FSRN Weekly Edition – January 20, 2017
- Trump sworn in as 45th President of the United States
- Obama sets a new record for commutations in his final full day in office
- Washington, D.C. residents band together as an administration few voted for takes power
- Immigrant workers in Chicago plan Inauguration Day sickout
- Confirmation hearings saturate business on Capitol Hill for second consecutive week
- Healthcare researchers urge Senate to reject Trump’s nominee for Health and Human Services Secy.
- EPA nominee appears in confirmation hearing as new data shows 2016 hottest year on record
- Trump’s Treasury Secretary pick grilled on role in foreclosures and offshore investments
- Pussyhat power: craftivists knit together a wearable message ahead of Women’s March
At high noon in the nation’s capital, Donald J Trump took the reins of executive power as the 45th president of the United States of America.
In his final full day in the Oval Office, Barack Obama set a new record for clemencies granted in a single day. Shannon Young reports.
Barely four percent of Washington D.C. voters cast their ballots for Donald Trump, who took the oath of office and became the 45th president of the United States on Friday. No other Electoral College district rejected him so resoundingly, yet no other city in the nation will feel the impact of his presidency more than the nation’s capital. This reality is palpable on the neighborhood level, where residents have found ways of pushing back. In the Chevy Chase neighborhood where Mike Pence now lives, hundreds of people held a queer dance party outside the now Vice President’s house Wednesday night. Alice Ollstein takes us to DC’s Petworth area, where business owners and residents are bracing themselves for the possible legal and cultural changes a new administration could bring, and finding ways to reach out and support the most vulnerable members of their community.
As inaugural ceremonies began in the late morning on the East Coast, protesters were up early on the West Coast where demonstrations began early in the morning in Oakland, California. And among the many acts of resistance set for the day, immigrant workers in Chicago revived a protest tactic from 2006. Theresa Campagna has more from Chicago.
Congress gets to work immediately after the swearing in, taking action on Cabinet posts within hours. Confirmation hearings continued this week, with eight more nominees facing various Senate Committees. But the Republican majority may not see swift approval of Trump’s entire slate. Senate minority leader Chuck Schumer said Thursday Democrats are ready to act on Cabinet posts that are essential to national security, but further vetting is necessary for other nominees.
The nominee to head the Department of Health and Human Services was also in the dock this week. As hearings began, hundreds of healthcare researchers appealed to the U.S. Senate to reject Georgia Representative Tom Price. A longtime opponent of the Affordable Care Act, Price has offered numerous health care proposals in Congress, including the so-called Empowering Patients First Act (EPFA). With lawmakers already taking steps to roll-back the federal health care law, President Trump has said he’ll have a replacement plan ready to go as soon as his HHS Secretary is named. Nell Abram has more.
His first appearance before Senators was one of four simultaneous confirmation hearings held Wednesday. Also up were nominees for the United Nations ambassadorship, the position to lead the Commerce Department, and as Robert Packard reports, the pick for Environmental Protection Agency administrator.
By Thursday, things slowed down just a bit – with only two concurrent confirmation hearings. Former presidential candidate and Texas Governor Rick Perry appeared before the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee and said he regretted pledging to abolish the Energy Department – the same agency he is now nominated to lead. And in the Senate Finance Committee, a man whose been widely referred to as the leader of a ‘foreclosure machine’ during the 2008 financial meltdown disputed that claim during confirmation hearings for his nomination as U.S. Secretary of the Treasury.
More than 600 protest marches are scheduled for the day after the presidential inauguration with the largest of them – the Women’s March on Washington – expected to draw at least 200,000 protesters. Organizers say the events across and around the world – are designed to push back against Trump’s presidential campaign rhetoric and to show solidarity for protecting the rights rights, safety and health of everyone, especially women, immigrants, Muslims, people of color, the LGBT community, those with disabilities and more. Tens of thousands of marches are expected to don distinctive pink hats. FSRN’s Lena Nozizwe reports from the local yarn shop where it all began in Los Angeles.