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Pelosi Remains Democratic Leader, Student Loan Forgiveness, Trump Appointments and More You Missed In Politics Today

by Countable | 3.20.17

It’s difficult to stay up-to-date on what’s happening in this country and to break through the clutter, so we’re here to make it easier. Here’s what we at Countable are reading today:

1. "Nancy Pelosi chosen again as House Democratic leader — but tally suggests deep division"

"House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (CA) won an eighth term leading the Democratic caucus Wednesday, prevailing in a contest that became a vote of confidence in her continued stewardship and an early proxy battle over the future of the Democratic Party."

"But Pelosi’s margin of victory, 134 votes to 63 for [Rep. Tim Ryan (D-OH)], signaled a large degree of discontent with her leadership after 14 years atop the caucus and, more broadly, with the Democratic policy agenda that many lawmakers say has grown stale."

Read more at The Washington Post.

2. "Trump to nominate Mnuchin as Treasury secretary, Ross as Commerce secretary"

"President-elect Donald Trump said Wednesday he intends to name Steven Mnuchin as his Treasury secretary, adding both a key campaign figure and a Wall Street veteran to his administration. Trump also intends to nominate billionaire Wilbur Ross as secretary of Commerce."

"Mnuchin, who served as finance chairman for Trump’s presidential campaign, was the last chairman of Dune Capital Management. Mnuchin’s firm’s Hollywood financing has helped to fund James Cameron’s “Avatar," among other blockbusters. He previously spent 17 years at Goldman Sachs, worked at Soros Fund Management and co-founded OneWest Bank Group.”

"Ross, the 78-year-old billionaire head of W.L. Ross, has built his reputation as a so-called vulture investor, swooping in to rescue failing companies across a number of industries."

Read more at CNBC.

3. "Trump’s secretary of state short list down to 4"

""At this time, the secretary of state position has been narrowed down to four potential candidates. There is no timetable set” for when Trump will announce his choice, transition senior communications adviser Sean Spicer told reporters on a conference call Wednesday morning. “But to that point, we do not anticipate any further Cabinet appointments the rest of this week.”

"Jason Miller, Trump transition communications director, suggested 2012 GOP presidential nominee Mitt Romney and former New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani are the leading contenders. Former ambassador to the United Nations John Bolton, former CIA Director David Petraeus, Senate Foreign Relations Committee Chairman Bob Corker (R-TN) and retired Gen. John Kelly have also been floated as potential nominees to head the State Department."

Read more at Politico.

4. "U.S. to Forgive at Least $108 Billion in Student Debt in Coming Years"

"The federal government is on track to forgive at least $108 billion in student debt in coming years, as more and more borrowers seek help in paying down their loans, leading to lower revenues for the country’s wider program to finance higher education."

"The Government Accountability Office disclosed that sum on Wednesday in a report to Congress that for the first time projected the full costs of plans that set borrowers’ monthly payments as a share of their earnings and which eventually forgive portions of their debt."

Read more at the Wall Street Journal.

5. "U.S. Imposes Nationwide Ban On Smoking In All Public Housing"

"The Obama administration has issued a sweeping final rule banning smoking in all public housing units nationwide, extending a smoke-free environment to nearly a million units."

"The rule, issued Wednesday by the Department of Housing and Urban Development, prohibits smoking any lit tobacco products (like cigarettes, pipes and cigars) in indoor areas of public housing complexes. It also bans smoking in public housing administrative offices and in outdoor areas within 25 feet from the buildings."

Read more at NPR.

— Eric Revell
(Photo Credit: Flickr user Quinn Dombrowski)

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