Trump's Tepid Response to Opioid Crisis
Trump promotes 'Just Say No' approach to opioid crisis. WaPo: "Even with the opioid crisis intensifying and more than 142 Americans dying of drug overdoses each day, President Trump is not yet ready to declare a national emergency, as was recommended last week by a commission he organized. Instead, the president met Tuesday afternoon with health officials and members of his administration to receive an update on the crisis and to briefly address reporters. He said the 'best way to prevent drug addiction and overdose is to prevent people from abusing drugs in the first place. If they don’t start, they won’t have a problem. If they do start, it’s awfully tough to get off,” Trump told reporters at the clubhouse at his private golf club. 'So if we can keep them from going on — and maybe by talking to youth and telling them: 'No good, really bad for you in every way.' But if they don’t start, it will never be a problem.'
Trump rejects call to declare opioid epidemic a national emergency. The Hill: "The Trump administration is declining to declare the opioid epidemic a national emergency, despite a recommendation from the president’s opioid commission calling that its 'first and most urgent recommendation.' Health and Human Services Secretary Tom Price indicated on Tuesday that declaring a national emergency isn’t necessary because the administration is already empowered to help curb the epidemic."
Dems Investigate Trump's Profits from Federal Spending
Hill Democrats launch investigation of Federal spending at Trump businesses. NPR: "How is Washington spending tax dollars that might benefit President Trump? Democrats on the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee want to count the ways. The committee's 18 minority members sent letters on Tuesday to the 15 cabinet departments and nine independent executive branch agencies, requesting documents on their spending at 'businesses owned by or affiliated with the Trump Organization.' They said the letters are the first step in an investigation of federal spending involving Trump companies."
Justice Dept. Wants to Purge Ohio Voters
Vote or lose your rights: Justice Department sides with Ohio in controversial voter purge case. Salon: "the Justice Department filed an amicus brief that sides with the state of Ohio in a controversial case regarding voter purging that is currently before the U.S. Supreme Court, according to NBC News. The case will decide whether Ohio’s Republican-led policy can continue to revoke voter registration for citizens who are labelled as inactive after six years. The policy has purged more than two million voters since 2011, and affected Democratic-leaning neighborhoods at roughly twice the rate of Republican-leaning neighborhoods."
Debt Cieling Battle Looms
The debt cieling crisis is real. NYT: "A government shutdown occurs when the Treasury has money in its bank account but Congress refuses to appropriate the funds necessary for the government to function. Crashing into the debt ceiling, by contrast, would occur if Treasury had no money in its bank account because Congress prohibited it from funding deficits through incremental borrowing. If Treasury hits the ceiling, it has only two realistic responses. Treasury can pay the government’s bills on a first-in, first-out basis, with the wait for payment growing every month, or it can prioritize bills, as Mr. Mulvaney and others have suggested it would. But there are profound doubts as to whether the Treasury could even implement prioritization, beyond ring fencing interest payments, because its payment systems are designed to pay all claims as they are due, regardless of their origin. More important, prioritization is default by another name. The consequences are the same, regardless of which i.o.u.s Treasury chooses to dishonor."