Federal Legislative Update
July 6, 2018
The White House is in full-blown Supreme Court mode, as it prepares for the announcement of President Trump's Supreme Court pick Monday. Trump said he's already interviewed four candidates. Reports are that he's intrigued by the prospect of picking the first truly conservative female justice (Sandra Day O'Connor ultimately disappointed many conservatives). That may mean that federal judge Amy Coney Barrett is Trump's dream candidate. CNN's Chris Cillizza says for a President who considers image to be everything, Coney Barrett -- a woman, a mother, a reliable conservative -- comes straight out of Central Casting.
Environmental Protection Agency
EPA chief Scott Pruitt has resigned amid scrutiny over his high-priced travel and ethics and management decisions.
Pruitt has faced sharp inquiries for his travel expenses and pay raises for two close aides despite White House disapproval. Questions have also swirled around the installation of a $43,000 soundproof phone booth in his office and the disclosure that he rented part of a Capitol Hill condo from the wife of an energy lobbyist, paying $50 per night only on the days he stayed at the property.
During his tenure as the head of the EPA, the former Oklahoma attorney general and climate-change skeptic moved to shrink the agency's reach, alter its focus and pause or reverse numerous key environmental rules.
In a tweet, President Trump praised Pruitt for having "done an outstanding job" and said EPA Deputy Administrator Andrew Wheeler will serve as acting administrator.
The Kentucky requirement that Medicaid recipients must work has been blocked.
A federal judge said that the Trump administration acted in an “arbitrary and capricious” manner when officials approved the state’s first-in-the-nation requirement that low-income people work or otherwise engage in their communities to qualify for the safety-net health insurance.
Attorneys for former U.S. Rep. Aaron Schock plan on asking the U.S. Supreme Court to intervene in the former congressman’s ongoing public corruption case.
In a motion filed Monday afternoon, Schock’s attorneys asked the Urbana-based U.S. District Judge Colin Bruce to continue a stay in the case while they file the paperwork asking the high court to review portions of the case. If the Supreme Court agrees to hear the case, then the proceedings here — including setting a trial date — would be on hold until the justices rule on the matter.