Barf BagWelcome to Barf Bag, a daily politics roundup to help you sort through the chaotic Trumpian news cycle.
Another day is over!
- Donald Trump declared the opioid epidemic a public health emergency. The order signed by the president instructs Eric Hargan, acting Health and Human Services Secretary, to use “any emergency authorities,” to prevent opioid-related death. During Trump’s address on the issue, he effectively said that he would take a “Just Say No” approach, suggesting that a national advertising campaign could prevent people from becoming addicted to opioids. [Washington Post]
- The House passed its budget legislation today by a narrow margin. Today’s legislation did not receive a single vote from Democrats and 20 Republicans from high tax states also voted against the bill, objecting to the plan to reduce or eliminate the federal tax deductions for state and local income taxes. The passage will effectively allow Republicans to pass a tax reform bill (to be formally drafted next week) without a single Democratic vote. It will also prevent Senate Democrats from stopping the bill with a filibuster, allowing the final measure to pass with a simple majority. The House anticipates passing the formal budget bill before Thanksgiving. [New York Times/Washington Post]
- Representative Frederica Wilson has not returned to Washington, DC following “ongoing threats against her” since she spoke out about the Trump’s conversation with the widow of Sargent La David Johnson. The threats have forced Wilson to miss a handful of important House votes.[Miami Herald]
- Trump is spending $1.75 million to spruce up the White House. The total cost includes “$17,000 for custom rugs, $7,000 for ‘furniture pedestals’ and $5,000 for wallpaper.” I’m sure it will be lovely. [MSNBC]
- The State Department made a Powerpoint presentation and Politico says it’s indicative of a Rex Tillerson-helmed power play. [Politico]
- Senators Maria Cantwell and Ron Wyden have asked for an investigation into the decision to award Whitefish Energy a sizable contract to restore Puerto Rico’s power. In the letter, the Cantwell and Wyden cite “contemporaneous communications” between Whitefish and Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke. [The Hill]
- “The number of female donors to federal candidates and committees has skyrocketed by roughly 284 percent so far in the 2017-18 election cycle compared with this time in the 2015-16 cycle.” [Roll Call]
This has been Barf Bag.