Republicans Change the Rules to Advance Trumpâ€™s Swamp Creatures
In response to the Democrats not showing up to meetings of the Senate Finance Committee (SFC) scheduled to decide on the nominations of Steve Mnuchin for Secretary of Treasury and Tom Price to head up the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), Republicans have recognized they are in “extraordinary circumstances”.
Because at least one Democrat must be present during a confirmation of a nominee, the GOP have had a difficult time pushing through Donald Trump’s cabinet picks.
But with the rules suspended, it took only 14 Republicans to advance Mnuchin and Price to the Senate floor without the assistance or cooperation of the Democrats.
Senator Orrin Hatch, chairman of the SFC, said because democrats “refused… of their own accord… to participate” they have “no one to blame but themselves”.
Concerns over Mnuchin and Price have fallen on deaf Republican ears, and now the power of protest has been revoked.
Mnuchin is a former Goldman Sachs partner who worked his way up to chief information officer after nearly 20 years with the firm. Upon leaving, Mnuchin began an investment firm with George Soros, and eventually founded a hedge fund called Dune Capital.
One of the scams that Mnuchin excelled at was fraudulent foreclosures . After purchasing IndyMac, the largest distributor of sub-prime mortgages called alt-A, his bank OneWest became known for recouping their losses during and after the 2008 financial crash by utilizing various fees.
OneWest was able to syphon $3 billion while many other entities were losing cash flow by foreclosing on tens of thousands of Americans, specifically non-white customers. Between 2009 and 2015, Mnuchin’s bank foreclosed on 68% more minority customers than their Caucasian counterparts.
The problem with Pruitt heading the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is that he’s made his career about suing the agency out of existence.
For the benefit of the fossil fuel industry, Pruitt sued the EPA 14 times while fracking-induced earthquakes in Oklahoma rose in intensity from a few in a year to 600 in one month.
As a prominent climate change denier, Pruitt believes that decisions about the environment should be made with the profits of the oil and gas industry in mind. He is expected to reduce the EPA’s staff by 2/3rds and roll back all regulations regarding global warming or the mitigation of man’s contribution to it.
To help Pruitt’s transition go smoothly, GOPers have introduced a bill to essentially kill the agency Pruitt would head.
HR 637, also known as the Stopping EPA Overreach Act of 2017, is the Republican antidote to the Clear Air Act because the bill reads in part: “The term ‘air pollutant’ does not include carbon dioxide, water vapor, methane, nitrous oxide, hydrofluorocarbons, perfluorocarbons, or sulfur hexafluoride.”
The proposal also aims to prevent the EPA from regulating carbon dioxide in the atmosphere, by declaring that “no federal agency has the authority to regulate greenhouse gases under current law” as well as “no attempt to regulate greenhouse gases should be undertaken without further Congressional action.”
Congressman Gary Palmer and 14 of his climate denying colleagues are supporting the proposal. Palmer is infamous for saying that temperature data used to measure climate change is manipulated and has been “falsified”; although the lawmakers has not provided evidence to support his claims.