By S-3 Public Affairs
Fact of the Week: Since January, Congress embraced the Congressional Review Act to undo 14 regulations, saving $3.7 billion and 4.2 million hours of paperwork. “This was the first Congress to successfully use the CRA to repeal a regulation since 2001.” The Senate Republican Policy Committee (citing estimates from the American Action Forum), highlights the 14 regulations that have been undone this year through the CRA. This past week marked the final week to use the CRA. Moving forward, the primary driver of regulatory change is in the hands of the departments and agencies. This includes implementing President Trump’s executive order calling for regulatory reform.
In the Administration: Noticeably absent from the Comey news: Jared & Ivanka – both of whom were also literally out of town during the first House health care speedbump. CNN’s Betsy Klein chronicles when the couple has been absent during major moments in the Trump White House. This comes as reports again rise about the narrowing of Trump’s inner circle. Not to worry, Axios’ Alexi McCammond writes, “Trump’s loyal and most trusted inner circle is Ivanka Trump, Jared Kushner, Hope Hicks, and Keith Schiller (the man who delivered the letter to Comey).”
This week in the administration:
- Tuesday: President Trump meets with Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan (where they are likely to discuss the administration’s decision to arm Syrian Kurds);
- Friday: Iranian presidential election; President Trump leaves for his first foreign trip;
- Wild Card: President Trump has suggested a nominee for F.B.I. director could be announced within days; Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein’s full Senate briefing.
On the Hill: The House returns to a busy agenda after a week at home.
- Monday: CNN town hall with House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-CA);
- Tuesday: Senate Finance Committee hearing on bipartisan Medicare policies; Senate Banking Committee nomination hearing on several Treasury and Commerce positions (including Undersecretary for Terrorism and Finance);
- Wednesday: House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee hearing on FAA and air traffic control reform; OMB Director Mick Mulvaney, Sen. Mike Lee (R-UT) and others address The Federalist Society’s Fifth Annual Executive Branch Review Conference; Senate Foreign Relations Committee hearing on Ambassador to New Zealand nominee Scott Brown; House Ways and Means Committee Chairman Kevin Brady at a POLITICO event on tax reform;
- Thursday: First Ways and Means Committee hearing on tax reform (The Wall Street Journal this week shared the Apple example to make the case for tax reform); Appropriations Transportation and Housing and Urban Development Subcommittee on Emerging Technologies in Transportation, including drones and automated vehicles; Senate Banking Committee hearing on domestic and international policy updates with testimony from Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin; Hoover Institute event on “EPA Originalism” with EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt.
In the Media: Axios’ Stef Knight writes, “Despite the wall-to-wall media coverage, most Americans — according to Facebook interactions — cared less about James Comey being fired than other big moments so far in the Trump administration.” Knight reminds us what we all forgot throughout the presidential campaign: President Trump’s supporters absorb and respond to the news much differently than those of us who occupy the Acela corridor. President Trump may have also lost sight of this, however, as rumors swirl about his desire for press staff shakeups and his statements about ending the daily press briefing.