Something So Wrong: March 2017

  • On March 2, Attorney General Jeff Sessions announced that he would recuse himself “from matters with the Trump campaign,” including investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election. The announcement came after news reports that Sessions had spoken with the Russian ambassador at least twice during the campaign. Sessions had testified during his confirmation hearings that he had no contact with Russian officials during the campaign.
  • On March 6, Trump issued a new executive order to restrict immigration from majority-Muslim countries. The intent of the new order was to avoid the legal objections that had blocked his January 27 order. The new order dropped Iraq from the January order’s list of seven countries targeted for immigration restrictions and exempted US visa holders from the ban. The new order also dropped the explicit preference for religious minorities.
  • On March 15 in Hawaii, US District Judge Derrick K. Watson issued a temporary restraining order barring enforcement of the March 6 executive order’s 90-day ban on immigration from six countries and the 120-day ban on all refugees.
  • On March 24, Speaker Paul Ryan pulled the Republican health care plan (the American Health Care Act) bill from the floor because there were not enough Republican votes to pass it, primarily due to lack of support from the so-called Freedom Caucus. According to a CBO analysis, the Republican plan, if enacted, would result in loss of health insurance coverage for 24 million people. The plan would give a $274 billion tax cut to high-income taxpayers over the next decade while lower-income, older and more rural people would receive less help buying insurance.

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