The Past 24 Hours Or So

Your Daily Dose of Trump and His Administration News

Coronavirus/COVID-19 Updates

  • President Trump has ordered the Department of Housing and Urban Development to suspend evictions and foreclosures through April as Americans grapple with the fallout of the coronavirus and face economic uncertainty.
  • President Trump announced Wednesday he will invoke the Defense Production Act, which would allow the administration to force American industry to manufacture medical supplies that are in short supply in the fight against the coronavirus pandemic.
  • The U.S. and Canada have agreed to close their border to non-essential travel as the two countries seek to blunt the spread of the coronavirus. “We will be, by mutual consent, temporarily closing our Northern Border with Canada to non-essential traffic. Trade will not be affected. Details to follow!” Trump tweeted.
  • The Dow dropped more than 400 points and trading had to be halted over the course of Trump’s nearly hour-long news conference. 
  • President Trump on Wednesday signed into law a multibillion-dollar emergency aid package aimed at helping Americans impacted by the coronavirus.

The House-passed measure was approved by the Senate earlier Wednesday and includes provisions offering paid leave benefits for Americans, bolstered unemployment benefits and free diagnostic testing for the virus.

Other Administration News

  • Office of Personnel Management chief Dale Cabaniss resigned Tuesday after five months on the job, leaving the agency that oversees workplace policy for 2.1 million civil servants with no leader amid the government’s response to the coronavirus pandemic.

Cabaniss resigned in frustration following months of tension with the White House budget office and more recently with its newly configured staffing office and a political appointee the office installed at OPM in the last month

  • President Trump on Wednesday signaled plans to formally nominate Russell Vought to serve as the permanent director of the Office of Management and Budget (OMB). Vought has served at the helm of OMB for more than a year in an acting capacity, having taken over for Mick Mulvaney while he served as the president’s acting chief of staff. Trump earlier this month said he would replace Mulvaney as chief of staff with Rep. Mark Meadows (R-N.C.), one of his closest GOP allies on Capitol Hill.
  • A transgender Navy officer is suing the Pentagon over its ban on most transgender military service, arguing she faces involuntary discharge despite a successful record of service. Four other lawsuits have previously been filed against the policy, but the latest one, filed by two advocacy groups on behalf of the officer identified only as Jane Doe, is the first since the ban took effect last year.
  • The State Department on Wednesday announced it is slapping new sanctions on Iran as renewed rocket attacks have been launched at U.S. forces in Iraq by what are believed to be Tehran-backed militias.

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said in a statement that the sanctions will target nine entities and three individuals “who have engaged in activity that could enable the Iranian regime’s violent behavior.”

  • Environmental group Earthjustice sued the Environmental Protection Agency Wednesday following an investigation that found the agency was fast-tracking approval for various chemicals. The investigation, done alongside the Environmental Defense Fund “found that EPA is approving hundreds of new chemicals each year without giving the public access to important information or opportunities to provide input.”
  • The number of Americans who applied for unemployment benefits soared last week as businesses shuttered because of the coronavirus pandemic began laying off workers.

Weekly claims for unemployment insurance rose to 281,000 between March 8 and 14, spiking 70,000 from the 211,000 applications for jobless benefits filed between March 1 and 7.

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