Grand Jury Subpoenas Have Been Issued For Associates Of Michael Flynn

Federal grand jury subpoenas have been issued for associates of former national security adviser Michael Flynn, CNN is reporting.

The news is breaking just after President Trump fired FBI Director James Comey.

According to CNN, the subpoenas were issued within the past several weeks by the U.S. Attorneys Office in the Eastern District of Virginia. Dana Boente oversees that office. He is also acting as head of the Justice Department’s National Security Division.

The subpoenas seek information about Flynn associates’ business dealings after he left his position as director of the Defense Intelligence Agency in 2014 and are part of a larger investigation into whether Trump associates colluded with the Russian government, according to CNN.

President Trump fires FBI Director Comey

President Trump fired FBI Director James B. Comey on Tuesday, at the recommendation of senior Justice Department
officials who said he had treated Hillary Clinton unfairly and in doing so damaged the credibility of the FBI and the Justice

The startling development comes as Comey was leading a counterintelligence investigation to determine whether associates of
Trump may have coordinated with Russia to interfere with the U.S. presidential election last year. It wasn’t immediately clear
how Comey’s ouster will affect the Russia probe, but Democrats said they were concerned that his ouster could derail the

Attorney General Jeff Sessions announced that Comey’s deputy, Andrew McCabe, would be the acting director of the FBI. As a
presidential candidate, Trump explicitly criticized Comey and McCabe for their roles in the Clinton probe while at other points
praising Comey for his “guts.”

“The president has accepted the recommendation of the attorney general and the deputy attorney general regarding the
dismissal of the director of the Federal Bureau of Investigation,” press secretary Sean Spicer told reporters in the White House
briefing room. The firing is effective “immediately,” he said.
On Wednesday, Trump shot back at Democrats outraged by Comey’s firing, but did not give further details on the White
House decision.

“The Democrats have said some of the worst things about James Comey, including the fact that he should be fired, but now
they play so sad!” Trump wrote in a Twitter post.
In a separate tweet, Trump said Comey had “lost the confidence of almost everyone in Washington, Republican and Democrat

“When things calm down, they will be thanking me!” Trump wrote.
Trump also defended his action by claiming Comey would be “replaced by someone who will do a far better job” and restore
“the spirit and prestige of the FBI.”

Comey was in Los Angeles on Tuesday on a recruiting trip.
Officials said Comey was fired because senior Justice Department officials concluded that he had violated Justice Department
principles and procedures last year by publicly discussing the investigation of Hillary Clinton’s use of a private email server.
Democrats have long argued that Comey’s decisions in the months and days before the election hurt Clinton’s standing with
voters and affected the outcome, but the president and his closest advisers had argued that Comey went too easy on Clinton
and her aides.

Just last week, Trump publicly accused Comey of giving Clinton “a free pass for many bad deeds’’ when he decided not to
recommend criminal charges in the case.

Officials released a Tuesday memo from the deputy attorney general, Rod J. Rosenstein, laying out the rationale behind
Comey’s dismissal and attributing it all to his handling of the Clinton case. Officials said Rosenstein began examining Comey’s
conduct shortly after being sworn into office two weeks ago.

“The FBI’s reputation and credibility have suffered substantial damage, and it has affected the entire Department of Justice,”
Rosenstein wrote. “I cannot defend the director’s handling of the conclusion of the investigation of Secretary Clinton’s emails,
and I do not understand his refusal to accept the nearly universal judgment that he was mistaken. Almost everyone agrees that
the director made serious mistakes; it is one of the few issues that unites people of diverse perspectives.”
Democrats skeptical

But Democrats immediately linked the dismissal to the Russia probe.

“The decision by a President whose campaign associates are under investigation by the FBI for collusion with Russia to fire the
man overseeing that investigation, upon the recommendation of an Attorney General who has recused himself from that
investigation, raises profound questions about whether the White House is brazenly interfering in a criminal matter,” Rep.
Adam B. Schiff (Calif.), the ranking Democrat on the House Intelligence Committee, said in a statement. The House
committee is looking into Russian interference in the election.

Some Republicans were also concerned. “I am troubled by the timing and reasoning of Director Comey’s termination,” said
Sen. Richard Burr (R-N.C.), head of the Senate Intelligence Committee, which is also examining Russian meddling. “I have
found Director Comey to be a public servant of the highest order, and his dismissal further confuses an already difficult
investigation by the Committee.”

There were multiple calls by Democrats on Tuesday night for the appointment of a special prosecutor to lead the Russia
investigation and take the matter out of the hands of Justice Department leadership.

In an attempt to pressure Republicans to join calls for an independent prosecutor, Senate Democrats have been asked by
Minority Leader Charles E. Schumer (D-N.Y.) to be in the Senate chamber at 9:30 a.m. Wednesday when the legislative day

In a late-night tweet Tuesday, Trump targeted Schumer. “Cryin’ Chuck Schumer stated recently, “I do not have confidence in
him (James Comey) any longer.” Then acts so indignant. #draintheswamp,” the president wrote.

Trump plans to meet with Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov on Wednesday. It will be the first face-to-face contact
between the president and a senior official of the Russian government.

Rosenstein wrote in the memo that when Comey announced on July 5 that he had decided not to recommend charges in the
Clinton case, he did so “without the authorization of duly appointed Justice Department leaders. Compounding the error, the
director ignored another long-standing principle: we do not hold news conferences to release derogatory information about
the subject of a declined criminal investigation . . . we never release it gratuitously . . . It is a textbook example of what federal prosecutors and agents are taught not to do.”

Rosenstein was also critical of Comey’s decision to reveal in late October that the Clinton email probe had resumed, and he
dismissed the FBI director’s recent defense to Congress that not doing so would have effectively been to “conceal” important

“ ‘Conceal’ is a loaded term that misstates the issue,” Rosenstein wrote. “When federal agents and prosecutors quietly open a
criminal investigation, we are not concealing anything; we are simply following the long-standing policy that we refrain from
publicizing non-public information. In that context, silence is not concealment.”

In a letter to Trump, Sessions said that he agreed Comey had to go.
“I have concluded that a fresh start is needed at the leadership of the FBI,’’ Sessions wrote. “I must recommend that you
remove Director James B. Comey, Jr. and identify an experienced and qualified individual to lead the great men and women of
the FBI.’’

But in October — when Sessions was a senator supporting Trump, and Comey revealed less than two weeks before the election
that he had reopened the investigation into Clinton’s use of a private email server — Sessions applauded the decision in an
appearance on Fox Business Network.

“He had an absolute duty, in my opinion, 11 days or not, to come forward with the new information that he has and let the
American people know that, too,” Sessions said at the time.

Nothing in the Rosenstein memo suggests that the Clinton investigation will be reopened.

Tuesday afternoon, White House aide Keith Schiller, who has long served Trump as a bodyguard, visited FBI headquarters to
hand-deliver Trump’s dismissal letter to Comey’s office, although the director wasn’t there to receive it, officials said.
Trump wrote to Comey: “You are hereby terminated and removed from office, effective immediately.’’
The president added: “While I greatly appreciate you informing me, on three separate occasions, that I am not under
investigation, I nevertheless concur with the judgment of the Department of Justice that you are not able to effectively lead the Bureau.’’

Speaking to reporters Tuesday evening, Spicer said he did not know what the three occasions were when Comey told Trump
that he wasn’t under investigation. Spicer also rejected calls for a special prosecutor. “Special prosecutor, for what? On
multiple occasions, they said that the president wasn’t under investigation. What are we investigating?” he said.
The news of Comey’s firing stunned Washington.

Sen. Charles E. Grassley (R-Iowa), chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee, said Comey’s decisions “have called into
question the trust and political independence of the FBI.’’

The senior Democrat on the House Judiciary Committee, Rep. John Conyers Jr. (Mich.), however, compared Tuesday’s
developments to the Watergate scandal and said the actions “reek of a coverup and appear to be part of an ongoing effort by
the Trump White House to impede the investigation into Russian ties and interference in our elections.’’
Over the past two years, Comey had assumed an extraordinary role in Washington — overseeing not one, but two
investigations involving presidential candidates. In some ways, that made him more powerful than the Justice Department
officials to whom he reported.

After Clinton lost to Trump, many Democrats blamed Comey for what they viewed as his unprecedented interference in the
election process, but most later came to see him as an independent figure in the Trump administration who would be critical
to a fair and thorough investigation of any possible ties between Russia and Trump associates.
Strains over leak cases

Several current and former officials said the relationship between the White House and the FBI had been strained for months,
in part because administration officials were pressuring Comey to more aggressively pursue leak investigations over
disclosures that embarrassed the White House and raised questions about ties with Russia.
That pressure was described as conversational challenges to FBI leadership to pursue the source of leaks seen as damaging to
the administration, the officials said, speaking on the condition of anonymity to discuss internal deliberations. Although the
FBI is investigating disclosures of classified information, the bureau has resisted calls to prioritize leak investigations over the

Russia matter, or probe matters that did not involve leaks of classified or otherwise sensitive information, the officials said.
“The administration has been putting pressure on the FBI to focus more on the leaks and weren’t satisfied with the results,’’
said a former senior U.S. official familiar with the matter. A current official said administration figures have been “very
aggressive’’ in pressuring the FBI.

The Justice Department inspector general has been investigating how Comey and his top deputy handled the Clinton probe,
though that investigation is expected to continue for months.
Shortly before the announcement, the FBI notified Congress by letter that Comey had misstated key findings involving the
Clinton email investigation during testimony last week, but nothing about that issue suggested it might imperil Comey’s job.
David Weigel, Ed O’Keefe, Jenna Johnson, Ellen Nakashima and Brian Murphy contributed to this report.


Here’s What’s In The House-Approved Health Care Bill

Republicans approved their plan to replace the Affordable Care Act on Thursday.

Here’s a rundown of key provisions in the American Health Care Act and what would happen if the Senate approves them and the bill becomes law.

Buying Insurance

The bill would no longer require people to buy insurance through the marketplaces created by the Affordable Care Act, also known as Obamacare, if they want to use federal tax credits to buy coverage. It also would eliminate the tax penalty for failing to have health insurance coverage, effectively eliminating that requirement altogether.

In place of that mandate, the bill encourages people to maintain coverage by prohibiting insurance companies from cutting them off or charging more for pre-existing conditions for as long as their insurance doesn’t lapse. If coverage is interrupted for more than 63 days, however, insurers can charge people a 30 percent penalty over their premium for one year.

Tax Credits

The House Republican plan would eliminate the income-based tax credits and subsidies available under the Affordable Care Act, replacing them with age-based tax credits ranging from $2,000 a year for people in their 20s to $4,000 a year for those older than 60.

That means some people will see their costs go up while others would pay less, depending on your age and where you live. This Kaiser Family Foundation interactive map shows how the change would play out across the country.

The map shows that a 27-year-old who makes $30,000 a year would see their costs rise about $2,000 in Nebraska, but fall by about the same amount in Washington. A 60-year-old however, would see costs rise almost everywhere, with increases of almost $20,000 a year in Nebraska.

Both Kaiser and the Congressional Budget Office found that on average, older people with lower incomes would be worse off under the Republican plan than under the Affordable Care Act.

Tax Cuts

The bill eliminates nearly all the taxes that were included in the Affordable Care act to pay for the subsidies that help people buy insurance. Those cuts, which add up to about $592 billion, include a tax on incomes over $200,000 (or $250,000 for a married couple); a tax on health insurers and a limit on how much insurance companies can deduct for executive pay; and a tax on medical-device manufacturers.


The AHCA would make dramatic changes to the Medicaid program, which is the federal –state health program for the poor and disabled.

The Affordable Care Act allows states to expand eligibility for Medicaid to single, non-disabled adults with incomes slightly above the poverty line, with the federal government picking up most of the cost. That meant single adults who earn up to $15,800 a year could qualify in the 31 states, plus the District of Columbia, that expanded Medicaid. About 10 million people enrolled under that expansion.

The Republican plan would gradually roll back that expansion starting in 2019 by cutting the federal reimbursement to states for anyone who leaves the Medicaid rolls. People often cycle in and out of the program as their income fluctuates, so the result would likely be ever-dwindling numbers covered.

The House bill also converts Medicaid from an entitlement program where the government pays all the health-related costs for those who qualify, into a grant program. The federal government would give states either a set amount of money for each Medicaid enrollee, or states can choose to receive a fixed-dollar block grant.

The Congressional Budget Office estimated in March that the bill would cut Medicaid spending by $880 billion.

Pre-Existing Conditions

The AHCA maintains protections for people with pre-existing conditions, with some important exceptions (see waivers, below). That means that someone with high medical expenses pays the same premium for the same policy as anyone else their age in their area.

State Waivers

This section of the bill essentially amounts to an optional, state-level full repeal of Obamacare. It would give states the ability to apply for a waiver that lets them opt out of most of the regulations and consumer protections that were included in the Affordable Care Act.

States could apply for waivers that allow insurance companies in their states to do three things: 1) Charge older people more than five times what they charge young people for the same policy; 2) Eliminate required coverage, called essential health benefits including maternity care, mental health and prescription drugs, required under the Affordable Care Act; and 3) Charge more or deny coverage to people who have pre-existing health conditions, such as cancer, diabetes or arthritis.

The waivers could also impact people with-employer based insurance, because they would allow insurers to offer policies that have annual and lifetime benefit limits, which are banned under the Affordable Care Act, and some companies may choose those policies for their workers to lower their premiums.

States that get waivers would likely see insurance companies offer many more policy options, some with fewer benefits and lower premiums.

Those states would be required under the law to create some other way to ensure that people with expensive illnesses are able to get health care, and the law provides up to $138 billion over 10 years for such programs, typically called high-risk pools.

However, an analysis released Thursday by the consulting form Avalere concludes that that amount would be inadequate to provide full health coverage for the number of people who now buy insurance in the individual market and have medical problems.

Overall Impact

The House approved the bill Thursday without a full analysis by the Congressional Budget Office of its costs and how many people would be covered.

The CBO report from March concluded that over 10 years, 24 million fewer people would be covered under the bill who otherwise would have had insurance under current law.

That analysis also predicted that the House bill would cut the federal deficit by $337 billion over those same 10 years.

However, changes to the bill since then would allow states to accept block grants for Medicaid; add about $38 billion for high-risk pools and maternity and childbirth care; and offer states waivers from regulations created by the Affordable Care Act. It’s unclear how much these changes would affect the original CBO score.


U.S. Federal Budget Process 101

Who Decides the Federal Budget?
The vision of democracy is that the federal budget – and all activities of the federal government – reflects the values of a majority of Americans. Yet many people feel that the federal budget does not reflect their values and that the budgeting process is too difficult to understand, or that they can’t make a difference.
And it is a complicated process. Many forces shape the federal budget. Some of them are forces written into law – like the president’s role in drafting the budget – while other forces stem from the realities of our political system.
And while the federal budget may not currently reflect the values of a majority of Americans, the ultimate power over the U.S. government lies with the people. We have a right and responsibility to choose our elected officials by voting, and to hold them accountable for representing our priorities. The first step is to understand what’s going on.

An Evolving Process
The U.S. Constitution designates the “power of the purse” as a function of Congress.1 That includes the authority to create and collect taxes and to borrow money when needed. The Constitution does not, however, specify how Congress should exercise these powers or how the federal budget process should work. It doesn’t specify a role for the president in managing the nation’s finances, either.
As a result, the budget process has evolved over time. Over the course of the twentieth century, Congress passed key laws that shaped the budgeting process into what it is today, and formed the federal agencies – including the Office of Management and Budget, the Government Accountability Office, and the Congressional Budget Office – that provide oversight and research crucial to creating the budget.2 The process as it’s supposed to work is described here.

Before the Budget
Congress creates a new budget for our country every year. This annual congressional budget process is also called the appropriations process.
Appropriations bills specify how much money will go to different government agencies and programs. In addition to these funding bills, Congress must pass legislation that provides the federal government the legal authority to actually spend the money.3 These laws are called authorization bills, or authorizations. Authorizations often cover multiple years, so authorizing legislation does not need to pass Congress every year the way appropriations bills do. When a multi-year authorization expires, Congress often passes a reauthorization to continue the programs in question.
Authorizations also serve another purpose. There are some types of spending that are not subject to the appropriations process. Such spending is called direct or mandatory spending, and authorizations provide the legal authority for this mandatory spending.4 Federal spending for Social Security and Medicare benefits is part of mandatory spending, because according to the authorization, the government must by law pay out benefits to all eligible recipients.

How Does the Federal Government Create a Budget?
There are five key steps in the federal budget process:
1. The President submits a budget request to Congress
2. The House and Senate pass budget resolutions
3. House and Senate Appropriations subcommittees “markup” appropriations bills
4. The House and Senate vote on appropriations bills and reconcile differences
5. The President signs each appropriations bill and the budget becomes law

Step 1: The President Submits a Budget Request
The president sends a budget request to Congress each February for the coming fiscal year, which begins on Oct. 1.5
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To create his (or her) request, the President and the Office of Management and Budget solicit and accept budget requests from federal agencies, outlining what programs need more funding, what could be cut, and what new priorities each agency would like to fund.
The president’s budget request is just a proposal. Congress then passes its own appropriations bills; only after the president signs these bills (in step five) does the country have a budget for the new fiscal year.6

Step 2: The House and Senate Pass Budget Resolutions
After the president submits his or her budget request, the House Committee on the Budget and the Senate Committee on the Budget each write and vote on their own budget resolutions.7
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A budget resolution is not a binding document, but it provides a framework for Congress for making budget decisions about spending and taxes. It sets overall annual spending limits for federal agencies, but does not set specific spending amounts for particular programs. After the House and Senate pass their budget resolutions, some members from each come together in a joint conference to iron out differences between the two versions, and the resulting reconciled version is then voted on again by each chamber.

Step 3: House and Senate Subcommittees “Markup” Appropriation Bills
The Appropriations Committees in both the House and the Senate are responsible for determining the precise levels of budget authority, or allowed spending, for all discretionary programs.8
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The Appropriations Committees in both the House and Senate are broken down into smaller appropriations subcommittees. Subcommittees cover different areas of the federal government: for example, there is a subcommittee for defense spending, and another one for energy and water. Each subcommittee conducts hearings in which they pose questions to leaders of the relevant federal agencies about each agency’s requested budget.9
Based on all of this information, the chair of each subcommittee writes a first draft of the subcommittee’s appropriations bill, abiding by the spending limits set out in the budget resolution. All subcommittee members then consider, amend, and finally vote on the bill. Once it has passed the subcommittee, the bill goes to the full Appropriations Committee. The full committee reviews it, and then sends it to the full House or Senate.

Step 4: The House and Senate Vote on Appropriations Bills and Reconcile Differences
The full House and Senate then debate and vote on appropriations bills from each of the 12 subcommittees.
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After both the House and Senate pass their versions of each appropriations bill, a conference committee meets to resolve differences between the House and Senate versions. After the conference committee produces a reconciled version of the bill, the House and Senate vote again, but this time on a bill that is identical in both chambers. After passing both the House and Senate, each appropriations bill goes to the president.10

Step 5: The President Signs Each Appropriations Bill and the Budget Becomes Law
The president must sign each appropriations bill after it has passed Congress for the bill to become law. When the president has signed all 12 appropriations bills, the budget process is complete. Rarely, however, is work finished on all 12 bills by Oct. 1, the start of the new fiscal year.


“Budget Process.” National Priorities Project. N.p., n.d. Web. 27 Apr. 2017.

‘Follow the trail of dead Russians’, security expert tells intelligence hearing on Trump-Kremlin links

US senators probing possible links between Russia and the Trump team have been told to “follow the dead bodies” as they hunt for evidence of the Kremlin’s involvement in last year’s presidential election.

Appearing before the Senate Intelligence Committee, national security expert Clint Watts said several Russians linked to the investigation into Kremlin disinformation activities have been killed in the past three months.

The alleged murders were carried out not only in Russia, but in western countries as well, Mr Watts said. He also accused Donald Trump of using the same techniques employed by Russian operatives against his own political opponents.

Asked by Republican Senator James Lankford why Vladimir Putin’s supposed tactics of attempting to influence the US election were “much more engaging this time in our election”, Mr Watts replied: “I think this answer is very simple and is what no one is really saying in this room.

“The reason active measures have worked in this US election is because the commander-in-chief has used Russian active measures at times against his opponents.”
‘Active measures’ is a term used during the Cold War to describe political warfare carried out by the Russian security services to undermine a rival power.
Mr Watts, an advisor at the Foreign Policy Research Institute Programme, cited several examples of when Mr Trump had referenced false new stories about terror attacks that had in fact never taken place.
“He has made claims about voter fraud, that President Obama is not a citizen, that Congressman [Ted] Cruz is not a citizen,” he added.

“So part of the reason these active measures work, and it does today in terms of Trump Tower being wiretapped, is because they [the Trump team] parrot the same lines.”

Mr Putin has strongly denied allegations of Russian meddling, saying today that the “endless and groundless” accusations against his administration as “nonsense”.

“Read my lips: No,” he said. For emphasis, the Russian president pronounced the last word in English.
Mr Watts said Mr Putin was technically “correct” to say he wasn’t influencing US political discourse.
“He [Mr Putin] is just putting out his stance, but until we get a firm basis on fact and fiction in our own country…we are going to have a big problem.”

Testifying on Thursday at a congressional hearing on Russian meddling, the security expert also said social media campaigns were targeting House Speaker Paul Ryan.
He suggested media campaigns waged by the those linked to the Kremlin were evidence that Russia is continuing to seek further unrest among US democratic institutions.


Batchelor, Tom. “‘Follow the Trail of Dead Russians’, Security Expert Tells Intelligence Hearing on Trump-Kremlin Links.” The Independent. Independent Digital News and Media, 30 Mar. 2017. Web. 27 Apr. 2017.

Presidential Executive Order on Identifying and Reducing Tax Regulatory Burdens

Presidential Executive Order on Identifying and Reducing Tax Regulatory Burdens


– – – – – – –


By the authority vested in me as President by the Constitution and the laws of the United States of America, it is hereby ordered as follows:

Section 1. Policy. The Federal tax system should be simple, fair, efficient, and pro-growth. The purposes of tax regulations should be to bring clarity to the already complex Internal Revenue Code (title 26, United States Code) and to provide useful guidance to taxpayers. Contrary to these purposes, numerous tax regulations issued over the last several years have effectively increased tax burdens, impeded economic growth, and saddled American businesses with onerous fines, complicated forms, and frustration. Immediate action is necessary to reduce the burden existing tax regulations impose on American taxpayers and thereby to provide tax relief and useful, simplified tax guidance.

Sec. 2. Addressing Tax Regulatory Burdens. (a) In furtherance of the policy described in section 1 of this order, the Secretary of the Treasury (Secretary) shall immediately review all significant tax regulations issued by the Department of the Treasury on or after January 1, 2016, and, in consultation with the Administrator of the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs, Office of Management and Budget, identify in an interim report to the President all such regulations that:

(i) impose an undue financial burden on United States taxpayers;

(ii) add undue complexity to the Federal tax laws; or

(iii) exceed the statutory authority of the Internal Revenue Service.

This interim report shall be completed no later than 60 days from the date of this order. In conducting the review required by this subsection, earlier determinations of whether a regulation is significant pursuant to Executive Order 12866 of September 30, 1993, as amended (Regulatory Planning and Review), shall not be controlling.

(b) No later than 150 days from the date of this order, the Secretary shall prepare and submit a report to the President that recommends specific actions to mitigate the burden imposed by regulations identified in the interim report required under subsection (a) of this section. The Secretary shall also publish this report in the Federal Register upon submitting it to the President. The Secretary shall take appropriate steps to cause the effective date of such regulations to be delayed or suspended, to the extent permitted by law, and to modify or rescind such regulations as appropriate and consistent with law, including, if necessary, through notice and comment rulemaking. The Secretary shall submit for publication in the Federal Register a summary of the actions taken in response to the report no later than 10 days following the finalization of such actions. Should all such actions not be finalized within 180 days following the submission of the report to the President, the Secretary shall submit for publication in the Federal Register an initial report summarizing the actions taken to that point.

(c) To ensure that future tax regulations adhere to the policy described in section 1 of this order, the Secretary and the Director of the Office of Management and Budget shall review and, if appropriate, reconsider the scope and implementation of the existing exemption for certain tax regulations from the review process set forth in Executive Order 12866 and any successor order.

(d) The Secretary shall cause section of the Internal Revenue Manual to be revised, if necessary to fulfill the directives in subsection (c) of this section.

Sec. 3. General Provisions. (a) Nothing in this order shall be construed to impair or otherwise affect:

(i) the authority granted by law to an executive department or agency, or the head thereof; or

(ii) the functions of the Director of the Office of Management and Budget relating to budgetary, administrative, or legislative proposals.

(b) This order shall be implemented consistent with applicable law and subject to the availability of appropriations.

(c) This order is not intended to, and does not, create any right or benefit, substantive or procedural, enforceable at law or in equity by any party against the United States, its departments, agencies, or entities, its officers, employees, or agents, or any other person.


April 21, 2017.


“Presidential Executive Order on Identifying and Reducing Tax Regulatory Burdens.” The White House. The United States Government, 21 Apr. 2017. Web. 27 Apr. 2017.

Presidential Executive Order on Buy American and Hire American


– – – – – – –


By the authority vested in me as President by the Constitution and the laws of the United States of America, and to ensure the faithful execution of the laws, it is hereby ordered as follows:

Section 1. Definitions. As used in this order:

(a) “Buy American Laws” means all statutes, regulations, rules, and Executive Orders relating to Federal procurement or Federal grants including those that refer to “Buy America” or “Buy American” that require, or provide a preference for, the purchase or acquisition of goods, products, or materials produced in the United States, including iron, steel, and manufactured goods.

(b) “Produced in the United States” means, for iron and steel products, that all manufacturing processes, from the initial melting stage through the application of coatings, occurred in the United States.

(c) “Petition beneficiaries” means aliens petitioned for by employers to become nonimmigrant visa holders with temporary work authorization under the H-1B visa program.

(d) “Waivers” means exemptions from or waivers of Buy American Laws, or the procedures and conditions used by an executive department or agency (agency) in granting exemptions from or waivers of Buy American Laws.

(e) “Workers in the United States” and “United States workers” shall both be defined as provided at section 212(n)(4)(E) of the Immigration and Nationality Act (8 U.S.C. 1182(n)(4)(E)).

Sec. 2. Policy. It shall be the policy of the executive branch to buy American and hire American.

(a) Buy American Laws. In order to promote economic and national security and to help stimulate economic growth, create good jobs at decent wages, strengthen our middle class, and support the American manufacturing and defense industrial bases, it shall be the policy of the executive branch to maximize, consistent with law, through terms and conditions of Federal financial assistance awards and Federal procurements, the use of goods, products, and materials produced in the United States.

(b) Hire American. In order to create higher wages and employment rates for workers in the United States, and to protect their economic interests, it shall be the policy of the executive branch to rigorously enforce and administer the laws governing entry into the United States of workers from abroad, including section 212(a)(5) of the Immigration and Nationality Act (8 U.S.C. 1182(a)(5)).

Sec. 3. Immediate Enforcement and Assessment of Domestic Preferences According to Buy American Laws. (a) Every agency shall scrupulously monitor, enforce, and comply with Buy American Laws, to the extent they apply, and minimize the use of waivers, consistent with applicable law.

(b) Within 150 days of the date of this order, the heads of all agencies shall:

(i) assess the monitoring of, enforcement of, implementation of, and compliance with Buy American Laws within their agencies;

(ii) assess the use of waivers within their agencies by type and impact on domestic jobs and manufacturing; and

(iii) develop and propose policies for their agencies to ensure that, to the extent permitted by law, Federal financial assistance awards and Federal procurements maximize the use of materials produced in the United States, including manufactured products; components of manufactured products; and materials such as steel, iron, aluminum, and cement.

(c) Within 60 days of the date of this order, the Secretary of Commerce and the Director of the Office of Management and Budget, in consultation with the Secretary of State, the Secretary of Labor, the United States Trade Representative, and the Federal Acquisition Regulatory Council, shall issue guidance to agencies about how to make the assessments and to develop the policies required by subsection (b) of this section.

(d) Within 150 days of the date of this order, the heads of all agencies shall submit findings made pursuant to the assessments required by subsection (b) of this section to the Secretary of Commerce and the Director of the Office of Management and Budget.

(e) Within 150 days of the date of this order, the Secretary of Commerce and the United States Trade Representative shall assess the impacts of all United States free trade agreements and the World Trade Organization Agreement on Government Procurement on the operation of Buy American Laws, including their impacts on the implementation of domestic procurement preferences.

(f) The Secretary of Commerce, in consultation with the Secretary of State, the Director of the Office of Management and Budget, and the United States Trade Representative, shall submit to the President a report on Buy American that includes findings from subsections (b), (d), and (e) of this section. This report shall be submitted within 220 days of the date of this order and shall include specific recommendations to strengthen implementation of Buy American Laws, including domestic procurement preference policies and programs. Subsequent reports on implementation of Buy American Laws shall be submitted by each agency head annually to the Secretary of Commerce and the Director of the Office of Management and Budget, on November 15, 2018, 2019, and 2020, and in subsequent years as directed by the Secretary of Commerce and the Director of the Office of Management and Budget. The Secretary of Commerce shall submit to the President an annual report based on these submissions beginning January 15, 2019.

Sec. 4. Judicious Use of Waivers. (a) To the extent permitted by law, public interest waivers from Buy American Laws should be construed to ensure the maximum utilization of goods, products, and materials produced in the United States.

(b) To the extent permitted by law, determination of public interest waivers shall be made by the head of the agency with the authority over the Federal financial assistance award or Federal procurement under consideration.

(c) To the extent permitted by law, before granting a public interest waiver, the relevant agency shall take appropriate account of whether a significant portion of the cost advantage of a foreign-sourced product is the result of the use of dumped steel, iron, or manufactured goods or the use of injuriously subsidized steel, iron, or manufactured goods, and it shall integrate any findings into its waiver determination as appropriate.

Sec. 5. Ensuring the Integrity of the Immigration System in Order to “Hire American.” (a) In order to advance the policy outlined in section 2(b) of this order, the Secretary of State, the Attorney General, the Secretary of Labor, and the Secretary of Homeland Security shall, as soon as practicable, and consistent with applicable law, propose new rules and issue new guidance, to supersede or revise previous rules and guidance if appropriate, to protect the interests of United States workers in the administration of our immigration system, including through the prevention of fraud or abuse.

(b) In order to promote the proper functioning of the H-1B visa program, the Secretary of State, the Attorney General, the Secretary of Labor, and the Secretary of Homeland Security shall, as soon as practicable, suggest reforms to help ensure that H-1B visas are awarded to the most-skilled or highest-paid petition beneficiaries.

Sec. 6. General Provisions. (a) Nothing in this order shall be construed to impair or otherwise affect:

(i) the authority granted by law to an executive department or agency, or the head thereof;

(ii) the functions of the Director of the Office of Management and Budget relating to budgetary, administrative, or legislative proposals; or

(iii) existing rights or obligations under international agreements.

(b) This order shall be implemented consistent with applicable law and subject to the availability of appropriations.

(c) This order is not intended to, and does not, create any right or benefit, substantive or procedural, enforceable at law or in equity by any party against the United States, its departments, agencies, or entities, its officers, employees, or agents, or any other person.


April 18, 2017.

Regulatory Reform Underway at EPA

WASHINGTON — As a vital step of EPA’s implementation of President Trump’s Executive Order, “Enforcing the Regulatory Reform Agenda,” EPA’s Regulatory Reform Task Force, led by the Office of Policy, submitted a Federal Register notice today to solicit public comments on EPA regulations.

“We are supporting the restoration of America’s economy through extensive reviews of the misaligned regulatory actions from the past administration. The previous administration abused the regulatory process to advance an ideological agenda that expanded the reach of the federal government, often dismissing the technological and economic concerns raised by the regulated community and duplicating long-standing regulations by states and localities. Moving forward, EPA will be listening to those directly impacted by regulations, and learning ways we can work together with our state and local partners, to ensure that we can provide clean air, land, and water to Americans,” said Administrator Scott Pruitt.

The notice will include a docket that all EPA program offices will use to collect comments specific to their issues. EPA’s Regulatory Reform Task Force is simultaneously working with program offices to gather their recommendations for specific rules that should be considered for repeal, replacement or modification. EPA regional offices, program offices, and other officials will report back by May 15, 2017.

EPA also launched a new webpage with information related to the agency’s regulatory reform efforts, which will include a list of upcoming meetings being held by the offices at: The docket number for public input is EPA-HQ-OA-2017-0190

Date Written by EPA Media Relations: 04/11/2017
Contact Information: U.S. EPA Media Relations ([email protected])

EPA to Act on Waters of the United States Rule

WASHINGTON — President Donald Trump issued an Executive Order at the White House today, directing the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to review and then rescind or revise the 2015 Clean Water Rule: Definition of “Waters of the United States”.

EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt joined the President for this announcement and afterward issued the following statement: “EPA intends to immediately implement the Executive Order and submit a Notice to the Office of the Federal Register announcing our intent to review the 2015 Rule, and then to propose a new rule that will rescind or revise that rule. The President’s action today preserves a federal role in protecting water, but it also restores the states’ important role in the regulation of water.”

View the Executive Order and the Federal Register Notice:

Date written by EPA Media Relations: 02/28/2017
Contact Information: U.S. EPA Media Relations ([email protected])