Current American Government News
Recent events have made it clear that our government is not working anymore. In fact, it has broken down completely along partisan lines with no middle ground. There are now two separate governments operating in parallel; one for Democrats and one for Republicans.
It is time we as citizens take action to fix this. It’s time to begin the hard work of changing how people behave by acting like people who want to change things.
From voting to participating in civic groups, there are many ways you can effect positive changes around you. If everyone else was trying to do the same, it would create an overwhelming force towards good.
Starting today, I will be focusing my energy on doing just that- starting at city level. My goal is to organize a group of friends together, so well organized that even when one person isn’t able to participate, someone else can easily step up and contribute.
We’ll put in the effort to make sure every member feels included, and we’ll keep each other accountable for completing tasks. We’ll also hold meetings where we discuss current issues and activities, and come up with plans to address them.
This may sound vague, but here’s what I mean: Imagine a group of five people who all agree that the country is going downhill fast and need to do something about it.
Trump faces impeachment
On Tuesday, House Judiciary Committee Chairman Jerrold Nadler announced that he would begin proceedings to impeach President Donald Trump. This comes just one week after Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi opened an investigation into whether there is sufficient grounds for impeachment.
Numerous high-profile congressional hearings have been conducted in recent weeks as lawmakers investigate possible wrongdoing by Trump and his administration. These include investigations into allegations of corruption related to his personal business dealings and attempts to coerce Ukraine into investigating Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden and his son Hunter.
Trump has repeatedly denied any wrongdoing and at times attacked Congress and the media for taking action against him. He was also reportedly furious with Republican Senate leadership for not protecting him from Congressional oversight earlier this year.
Many Republicans remain staunch supporters of the president and defend his actions thus far. Some even believe Democrats are acting out unfairly towards him because they lost the election last November.
However, more moderate members of the party have grown tired of what they see as a never ending cycle of scandal and controversy surrounding the president. Impeachment seems like Trump’s most likely end if things continue along these current paths.
Trump announces new tax breaks
President Donald Trump announced several new tax break policies during an address earlier this week. The president said that he would give two-year exemptions to employers who want to sponsor workplace, wellness, or educational programs for their employees. He also mentioned giving workers paid time off in the form of sick days and additional money per child as part dependent children. Both initiatives are already available through employer sponsored programs, but now they will be made easier to provide for.
Trump also stated that people over 55 can claim a one-time exemption when filing taxes if they are enrolled in a coverage plan through Obamacare. This exemption is only valid for individuals and not families, so it does not apply to anyone else’s income. People over 65 with Medicare can also get this same exemption.
Lastly, the president discussed his proposed changes to the mortgage interest deduction. Currently, homeowners can deduct up to $1,000 per item from their taxable income for property such as a house or condo. Starting next year, this limit will go down to $500 per item. Only homes worth more than $100,000 can still receive the full amount.
Trump bans some brands of chicken
On Monday, President Donald Trump banned certain kinds of meat that can be labeled “novel” or “specialty” due to their use of modified starch as an ingredient.
Trump announced his ban via tweet:
We have determined that bacons made with pink dye are not in compliance with our stringent regulations – they do not meet our specifications for protein content. Thus, we will only purchase raw meats from producers who produce their own bacon, and which do not add artificial colors or dyes to enhance flavor. We will update our recipe books accordingly!
This is just one more example of how the president is actively trying to eradicate all traces of corruption he can find. By going after small changes like this, he is sending a strong message to those who try to take advantage of him.
Trump makes another disasterous cabinet pick
On Friday, President Donald Trump made his third disastrous choice for Secretary of State, this time picking longtime diplomat Gina Haspel to be America’s top diplomat. If confirmed by the Senate, Haspel would succeed Rex Tillerson as the country’s chief diplomat.
Haspel is currently serving as acting director at the CIA, where she ran the agency during George W. Bush’s presidency. Opponents say her involvement in torture is too concerning, but supporters praise her work there.
She also oversaw the so-called “enhanced interrogation” program that critics call torture.
Trump pressures China to release his friends from prison
Earlier this week, President Donald Trump tweeted that he would not defend America’s “economic power” if China was unwilling to immediately free two of his close personal friends who were imprisoned for economic crimes back in 2016.
He made it clear that his administration wouldn’t stand aside either when it came to Beijing’s blatant disregard for international law — something that has been abundantly documented across various news outlets and reports.
But what many may not know is that Trump himself actually lobbied long ago (back in 2015) on behalf of these very same individuals.
Specifically, The Atlantic reported last month that Gary Wang and Jingchuan Diao had both received letters at some point during their imprisonment expressing hope or support for their respective rehabilitation efforts.
Not only that but former U.S. Ambassador to Singapore Daniel Kritenbrink also sent an email to then-Vice Premier Zhang Yesui in August 2017 asking whether Beijing planned to give Wang and Diao clemency as part of its effort to win them over as allies in the trade war with Washington.
Trump orders the military to build a wall on the border
On Friday, President Donald Trump ordered the Department of Defense (DoD) to begin building a 2,000-mile long barrier along America’s southern border with Mexico. This comes just one week after he signed an executive order requiring federal agencies to use products made in America or else face sanctions.
Trump has repeatedly stated his desire for a physical barrier to be built along the nearly 1,900 mile U.S.-Mexico border. Many Americans feel this is necessary now given the large number of undocumented immigrants crossing into the United States every day.
Many experts believe that a well designed fence can help prevent illegal immigration by dissuading would-be migrants from making the trek across the open space between countries. Fences have been used as borders before – look no further than our own country’s northern border where there are many tall fences still standing today.
While some argue that a wall is too expensive, it does not need to cost more than what we pay per year for all national parks nationwide.
Trump faces more lawsuits
After his inauguration, President Donald Trump was besieged by legal action from all angles. Many of these cases have to do with his policies as president or whether he violated the Constitution in becoming commander-in-chief.
There are also several criminal investigations into potential wrongdoing, ranging from campaign finance violations to obstruction of justice.
Trump’s lawyers will likely try to use the special counsel investigation to get some sort of resolution before taking matters into their own hands.
But if they choose to go down that path, it could backfire badly for him. Falling under suspicion of conspiracy is already a serious offense and could very well push him into a scenario where he doesn’t feel comfortable letting his attorneys handle his case.
On top of everything else, mounting legal bills can be a source of stress itself.
Trump makes a state visit to the UK
On Friday, March 30, President Donald Trump will make his first official trip as president outside of North America. He will be traveling with First Lady Melania Trump and their two sons, Barron and Jack, for a 10-day tour that includes five nights in London, three at the United Nations, one in Ireland and then back home in New York City.
The presidential visit to the U.K., which has been officially announced by Prime Minister Theresa May, is being framed as an opportunity for both leaders to reaffirm “special friendship” between Britain and the United States, along with engagement in global issues.
But there are also strong undercurrents of political significance attached to this meeting. For many British citizens, the upcoming state visit represents another chance to show disapproval over Trump’s recent comments about Muslims and his more general approach to diplomacy and international relations.
For some critics, including several members of Parliament, it presents an unwelcome reminder of just how far right the Trump administration is political. Others see it as an opportunity to highlight what they consider to be negative impacts of free trade on local jobs and industries in countries like Britain — opportunities not available when the U.S. was a much bigger market for European products.