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Trump Cancels Pay Raise For 2m Federal Workers

Trump cancels pay raise for 2m Federal workers, after $1.5t tax cut. Politico: "President Donald Trump announced Thursday he was canceling across-the-board pay raises for civilian workers across the federal government, citing the 'nation’s fiscal situation.' 'We must maintain efforts to put our nation on a fiscally sustainable course, and federal agency budgets cannot sustain such increases,' the president wrote in a letter to congressional leaders. Under Trump’s policy, roughly 1.8 million people wouldn’t get an automatic pay boost next year, including Border Patrol and ICE agents. That stance puts vulnerable GOP lawmakers representing northern Virginia — home to tens of thousands of federal workers — in the political crosshairs. And it sets up an all-but-certain funding fight with Congress next month, as party leaders attempt to reach a sweeping agreement to keep the government open before the start of the next fiscal year on Oct. 1. It’s the latest example of the Trump administration’s ongoing battle against government employee unions. This spring, Trump signed executive orders to make it easier for managers to fire underperforming federal employees and to order the renegotiation of collective bargaining agreements. This week, a judge struck down key parts of those orders, arguing that Trump exceeded his authority by intentionally seeking to hamstring unions’ ability to negotiate."

State Dept. Denies Passports To Latino U.S. Citizens

'Ethnic Cleansing by Bureaucracy': Trump administration denying passports, accusing Latino citizens of having fake birth certificates. Common Dreams: "Offering the latest proof that its assault on immigrants' rights is based in racism rather than a concern for citizens' safety, the Trump administration has accused hundreds—if not thousands—of Latino Americans of having fraudulent birth certificates and has refused to issue passports to many, while detaining and threatening deportation for others. The Washington Post reported Thursday that hundreds of Latinos living near the U.S.-Mexico border have been denied passports and passport renewals and have been refused reentry into the U.S. after traveling south of the border, with the State Department alleging that they had been born outside the U.S. even though they have American birth certificates. One citizen was detained for three days after presenting his passport while attempting to re-enter the U.S. from Mexico. A deportation hearing is scheduled for 2019. Another was denied a passport renewal and asked to provide his parents' rental agreement from when he was a baby and evidence of his mother's prenatal care to prove his citizenship—but was again denied after he sent the documentation to the State Department."

Trump's FTC Blacks Out Massive Report On Conflicts Of Interest

Trump's FTC released entirely redacted "reports" on conflicts of interest. The Intercept: "There are a lot of questions to be asked about Andrew Smith, who was recently installed to head the Federal Trade Commission’s Bureau of Consumer Protection. Given that Smith previously worked for four years at the law firm Covington & Burling, representing an enormous number of corporate clients, including companies under active investigation by the FTC — including Equifax, Uber, and Facebook — one of those questions is: How will the FTC ensure against conflicts of interest? Smith’s financial disclosure form, obtained by Public Citizen, lists his work on behalf of big banks, payday lenders, pawn shops, credit reporting companies, pharmaceutical firms, and perhaps worst of all, the Dallas Cowboys. So Public Citizen filed a Freedom of Information Act request for all documents related to Smith’s financial disclosure and potential conflicts of interest, as well as how the agency would ensure Smith’s recusal from matters involving former clients. The FOIA request produced 495 pages worth of material, another hint at just how deep the conflicts run — but the pages were almost entirely redacted. Virtually no information is exposed in the document release other than the email headers and footers of Smith, his designated agency ethics officer Lorielle Pankey, and a handful of other FTC officials. Also included are copies of a presidential executive order on ethics and a letter from Sen. Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass., expressing concern about Smith’s appointment; both were already publicly available."

497 Migrant Children Still Separated From Parents

Trump officials identify 497 migrant children still in custody. The Hill: "Hundreds of children separated from their parents at the U.S.-Mexico border remain separated, according to a court filing on Thursday. The filing from the Justice Department and American Civil Liberties Union shows that 497 children remain in U.S. government custody, CNN reports. Twenty-two of those children are under the age of 5, according to the report. The parents of 322 children have been deported, including the parents of six children 4 years old or younger, CNN reported. Only 14 children were reunited with their parents since last week, according to the government. In total, 1,937 children have been reunited with their parents by the Trump administration. A federal judge originally set a deadline of July 26 for the government to reunite families it separated at the border, but as of that date 711 children still had not been reunited with their parents. The family separation crisis was sparked by the Trump administration’s “zero tolerance” policy imposed earlier this year, which referred all adults who crossed the border illegally for criminal prosecution."

Trump Approval Sinks To All-Time Low

Donald Trump's approval rating sinks to lowest of his presidency. The Guardian: "Donald Trump has slumped to the lowest approval rating of his presidency, with 60% disapproving of his performance as the US president, according to a new national survey. The figure includes 53% who say they disapprove strongly of his performance in the White House, the first time the national displeasure rating has exceeded 50%, according to a new ABC/Washington Post poll published on Friday morning. The poll that also found that a majority support the special counsel Robert Mueller’s Russia investigation and think Trump should not fire attorney general Jeff Sessions. Just 36% of those asked said they approved of the job Trump is doing, matching his low in surveys carried out since he was inaugurated as president in January of 2017. The startling new measures will make even stronger the contrast on Friday between the low public opinion of Trump and his glaring absence from services scheduled to commemorate the late Senator John McCain, whose casket was transported from Arizona, the state he represented and where he died last Saturday, to Washington DC on Thursday evening."

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