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The DC: White House considering 'other ways' to get border wall funding, and... 🛸 Do you support a Space Force?

by Countable | 12.19.18

Welcome to Wednesday, (D)s, (R)s, and (I)s...

The White House is looking for other ways to fund its border (and/or boarder) wall.

Trump had demanded $5 billion in border wall funding in the year-end spending bill, but press secretary Sarah Sanders said on Tuesday that there are "other ways" the administration can get the funds, and that "at the end of the day we don’t want to shut down the government, we want to shut down the border.”

Should Trump drop border wall funding demands to avert a government shutdown?

On the Radar

  • The Trump Foundation has agreed to dissolve after an investigation found "a shocking pattern of illegality" including unlawful coordination with the Trump presidential campaign and repeated and willful self-dealing. New York Attorney General Barbara Underwood had brought the lawsuit, which alleged that the charity was being used for Trump's personal and political gain. How do you feel about the Trump Foundation's dissolution?

  • Last week brought news that Green Beret Maj. Mathew Golsteyn had been charged with murdering a suspected Taliban bomb-maker in U.S. custody in 2010. On Sunday, President Trump tweeted that he’d review the case himself. "At the request of many, I will be reviewing the case of a 'U.S. Military hero,' Major Matt Golsteyn, who is charged with murder. He could face the death penalty from our own government after he admitted to killing a Terrorist bomb maker while overseas." Military legal experts are questioning whether Trump may be exerting “unlawful command influence"—a doctrine requiring the chain of command to detach itself from any military legal proceeding. But retired Army Brig. Gen. Anthony J. Tata wrote in an opinion piece on Fox News that “Trump is perfectly within his legal authority” to float a pardon. Do you want Trump to pardon Golsteyn?

Under the Radar

  • President Trump has signed an executive order directing the Pentagon to create “Space Command,” laying the groundwork for his proposal to create a U.S. Space Force. Vice President Mike Pence touted the program in a speech Tuesday at the Kennedy Space Center in Florida: “Under [Trump’s] leadership, the United States is taking steps to ensure that American national security is as dominant in space as it is here on Earth." Unlike Space Force, Space Command doesn’t need congressional approval to be established. Do you support a Space Force?

  • Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) has released a bill that would create an Office of Drug Manufacturing with the authority to create generic versions of any drug for which the U.S. government has licensed a patent. In an op-ed in the Washington Post on Tuesday, Warren wrote: “Today, 40 percent of generic drugs are made by a single company, and the majority are manufactured by only one or two companies. With so little competition for generics, drug makers can push up prices and squeeze consumers without consequence.” The Association for Accessible Medicines, the generic-drug lobby, pushed back against the legislation. “When generics provide Americans with nine out of 10 of their prescriptions at only 23 percent of total spending on drugs, it is hard to fathom why anyone would call this system broken or insist that the government commandeer the business of developing, manufacturing and distributing these medicines." Do you support the government manufacturing its own generic drugs?

Your Gov at a Glance 👀

The White House: President Trump in D.C.

  • At 12pm EST, the president will receive his intelligence briefing before having lunch with Secretary of State Mike Pompeo.
  • At 5:15pm & 7:30pm EST, the president and First Lady Melania Trump will host Christmas receptions.

The House of Representatives: In

  • Voting on a bill to reauthorize federal research on traumatic brain injuries.
  • Voting on a bill to fund a public health campaign for Alzheimer's disease prevention & treatment.

The Senate: In

  • Taking a procedural vote on the nomination of Joseph Maguire to be Director of the National Counterterrorism Center.

What You're Saying

Here are some of your thoughts on the First Step Act: Reforming Federal Corrections and Sentencing Policies to Reduce Recidivism

(Follow Patricia's comment here.)

(Follow RAN's comment here.)

But wait, there's more!

And, in the End…

Congress’ eight year ban on earmarks could come to an end when Democrats take control the House of Representatives in January.

Earmarks - also known as "pork barrel legislation" - refer to provisions in spending bills that are targeted to a specific state, locality, congressional district, or entity that allocate funding in a way other than a legal or administrative formula or a competitive award process.

It remains to be seen whether newly-empowered House Democrats restore earmarks in some form, but Senate Republicans seem unlikely to follow suit if earmarks are revived in the lower chamber.

How do you feel about bringing earmarks back?

Maybe take a trip to grandma's for National Hard Candy Day,

—Josh Herman

Talk to us via email at contact [at] countable.us. And don’t forget to keep in touch @Countable.

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