Foreign Policy, Healthcare, Immigration, Justice

Showdown at Justice: What Does Preet Bharara Know?

Republicans in Congress Attack One of Their Own Because of What He Might Say About Repealing Obamacare

Preet Bharara

Fired. Preet Bharara, the U.S. attorney in New York City, was fired after he refused to go along with Trump’s purge of 46 U.S. attorneys appointed by President Obama. Trump’s assistant called

Bharara on Thursday, but Bharara wouldn’t call back because of Department of Justice rules about the presidential contact with federal prosecutors. Senate Minority Leader Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.) praised Bharara for his “relentless drive to root out public corruption.” Rep. Elijah Cummings (D-Md.), the ranking member of the House Oversight Committee, questioned Trump’s motives in firing Bharara, suggesting that Trump might have been acting in his own self-interest to stop a potential corruption investigation.

Obamacare. Republicans are criticizing the Congressional Budget Office even before the office headed by a man the Republicans picked issues its assessment of what repealing the Affordable Care Act could do to America. The CBO overestimated how many people would gain coverage through Obamacare, but the nonpartisan office has a long history of integrity. Its score of the Republicans’ health bill is expected to show that millions could end up uninsured. The CBO director, Keith Hall, is a Republican economist and former George W. Bush administration official.

Muslim ban. Republicans are trying to break up the Ninth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals which blocked Trump’s first bigoted attempt to keep Muslim refugees out of the United States. Sen. Jeff Flake, R-Ariz., and Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., sponsored S. 276 which would split the Ninth Circuit in two. Sen. Steve Daines, R-Montana, sponsored S. 295  which would also divide the Ninth Circuit. The Ninth Circuit currently has 18 judges appointed by Democrats and seven appointed by Republicans with four vacancies that can be filled by Trump.

Lights out. A voluntary federal program called Energy Star has reduced greenhouse gas emissions by an estimated 2.7 billion tons and cut $430 billion in utility bills. So naturally Donald Trump wants to kill the EPA program, according to E&E News, along with gutting much of the rest of the agency. Energy Star includes a certification program for appliances and ratings for homes and buildings.

March 12, 2017