(Trump) Empire Strikes Back

It’s clear the extremism is strong with this Administration: As of last night, President Trump executed Order 66 fired the Acting Attorney General, Sally Yates, and the Acting Director of Immigration Enforcement, Daniel Ragsdale. Yates was terminated for telling the Justice Department that she would not defend Trump’s Muslim ban because she was not “convinced that the executive order is lawful.” Shortly after her statement, White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer announced that “Sally Yates has been relieved.” The reasons behind Ragsdale’s firing are less clear.

Trump’s quick removal of acting heads of agencies is not only shocking, it’s dangerous. The Trump Administration has made it clear that they are making room in the ranks for their extreme cabinet nominees. The administration replaced Ragsdale with Thomas Homan, who was responsible for the agency’s enforcement and removal operations. Making clear the administration’s motives, Secretary of Homeland Security John Kelly said Homan had led efforts “to identify, arrest, detain, and remove illegal aliens.” Instead of Yates, a woman who stood up to a president to defend the Constitution, Trump wants Senator Jeff Sessions at the helm of the Department of Justice. Sessions is racist, incredibly anti-immigrant, and likely had a hand in crafting the Muslim ban. It’s time for everyone to join the resistance against Trump’s extremism. Let’s make sure the Senate can #StopSessions before his fear of Muslims and immigrants leads us (even farther) down the path to the dark side.


Get Covered. “They don’t want us to have health care. They don’t want us to have Obamacare.” Those wise words from DJ Khaled may be a year old but they ring even truer this year as the Trump Administration takes steps to try to thwart Obamacare enrollment efforts. But today is the last day of open enrollment, which means you can still enroll in the Affordable Care Act. Get covered here. Then share this tweet.


ACA repeal. GOP opponents of the Affordable Care Act often used the argument that the law is a job killer. That has been proven false. But a new analysis from EPI today shows that on top of stripping health care away from 32 million people repealing the Affordable Care Act will cost 1.2 million jobs nationally.


Bueler, Anyone? That’s what Senate Finance Committee Chairman Orrin Hatch (R-UT) was saying at this morning’s Senate Finance Committee votes on Secretary of HHS nominee Rep. Tom Price (R-GA) and Treasury Secretary Nominee Steve Mnuchin. Senate Democrats boycotted the votes demanding more information on Price and Mnuchin. Sen. Ron Wyden (D-OR) cited news that broke yesterday that Price lied during his congressional testimony about received a privileged offer to buy a biomedical stock. Hatch also didn’t show up to a vote: he missed the committee vote on Education Secretary nominee Betsy DeVos because the Mnuchin and Price votes were at the same time, showing that Senate Republicans are trying to cram in as many cabinet hearings and votes as possible.

Plagiarism. Apparently it’s contagious. Betsy Devos, Trump’s Education Secretary pick who has her committee vote today, is at least the second person (not counting the First Lady) in the Trump administration to be accused of plagiarism. Concerning, especially given that plagiarism is the exactly the kind of thing the Department of Education is designed to stop.


SCOTUS. To distract from the judicial crisis he currently has on his hands, President Trump is expected to announce his pick to fill the Supreme Court vacancy on TV at 8 PM ET tonight. More on the two finalists here. It’s imperative that the SCOTUS pick stand up for the U.S. constitution- even if the President won’t. If not, the Senate must block his nomination. Here’s how you can get involved on the local and national level to oppose a radical Supreme Court nominee.


Baby steps. That’s been the Boy Scout’s path toward equality. But yesterday the organization announced its decision to allow transgender boys into its programs for the first time ever.

The positions of American Progress, and our policy experts, are independent, and the findings and conclusions presented are those of American Progress alone. A full list of supporters is available here. American Progress would like to acknowledge the many generous supporters who make our work possible.