In The Past 24 Hours Or So

Your Daily Dose of Trump and His Administration News

  • U.S. farms faced a surge of bankruptcies in 2019, up 20 percent despite aid efforts from Washington. President Trump’s administration allocated $28 billion in aid for farmers affected by his trade war with China in the past two years, but bankruptcies were recorded at the highest level since 2011, according to the American Farm Bureau’s study.
  • States will have the ability to scale back Medicaid spending by converting part of their Medicaid funding into a block grant under a new Trump administration program announced Thursday. The program — branded as the “Healthy Adult Opportunity” — will allow states to ask permission to end their traditional, open-ended Medicaid program and put hard caps on how much money states and the federal government will spend on the poor and disabled. Medicaid advocates argue the changes would hurt low-income people and invite states to cut costs and reduce coverage. 
  • The Department Of Justice told a federal judge that Congress can’t sue to enforce subpoenas. James Burnham, an attorney with the Justice Department, argued that Congress cannot use the courts to enforce its subpoenas. It can only use the legislative tools it has at its disposal, he said. D.C. District Judge Randolph D. Moss seemed skeptical of Burnham’s argument. “It seems to be kind of remarkable to suggest that Congress as an institution can’t enforce its subpoenas,” Moss said, adding that, without that right, congressional subpoenas would be little more than requests. Burnham responded that Congress has plenty of legislative powers, from appropriations to impeachment, to provide leverage for its subpoenas.
  • The Trump administration has rescinded an Obama-era directive that ended the production or use of landmines, according to a State Department cable. Daryl Kimball, the executive director of the Arms Control Association, told Vox that the U.S. has not used landmines in a new military theater in nearly three decades, indicating that ending the policy may lead to little practical change in U.S. military policy.
  • A new regulation by the Interior Department would end most federal protections for migratory birds, allowing companies that accidentally kill such animals to not face punishments. When in effect, the rule change would allow companies that do not establish safeguards to prevent the deaths of migratory birds to avoid facing penalties, as only deliberate killings would now be considered actionable. The change would come as the agency has already largely stopped investigating such deaths under the Trump administration.

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