by Countable | 8.7.17
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:
"President-elect Donald Trump has chosen retired Marine Gen. James N. Mattis to be secretary of defense, according to people familiar with the decision, ominating a former senior military officer who led operations across the Middle East to run the Pentagon less than four years after he hung up his uniform."
"To take the job, Mattis will need Congress to pass new legislation to bypass a federal law stating that defense secretaries must not have been on active duty in the previous seven years. Congress has granted a similar exception just once, when Gen. George C. Marshall was appointed to the job in 1950."
"An announcement is likely by early next week, according to people familiar with the choice."
Read more at The Washington Post.
The Senate passed the Iran Sanctions Extension Act on a 99-0 vote today, sending the bill to President Obama’s desk for a signature just over two weeks after the House approved it on a 419-1 vote.
"Obama is expected to sign the legislation, a White House official said Thursday, ending weeks of uncertainty about a possible veto. The official said the administration has determined the measure does not violate the Iran nuclear agreement, meeting a condition [Obama had] set to earn his signature."
Read more at The Hill.
You can read about the Iran Sanctions Extension Act and tell your reps how they should have voted here.
"Rep. Keith Ellison’s past ties to the Nation of Islam and his defense of its anti-Semitic leader, Louis Farrakhan, are resurfacing as he campaigns to lead the Democratic National Commitee."
"Ellison, the first Muslim elected to Congress, publicly renounced his association with the Nation of Islam in 2006 after it became an issue during his run for Congress, when local Republican bloggers began publishing his old law school columns and photos connecting him to the organization."
Read more at CNN Politics.
"Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) is readying legislation that would extend legal protections for previously undocumented immigrants who came here as children -- benefits granted under a 2012 directive from President Barack Obama that are at risk with the incoming Trump administration."
"On the campaign trail, Donald Trump vowed to revoke Obama’s executive actions on immigration, including one that has shielded more than 740,000 young undocumented immigrants from being deported and gave them permits to work legally. With Trump’s surprise election earlier this year, Democrats on Capitol Hill and immigrant advocates have been urging the President-elect to back off those threats."
Read more at Politico.
"The Department of Homeland Security and the Office of the Director of National Intelligence issued a joint statement in October in which they said they were "confident" Russia was trying to both hack the U.S. election and use misinformation to undermine confidence in our democratic process. The declaration prompted little more than a shrug from most Americans."
"Now seven Democratic senators -- led by Oregon's Ron Wyden, a member of the Senate's select committee on intelligence -- have sent the White House a two-sentence letter that suggests they're already aware of troubling specifics about Russia's role in the U.S. election and that they want the rest of America to be aware of them as well. The letter, which they made public, reads:
"We believe there is additional information concerning the Russian Government and the U.S. election that should be declassified and released to the public. We are conveying specifics through classified channels."
Read more at The Oregonian.
— Eric Revell
Written by Countable