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NEW PARTY OF NO? Democrats prepare for battle against Trump agenda, Cabinet picks

FOX News

After blasting Republican colleagues for years over their blockade of President Obama's agenda, Democrats are gearing up for their turn as the opposition party – planning to throw up early roadblocks for President-elect Donald Trump's Cabinet picks and proposals. With the new Congress set to convene Jan. 3 – and Trump set for his inauguration on Jan. 20 – House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi last week issued a call to action to her rank and file to fight Republican efforts to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act, or ObamaCare, one of Republicans' top agenda priorities for 2017. Pelosi is planning to intensify the "drumbeat" in the week before the inauguration, setting Jan. 14 as a "national day of action with events across the country." The Democrats' bid to fend off Republican attacks on Obama's signature domestic policy achievement is no surprise. But the resistance extends well beyond fortifying their ObamaCare defenses.


Kerry snipes at Trump's tweets, picks' lack of accountability, warns of 'authoritarian populism'

The Japan Times

WASHINGTON – U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry on Tuesday warned of the dangers of authoritarian populism and offered a thinly veiled critique of Donald Trump's prolific use of Twitter, saying it allowed the president-elect to avoid accountability. In his most pointed public comments about Trump since the Nov. 8 presidential election, Kerry also suggested that the president-elect's Cabinet nominees were getting a free pass from Congress for failing to submit tax returns and other documentation before their Senate confirmation hearings. "Every country in the world better … start worrying about authoritarian populism and the absence of substance in our dialogue," Kerry told a Washington forum. "If policies are going to be made in 140 characters on Twitter, and every reasonable measurement of accountability is being bypassed, and people don't care about it, we have a problem," Kerry said. As an example of the absence of substance in the political debate, he said climate change was given short shrift during the campaign between Trump and Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton.


Senate Democrats want more info from Trump's Cabinet picks

PBS NewsHour

WASHINGTON -- The top Democrats on Senate committees responsible for vetting President-elect Donald Trump's Cabinet nominees said Thursday his picks should not advance to a Senate vote without completing a financial disclosure form and responding to "reasonable requests for additional information." The statement comes after preliminary contacts with several nominees have failed to satisfy Democrats' expectations for information such as tax returns and other disclosures regarding financial holdings. Several of Trump's nominees are billionaires whose holding could raise conflicts of interest. Trump's cabinet is mostly white and male. What will that mean for policy?


Senate panel narrowly backs Trump's choice for top diplomat

Associated Press

Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla. said Monday, Jan. 23, 2017, that he will support Tillerson despite reservations about the former Exxon Mobil CEO as the Republican lawmaker backed away from any challenge to the new president. Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla. said Monday, Jan. 23, 2017, that he will support Tillerson despite reservations about the former Exxon Mobil CEO as the Republican lawmaker backed away from any challenge to the new president. Sen. Rubio said Monday, Jan. 23, 2017, that he will support Rex Tillerson, President Donald Trump's nominee to be secretary of State despite reservations about the former Exxon Mobil CEO as the Republican lawmaker backed away from any challenge to the new president. "Despite my reservations, I will support Mr. Tillerson's nomination in committee and in the full Senate," said Rubio, who'd come under strong pressure from fellow Republicans to back the nomination and avoid dealing Trump an embarrassing setback in the early days of his presidency.


Trump's pick for top diplomat takes tough line on Moscow

Associated Press

Secretary of State-designate Rex Tillerson testifies on Capitol Hill in Washington, Wednesday, Jan. 11, 2017, at his confirmation hearing before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee. Secretary of State-designate Rex Tillerson testifies on Capitol Hill in Washington, Wednesday, Jan. 11, 2017, at his confirmation hearing before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee. Secretary of State-designate Rex Tillerson, left, accompanied by Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, speaks on Capitol Hill in Washington, Wednesday, Jan. 11, 2017, at his confirmation hearing before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee. Senate Foreign Relations Committee Chairman Sen. Bob Corker, R-Tenn., right, and the committee's ranking member, Sen. Ben Cardin, D-Md., stand with Secretary of State-designate Rex Tillerson on Capitol Hill in Washington, Wednesday, Jan. 11, 2017, prior to the start of Tillerson's confirmation hearing before the committee.