The White House on Tuesday said it was tapping its current “WMD czar” for a job at the Energy Department overseeing nuclear weapon programs.
The Senate has to approve the nomination of Elizabeth Sherwood-Randall to become the deputy secretary of the Energy Department, the New York Times reports. She is intended to replace Daniel Poneman as the department’s second-ranking official.
If approved for the job, Sherwood-Randall’s portfolio will include managing key National Nuclear Security Administration programs to update aging fissile material-production capabilities and to refurbish old atomic arms.
Since 2013, she has worked at the White House as the coordinator for defense policy, countering weapons of mass destruction, and arms control. No replacement has yet been named for Sherwood-Randall on the National Security Council.
Meanwhile, the National Nuclear Security Administration announced it had selected senior defense programs official Tim Driscoll to fill a newly created position of uranium program manager, the Knoxville News Sentinel reported.
Driscoll’s appointment is understood to follow a recommendation from an independent “red team” on options for overhauling uranium-processing facilities at the Y-12 National Security Complex in Tennessee.
In his new role, Driscoll will be “responsible for overseeing all program elements for maintaining NNSA’s uranium manufacturing capabilities in support of mission requirements,” says an announcement from NNSA Administrator Frank Klotz.
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After more than a month of back and forth, a failed bill, and GOP embarrassment, the ultra-conservative House Freedom Caucus has announced that it will support the Obamacare replacement legislation in its most recent iteration. Rep. Mark Meadows, the chairman of the caucus, said the roughly 30 members of the caucus view this compromise as the best option short of a full repeal. A recent amendment, authored by Meadows and Rep. Tom McArthur, co-chair of the more moderate Tuesday Group, would allow states to apply for waivers exempting them from provisions forbidding insurers from charging higher prices to those with pre-existing conditions if the state set up a high-risk pool. The plan's passage in the House is not a done deal though, as a number of moderate lawmakers have resisted supporting the amendment.
"A U.S. Navy guided-missile destroyer fired a warning flare toward an Iranian Revolutionary Guard vessel coming near it in the Persian Gulf. The incident happened Monday as the vessel closed to within 1,000 meters of the USS Mahan, "despite the destroyer trying to turn away from it." After attempting to contact the Iranian vessel and sounding its whistle, it deployed the flare. After that, the ship had had enough and turned away.
U.S. District Judge William Orrick Tuesday blocked the Trump administration from enforcing part of an executive order calling for the end of federal funding to so-called sanctuary cities. The decision was followed by a scathing rebuke from the White House, a precedent-breaking activity which with this White House has had no qualms. A White House statement called the decision an "egregious overreach by a single, unelected district judge." The statement was followed by an inaccurate Wednesday morning tweetstorm from Trump, which railed against the Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit. While Judge Orrick's district falls within the jurisdiction of the Ninth Circuit, Orrick himself does not serve on the Ninth Circuit.
"House Republicans are circulating the text of an amendment to their ObamaCare replacement bill that they believe could bring many conservatives on board. According to legislative text of the amendment," drafted by Rep. Tom MacArthur (R-NJ), "the measure would allow states to apply for waivers to repeal one of ObamaCare’s core protections for people with pre-existing conditions. Conservatives argue the provision drives up premiums for healthy people, but Democrats—and many more moderate Republicans—warn it would spark a return to the days when insurance companies could charge sick people exorbitantly high premiums."