Federal Relations

February 7, 2020

What We’re Reading this Week (February 3rd-7th, 2020)

Trump Acquitted: Divided along party lines, the Senate voted to acquit President Trump on both impeachment charges. Although notably Senator Mitt Romney (R-UT) was the only Republican to vote in favor of conviction, Democrats still didn’t have the backing to remove the President. The acquittal ends months of impeachment proceedings, although the House Democrats have promised to continue investigating the President’s alleged wrongdoings. More at Politico.

Coronavirus Fears: Trade with China and travel throughout Asia has been slowed down by the proliferation of coronavirus. The first death outside China, in the Philippines, was reported. Although it was declared a global health emergency by the World Health Organizations, officials caution the public to be wary of misinformation and avoid unnecessary panic. Read at Washington Post.

Iowa Debacle: The Iowa caucuses, the first primaries of the Presidential Elections, ended in disarray for Democrats as technology failed and they were unable to produce a clear winner until late the next day. Candidate Pete Buttigieg was deemed the winner, very narrowly beating Bernie Sanders, although some outlets declined to name a winner due to the irregularities. The next primary will be on the 11th in New Hampshire. More at Politico.

Debt Relief for Disabled Vets: The Department of Education plans to forgive student loans for some 2,500 disabled veterans by July 2020. Some argue that while this is a positive step, more can be done. Rep. Bobby Scott (D-VA) signaled the Department should discharge loans for many more people whose disabilities will likely prevent them from working. More at Inside Higher Ed.

Whistleblower on Coronavirus Dies: Anger erupted on Chinese social media after the death of Dr. Li Wenliang, who contracted coronavirus while treating patients in Wuhan. Dr. Li was one of the first doctors to warn of the emergence of coronavirus, and he was apparently quickly censored by the Chinese government for being outspoken with his concerns. More at NYT.

UK Appoints First Female Ambassador to the US: Dame Karen Pierce, currently serving as the UK Permanent Representative to the UN, has been appointed the UK Ambassador the US. She is a career diplomat and will be the first female to hold the position in Washington. Dame Karen replaces Sir Kim Darroch, who resigned after emails calling the Trump Administration “clumsy and inept” were leaked thereby damaging his ability to carry out his job. Read at BBC.