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EPA Administrator Resigns

President Donald Trump tweeted today that he has accepted the resignation of EPA chief Scott Pruitt. Pruitt had been the subject of numerous ethics investigations involving his travel, spending, use of staff, and favors by industry lobbyists.

The agency’s Deputy Administrator, Andrew Wheeler, will act as the agency’s leader until a new administrator is nominated by Mr. Trump and confirmed by the Senate.

Trump to Announce Sweeping Reorg of Federal Gov’t

Today Politco is reporting that “The Trump administration is preparing to release a sweeping plan for reorganizing the federal government that includes a major consolidation of welfare programs — and a renaming of the Health and Human Services Department.

The report, set to be released in the coming weeks by the White House OMB, seeks to move safety-net programs, including food stamps, into HHS, two sources with knowledge of the plan told POLITICO. The plan would also propose changing the name of the sprawling department, while separately seeking cuts at USAID and the State Department.”

Read more from Politico and check back here for more information as it’s available.

Senate Appropriations Sets Ambitious Schedule

Senate Appropriations Committee Chairman Richard Shelby (R-AL) and Vice Chairman Patrick Leahy (D-VT) released a calendar that puts the spending panel on track to finish all the fiscal 2019 bills by June 29. Both Shelby and Leahy  are aiming to bring each bill to the floor — for the first time in years — by promising amendment votes to allow for a robust floor debate.

The schedule is as follows:

Week of May 21-25: Energy-Water and Agriculture-FDA

Week of June 4-8: Transportation-HUD and Military Construction-VA

Week of June 11-15: Interior-Environment, Commerce-Justice-Science and Legislative Branch

Week of June 18-22: State-Foreign Operations, Homeland Security and Financial Services.

Week of June 25-29: Defense and Labor-HHS-Education

The House Appropriations Committee has already begun consideration and mark up of the House version of these measures.

White House Releases “Rescission” Package

As expected, the White House Office of Management and Budget released its package of proposed rescissions earlier today.  The list of programs targeted for cuts is available  here.  The package includes 38 items, totaling approximately $15 billion in cuts.

The biggest portion of the package, roughly $7 billion, would come from the Children Health Insurance Program and more than $4 billion would come come from the Department of Energy Advanced Technology Vehicle Manufacturing program.

ED to cancel student debt collections contracts

The Administration has announced plans to end student loan debt collections contracts with Windham Professionals and Performant Financial Corp. The Education Department said it plans to develop a different approach to collecting defaulted student federal loans in its dismissal of the debt collections agencies. The Washington Post has more information.