Gearing Up for 2020

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Nothing to Hide

Can You Believe?

Can you believe that Education Secretary Betsy DeVos recently rescinded 72 guidance documents outlining the rights of disabled students.

Can you believe that Office of Management & Budget and Consumer Finance Protection Bureau Director Mick Mulvaney counseled an audience about his use of pay-to-play while he was in Congress, telling those attending that they should contribute to Republican candidates.

Can you believe that EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt actually went before a House committee and claimed he had “nothing to hide” when explaining his sound-proof booth, his security details, and a set of locks on his door to rival the Get Smart opening (for those of you old enough to remember that great gag).

Hits and Misses – the week’s best and worst moves

Hit of the Week: A federal judge once again struck down Trump’s most hurtful attack on the DACA program. But only a fundamental change in Congress will ever ensure the future of this program and the future of these all-American young people.

Miss of the Week: Mick Mulvaney gets a second mention here with his pledge to shut down public access site to the CFPB. The website allows any American to file complaints about banking or mortgage abuse. He told a room full of bankers and lobbyists: “I don’t see anything [that says] I have to run a Yelp for financial services sponsored by the federal government.” Maybe he missed the word “Consumer” in his title.

Hot House Race of the Week

Once again, we return to Duncan Hunter, the “embattled” GOP lawmaker from Alpine, CA. Why “embattled”? It appears he earned it. Hunter apparently slipped up a little, using campaign funds to buy surfing equipment, his kids’ school lunches, oral surgery, and – get this one – fly the family bunny across the country. Hunter has now opened a “legal expense fund,” asking for donations to help him pay his increasing legal fees. This is a tough district for Democrats, but it is one that we need to keep on the radar as Hunter’s legal woes are building.


Never in my time in the House or the Senate were veterans far from my mind or my work. While we can disagree about the jobs we send our military to do, we can never forget the service of the members of our military or our veterans. They deserve the best we can offer. It is this basic belief that made Donald Trump’s nomination of Ronny Jackson so breathtakingly bad. First, let’s just consider his experience to run the second largest agency in the federal government. None. Next, let’s consider the vetting that was done on Jackson. None. Veterans deserve better than this. I’m not sure that we will see “better” with this president, but the Senate has a solemn duty to continue to ask questions, demand better, live up to the pledge we make to our veterans.

And finally, finally, I hope you will tune in and listen to my podcast where my daughter, Nicole, and I take the time to delve into issues of the day and interview names in the news. This week, we welcome Chelsea Handler to the show. And if you know Chelsea, you know it is not to be missed. You can find our conversation here.