Fox on the HillJuly 18, 2016 – Newsletters
With Trump’s VP decision made, all eyes turn to the Clinton campaign and the five most visible candidates to become Hillary Clinton’s running mate. The first is Senator Tim Kaine of Virginia, who has wide appeal in the Democratic Party. Clinton and Kaine held a rally together in Virginia last week. Next is Senator Sherrod Brown of Ohio, who provides support in a key battleground state. However, his senate seat would have to be filled by an appointment from the Republican Governor and could alter Democrats chances of getting a majority in the Senate. Then there is Senator Cory Booker of New Jersey, a freshman Senator who excites young voters, similar to Obama in 2008. Another possibility is Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack, who is viewed as the safe pick for Clinton. Also in the running is Senator Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts. She is a high-profile progressive, but has been vilified by Wall Street, which has been an important donor base for the Clinton campaign.
Republican presumptive nominee Donald Trump announced that Indiana Governor Mike Pence will be his running mate. Pence has served as Indiana’s governor since 2012, and prior served in both the U.S. House of Representatives and the State House. The decision of Pence adds an established, mainstream conservative to the unconventional Trump bid for President. Pence’s addition to the top of the ticket has removed him from running for reelection for Governor of Indiana.
The addition of Pence to the ticket has already drawn a great deal of praise from Republicans, who say that Pence has the leveled temperament needed to work with Trump. However, there are many who are not pleased with Trump’s choice. Pence is credited for Indiana’s Religious Freedom Restoration Act, which opponents view as legalized discrimination against the LGBT community.
For the first time since 2009, the House passed the Interior, Environment and Related Agencies Appropriations legislation. The bill allocates $32.1 billion in net discretionary spending, approximately 1 percent less than the current funding and 3 percent less than what the President requested. The legislation increases funding for National Park Service, U.S. Geological Survey, Bureau of Indian Affairs and Indian Health Service, while cutting funding for the EPA, the Bureau of Land Management, Office of Surface Mining and the Fish and Wildlife Service.
Mike Pence being chosen as Donald Trump’s running mate has further highlighted Trump’s opposition of Dodd-Frank Act. Pence had opposed the legislation when serving in the House of Representatives. Pence was also opposed to the Bush Administration’s 2008 bank bailout -- closely aligning him with current House of Representatives Financial Services Chairman Jeb Hensarling.
The Senate failed to gather the necessary 60 votes to pass the House-Senate conference report that would allocate $1.1 billion to fight the Zika virus. Democrats blocked the bill due to language that would prevent funds from going to Planned Parenthood in Puerto Rico. To combat the Zika virus, The Department of Health and Human Services has spent approximately $112 million of the approximate $589 million that was initially allocated for fighting the Ebola virus.