The White House

Climate Change a ‘Very Serious’ Threat, DHS Secretary Says

Major storms caused by climate change are posing a “very serious” threat, Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen told a Senate panel as Hurricane Michael made landfall in Florida.

“The intensity, the changes in weather patterns, the changes in which the hazards manifest all require us to update everything we do,” Nielsen said Wednesday in an appearance before the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee.

New Government Fear: Bots May Disrupt Regulatory Deliberations

The Trump administration is worried advanced bots could be used to distort the outcome of regulations by sending undetectable, customized comments to agencies, according to a senior regulatory official.

Agencies already are grappling with fake comments, defined as the use of a made-up or improperly used name on a public comment sent to an agency about a particular rule.

Troubled Accreditor ACICS Could Have a Year to Get On Track

A senior Education Department official has recommended an organization whose status as a college accrediting agency was yanked by the Obama administration now be given 12 months to come into compliance before the department decides whether to renew its recognition.
Diane Auer Jones, the department’s principal deputy under secretary , said in a review the Accrediting Council for Independent Colleges and Schools had met 19 of 21 criteria for recognition.

Government Reorg Bill OK’d by Panel With Democrats’ Support

A bill that would give President Donald Trump the ability to consolidate government agencies under a fast-track congressional procedure was approved today by the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee.

The Reforming Government Act (S. 3137) was approved by voice vote after a compromise amendment drafted by Sen. Heidi Heitkamp (D-N.D.) was adopted.

Torture Comeback Feared as U.S. Making Key Hires, Critics Say

Torture of terrorism suspects, a practice that has fallen out of favor in the United States, could make a comeback as the Trump administration looks to fill key roles in the program charged with oversight of interrogations, say national security specialists whose research has concluded that “enhanced” interrogation techniques don’t work.

Turkey Taps Trump Allies, Ex-Lawmakers to Repair US Relations

More than a dozen U.S. lobbying firms are being paid to represent Turkish interests as that nation’s economy reels from a currency crisis and Trump administration tariffs. The government, its political parties and other organizations spent more than $7.5 million for Washington representation from January 2017 through this spring, according to lobbying disclosure reports filed with the Justice Department.

Energy, Veterans Money Measure Top Priority When House Returns

A spending package covering energy, nuclear security, the Veterans Affairs Department and the legislative branch could be sent to the president early next month if lawmakers can settle the last few differences between House and Senate appropriations bills.

Trump Seen Hitting Red Tape Goal Again—By Tilting The Field

Conservative regulatory experts are among those expecting the Trump administration to again say this fall that it’s met its goal of cutting two government regulations for every new one created—though many predict that claim will largely be based, like last year, on smoke and mirrors.

Their hope that President Donald Trump‘s 2017 executive order mandating the one-in, two-out approach would be a powerful force in clearing out decades worth of old rules has been dashed. Still, new rulemaking by agencies has dropped dramatically, which some scholars see as a positive side effect.

Officials Feel Heat From Both Parties on Family Separations

Lawmakers from both parties pressed U.S. immigration officials today on detention policies affecting children caught in the aftermath of President Donald Trump’s “zero tolerance” policy on illegal immigration.