Following years of wrangling and a very public and damaging public shutdown over funding for one of Trumps controversial election promises - His Border wall - President Trump has threatened a new tactic. He has threatened to try to by almost by pass Congress by using one of his Presidential powers - to use Emergency powers - Whether this is even constitutional or not we will have to wait and see. Certainly the Wall is continuing to divide US politics.
The House of Representatives have passed a set of tax cuts being reported as one of the greatest tax reforms / tax giveaways in History.
This is a flagship of President Trump and has saw him cajole his Republican party into order to get it passed with a comfortable majority. The bill will raise ta thresholds (the amount you need to earn before paying tax) Supporters say this will be a huge benefit to the economy and the middle class. Democrats have all voted against the bill. They suggest that there will be obvious losers in terms of funding for programmes and a huge mortgage for the nation as the national debt will soar to pay for it.
This first round has been passed in the House - The Senate version may be a lot different- It is currently going through - The compromise- if reached may be interesting. Certainly this is a victory for Trump who could not afford to lose this - especially controlling both the House and Senate.
These are great articles which explain just how precarious President Trumps hold on the Senate is. He has already had John McCain voting against his repeal of Obamacare bill. Now he has Bob Corker, a very influential Senator and chair of the Foreign affairs committee speaking out against his policies. Although Corker will stand down at the next election which gives him some freedom. It clearly illustrates fluid and loose party ties in Congress.
This is a fabulous BBC article explaining why even after the worst mass shooting in US History gun control is notoriously hard to enact. It explains a great deal about the US Political system and about the power of money and Lobby groups.
This seems an apt time for this discussion. There is LOTS going on for AS2 British Politics and A2 Comparative US Politics. Please make sure you don't miss out!
In the United States: Obviously President Trump has created a media storm in his first weeks in office and is not afraid of rattling previously sacred institutions. His criticism and almost rejection of the Judiciary's decision to stop his ban led to a tirade of invective challenging one of the pillars of the US Constitution. It will be interesting to monitor how he proceeds with this in the future as this could fundamentally alter the relationship between the three branches of power in the US and not necessarily for the better.
In the United Kingdom there is a much more reserved debate but certainly with the same implications. The Supreme Court now has a very specific remit to interpret the laws and make sure the Executive and public bodies are not overriding those laws. Therefore the recent decision in the Supreme Court that Theresa May did not have the prerogative power to simply trigger Article 50 and Parliament MUST have a say was a big test of this independence. The Executive is not used to being told what to do.. and the right wing elements in the Press were also not shrinking violets when it came to criticism of the Judges decisions. This has prompted a rebuke from the President of the Supreme Court: Lord Neuberger. This article is essential reading and is fantastic for any Judiciary answer on your exam.
Mr John Wishart -