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates are waging an air war in Yemen that has come under sharp criticism from Congress and human rights organizations. A State Department official, R. Clarke Cooper, testified before the Senate last week that the munitions had yet to be delivered, nearly 50 days after the emergency had been declared.

Members of Congress from both parties had been holding up arms sales from American companies to Persian Gulf nations and trying to end United States military support for the Saudi-led coalition that is fighting the Houthi rebels in Yemen, which has resulted in what the United Nations calls the world’s worst man-made humanitarian disaster. But by declaring an emergency over Iran, a move that Secretary of State Mike Pompeo pushed hard for, the administration was able to blow through lawmakers’ holds and the 30-day review period Congress normally receives to examine a sale.

Representative Michael McCaul of Texas, the top Republican on the Foreign Affairs Committee, urged his colleagues to vote down the resolutions even though he had previously described the use of emergency authority “unfortunate” and argued that not all 22 sales necessitated emergency certifications.

“The decision to move forward with these arms sales is part of a larger effort to deter Iran,” Mr. McCaul said. “A key part of that effort is to empower greater burden sharing by enhancing the defense capabilities of our allies. These sales provide more options for deterring Iran that do not all depend on U.S. intervention.”

Lawmakers have never successfully blocked an arms sale, but presidents historically have worked with Congress to make concessions after legislators voice opposition. Administrations have also seldom used the emergency provision in the Arms Export Control Act.

When President Ronald Reagan notified Congress in 1984 of the administration’s intent to sell Saudi Arabia the stinger missile system, citing Iraqi attacks on Iranian oil facilities and Iranian attacks on Kuwaiti and Saudi ships, the legislative opposition was so swift that Mr. Reagan withdrew the sales from consideration. Two years later, when his administration announced its intent to make the sale a second time, Congress moved to block it, spurring a veto.

With the threat of Mr. Trump’s vetoes looming large — and apparently little appetite to override them — some lawmakers have been casting about for an alternative the president might accept.

This month, Senator Jim Risch, an Idaho Republican and Trump loyalist who is the chairman of the Foreign Relations Committee, introduced legislation that would seek to reset the United States’ relationship with Saudi Arabia. It would also punish members of the royal family, denying visas to those in the Saudi government up to the minister level until the administration can certify that the country has made progress on broad human rights issues.

That legislation is expected to be considered by the committee next week. But underscoring how divided lawmakers are on how to respond, Senator Lindsey Graham, a South Carolina Republican who is one of the president’s closest congressional allies, and Senator Robert Menendez of New Jersey, the top Democrat on the panel, will most likely push to amend the legislation to match their harsher legislation that would place sanctions on the crown prince and suspend arms sales to the country.

Real Estate, and Personal Injury Lawyers. Contact us at: https://westlakelegal.com 

House Votes to Kill Trump Impeachment Resolution

WASHINGTON — The House on Wednesday killed an attempt to impeach President Trump for statements that the chamber condemned this week as racist, turning aside an accusation that he had brought “ridicule, disgrace and disrepute” to his office.

But 95 Democrats signaled their support for impeachment, while 137 opposed it — a dramatic split signaling trouble ahead for a divided party.

The 332-95 vote to table the impeachment article drafted by Representative Al Green, Democrat of Texas, constituted the first action by the House since Democrats took control in January on a measure to impeach Mr. Trump, a significant move that Speaker Nancy Pelosi of California and other party leaders have toiled to avoid. By agreeing to table the article, Ms. Pelosi and the Democrats put off — at least for now — a prolonged and divisive debate over whether Mr. Trump’s conduct warrants his expulsion.

But the measure highlighted the rifts among Democrats about how to deal with Mr. Trump, between progressives who want to challenge him more aggressively and moderates desperate to quash talk of impeachment and stick to a poll-tested agenda that includes improving health coverage and raising wages for working people.

Ms. Pelosi has been caught in the middle as she tries to maintain some semblance of control over the party’s agenda as Mr. Trump dictates the terms of the debate. Those dynamics have already dominated the House’s business this week. For two days, Democrats feuded with the president over nativist posts on Twitter about four freshman Democratic congresswomen of color, culminating in a nasty floor fight on Tuesday that left progressives energized but moderates fretting over wasted precious time.

“You have to give him credit: He’s a great distractor,” Ms. Pelosi, Democrat of California, said of Mr. Trump on Wednesday. She waved off questions about whether the Democrats’ policy priorities were being eclipsed by the president’s antics, saying, “We’re not having him set our agenda; we’re setting our own agenda.”

Mr. Green’s resolution makes no mention of Robert S. Mueller III’s report or other instances of possible abuses of power by the president that are being studied by the House Judiciary Committee as possible grounds for impeachment. Instead, it contains a single article that refers to the vote on Tuesday to condemn Mr. Trump’s tweets as racist, and concludes: “Donald John Trump has, by his statements, brought the high office of the president of the United States in contempt, ridicule, disgrace, and disrepute, has sown seeds of discord among the people of the United States, has demonstrated that he is unfit to be president, and has betrayed his trust as president of the United States to the manifest injury of the people of the United States, and has committed a high misdemeanor in office.”

Ms. Pelosi said that she had no quarrel with Mr. Green, but that the House was already taking sufficient steps to hold Mr. Trump accountable for his conduct.

ImageWestlake Legal Group merlin_157759251_949fed4e-96c0-4ba4-95ed-d8ebc62b11f4-articleLarge House Votes to Kill Trump Impeachment Resolution United States Politics and Government Trump, Donald J impeachment House of Representatives Green, Al Ethics and Official Misconduct

Representative Al Green, Democrat of Texas, submitted an article of impeachment against President Trump.CreditAnna Moneymaker/The New York Times

“We have six committees that are working on following the facts in terms of any abuse of power, obstruction of justice and the rest that the president may have engaged in,” she said. “That is the serious path that we are on.”

Even supporters of opening an impeachment inquiry into Mr. Trump conceded that Wednesday’s vote would likely have little effect on their own efforts.

“At some point, we have to be more focused on success than noise, and I just think this will feel a lot more like noise,” said Representative Dan Kildee, Democrat of Michigan and an impeachment supporter.

Speaking with reporters on Wednesday morning, Mr. Green acknowledged differences with Democratic leaders but framed his decision to force the impeachment vote as strictly a matter of conscience. After listening to what he called Mr. Trump’s racist attacks on four Democratic congresswomen, he said he felt he could not wait to act.

“I will do this even if I am the only person involved in the process because there are some times on some issues when it is better than to stand alone than not stand at all,” he said.

He added: “We cannot wait. As we wait, we risk having the blood of somebody on our hands, and it could be a member of Congress.”

Mr. Green had advice for moderate Democrats worried about how a vote on any resolution referring to impeachment would affect their re-election prospects.

“If you voted yesterday to condemn the president, you voted yesterday for that resolution. The people who are going to vote against you are already going to vote against you,” he said. “Deciding today that you are not going to impeach will not exonerate you.”

Mr. Green, who first drafted articles of impeachment after Mr. Trump’s comments about the clash between white supremacists and protesters in Charlottesville, Va., has twice before forced similar votes. But in both cases, Republicans controlled the chamber and voted overwhelmingly to table his resolutions.

“It’s time for us to deal with his bigotry,” Mr. Green said on Wednesday. “This president has demonstrated that he’s willing to yell ‘fire’ in a crowded theater, and we have seen what can happen to people when bigotry is allowed to have a free rein. We all ought to go on record. We all ought to let the world know where we stand when we have a bigot in the White House.”

Real Estate, and Personal Injury Lawyers. Contact us at: https://westlakelegal.com 

With Name-Calling and Twitter Battles, House Republican Campaign Arm Copies Trump’s Playbook

Westlake Legal Group 17dc-nrcc-facebookJumbo With Name-Calling and Twitter Battles, House Republican Campaign Arm Copies Trump’s Playbook Trump, Donald J Republican Party National Republican Congressional Committee Names, Personal Elections, House of Representatives

WASHINGTON — The chairman of the House Intelligence Committee is portrayed as wearing clown makeup. Democratic congressional candidates — including an Air Force combat veteran — are labeled “socialist losers” or anti-Semites. Others have been singled out as Lyin’ Lucy McBath, Fake Nurse Lauren Underwood, Little Max Rose and China Dan McCready.

The National Republican Congressional Committee, with the blessing of House Republican leaders, has adopted a no-holds-barred strategy to win back the House majority next year, borrowing heavily from President Trump’s playbook in deploying such taunts and name-calling. After losing 40 seats and the House majority in November, Representative Tom Emmer of Minnesota, the committee’s new chairman, and Representative Kevin McCarthy of California, the Republican leader, decided that their messaging needed to be “ruthless.”

The offensive hinges largely on the relatively facile notion that by tagging all House Democrats as socialists, anti-Semites or far-left extremists, they will be able to alienate swing-state voters. On Tuesday night, after the House voted to condemn as racist President Trump’s attacks on four congresswoman, the campaign arm’s communications team deluged reporters’ inboxes with message after message calling vulnerable Democratic lawmakers “deranged.”

Their tactics have discomforted some Republicans and highlighted the struggle in the party over how much to lean into the tenor of politics forged by their leader.

“To devolve into childish name-calling usually doesn’t win the argument. I think we can do better,” said Tom Rooney, a former five-term Republican representative from Florida. “Maybe this is what the donors to the N.R.C.C. want to hear nowadays. Maybe name-calling raises money, and that’s what we’ve become.”

For the communications arm of the committee, that has translated into circulating photographs depicting Representative Adam B. Schiff of California, the chairman of the House Intelligence Committee, as a clown and barraging reporters with statements reminding them of the nicknames with which they refer to Democratic lawmakers and candidates. Some are just referred to as “socialist losers”; others have been given their own bespoke tags.

Ms. Underwood, Democrat of Illinois, is “Fake Nurse Lauren.” (Ms. Underwood, who earned a bachelor’s degree in nursing from the University of Michigan and worked as a research nurse, never worked specifically with patients.) Representative Collin C. Peterson, Democrat of Minnesota, is “Cranky Collin.”

Ms. McBath, who represents Georgia’s Sixth District, has become a particular target for the committee. During the campaign, she said she briefly moved to Tennessee to help her husband work through family issues, then switched her residency back to Georgia. Claiming that she is not a resident of Georgia, the committee sent a gift basket to the Tennessee home of her husband. Fox News, obtaining a copy of the signature, wrote an article featuring a comment from the House Republican campaign arm that reiterated that Ms. McBath is a resident of Tennessee. But a close look at the signature showed that her mother-in-law — “M McBath” — signed for the package — a fact mocked by The Atlanta Journal-Constitution.

Committee officials show no sign of tempering their attacks.

“We make no apologies for aggressively calling out the anti-Semitic racists in the socialist Democratic Party totally consumed by their hatred of President Trump and America,” Chris Pack, the communications director of the campaign arm, said in a statement.

Mr. McCarthy, too, stood firm behind the strategy. He praised Mr. Emmer’s “strong tactical sense and impressive work ethic” in a statement.

“As a conference, we are united behind his vision to campaign on offense — and expand the map by outworking, out-recruiting and exposing the corrupt, inept new Democrat Socialist Party,” Mr. McCarthy said.

Republican campaign operatives backing the strategy argued that aggressive tactics were necessary to rouse the interests of sleepy and shrunken local press corps. Adopting the mantra that “all news is good news,” the committee appears to believe that even if reporters choose instead to write about its bare-knuckled tactics, they are at least reiterating the nicknames and points that House Republicans hope will reach voters.

“If that’s what it takes to get a story,” said Mike Shields, who joined the National Republican Congressional Committee as director of its independent expenditure program in 2009 and helped Republicans win a 63-seat gain. “There needs to be a shift in mind-set to be in the majority. It’s better than getting no coverage at all.”

But the unrestrained use of nicknames also has provoked public outcry. After the committee issued a statement in early June mocking the stature of Mr. Rose, a moderate Democrat from New York, who stands at 5 feet 6 inches, even some Republicans came to his defense.

“Instead of working on bipartisan issues, Little Max Rose is content passing socialist bills” for “giggles,” Michael McAdams, a spokesman for the committee, wrote in an official release that used an epithet before giggles. “Playtime is over, Max.”

Members already displeased with what they felt were needlessly aggressive personal attacks felt the committee had crossed a line by taunting a veteran: Mr. Rose served in the Army for almost five years and was wounded in Afghanistan, earning a Purple Heart. Representative Mike Gallagher, Republican of Wisconsin, called it a “stupid tactic and a counterproductive tag.”

“I hope the lesson the N.R.C.C. draws from that is to not do it again,” Mr. Gallagher said.

Representative Adam Kinzinger, Republican of Illinois and another veteran, told Politico: “The president’s got his own unique style. I don’t think we need to mimic it.”

When Mr. Rooney saw the statement on Twitter, reposted by a Fox News reporter, he publicly expressed his disappointment with Mr. Emmer, calling out the committee chairman and commenting, “This isn’t you.” Mr. Pack, the chief spokesman for the committee, chimed in, “No, that’s Max Rose.”

Mr. Rooney shot back: “That’s not what I’m referring to. Maybe there’s a better conservative argument to counter his support of this legislation than calling him ‘little.’ At least that would be my advice to my 13-year-old.”

The exchange is only one of the Twitter scrapes that has spilled into public view. While committee messaging is, by nature, meant to attract the attention of the news media — especially among local outlets in battleground districts — party insiders have worried they have not attracted the right kind of attention.

When Jill Burcum, an editorial writer for The Minneapolis Star Tribune and a Pulitzer Prize finalist, took issue with the committee’s depiction of Mr. Schiff as a clown, Mr. Pack responded on Twitter. Using the same motley photo, he reiterated that Mr. Schiff was a “socialist clown” and added, “Don’t let your apparent bias blind you from that fact.”

When the committee called a little-known Air Force combat veteran who is running for Ohio’s First Congressional District a “socialist loser,” it struck a nerve: A columnist for The Cincinnati Enquirer panned the attack on the veteran, Nikki Foster, who flew missions over Iraq and Afghanistan, as “G.O.P. desperation.”

“In doing so, the congressional Republicans’ fund-raising arm brought attention to a candidate no one knew about. Why even go there?” the columnist, Jason Williams, wrote.

Real Estate, and Personal Injury Lawyers. Contact us at: https://westlakelegal.com 

The Republicans Who Voted to Condemn Trump’s Remarks (and Other Things to Know)

Westlake Legal Group 16DC-VOTETAKEAWAYS-facebookJumbo The Republicans Who Voted to Condemn Trump’s Remarks (and Other Things to Know) United States Politics and Government Trump, Donald J Republican Party House of Representatives discrimination

WASHINGTON — The House, in a stunning rebuke of a sitting president, voted on Tuesday to “strongly condemn” President Trump’s suggestion that four freshman Democratic women of color “go home” — a Twitter broadside described in a Democratic resolution as “racist comments that have legitimized and increased fear and hatred of new Americans.”

The extraordinary vote came after an afternoon of vitriolic debate that erupted into a floor fight over remarks by Speaker Nancy Pelosi, which were “taken down” — ruled out of order by her No. 2 Democrat, Representative Steny H. Hoyer.

Here are six takeaways:

Only four Republicans — Representatives Will Hurd of Texas, Brian Fitzpatrick of Pennsylvania, Fred Upton of Michigan, Susan W. Brooks of Indiana — broke with their party to vote against Mr. Trump. They were joined by Representative Justin Amash of Michigan, a Trump critic who recently abandoned the Republican Party to become an independent. Each had his or her reasons.

Mr. Hurd, a former C.I.A. agent and the only black Republican in the House, barely hung onto his seat. Mr. Fitzpatrick squeaked past his Democratic opponent last year and often votes with Democrats. (He has also signed a congressional pledge to civility.) Mr. Upton, a centrist and House veteran who also advocates civility, is retiring, and thus not beholden to Mr. Trump.

“If we’re going to bring civility back to the center of our politics, we must speak out against inflammatory rhetoric from anyone in any party anytime it happens,” Mr. Upton wrote Tuesday on Twitter.

Ms. Brooks is retiring, too. She is one of the few Republicans to criticize Mr. Trump’s “go home” remarks, which she said were “inappropriate and do not reflect American values.”

Mr. Amash, though, is in a class by himself. He was the only Republican to say Mr. Trump’s conduct reached the threshold of impeachment — until, that is, he left the party. Now he is the lone independent in the House.

Official rebukes of the president by Congress are exceedingly rare — and difficult to track because the language of House and Senate resolutions varies.

Beyond the two presidents who were impeached — Andrew Johnson and Bill Clinton, neither of whom was removed from office — there have been only four congressional votes to approve resolutions aimed at censuring or condemning a president, according to a 2018 report by the Congressional Research Service. The most recent involved President William Howard Taft, who was accused in 1912 of trying to influence a disputed Senate election. But the resolution that stated he “ought to be severely condemned” was eventually watered down, and that phrase was struck from the final version. Three years earlier, in 1909, the House voted to reprimand President Theodore Roosevelt, who had aroused lawmakers’ ire with remarks in his annual message to Congress.

The decision to take down Ms. Pelosi’s words was historic, as well. However, a vote to strike her comments from the record failed along party lines. The last speaker who had his words taken down is believed to be Tip O’Neill, the legendary Democrat from Massachusetts. (A 1990 analysis of such episodes by the Congressional Research Service does not appear to have been updated.) That happened in 1984, when Representative Newt Gingrich, the firebrand Georgia Republican (and future speaker), baited Mr. O’Neill into attacking him.

Before the fracas over Mr. Trump’s tweets, the four Democratic congresswomen — Representatives Ilhan Omar of Minnesota, Rashida Tlaib of Michigan, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez of New York and Ayanna S. Pressley of Massachusetts — were on the outs with Ms. Pelosi. (It should be noted that three of the four, who are known collectively as the Squad, were born in this country.)

After they crossed Ms. Pelosi by voting against a border aid package, she put the Squad in its place, telling the New York Times columnist Maureen Dowd that despite “their public whatever and their Twitter world,” they “didn’t have any following” where it mattered: on the House floor. “They’re four people,” Ms. Pelosi said, “and that’s how many votes they got.”

That created a predictable furor, prompting a spate of “Democrats in disarray” coverage about liberals who defended the women, and centrists defending Ms. Pelosi. But Mr. Trump’s Twitter attacks have united Democrats against a common enemy: the president.

Tuesday’s debate gave liberal Democrats, who are itching to move ahead with impeachment proceedings against Mr. Trump, an opportunity to blow off some steam. Representative Pramila Jayapal of Washington, who oversees the House Progressive Caucus and was born in India, was particularly animated. “Yes, I am a proud naturalized citizen born in India, a proud patriot,” she thundered on the House floor. “It’s not the first time I’ve heard, ‘go back to your country,’ but it’s the first time I heard it from the White House!”

But the condemnation resolution is unlikely to serve as a substitute for impeachment. As soon as the vote was over, the Democrats’ leading advocate of impeachment — Representative Al Green of Texas — took to the House floor to call, once again, for Mr. Trump to be impeached.

One reason Ms. Pelosi does not want to push ahead with impeachment proceedings is that doing so could jeopardize the so-called majority makers — centrist Democrats who are running for re-election in districts carried by Mr. Trump in 2016. While Democrats voted unanimously in favor of the condemnation resolution, it will be worth watching how the vote goes over in these Democrats’ home districts.

Even before Tuesday’s vote, the House Republicans’ campaign arm was preparing news releases calling those centrist Democrats “deranged,” which they later blasted into reporter’s email inboxes.

For all of the hellfire and brimstone surrounding it, the resolution itself is symbolic. Then again, in politics, symbolism matters. When the history of the 116th Congress is written, Democrats will be recorded as having condemned a United States president for the first time in more than 100 years.

Real Estate, and Personal Injury Lawyers. Contact us at: https://westlakelegal.com 

Here Are the Republicans Who Voted to Condemn as Racist Trump’s Remarks (and Other Things to Know)

Westlake Legal Group 16DC-VOTETAKEAWAYS-facebookJumbo Here Are the Republicans Who Voted to Condemn as Racist Trump’s Remarks (and Other Things to Know) United States Politics and Government Trump, Donald J Republican Party House of Representatives discrimination

WASHINGTON — The House, in a stunning rebuke of a sitting president, voted on Tuesday to “strongly condemn” President Trump’s suggestion that four freshman Democratic women of color “go home” — a Twitter broadside described in a Democratic resolution as “racist comments that have legitimized and increased fear and hatred of new Americans.”

The extraordinary vote came after an afternoon of vitriolic debate that erupted into a floor fight over remarks by Speaker Nancy Pelosi, which were “taken down” — ruled out of order by her No. 2 Democrat, Representative Steny H. Hoyer.

Here are six takeaways:

Only four Republicans — Representatives Will Hurd of Texas, Brian Fitzpatrick of Pennsylvania, Fred Upton of Michigan, Susan W. Brooks of Indiana — broke with their party to vote against Mr. Trump. They were joined by Representative Justin Amash of Michigan, a Trump critic who recently abandoned the Republican Party to become an independent. Each had his or her reasons.

Mr. Hurd, a former C.I.A. agent and the only black Republican in the House, barely hung onto his seat. Mr. Fitzpatrick squeaked past his Democratic opponent last year and often votes with Democrats. (He has also signed a congressional pledge to civility.) Mr. Upton, a centrist and House veteran who also advocates civility, is retiring, and thus not beholden to Mr. Trump.

“If we’re going to bring civility back to the center of our politics, we must speak out against inflammatory rhetoric from anyone in any party anytime it happens,” Mr. Upton wrote Tuesday on Twitter.

Ms. Brooks is retiring, too. She is one of the few Republicans to criticize Mr. Trump’s “go home” remarks, which she said were “inappropriate and do not reflect American values.”

Mr. Amash, though, is in a class by himself. He was the only Republican to say Mr. Trump’s conduct reached the threshold of impeachment — until, that is, he left the party. Now he is the lone independent in the House.

Official rebukes of the president by Congress are exceedingly rare — and difficult to track because the language of House and Senate resolutions varies.

Beyond the two presidents who were impeached — Andrew Johnson and Bill Clinton, neither of whom was removed from office — there have been only four congressional votes to approve resolutions aimed at censuring or condemning a president, according to a 2018 report by the Congressional Research Service. The most recent involved President William Howard Taft, who was accused in 1912 of trying to influence a disputed Senate election. But the resolution that stated he “ought to be severely condemned” was eventually watered down, and that phrase was struck from the final version. Three years earlier, in 1909, the House voted to reprimand President Theodore Roosevelt, who had aroused lawmakers’ ire with remarks in his annual message to Congress.

The decision to take down Ms. Pelosi’s words was historic, as well. However, a vote to strike her comments from the record failed along party lines. The last speaker who had his words taken down is believed to be Tip O’Neill, the legendary Democrat from Massachusetts. (A 1990 analysis of such episodes by the Congressional Research Service does not appear to have been updated.) That happened in 1984, when Representative Newt Gingrich, the firebrand Georgia Republican (and future speaker), baited Mr. O’Neill into attacking him.

Before the fracas over Mr. Trump’s tweets, the four Democratic congresswomen — Representatives Ilhan Omar of Minnesota, Rashida Tlaib of Michigan, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez of New York and Ayanna S. Pressley of Massachusetts — were on the outs with Ms. Pelosi. (It should be noted that three of the four, who are known collectively as the Squad, were born in this country.)

After they crossed Ms. Pelosi by voting against a border aid package, she put the Squad in its place, telling the New York Times columnist Maureen Dowd that despite “their public whatever and their Twitter world,” they “didn’t have any following” where it mattered: on the House floor. “They’re four people,” Ms. Pelosi said, “and that’s how many votes they got.”

That created a predictable furor, prompting a spate of “Democrats in disarray” coverage about liberals who defended the women, and centrists defending Ms. Pelosi. But Mr. Trump’s Twitter attacks have united Democrats against a common enemy: the president.

Tuesday’s debate gave liberal Democrats, who are itching to move ahead with impeachment proceedings against Mr. Trump, an opportunity to blow off some steam. Representative Pramila Jayapal of Washington, who oversees the House Progressive Caucus and was born in India, was particularly animated. “Yes, I am a proud naturalized citizen born in India, a proud patriot,” she thundered on the House floor. “It’s not the first time I’ve heard, ‘go back to your country,’ but it’s the first time I heard it from the White House!”

But the condemnation resolution is unlikely to serve as a substitute for impeachment. As soon as the vote was over, the Democrats’ leading advocate of impeachment — Representative Al Green of Texas — took to the House floor to call, once again, for Mr. Trump to be impeached.

One reason Ms. Pelosi does not want to push ahead with impeachment proceedings is that doing so could jeopardize the so-called majority makers — centrist Democrats who are running for re-election in districts carried by Mr. Trump in 2016. While Democrats voted unanimously in favor of the condemnation resolution, it will be worth watching how the vote goes over in these Democrats’ home districts.

Even before Tuesday’s vote, the House Republicans’ campaign arm was preparing news releases calling those centrist Democrats “deranged,” which they later blasted into reporter’s email inboxes.

For all of the hellfire and brimstone surrounding it, the resolution itself is symbolic. Then again, in politics, symbolism matters. When the history of the 116th Congress is written, Democrats will be recorded as having condemned a United States president for the first time in more than 100 years.

Real Estate, and Personal Injury Lawyers. Contact us at: https://westlakelegal.com 

Trump Sets the 2020 Tone: Like 2016, Only This Time ‘the Squad’ Is Here

WASHINGTON — With three days of attacks on four liberal, minority freshman congresswomen, President Trump and the Republicans have sent the clearest signal yet that their approach to 2020 will be a racially divisive reprise of the strategy that helped Mr. Trump narrowly capture the White House in 2016.

It is the kind of fight that the president relishes. He has told aides, in fact, that he is pleased with the Democratic reaction to his attacks, boasting that he is “marrying” the House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and the Democratic Party to the four congresswomen known as “the Squad.”

His efforts to stoke similar cultural and racial resentments during the 2018 midterm elections with fears of marauding immigrant caravans backfired as his party lost control of the House. But he is undeterred heading into his re-election campaign, betting that he can cast the entire Democratic Party as radical and un-American.

“He’s framing the election as a clash of civilizations,” said Charlie Sykes, a conservative writer who is critical of Mr. Trump. The argument Mr. Trump is making is both strategic and cynical, he said. “They’re coming for you. They hate you. They despise America. They are not you.”

“And if you look at the Electoral College map,” Mr. Sykes added, “the places that will play are the places Donald Trump will need to win the election.”

While the Democrats were voting Tuesday to condemn the president’s attacks against the four women as racist, Trump campaign officials, by contrast, were trying to cast Monday as a landmark day for the Democratic Party — the day that the progressive “Squad” became the de facto leaders of their party.

The four freshman, female members of Congress — Representatives Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez of New York, Ilhan Omar of Minnesota, Ayanna S. Pressley of Massachusetts and Rashida Tlaib of Michigan — hold no formal leadership positions in their party, and none have been on the national political stage for much longer than a year. Yet Republicans, led by Mr. Trump and buttressed by his allies in the conservative media, have spent months seizing on and distorting their more inflammatory statements.

Aides to Mr. Trump’s campaign conceded that the president’s tweets about the four women on Sunday were not helpful, were difficult to defend and caught them off guard. They would have preferred he had not tweeted that the four women, all racial and ethnic minorities, should “go back” to their own countries.

But they said that his instincts were what guided his campaign in 2016, when his attacks on immigrants resonated with alienated white voters in key states. They believe there is political value in having “the Squad” as the new face of their political opponents when Mr. Trump is tracing a path to re-election that runs through Pennsylvania, Michigan and Wisconsin, where the four women are unpopular.

Brad Parscale, the Trump campaign manager, has been telling people that it is very hard to persuade voters in the current hyperpartisan political landscape.

Mr. Trump’s re-election strategy, instead, is to solidify his base and increase turnout. A major component of that is to portray his opponents as not merely disliking him and his policies, but also disliking America itself.

ImageWestlake Legal Group merlin_158003625_3029d1dd-70d2-4f4f-b4ed-58bbf91dd188-articleLarge Trump Sets the 2020 Tone: Like 2016, Only This Time ‘the Squad’ Is Here United States Politics and Government Trump, Donald J tlaib, rashida Race and Ethnicity Pressley, Ayanna Presidential Election of 2020 Omar, Ilhan Ocasio-Cortez, Alexandria Minorities

During a news conference on Monday, Representatives Rashida Tlaib, Ayanna Pressley, Ilhan Omar and Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez denounced Mr. Trump’s comments.CreditAnna Moneymaker/The New York Times

The strategy is reminiscent of how President Richard M. Nixon and the Republican Party tried to frame their fight with Democrats during the 1972 elections around questions of patriotism and loyalty. Nixon supporters took to using the slogan “America: Love It or Leave It” to cast the Democrats and the growing opposition to the Vietnam War as anti-American — not merely anti-Nixon or anti-Republican.

Pat Buchanan, the populist, conservative former presidential candidate who served as an aide to Nixon, said that by elevating the four, Mr. Trump is trying to set the terms of his re-election fight.

“Rather than let Democrats in the primaries choose his adversary, Trump is seeking to make the selection himself,” Mr. Buchanan said. And if the election is seen as a choice between Democrats like Ms. Ocasio-Cortez and Ms. Omar, Mr. Buchanan added, “Trump wins.”

Mr. Buchanan said he envisioned a scenario in which the battle for the Democratic nomination becomes, in part, a referendum on these four women. “The Democratic candidates will be forced to choose in the coming debates as to whether to back the four,” he said, “or put distance between themselves and the four.”

Only four Republicans and one independent broke and voted with the Democrats to condemn the president’s language in the House vote Tuesday, a stark reminder of just how far the party has come from the period when its leaders believed their political future depended on being a big tent, welcoming to Latino and African-American voters.

Instead, a range of party leaders were pushing messages of patriotism. Some attempted to sidestep the racial implications, while others seemed less concerned about the potential blowback.

“Forget these four,” said Kellyanne Conway, the counselor to the president, in an interview with Fox News on Tuesday. “They represent a dark underbelly of people in this country,” she added. “We are sick and tired of people denigrating that American flag, the American military, veterans and America.”

Others were jumping on the bandwagon, but seeking to reframe and soften the message. Representative Liz Cheney of Wyoming, the third-ranking House Republican, effectively offered Mr. Trump a tutorial in how to go on the offensive without inviting a backlash.

“Our opposition to our socialist colleagues has absolutely nothing to do with their gender, with their religion or with their race,” Ms. Cheney told reporters Tuesday. “It has to do with the content of their policies.”

The election is still more than 15 months away, and eventually the Democrats will have a standard-bearer to define the party in opposition to Mr. Trump. Still, some Democrats worry that criticism of the four congresswomen will resonate with a segment of their voters and independents, who may prove just as uneasy with the policies, and some of the rhetoric, of “the Squad” as they are with Mr. Trump’s own bombast.

The Democrats who fared the best in the midterms were those who played down Mr. Trump while highlighting issues like protecting the health insurance of people with pre-existing conditions. And many of the strategists who are rallying behind former Vice President Joseph R. Biden Jr. believe the party can’t count on increasing turnout among young people and minorities, and needs to lure back voters it lost to Mr. Trump.

In research published in a journal in February, Carlos Algara and Isaac Hale found that among white voters, high levels of racial resentment — measured by asking people whether they agree with statements such as “I am angry that racism exists” — were a better indicator of how someone would vote than party affiliation or ideological beliefs.

Trump campaign officials have expressed confidence in the state of the race. Mr. Trump’s favorability rating is about 46 percent.CreditErin Schaff/The New York Times

They found that there was still a sizable number of white Democrats who harbor relatively high levels of racial resentment, and that is helping Republicans across the board.

Mr. Algara, a political scientist at the University of California, Davis, said that a forthcoming analysis of the 2018 midterm elections found that even without Mr. Trump on the ballot, white Democrats with high levels of racial resentment were likely to vote for Republican candidates.

“The president and the Republican National Committee know that if you prime racial resentment attitudes among Democrats, you’re more likely to win their votes,” he said. “It’s a very effective strategy.”

But many Democrats believe that Mr. Trump has repelled so many voters who gave him the benefit of the doubt in 2016 that he is only digging himself into a deeper hole. “He’s risking everything on a strategy of recreating his exact 2016 coalition, but things have changed,” said Nick Gourevitch, a pollster with the Global Strategy Group, a Democratic firm.

There are Trump supporters who agree that the president’s rhetoric could backfire, and wish he hadn’t gone down this road.

“I think a more successful strategy would be to focus on the growth in the economy and policies and go after moderates and independents,” Anthony Scaramucci, who briefly served as White House communications director, said on CNN on Tuesday.

He added that he found the comments reprehensible and was surprised that more Republicans were not speaking out. He said he found that “astonishing.”

And some Republicans believe that the president is squandering an opportunity to capitalize on what had been a smoldering fight between Ms. Pelosi and the first-term lawmakers and was simply uniting the party.

“It got in the way of a nice little meltdown the Democrats were enjoying and totally unified them,” said David Kochel, an Iowa-based Republican strategist. “I’m just concerned that he took the focus off a really interesting food fight between Pelosi and the Squad.”

On Michael Savage’s radio program on Monday, a caller named Susan dialed in to defend the president’s actions. “He’s said worse things than that, and he’s not a racist,” she said.

Mr. Savage, who was one of the earliest hosts in conservative radio to endorse Mr. Trump but has been more skeptical of late, questioned his caller’s blind faith and also expressed concern that the entire episode was unifying the Democrats.

“I’m starting to get very worried about the true believers out there,” Mr. Savage said, adding that he thought the president needed to stop being so impulsive.

“I think he needs to stop tweeting at 3 in the morning when he’s having a low-blood-sugar attack. He has set our entire cause back.”

Real Estate, and Personal Injury Lawyers. Contact us at: https://westlakelegal.com 

House Condemns Trump’s Attack on Four Congresswomen as Racist

WASHINGTON — The House voted on Tuesday to condemn as racist President Trump’s attacks against four congresswomen of color, but only after the debate over the president’s language devolved into a bitterly partisan brawl that showcased deep rifts over race, ethnicity and political ideology in the age of Trump.

The measure passed nearly along party lines, 240-187, following one of the most polarizing exchanges on the House floor in recent memory. Only four Republicans and the House’s lone independent, Representative Justin Amash of Michigan, voted with all Democrats to condemn Mr. Trump.

“I know racism when I see it, I know racism when I feel it, and at the highest level of government, there’s no room for racism,” thundered Representative John Lewis, Democrat of Georgia, an icon of the civil rights movement who was nearly beaten to death in Alabama in 1965.

Some Republicans were just as adamant in their defense of Mr. Trump: “What has really happened here is that the president and his supporters have been forced to endure months of allegations of racism,” said Representative Dan Meuser, Republican of Pennsylvania. “This ridiculous slander does a disservice to our nation.”

[Read the text of the resolution.]

Republicans ground the proceedings to a halt shortly before the House was preparing to vote on the nonbinding resolution, which calls Mr. Trump’s tweets and verbal volleys “racist comments that have legitimized increased fear and hatred of new Americans and people of color.” Republicans voted en masse against the measure, which was the Democrats’ response to Mr. Trump’s attacks on Representatives Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez of New York, Ilhan Omar of Minnesota, Ayanna S. Pressley of Massachusetts and Rashida Tlaib of Michigan, who he said should “go back” to their countries, a well-worn racist trope that he has continued to employ in the days since.

“There’s no excuse for any response to those words but a swift and strong, unified condemnation,” Ms. Pelosi said as the House debated the resolution. “Every single member of this institution, Democratic and Republican, should join us in condemning the president’s racist tweets.”

As Republicans rose to protest, Ms. Pelosi turned toward them on the House floor and picked up her speech, her voice rising as she added, “To do anything less would be a shocking rejection of our values and a shameful abdication of our oath of office to protect the American people.”

Representative Doug Collins of Georgia, the top Republican on the Judiciary Committee, made a formal objection to the remarks, charging that they had violated the rules of decorum in the House, which call for lawmakers to avoid impugning the motives of their colleagues or the president. It was a stunning turn for a resolution that was drafted in response to Mr. Trump’s own incendiary language.

ImageWestlake Legal Group merlin_158029704_159d542f-4529-4b92-92c7-04af3259cb9a-articleLarge House Condemns Trump’s Attack on Four Congresswomen as Racist Trump, Donald J tlaib, rashida Race and Ethnicity Omar, Ilhan Ocasio-Cortez, Alexandria Malinowski, Tom Immigration and Emigration discrimination

President Trump held up a sheet of paper showing a photograph of Representative Ilhan Omar, Democrat of Minnesota, during a cabinet meeting on Tuesday at the White House.CreditDoug Mills/The New York Times

Mr. Trump on Tuesday denied that his tweets were racist and implored House Republicans to reject the measure. The president raged on Twitter, calling the House resolution a “con game” as he renewed his harsh criticism of the congresswomen.

“Those Tweets were NOT Racist,” Mr. Trump wrote. “I don’t have a Racist bone in my body! The so-called vote to be taken is a Democrat con game. Republicans should not show ‘weakness’ and fall into their trap.”

Later at the White House, the president did not back away from his original comment, saying of the quartet, “they can leave.”

“They should love our country. They shouldn’t hate our country,” he continued.

The vote on Tuesday evening marked a show of unity for Democrats who had been squabbling for weeks — and a test of Republican principles. But as the debate played out, the scene devolved into a spectacle. Republicans sought to turn the tables and condemn Ms. Pelosi for her remarks about Mr. Trump — which many Democrats had echoed in their own speeches before her — touching off tumult as officials scrambled to review House rules and determine how to proceed.

At one point, Representative Emanuel Cleaver II, Democrat of Missouri, who was presiding in the House when Republicans challenged Ms. Pelosi’s words, banged the gavel, rose from the marble dais, and stormed off the House floor. “We aren’t ever, ever going to pass up, it seems, an opportunity to escalate, and that’s what this is,” Mr. Cleaver said, his voice rising in frustration. “We want to just fight.”

For their part, Republicans took to the floor not to defend the president’s remarks but to condemn Democrats for what they called a breach of decorum for calling Mr. Trump out.

Ultimately, it was left to Representative Steny H. Hoyer, the majority leader, to recite the official ruling that Ms. Pelosi had, in fact, violated a House rule against characterizing an action as “racist.” The move by Republicans to have her words stricken from the record then failed along party lines, and Ms. Pelosi was unrepentant.

“I stand by my statement,” she said as she strode through the Capitol. “I’m proud of the attention being called to it, because what the president said was completely inappropriate.”

The scene underscored the intensity of feeling sparked by Mr. Trump’s latest comments. Republicans spent the day not so much defending the president’s tweets as arguing that Democrats, particularly Ms. Ocasio-Cortez’s “Squad,” were no better.

Senator Mitch McConnell, Republican of Kentucky and the majority leader, said, “The president is not a racist.”CreditErin Schaff/The New York Times

“In those tweets, I see nothing that references anybody’s race — not a thing — I don’t see anyone’s name being referenced in the tweets, but the president’s referring to people, congresswomen, who are anti-American,” said Representative Sean P. Duffy, Republican of Wisconsin. “And lo and behold, everybody in this chamber knows who he’s talking about.”

His comments prompted an angry response from Representative Pramila Jayapal, Democrat of Washington, who sought to register an official objection. She said the use of the word “anti-American” was “completely inappropriate” but was not allowed to formally ask to have the words stricken.

At a closed-door meeting of House Democrats on Tuesday morning, Ms. Pelosi set the stage for the debate, calling the four freshman congresswomen “our sisters,” and saying the insults to which Mr. Trump had subjected them echo hurtful and offensive remarks he makes every day.

“So this is a resolution based in who we are as a people, as well as a recognition of the unacceptability of what his goals were,” Ms. Pelosi told Democrats, according to an aide present for the private meeting who described her remarks on condition of anonymity. “This is, I hope, one where we will get Republican support. If they can’t support condemning the words of the president, well, that’s a message in and of itself.”

A smattering of Republicans have denounced the president’s performance, including Massachusetts Gov. Charlie Baker. Mr. Trump’s comments “were shameful, they were racist,” he told WBUR in Boston, “and they bring a tremendous amount of, sort of, disgrace to public policy and public life and I condemn them all.”

But Republican leaders refrained from criticizing Mr. Trump, at least directly, and top House Republicans were pressing their colleagues to oppose the resolution.

Representative Kevin McCarthy of California, the House Republican leader and a close ally of the president’s, said he would oppose the measure, and when asked whether Mr. Trump’s tweets were racist, replied flatly, “No.”

Senator Mitch McConnell of Kentucky, the majority leader, did say that politicians from all ends of the ideological spectrum should dial back their rhetoric, saying, “everybody ought to tone it down,”

but he did not take issue with the president, telling reporters who asked whether his tweets were racist, “The president’s not a racist.”

Video

Westlake Legal Group 15dc-trump-sub-videoSixteenByNine3000 House Condemns Trump’s Attack on Four Congresswomen as Racist Trump, Donald J tlaib, rashida Race and Ethnicity Omar, Ilhan Ocasio-Cortez, Alexandria Malinowski, Tom Immigration and Emigration discrimination

On Monday, hours after President Trump defended his Twitter attacks on Representatives Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, Ilhan Omar, Rashida Tlaib and Ayanna S. Pressley, the four Democratic congresswomen of color held a news conference to respond to his remarks.CreditCreditDoug Mills/The New York Times

Earlier, Mr. Trump attempted to shift the focus to what he called “HORRIBLE” things said by the four liberal freshmen congresswomen, who have been among the most outspoken in their party in their criticisms of him, including at a news conference on Monday where they described Mr. Trump as racist, xenophobic, misogynistic and criminal.

“This should be a vote on the filthy language, statements and lies told by the Democrat Congresswomen, who I truly believe, based on their actions, hate our Country,” Mr. Trump wrote.

While some Democrats had pressed for a stronger resolution of censure, House leaders opted instead for a narrower measure based on Mr. Trump’s latest remarks, in an effort to generate a unanimous vote in their party.

During the meeting on Tuesday morning, Representative Jim McGovern, Democrat of Massachusetts and the chairman of the Rules Committee, warned members to take care with their language during the debate, including checking with the official in charge of enforcing floor procedures to make sure their speeches would not violate House rules against making personal references to the president on the floor.

Ms. Pelosi advised Democrats to focus on how Mr. Trump’s “words were racist,” which would keep them in compliance with the rules. Later, after Mr. Collins objected to her speech, Ms. Pelosi shot back that she had cleared them in advance to ensure they were within bounds.

While the vote is symbolic and nonbinding, the debate dramatized the conflict between Democrats and a president who has organized his agenda and his re-election campaign around stoking racial controversy, and casting the group of progressive stars as dangerous extremists to be feared.

Among other things, the resolution declares that the House “believes that immigrants and their descendants have made America stronger,” that “those who take the oath of citizenship are every bit as American as those whose families have lived in the United States for many generations,” and that the House “is committed to keeping America open to those lawfully seeking refuge and asylum from violence and oppression, and those who are willing to work hard to live the American Dream, no matter their race, ethnicity, faith, or country of origin.”

One after another, Republicans rose to reject the criticism of Mr. Trump, arguing that it was Ms. Ocasio-Cortez and her colleagues, who have sometimes used coarse language to describe the president and his policies, who should be rebuked and punished for their words and conduct.

“When we consider the power of this chamber to legislate for the common good, I wonder why my colleagues have become so eager to attack the president they are willing to sacrifice the rules, precedent and the integrity of the people’s house for an unprecedented vote that undercuts its very democratic processes,” Mr. Collins said.

Real Estate, and Personal Injury Lawyers. Contact us at: https://westlakelegal.com 

Trump’s New Top Labor Official Is Expected to Advance an Anti-Labor Agenda

Congressional Republicans, members of their staffs and conservative activists regularly flew first class to Saipan, an island just north of Guam in the Pacific Ocean. They slept at the beachfront Hyatt Regency, and dined on fresh Japanese cuisine.

The junkets in the late 1990s were organized by Patrick Pizzella. The Northern Mariana Islands, a commonwealth of the United States, had hired him to ensure that Congress did not impose federal minimum wage and immigration laws in a place where some workers earned less than $1 an hour.

Mr. Pizzella, a genial lobbyist and government official who has spent years advocating the interests of businesses, is set to become the top Trump administration official protecting workers’ rights when he takes over as acting labor secretary this week. He will fill the vacancy left when Alex Acosta resigned amid criticism of a plea deal he approved in 2008 with Jeffrey Epstein, the financier who has been accused of sex trafficking.

A longtime free-market evangelist, Mr. Pizzella, 65, has built a four-decade career in the conservative Republican mold, fighting regulation and organized labor.

His appointment is far more consequential than those of the many acting secretaries who have served in President Trump’s patchwork cabinet. The man he succeeds, Mr. Acosta, spent two years battling other White House officials who demanded that he push through a sweeping anti-union agenda and coordinate his actions with the president’s political team.

Mr. Pizzella, who is close to many of the conservatives allied with Mr. Trump’s acting chief of staff, Mick Mulvaney, and on Vice President Mike Pence’s staff, is expected to be a significantly more cooperative partner in those efforts, according to administration and industry officials.

“Pat will be great — he is a movement conservative,” said Marc Short, Mr. Pence’s chief of staff and a friend of Mr. Pizzella’s for two decades. “I think it’s fair to say that while he will be focused on issues of workplace safety, he will also work to ensure that the workplace is not overly burdened with regulations.”

When he filled the lone Republican slot at the Federal Labor Relations Authority during the Obama administration, Mr. Pizzella compared union representatives to the mob-connected bosses from the Marlon Brando film “On the Waterfront.” He cheered a federal-court decision that struck down potential restrictions on investigating unions. As a Labor Department official during President George W. Bush’s administration in 2008, he bemoaned the “staggering costs” of paid work time that government employees used to conduct union business, which is authorized by labor law and union contracts.

Mr. Trump has sent mixed messages about his stance on organized labor. He has courted construction and law enforcement unions while taking a harder line against most government employees. But the conservatives who run his West Wing policy shop are less ambivalent, pushing hard to undermine unions’ ability to bargain collectively, raise dues and exert political power.

Those ambitions suffered when Mr. Trump’s first choice for labor secretary, the fast food executive Andrew Puzder, withdrew his nomination early in 2017 amid controversy over domestic abuse allegations. The administration turned instead to Mr. Acosta, a relatively moderate former prosecutor, who essentially inherited Mr. Pizzella as a deputy secretary already slated to work for Mr. Puzder.

Soon after Mr. Acosta took office, his aides were presented with a detailed to-do list by James Sherk, who coordinates labor policy for the White House’s Domestic Policy Council and joined the administration from the conservative Heritage Foundation.

The list, which was provided to The New York Times by a person who had obtained it from a former Trump administration official, included proposals to weaken collective bargaining rights and protections for workers on federally funded construction projects. The list also included a proposal that would have forced male actors in pornographic films to wear condoms.

Mr. Acosta rejected outright or dragged his feet on many of the plans, including the condom regulation, according to a person close to him and administration officials.

“We’re the Department of Labor, we’re not the Department of Commerce,” the secretary complained privately last year, the person close to him recalled.

Mr. Sherk gained a powerful new ally when Mr. Trump named Mr. Mulvaney acting chief of staff in January. Still, Mr. Acosta insisted that pursuing such a hard-line agenda would alienate the president’s blue-collar union supporters and make it more difficult to garner labor support for a new version of the North American Free Trade Agreement that is awaiting a vote by the Democratic-controlled House, according to a current administration official with direct knowledge of the situation.

Mr. Acosta also resisted efforts to involve the Labor Department in broader political fights. In April, the White House sent Mr. Acosta’s office a request from Kellyanne Conway, a counselor to the president, and other White House officials asking him to write an opinion column saying that a so-called Medicare-for-all proposal by Senator Bernie Sanders of Vermont would hurt employers and workers, according to a copy of the request viewed by The Times.

ImageWestlake Legal Group merlin_157767363_9ad5d9aa-f086-4f43-bfdf-b07ce9904ba8-articleLarge Trump’s New Top Labor Official Is Expected to Advance an Anti-Labor Agenda United States Politics and Government Trump, Donald J Pizzella, Patrick Organized Labor Labor Department (US) Labor and Jobs Conservatism (US Politics) Appointments and Executive Changes

Alex Acosta, the secretary of labor, defended a plea deal he reached with Jeffrey Epstein in 2008 during a news conference last week.CreditErik S Lesser/EPA, via Shutterstock

Mr. Acosta refused after his legal advisers determined that the request raised “red flags” related to the Hatch Act, a federal law that prohibits the use of government resources for political activity, according to memos provided by a former administration official.

“It should be expected that the White House and cabinet agencies, including the Department of Labor, would have frequent conversations around potential policy ideas particularly as it relates to the president’s priority of deregulation,” said Judd Deere, a White House spokesman.

White House officials have good reason to expect more cooperation from Mr. Pizzella.

As an undergraduate student at the University of South Carolina, he wrote columns for the school newspaper, including one in 1972 in which he criticized Senator George McGovern, the recently defeated Democratic presidential nominee, for sending his daughter to an upscale suburban school near Washington.

“The hypocrisy continues as McGovern expresses the opinion that he represents the working man,” Mr. Pizzella wrote. “That’s similar to Hitler saying he represented the Jewish people in Germany during the 1930s.”

After college, Mr. Pizzella went on to work for Ronald Reagan in the 1976 Republican primaries, according to a 2001 profile in The New Republic. He subsequently held a series of government appointments, building a formidable list of conservative contacts.

In the mid-1990s, Mr. Pizzella joined the lobbying arm of the law firm Preston Gates, where Jack Abramoff, who was later convicted of defrauding clients, had set up a growing lobbying practice. One of the firm’s biggest clients in the late 1990s was the Northern Mariana Islands, which was exempt from federal minimum wage and immigration laws but could sell products under a “Made in the U.S.A.” label.

Large textile manufacturers set up production on the islands. Migrant workers, typically from China and the Philippines, worked long hours for low pay and lived in squalid, crowded dormitories. A 1997 federal government report concluded that nearly the entire private-sector labor force of the commonwealth consisted of “essentially indentured alien workers.”

The report said that foreign women were often coerced into prostitution, and that those who refused were sometimes raped or tortured.

It was Mr. Pizzella’s job to present a kinder, gentler image of the commonwealth to Republicans in Congress and their staffs, who controlled the House and Senate at the time. Allen Stayman, an Interior Department official involved in investigating conditions on the islands, said Mr. Pizzella “was in charge of showing the Potemkin village.”

One person on a trip to the commonwealth organized by Mr. Pizzella recalled meetings with senior officials of the local government in which the officials discussed their interest in making the commonwealth a laboratory for conservative policies like school vouchers. Mr. Pizzella also showed visitors factories and dormitories that were crowded but clean.

The lobbying efforts were effective. Legislation that would have applied the minimum wage and immigration laws to the commonwealth went nowhere in the House in the 1990s. At his 2017 confirmation hearings to become deputy labor secretary, Mr. Pizzella dismissed the reported abuses as “allegations” and said his job was strictly to lobby against the minimum wage.

Mr. Pizzella joined Mr. Bush’s administration in 2001, serving for nearly eight years as an assistant labor secretary for administration and management, but the Obama era gave him an even higher profile. As conservatives mobilized against Democratic policies, Mr. Pizzella joined the Conservative Action Project, which worked to establish alliances between socially and fiscally conservative organizations.

Mr. Pizzella convened meetings where conservative groups coordinated campaigns against Mr. Obama’s health care, climate change and labor policies, said Tim Phillips, the president of Americans for Prosperity, one such organization.

Among other things, Mr. Pizzella spread the word about bus tours meant to build opposition to the Affordable Care Act. “We would say: ‘Hey, Pat, we’re doing these bus tours in these states on these days. Could you let the rest of the movement know?’” Mr. Phillips recalled. “And they would.”

In 2013, Mr. Pizzella was nominated by the Obama administration to be the only Republican on the three-member Federal Labor Relations Authority, which adjudicates disputes between federal workers and the agencies that employ them.

In several cases, Mr. Pizzella used cutting language to describe employees and identified them by name in his opinions, breaking with the agency’s traditional approach of withholding names. The naming and disparaging of workers risked exposing them to harassment, said Carol Waller Pope, the agency’s chairwoman for most of Mr. Pizzella’s tenure. (The authority typically named only the union bringing the grievance.)

“It could discourage people from using the process to resolve disputes — that was our mission,” Ms. Pope said. “I viewed it as having an effect.”

Real Estate, and Personal Injury Lawyers. Contact us at: https://westlakelegal.com 

House Push to Condemn Trump’s Language as Racist Stirs Brawl

WASHINGTON — A House Democratic effort on Tuesday to formally denounce comments by President Trump devolved into a partisan brawl on the House floor as Republicans tried and failed to stop Speaker Nancy Pelosi from calling the president a racist.

Mr. Trump on Tuesday denied that his tweets suggesting that four minority congresswomen leave the country were racist and implored House Republicans to reject a resolution that condemns his statements as “racist comments that have legitimized increased fear and hatred of new Americans and people of color.”

The president raged on Twitter against the resolution, calling it a “con game.” He renewed his harsh criticism of Representatives Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez of New York, Ilhan Omar of Minnesota, Ayanna S. Pressley of Massachusetts and Rashida Tlaib of Michigan.

“Those Tweets were NOT Racist,” Mr. Trump wrote. “I don’t have a Racist bone in my body! The so-called vote to be taken is a Democrat con game. Republicans should not show ‘weakness’ and fall into their trap.”

But Democrats powered through parliamentary blockades and protests toward a vote on the resolution, scheduled for Tuesday evening, which developed into a show of unity for Democrats and a test of Republican principles.

In a closed-door meeting of House Democrats on Tuesday morning, Speaker Nancy Pelosi of California called the four freshman congresswomen “our sisters,” and said the insults to which Mr. Trump subjected them echo hurtful and offensive remarks he makes every day.

ImageWestlake Legal Group merlin_158029704_159d542f-4529-4b92-92c7-04af3259cb9a-articleLarge House Push to Condemn Trump’s Language as Racist Stirs Brawl Trump, Donald J tlaib, rashida Race and Ethnicity Omar, Ilhan Ocasio-Cortez, Alexandria Malinowski, Tom Immigration and Emigration discrimination

President Trump held up a sheet of paper showing a photograph of Representative Ilhan Omar, Democrat of Minnesota, during a cabinet meeting on Tuesday at the White House.CreditDoug Mills/The New York Times

“So this is a resolution based in who we are as a people, as well as a recognition of the unacceptability of what his goals were,” Ms. Pelosi told Democrats, according to an aide present for the private meeting who described her remarks on condition of anonymity. “This is, I hope, one where we will get Republican support. If they can’t support condemning the words of the president, well, that’s a message in and of itself.”

A smattering of Republicans have denounced the president’s performance, including Massachusetts Gov. Charlie Baker. Mr. Trump’s comments “were shameful, they were racist,” he told WBUR in Boston, “and they bring a tremendous amount of, sort of, disgrace to public policy and public life and I condemn them all.”

But Representative Kevin McCarthy of California, the House Republican leader and a close ally of the president’s, said he would oppose the resolution, and when asked whether Mr. Trump’s tweets were racist, replied flatly, “No.”

Senator Mitch McConnell of Kentucky, the majority leader, did say lawmakers from all ends of the political spectrum should tone down their rhetoric, but he added, emphatically, “The president is not a racist.”

Earlier, Mr. Trump attempted to shift the focus to what he called “HORRIBLE” things said by the four liberal freshmen congresswomen, who have been among the most outspoken in their party in their criticisms of him, including at a news conference on Monday where they described Mr. Trump as racist, xenophobic, misogynistic and criminal.

“This should be a vote on the filthy language, statements and lies told by the Democrat Congresswomen, who I truly believe, based on their actions, hate our Country,” Mr. Trump wrote.

His latest broadside against the women comes hours before the House is poised to vote on a resolution that responds directly to his nativist tweets on Sunday telling the lawmakers — all but one of whom was born in the United States — to “go back” to their countries. The measure is a chance for Democrats to go on offense, and put Republicans on the record either rejecting or endorsing what the president said.

Senator Mitch McConnell, Republican of Kentucky and the majority leader, said, “The president is not a racist.”CreditErin Schaff/The New York Times

While some Democrats are pressing for a stronger resolution of censure, House leaders have opted instead for a narrower measure based on Mr. Trump’s latest remarks, in an effort to generate a unanimous vote in their party.

“Let’s focus on these comments that the vast majority of Americans recognize to be divisive and racist, that the vast majority of my Republican colleagues, in their hearts, recognize to be divisive and racist,” said Representative Tom Malinowski, Democrat of New Jersey, the sponsor of the resolution.

“We need to move forward with something that can be unifying, and right now, what we can unite around is that what the president said was wrong, un-American, and dangerous.”

During the meeting on Tuesday, Representative Jim McGovern, Democrat of Massachusetts and the chairman of the Rules Committee, warned members to take care with their language during the debate, including checking with the official in charge of enforcing floor procedures to make sure their speeches would not violate House rules against making personal references to the president on the floor.

Ms. Pelosi advised Democrats to focus on how Mr. Trump’s “words were racist,” which would keep them in compliance with the rules.

While the vote is symbolic and nonbinding, the debate is certain dramatize the conflict between Democrats and a president who has organized his agenda and his re-election campaign around stoking racial controversy, and casting the group of progressive stars as dangerous extremists to be feared.

Among other things, the resolution declares that the House “believes that immigrants and their descendants have made America stronger,” that “those who take the oath of citizenship are every bit as American as those whose families have lived in the United States for many generations,” and that the House “is committed to keeping America open to those lawfully seeking refuge and asylum from violence and oppression, and those who are willing to work hard to live the American Dream, no matter their race, ethnicity, faith, or country of origin.”

Video

Westlake Legal Group 15dc-trump-sub-videoSixteenByNine3000 House Push to Condemn Trump’s Language as Racist Stirs Brawl Trump, Donald J tlaib, rashida Race and Ethnicity Omar, Ilhan Ocasio-Cortez, Alexandria Malinowski, Tom Immigration and Emigration discrimination

On Monday, hours after President Trump defended his Twitter attacks on Representatives Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, Ilhan Omar, Rashida Tlaib and Ayanna S. Pressley, the four Democratic congresswomen of color held a news conference to respond to his remarks.CreditCreditDoug Mills/The New York Times

Republican leaders signaled on Tuesday that they would seek to shift the debate from the president’s incendiary remarks to the policies espoused by Ms. Ocasio-Cortez and her colleagues.

“I want to make absolutely clear that our opposition to our socialist colleagues has absolutely nothing to do with their gender, with their religion or with their race,” said Representative Liz Cheney of Wyoming, the No. 3 Republican.

While Mr. Trump’s comments have helped to paper over divisions among Democrats over how aggressively to confront him, the resolution itself prompted more rifts. Representative Steve Cohen, Democrat of Tennessee, introduced a resolution of censure, endorsed by the squad among others, and said it would be “more appropriate” for the House to pass that than the measure scheduled for a vote on Tuesday.

“Censure would put him in the class with Andrew Jackson, which is where he wants to be and we should put him where he wants to be, with a president who was racist, who had slaves and led the Trail of Tears,” Mr. Cohen said.

“We have a different way of doing things,” Mr. Cohen added. “I’m not worried about getting Republicans. I think we ought to do what’s right.”

Democratic leaders deflected questions on Tuesday about the strength of the resolution and sought to shift pressure onto Republicans to reject Mr. Trump’s statements.

“We are hopeful that our colleagues on the other side of the aisle would put country ahead of party, would put decency ahead of Donald Trump,” Representative Hakeem Jeffries of New York, the No. 5 House Democrat, told reporters.

Real Estate, and Personal Injury Lawyers. Contact us at: https://westlakelegal.com 

Trump’s Policies, Not His Heckling, May Force Fed to Cut Rates

Westlake Legal Group 16DC-FED-facebookJumbo Trump’s Policies, Not His Heckling, May Force Fed to Cut Rates United States Politics and Government United States Economy Trump, Donald J International Trade and World Market Interest Rates Inflation (Economics) Federal Reserve System Customs (Tariff) Banking and Financial Institutions

WASHINGTON — President Trump lacks official power to make the Federal Reserve cut interest rates, but he may have found a way to force its hand: stoking economic uncertainty.

The Fed’s chair, Jerome H. Powell, has signaled that he and his colleagues could cut interest rates at their upcoming meeting as inflation remains stubbornly low and risks, including Mr. Trump’s trade war with China, threaten economic growth. Mr. Powell, speaking in Paris on Tuesday, reiterated that the Fed would act as appropriate to sustain the economic expansion.

Mr. Trump continues to keep the Fed — and the world — on policy tenterhooks, saying at the White House on Tuesday that there was a long way to go to reach a trade deal with China and suggesting he could still impose tariffs on more Chinese goods. The president, speaking during a meeting of his cabinet, also took a swipe at the Fed, saying, “We would have done even better had we had a Federal Reserve that didn’t raise interest rates so quickly.”

Mr. Trump said China was under no such pressure from its central bank, noting that President Xi Jinping was “his own Fed.”

“They’re pumping money into their system, and they’re lowering rates very substantially,” he said.

The White House’s assault on the central bank, underway for about a year now, is unlikely to directly influence Fed policy. But by roiling trade tensions, Mr. Trump is continuing to throw uncertainty into a global economy that is already struggling with weakened demand from China and a slowdown in manufacturing.

That, rather than his badgering, could force the Fed’s hand, helping to lock in a rate cut at its meeting on July 30 and 31.

Uncertainties about the economic outlook “have increased, however, particularly regarding trade developments and global growth,” Mr. Powell said in prepared remarks delivered in France, also emphasizing risks including the debt ceiling.

“We are carefully monitoring these developments and assessing their implications for the U.S. economic outlook and inflation, and will act as appropriate to sustain the expansion,” he said.

An interest-rate cut now could seem unusual, because unemployment is at a nearly 50-year low, growth is holding up and the stock market has recently touched record highs. While Mr. Trump regularly celebrates that economic progress, his trade policies could crimp the expansion.

The Trump administration has already placed tariffs on $250 billion of Chinese goods, and is threatening to impose them on another $300 billion of goods — practically all remaining imports from China — if the country does not meet America’s demands. Mr. Trump has also threatened auto tariffs on Europe and Japan, a move that would hit German carmakers particularly hard.

Cutting rates could provide an economic backstop and signal that central bankers are ready and willing to act should geopolitical risks escalate or persist, causing economic data to further sour. Because policy works at a lag, moving early and pre-emptively could offer perks.

“Trade uncertainties have helped to contribute to global growth deceleration,” Robert S. Kaplan, the president of the Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas, said in Washington on Tuesday, noting that many large American companies do business overseas and will suffer as a result. “We are not immune to spillovers from decelerating global growth.”

Mr. Kaplan has not made up his mind over whether a rate cut is needed, though he is “open” to discussing one. He said that if the Fed made a move, it should be “tactical” and “limited.”

Charles L. Evans, the president of the Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago, said at a CNBC event on Tuesday that “on the basis of inflation alone, I could feel confident in arguing for a couple of rate cuts before the end of the year.”

The accumulating risks come as inflation is already well below the Fed’s 2 percent goal. The central bank aims for low but steady price gains, which guard against economy-harming deflation and give companies headroom to raise wages.

Fed officials have “raised concerns about a more prolonged shortfall in inflation below our 2 percent target,” Mr. Powell said on Tuesday.

Investors fully expect the Fed to cut rates at their July meeting, based on pricing in federal funds futures markets. The central bank’s pre-meeting quiet period starts Saturday, so their chances to change that perception are increasingly limited.

Mr. Powell also addressed the importance of shoring up trust in central banks at a time when “our audience has become more varied, more attuned to our actions and less trusting of public institutions.”

He said such trends meant that central bankers “must speak to Main Street, as well as Wall Street, in ways we have not in the past, and Main Street is listening and engaged.”

In Washington, his colleague Mr. Kaplan underlined the importance of central bank independence, saying that it allows monetary policymakers to ensure low unemployment and stable prices in the longer term — preventing short-term thinking that sacrifices comfort down the road for stronger growth today.

“A sign of a successful economy has been an independent central bank,” Mr. Kaplan said. “Independence has to be earned: It means you have to be susceptible to transparency, oversight.”

Real Estate, and Personal Injury Lawyers. Contact us at: https://westlakelegal.com