Federal Relations

July 31, 2020

What We’re Reading this Week (July 27th-31st, 2020)

Keep up with what’s happening in DC. Below is a selection of articles the Federal Relations team has read this week.

Congressman John Lewis Lain in State: On Monday, Congressman John Lewis was lain in state in the Capitol Rotunda as lawmakers paid their respects. Footage here.

Education Civil Rights Chief Steps Down: Kenneth Marcus, Civil Rights Chief at the Department of Education, will step down amidst controversy. He is accused of using his office to further his own personal agenda by prioritizing investigations into transgender athletes, as well as reopening a closed antisemitism case against Rutgers. However, Mr. Marcus is also lauded for strengthening sexual misconduct regulations under Title IX and expanding civil rights protections for Jewish students. More at New York Times.

DOJ Files Charges Against Chinese Scholars: This week the Department of Justice filed charges against four Chinese citizens, three visiting scholars and one PhD student, who are accused of falsifying their US visa applications. All are accused of failing to disclose current or prior Chinese military affiliation. Under Presidential Proclamation, Chinese nationals who have been affiliated with an entity supporting the Chinese Military-Civil Fusion Strategy cannot obtain certain graduate-level academic visas. More at Inside Higher Ed.

Congressman Tests Positive for COVID-19: Representative Louie Gohmert (TX-1st) tested positive for COVID-19 this week during a White House screening required before traveling with the President. He is the 7th known Member of Congress to test positive. Recently, Rep. Gohmert had been seen in the Capitol without a mask on. More at Politico.

USCIS Increases Fees: US Citizenship and Immigration Services have increased their fees for certain immigration and naturalization benefits requests in order to address budget concerns. The USCIS budget is almost entirely fee-based. The final rule published by DHS is available here.

Congressman Accused of Misusing Funds: A newly released report from the Office of Congressional Ethics has accused Representative Sanford Bishop (GA-2nd) of misusing over $90,000 in campaign and official funds. The report recommends a full investigation by the House Ethics Committee. More at Politico.

Fauci Card Becomes a Bestseller: The baseball card of Dr. Anthony Fauci throwing the ceremonial first pitch at the Washington Nationals season opener has become the best-selling card in Topps NOW history, despite the subpar throw. More at NBC Sports.