Again and again, at conference after conference, when we are asked what the government needs in order to change, the answer is not new legislation or regulation, better systems or another presidential initiative. All those elements are important, but the inevitable answer is, “We need to change the culture.”
And to change the culture, we need to change old thinking, old ways of doing business, old management styles. We need to change many of the senior people.
It is time for them to go. It is time for them to go so that a new generation can take root and begin to lead the government to a more mission-oriented, solution-minded, enterprise-wide approach to current challenges.
Source: Trump’s disruption: Could there be a silver lining? — FCW
Matt Lira, most recently the senior advisor to House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.), will become the special assistant to the president for innovation policy and initiatives.
Source: White House adds a tech adviser — FCW
Democrats uniformly oppose the bill, and it appeared to lack the needed Republican support as well, despite last-minute changes intended to broaden its appeal.
At least 35 Republicans still plan to vote against the bill, according to CBS News. If all House members were to vote, Republicans can only afford to lose 21 votes.
Source: Republicans scramble for health bill votes after Trump ultimatum | Reuters
The White House has been bumbling and unfocused, filled with infighting and leaks, unable to manage even the most basic functions of governing. Perhaps the bigger concern is that its priorities are inverted.
Getting tax reform done should have been job No. 1, and the failure to do that first could be problematic for Trump’s entire agenda.
The latest incompetent action has been an attempt to replace the Affordable Care Act with something hated by both conservatives and liberals.
Perhaps the biggest self-inflicted wound has been the foolish tweet claiming former President Barack Obama “had my ‘wires tapped’ in Trump Tower.”
It called into question the president’s seriousness about governing.
Source: Trump’s Misplaced Priorities Imperil His Economic Agenda – Bloomberg View
.. none of this gets to the real dilemma for the republic at the moment.
The director of the FBI will in a practical sense determine the legitimacy of our elected president. This makes James Comey the most powerful person in Washington.
It would be nice to blame the Russians for this sorry state of affairs, but really we can blame only ourselves.
Source: Comey Is Now the Most Powerful Person in Washington – Bloomberg View
Obamacare, President Donald Trump is fond of saying, is a “complete and total disaster” and must be replaced.
Yet one of the most significant features of his party’s proposed replacement has little to do with Obamacare.
The American Health Care Act would drastically reshape Medicaid — ending the federal government’s long-running, open-ended commitment to help states pay for care for the poor. Instead, in 2020, Washington would make limited per capita contributions that would shrink as a share of costs with every passing year.
Source: Republicans Want to Repeal Medicaid, Too – Bloomberg View
Immigration and Customs Enforcement and Customs and Border Protection are currently sorting out their hiring plans to bring on an additional 15,500 employees at Trump’s direction, but members of the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee called that proposal politically motivated and unsound policy.
Even the unions representing the agencies’ workers said it would be nearly impossible to implement the proposal without first tackling other issues, although they applauded its intent.
Source: Trump Fans and Critics Alike Question the Proposed Hiring Surge at Homeland Security – Management – GovExec.com
In the contemporary Congress, for most members, actions that help their personal reputations and those that build the party brand are one and the same. This is in large part because congressional districts now are generally what Laurel Harbridge Yong describes as “well-sorted,” where a majority of voters support a given party, align themselves ideologically with that party, and support that party’s candidates for federal office. As a result, legislators do not often find themselves making trade-offs between what’s good for the party with what’s good for their constituents.
Just because this kind of cross-pressuring is relatively uncommon, however, doesn’t mean it never occurs and that it doesn’t matter when it does happen.
Source: Constituents and the GOP party brand put pressure on health care vote | Brookings Institution
Neil Gorsuch has rewritten the playbook for Supreme Court nominees by refusing to share his personal views on even the most widely accepted landmark cases during his Senate confirmation hearing.
His strict adherence to a game plan of dodging questions on his personal views or legal philosophy on even the most accepted rulings that desegregated schools and established the right to use contraception allowed him to sidestep a variety of political landmines that could have given centrist Democrats a reason to oppose his nomination.
But Gorsuch’s strategy may backfire — Democrats are beginning to point to his lack of candor and transparency as a potential reason to filibuster his nomination.
Source: Gorsuch rewrites playbook for confirmation hearings | TheHill
“If the vote doesn’t pass, or is postponed, it will cast a lot of doubt on the Trump trades,” said the influential bond investor Jeffrey Gundlach, chief executive at DoubleLine Capital.
U.S. stocks rallied after the November presidential election, with the S&P 500 posting a string of record highs up to earlier this month, on bets that the pro-growth Trump agenda would be quickly pushed by a Republican Party with majorities in both chambers of Congress.
Source: Trump Tantrum looms on Wall Street if healthcare effort stalls | Reuters