It’s a busy week in Washington as many of President-elect Donald Trump’s nominees face confirmation hearings on Capitol Hill. The Cabinet nominees are set to face tough questions on conflicts of interest, Russia, and their own records. The officials have faced grillings in mock hearings to prepare for how they will answer—or not—for the President-elect’s comments and campaign record. But at the end of the day, it should be a smooth process for Trump’s selections, as the Republican majority is holding.
That unity is cracking somewhat on Obamacare, where after six years of promising repeal, Republicans are still struggling to devise a strategy. The current plan, repeal-and-wait, is facing opposition from budget hawks over the hit to the deficit. The alternative, a full-blown repeal-and-replace, is shockingly not well-thought-out yet.
The GOP stands to make gains on defunding Planned Parenthood after eight years of trying. Trump continues to refuse to publicly name Russia as the perpetrator of the election-related hacks. And refugee officials worry about their future under Trump.
Here are your must reads:
Obama Refugee Officials Worry About the Future Under Donald Trump
Officials at the State Department and beyond are anxious about what the Trump presidency means for their work [TIME]
Republicans Take Upper Hand in Fight to Defund Planned Parenthood
For the first time in eight years, the GOP controls the agenda TIME’s Elizabeth Dias reports
Donald Trump Meets With Intelligence Leaders But Still Doesn’t Publicly Blame Russia for Hacks
U.S. officials point blame at Putin [TIME]
The Young Trump
Jared Kushner is more like his father-in-law than anyone imagines [New York Magazine]
Obama Retools His Political Operation for Another Run
He will use his foundation and an updated Organizing for Action group to try to salvage his legacy and rebuild the Democratic Party [Politico]
Trump Confidants Serving as Presidential Advisers Could Face Tangle of Potential Conflicts
With little public disclosure [Washington Post]
“All of these little procedural complaints are related to their frustration at having not only lost the White House, but having lost the Senate. I understand that. But we need to, sort of, grow up here and get past that.” — Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell to CBS “Face the Nation” on Democratic complaints about the confirmation process
“He’s not denying that entities in Russia were behind this particular hacking campaign.” — Incoming White House Chief of Staff Reince Priebus on Donald Trump’s view of the 2016 election-related hacks
Bits and Bites