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Presidential Executive Order on Strengthening the Cybersecurity of Federal Networks and Critical Infrastructure – 5/11/2017

May 11, 2017 – As one of his top priorities, and in keeping with his promise, President Donald J. Trump today signed a Presidential Executive Order on Strengthening the Cybersecurity of Federal Networks and Critical Infrastructure from cyber attacks. This EO will improve network security of U.S. government agencies protecting them from hackers seeking access to U.S. data.  This EO will protect the U.S. infrastructure (energy grid, financial sector) which has been a target of cyber attacks and that can cripple the U.S. economy.  Also, this EO calls for a study of the threat posed by “botnets” used by hackers to overwhelm targeted servers.

 

The EO states that it will hold heads of executive departments and agenies accountable for managing cybersecurity risk to their enterprises.

 

Jake Olcott, VP at BitSight, a private-sector security ratings and risk assessment company, stated the EO provides for much-needed protection of critical data.  Olcott is a former legal advisor to the Senate Commerce Committee and counsel to the House of Representatives Homeland Security Committee.

 

“Trump’s cybersecurity EO is smart policy and big win for this Administration.”

“The initiatives being put forth will help to bring the U.S. Federal Government and its agencies into the 21st century when it comes to protecting data and systems.”  

“It’s exactly what we expected from Trump and exactly what cybersecurity needs now.” 

“I think the trend is going in the wrong direction in cyber space.”

“It’s time to stop that and reverse it on behalf of the American people. We’ve seen increasing attacks, and sitting by and doing nothing isn’t an option.”  Jake Olcott

 

This past January, a bipartisan task force chaired by Michael McCaul, R. Texas, released a report with cybersecurity recommendations for the new administration.

 

“A silent war is waged against us in cyber space –if we don’t shape it, it will be shaped against us.”

“Every person in this room is a target and the phones in your pocket are the battle space –and the enemy is winning.”

Source: Fox News

The White House
Office of the Press Secretary
For Immediate Release

Presidential Executive Order on Strengthening the Cybersecurity of Federal Networks and Critical Infrastructure

EXECUTIVE ORDER

– – – – – – –

STRENGTHENING THE CYBERSECURITY OF FEDERAL NETWORKS AND CRITICAL INFRASTRUCTURE

By the authority vested in me as President by the Constitution and the laws of the United States of America, and to protect American innovation and values, it is hereby ordered as follows:

Section 1.  Cybersecurity of Federal Networks.  

(a)  Policy.  The executive branch operates its information technology (IT) on behalf of the American people.  Its IT and data should be secured responsibly using all United States Government capabilities.  The President will hold heads of executive departments and agencies (agency heads) accountable for managing cybersecurity risk to their enterprises.  In addition, because risk management decisions made by agency heads can affect the risk to the executive branch as a whole, and to national security, it is also the policy of the United States to manage cybersecurity risk as an executive branch enterprise. 

(b)  Findings.

(i)    Cybersecurity risk management comprises the full range of activities undertaken to protect IT and data from unauthorized access and other cyber threats, to maintain awareness of cyber threats, to detect anomalies and incidents adversely affecting IT and data, and to mitigate the impact of, respond to, and recover from incidents.  Information sharing facilitates and supports all of these activities.

(ii)   The executive branch has for too long accepted antiquated and difficult–to-defend IT.

(iii)  Effective risk management involves more than just protecting IT and data currently in place.  It also requires planning so that maintenance, improvements, and modernization occur in a coordinated way and with appropriate regularity. 

(iv)   Known but unmitigated vulnerabilities are among the highest cybersecurity risks faced by executive departments and agencies (agencies).  Known vulnerabilities include using operating systems or hardware beyond the vendor’s support lifecycle, declining to implement a vendor’s security patch, or failing to execute security-specific configuration guidance.

(v)    Effective risk management requires agency heads to lead integrated teams of senior executives with expertise in IT, security, budgeting, acquisition, law, privacy, and human resources.

(c)  Risk Management.

(i)    Agency heads will be held accountable by the President for implementing risk management measures commensurate with the risk and magnitude of the harm that would result from unauthorized access, use, disclosure, disruption, modification, or destruction of IT and data.  They will also be held accountable by the President for ensuring that cybersecurity risk management processes are aligned with strategic, operational, and budgetary planning processes, in accordance with chapter 35, subchapter II of title 44, United States Code. 

(ii)   Effective immediately, each agency head shall use The Framework for Improving Critical Infrastructure Cybersecurity (the Framework) developed by the National Institute of Standards and Technology, or any successor document, to manage the agency’s cybersecurity risk.  Each agency head shall provide a risk management report to the Secretary of Homeland Security and the Director of the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) within 90 days of the date of this order.  The risk management report shall:

(A)  document the risk mitigation and acceptance choices made by each agency head as of the date of this order, including:

(1)  the strategic, operational, and budgetary considerations that informed those choices; and

(2)  any accepted risk, including from unmitigated vulnerabilities; and

(B)  describe the agency’s action plan to implement the Framework.

(iii)  The Secretary of Homeland Security and the Director of OMB, consistent with chapter 35, subchapter II of title 44, United States Code, shall jointly assess each agency’s risk management report to determine whether the risk mitigation and acceptance choices set forth in the reports are appropriate and sufficient to manage the cybersecurity risk to the executive branch enterprise in the aggregate (the determination).

(iv)   The Director of OMB, in coordination with the Secretary of Homeland Security, with appropriate support from the Secretary of Commerce and the Administrator of General Services, and within 60 days of receipt of the agency risk management reports outlined in subsection (c)(ii) of this section, shall submit to the President, through the Assistant to the President for Homeland Security and Counterterrorism, the following:

(A)  the determination; and

(B)  a plan to:

(1)  adequately protect the executive branch enterprise, should the determination identify insufficiencies;

(2)  address immediate unmet budgetary needs necessary to manage risk to the executive branch enterprise;

(3)  establish a regular process for reassessing and, if appropriate, reissuing the determination, and addressing future, recurring unmet budgetary needs necessary to manage risk to the executive branch enterprise; 

(4)  clarify, reconcile, and reissue, as necessary and to the extent permitted by law, all policies, standards, and guidelines issued by any agency in furtherance of chapter 35, subchapter II of title 44, United States Code, and, as necessary and to the extent permitted by law, issue policies, standards, and guidelines in furtherance of this order; and

(5)  align these policies, standards, and guidelines with the Framework.

(v)    The agency risk management reports described in subsection (c)(ii) of this section and the determination and plan described in subsections (c)(iii) and (iv) of this section may be classified in full or in part, as appropriate.

(vi)   Effective immediately, it is the policy of the executive branch to build and maintain a modern, secure, and more resilient executive branch IT architecture.  

(A)  Agency heads shall show preference in their procurement for shared IT services, to the extent permitted by law, including email, cloud, and cybersecurity services. 

(B)  The Director of the American Technology Council shall coordinate a report to the President from the Secretary of Homeland Security, the Director of OMB, and the Administrator of General Services, in consultation with the Secretary of Commerce, as appropriate, regarding modernization of Federal IT.  The report shall:

(1)  be completed within 90 days of the date of this order; and 

(2)  describe the legal, policy, and budgetary considerations relevant to — as well as the technical feasibility and cost effectiveness, including timelines and milestones, of — transitioning all agencies, or a subset of agencies, to:

(aa)  one or more consolidated network architectures; and

(bb)  shared IT services, including email, cloud, and cybersecurity services.

(C)  The report described in subsection (c)(vi)(B) of this section shall assess the effects of transitioning all agencies, or a subset of agencies, to shared IT services with respect to cybersecurity, including by making recommendations to ensure consistency with section 227 of the Homeland Security Act (6 U.S.C. 148) and compliance with policies and practices issued in accordance with section 3553 of title 44, United States Code.  All agency heads shall supply such information concerning their current IT architectures and plans as is necessary to complete this report on time.

(vii)  For any National Security System, as defined in section 3552(b)(6) of title 44, United States Code, the Secretary of Defense and the Director of National Intelligence, rather than the Secretary of Homeland Security and the Director of OMB, shall implement this order to the maximum extent feasible and appropriate.  The Secretary of Defense and the Director of National Intelligence shall provide a report to the Assistant to the President for National Security Affairs and the Assistant to the President for Homeland Security and Counterterrorism describing their implementation of subsection (c) of this section within 150 days of the date of this order.  The report described in this subsection shall include a justification for any deviation from the requirements of subsection (c), and may be classified in full or in part, as appropriate. 

Sec. 2.  Cybersecurity of Critical Infrastructure. 

(a)  Policy.  It is the policy of the executive branch to use its authorities and capabilities to support the cybersecurity risk management efforts of the owners and operators of the Nation’s critical infrastructure (as defined in section 5195c(e) of title 42, United States Code) (critical infrastructure entities), as appropriate.

(b)  Support to Critical Infrastructure at Greatest Risk.  The Secretary of Homeland Security, in coordination with the Secretary of Defense, the Attorney General, the Director of National Intelligence, the Director of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the heads of appropriate sector-specific agencies, as defined in Presidential Policy Directive 21 of February 12, 2013 (Critical Infrastructure Security and Resilience) (sector-specific agencies), and all other appropriate agency heads, as identified by the Secretary of Homeland Security, shall:

(i)    identify authorities and capabilities that agencies could employ to support the cybersecurity efforts of critical infrastructure entities identified pursuant to section 9 of Executive Order 13636 of February 12, 2013 (Improving Critical Infrastructure Cybersecurity), to be at greatest risk of attacks that could reasonably result in catastrophic regional or national effects on public health or safety, economic security, or national security (section 9 entities);

(ii)   engage section 9 entities and solicit input as appropriate to evaluate whether and how the authorities and capabilities identified pursuant to subsection (b)(i) of this section might be employed to support cybersecurity risk management efforts and any obstacles to doing so; 

(iii)  provide a report to the President, which may be classified in full or in part, as appropriate, through the Assistant to the President for Homeland Security and Counterterrorism, within 180 days of the date of this order, that includes the following:

(A)  the authorities and capabilities identified pursuant to subsection (b)(i) of this section;

(B)  the results of the engagement and determination required pursuant to subsection (b)(ii) of this section; and

(C)  findings and recommendations for better supporting the cybersecurity risk management efforts of section 9 entities; and

(iv)   provide an updated report to the President on an annual basis thereafter.

(c)  Supporting Transparency in the Marketplace.  The Secretary of Homeland Security, in coordination with the Secretary of Commerce, shall provide a report to the President, through the Assistant to the President for Homeland Security and Counterterrorism, that examines the sufficiency of existing Federal policies and practices to promote appropriate market transparency of cybersecurity risk management practices by critical infrastructure entities, with a focus on publicly traded critical infrastructure entities, within 90 days of the date of this order.

(d)  Resilience Against Botnets and Other Automated, Distributed Threats.  The Secretary of Commerce and the Secretary of Homeland Security shall jointly lead an open and transparent process to identify and promote action by appropriate stakeholders to improve the resilience of the internet and communications ecosystem and to encourage collaboration with the goal of dramatically reducing threats perpetrated by automated and distributed attacks (e.g., botnets).  The Secretary of Commerce and the Secretary of Homeland Security shall consult with the Secretary of Defense, the Attorney General, the Director of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the heads of sector-specific agencies, the Chairs of the Federal Communications Commission and Federal Trade Commission, other interested agency heads, and appropriate stakeholders in carrying out this subsection.  Within 240 days of the date of this order, the Secretary of Commerce and the Secretary of Homeland Security shall make publicly available a preliminary report on this effort.  Within 1 year of the date of this order, the Secretaries shall submit a final version of this report to the President. 

(e)  Assessment of Electricity Disruption Incident Response Capabilities.  The Secretary of Energy and the Secretary of Homeland Security, in consultation with the Director of National Intelligence, with State, local, tribal, and territorial governments, and with others as appropriate, shall jointly assess:

(i)    the potential scope and duration of a prolonged power outage associated with a significant cyber incident, as defined in Presidential Policy Directive 41 of July 26, 2016 (United States Cyber Incident Coordination), against the United States electric subsector;

(ii)   the readiness of the United States to manage the consequences of such an incident; and

(iii)  any gaps or shortcomings in assets or capabilities required to mitigate the consequences of such an incident.  

The assessment shall be provided to the President, through the Assistant to the President for Homeland Security and Counterterrorism, within 90 days of the date of this order, and may be classified in full or in part, as appropriate. 

(f)  Department of Defense Warfighting Capabilities and Industrial Base.  Within 90 days of the date of this order, the Secretary of Defense, the Secretary of Homeland Security, and the Director of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, in coordination with the Director of National Intelligence, shall provide a report to the President, through the Assistant to the President for National Security Affairs and the Assistant to the President for Homeland Security and Counterterrorism, on cybersecurity risks facing the defense industrial base, including its supply chain, and United States military platforms, systems, networks, and capabilities, and recommendations for mitigating these risks.  The report may be classified in full or in part, as appropriate.

Sec. 3.  Cybersecurity for the Nation.

(a)  Policy.  To ensure that the internet remains valuable for future generations, it is the policy of the executive branch to promote an open, interoperable, reliable, and secure internet that fosters efficiency, innovation, communication, and economic prosperity, while respecting privacy and guarding against disruption, fraud, and theft.  Further, the United States seeks to support the growth and sustainment of a workforce that is skilled in cybersecurity and related fields as the foundation for achieving our objectives in cyberspace. 

(b)  Deterrence and Protection.  Within 90 days of the date of this order, the Secretary of State, the Secretary of the Treasury, the Secretary of Defense, the Attorney General, the Secretary of Commerce, the Secretary of Homeland Security, and the United States Trade Representative, in coordination with the Director of National Intelligence, shall jointly submit a report to the President, through the Assistant to the President for National Security Affairs and the Assistant to the President for Homeland Security and Counterterrorism, on the Nation’s strategic options for deterring adversaries and better protecting the American people from cyber threats.

(c)  International Cooperation.  As a highly connected nation, the United States is especially dependent on a globally secure and resilient internet and must work with allies and other partners toward maintaining the policy set forth in this section.  Within 45 days of the date of this order, the Secretary of State, the Secretary of the Treasury, the Secretary of Defense, the Secretary of Commerce, and the Secretary of Homeland Security, in coordination with the Attorney General and the Director of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, shall submit reports to the President on their international cybersecurity priorities, including those concerning investigation, attribution, cyber threat information sharing, response, capacity building, and cooperation.  Within 90 days of the submission of the reports, and in coordination with the agency heads listed in this subsection, and any other agency heads as appropriate, the Secretary of State shall provide a report to the President, through the Assistant to the President for Homeland Security and Counterterrorism, documenting an engagement strategy for international cooperation in cybersecurity.

(d)  Workforce Development.  In order to ensure that the United States maintains a long-term cybersecurity advantage:

(i)    The Secretary of Commerce and the Secretary of Homeland Security, in consultation with the Secretary of Defense, the Secretary of Labor, the Secretary of Education, the Director of the Office of Personnel Management, and other agencies identified jointly by the Secretary of Commerce and the Secretary of Homeland Security, shall:

(A)  jointly assess the scope and sufficiency of efforts to educate and train the American cybersecurity workforce of the future, including cybersecurity-related education curricula, training, and apprenticeship programs, from primary through higher education; and

(B)  within 120 days of the date of this order, provide a report to the President, through the Assistant to the President for Homeland Security and Counterterrorism, with findings and recommendations regarding how to support the growth and sustainment of the Nation’s cybersecurity workforce in both the public and private sectors.

(ii)   The Director of National Intelligence, in consultation with the heads of other agencies identified by the Director of National Intelligence, shall:

(A)  review the workforce development efforts of potential foreign cyber peers in order to help identify foreign workforce development practices likely to affect long-term United States cybersecurity competitiveness; and 

(B)  within 60 days of the date of this order, provide a report to the President through the Assistant to the President for Homeland Security and Counterterrorism on the findings of the review carried out pursuant to subsection (d)(ii)(A) of this section.

(iii)  The Secretary of Defense, in coordination with the Secretary of Commerce, the Secretary of Homeland Security, and the Director of National Intelligence, shall:

(A)  assess the scope and sufficiency of United States efforts to ensure that the United States maintains or increases its advantage in national-security-related cyber capabilities; and

(B)  within 150 days of the date of this order, provide a report to the President, through the Assistant to the President for Homeland Security and Counterterrorism, with findings and recommendations on the assessment carried out pursuant to subsection (d)(iii)(A) of this section.

(iv)   The reports described in this subsection may be classified in full or in part, as appropriate.

Sec. 4.  Definitions.  For the purposes of this order:

(a)  The term “appropriate stakeholders” means any non-executive-branch person or entity that elects to participate in an open and transparent process established by the Secretary of Commerce and the Secretary of Homeland Security under section 2(d) of this order.

(b)  The term “information technology” (IT) has the meaning given to that term in section 11101(6) of title 40, United States Code, and further includes hardware and software systems of agencies that monitor and control physical equipment and processes.

(c)  The term “IT architecture” refers to the integration and implementation of IT within an agency.

(d)  The term “network architecture” refers to the elements of IT architecture that enable or facilitate communications between two or more IT assets.

Sec. 5.  General Provisions.  (a)  Nothing in this order shall be construed to impair or otherwise affect:

(i)   the authority granted by law to an executive department or agency, or the head thereof; or

(ii)  the functions of the Director of OMB relating to budgetary, administrative, or legislative proposals.

(b)  This order shall be implemented consistent with applicable law and subject to the availability of appropriations.

(c)  All actions taken pursuant to this order shall be consistent with requirements and authorities to protect intelligence and law enforcement sources and methods.  Nothing in this order shall be construed to supersede measures established under authority of law to protect the security and integrity of specific activities and associations that are in direct support of intelligence or law enforcement operations.

(d)  This order is not intended to, and does not, create any right or benefit, substantive or procedural, enforceable at law or in equity by any party against the United States, its departments, agencies, or entities, its officers, employees, or agents, or any other person.

DONALD J. TRUMP

THE WHITE HOUSE,
    May 11, 2017.

 

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5/10/2017 – Press Briefing with Principal Deputy Press Secretary Sarah Sanders

 

SARAH Huckabee SANDERS is Principal Deputy Press Secretary

The White House on Wednesday defended President Trump’s decision to fire James Comey, saying the former FBI director threw a “stick of dynamite” into the Department of Justice, and committed “atrocities” in his handling of the Clinton email saga.

“I cannot defend the director’s handling of the conclusion of the investigation of Secretary Clinton’s emails,” Rosenstein wrote in his subsequent letter to Trump, “and I do not understand his refusal to accept the nearly universal judgment that he was mistaken. Almost everyone agrees that the director made serious mistakes; it is one of the few issues that unites people of diverse perspectives.”

Trump told reporters Wednesday Comey “was not doing a good job.” Some Democrats have expressed concern that the firing is related to the FBI’s investigation into alleged ties between the Trump campaign and the Russian government.

Huckabee Sanders said Trump had been considering letting Comey go from his role since the election, and that there had been “an erosion of confidence,” but indicated that the final straw for Rosenstein and Trump was Comey’s testimony last week before a Senate Judiciary Committee hearing. At that hearing, Comey answered wide-ranging questions about his controversial handling of the probe into Hillary Clinton’s private email server last year.

Huckabee Sanders said Comey’s testimony showed that he had committed “atrocities in circumventing the chain of command” at the Department of Justice and said he had thrown a “stick of dynamite” by going around then-Attorney General Loretta Lynch in calling a press conference in July 2016 to announce his recommendation not to press charges against Clinton.  SOURCE: Fox News POLITICS

“I think it’s startling that Democrats aren’t celebrating this since they’ve been calling it for so long,” Sarah Huckabee Sanders

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President Donald J. Trump Announces Judicial Candidate Nominations – White House

President Donald J. Trump Announces Judicial Candidate Nominations

President Donald J. Trump today announced his third wave of Federal judicial appointments.  These appointments follow the successful nomination and confirmation of Justice Neil M. Gorsuch to the Supreme Court of the United States and the nomination of Judge Amul R. Thapar of Kentucky to serve as a Circuit Judge on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit.  Specifically, the President today announced his nomination of these individuals to the following Federal judgeships.

If confirmed, Amy Coney Barrett of Indiana will serve as a Circuit Judge on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit.  Amy Coney Barrett currently serves as the Diane and M.O. Miller II Research Professor of Law at the Notre Dame University Law School.  Professor Barrett teaches and researches in the areas of federal courts, constitutional law, and statutory interpretation—publishing scholarship in leading legal journals, such as the Columbia, Virginia, and Texas Law Reviews.  Before joining the Notre Dame faculty, Professor Barrett clerked for Associate Justice Antonin Scalia of the Supreme Court of the United States and for Judge Laurence H. Silberman of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit.  Following her clerkships, as an associate at Miller, Cassidy, Larroca & Lewin in Washington, D.C., she litigated constitutional, criminal, and commercial cases in both trial and appellate courts.  Professor Barrett has also served as a visiting associate professor and John M. Olin Fellow in Law at the George Washington University Law School, and as a visiting associate professor of law at the University of Virginia.  Professor Barrett received her B.A. in English literature, magna cum laude, from Rhodes College, and her J.D., summa cum laude, from the Notre Dame University Law School, where she served as Executive Editor of the Notre Dame Law Review.

If confirmed, John K. Bush of Kentucky will serve as a Circuit Judge on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit.  John Bush is currently a partner in the Louisville office of Bingham Greenebaum Doll LLP and is Co-Chair of the firm’s Litigation Department.  Mr. Bush practices in complex litigation, including antitrust, securities, financial institutions, insurance, intellectual property, and product liability disputes.  He has extensive litigation experience in state and Federal courts in many jurisdictions and in arbitration proceedings.  Before joining Bingham Greenebaum Doll LLP, Mr. Bush practiced law at Gibson, Dunn and Crutcher LLP in Washington, D.C.  Earlier in his career, Mr. Bush clerked for Judge J. Smith Henley of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit.  Mr. Bush received his B.A., summa cum laude, from Vanderbilt University and his J.D., cum laude, from Harvard Law School.

If confirmed, Joan L. Larsen of Michigan will serve as a Circuit Judge on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit.  Justice Joan Larsen currently serves as the 111th Justice of the Michigan Supreme Court.  Justice Larsen was appointed to the Court in 2015, and was then elected to that Court by the people of Michigan in 2016—winning every county in the state.  Before assuming office, Justice Larsen served on the faculty of the University of Michigan Law School, where she was also special counsel to the Dean.  An award-winning legal scholar, Justice Larsen taught for more than a decade at the University of Michigan, where she received the L. Hart Wright Award for Excellence in Teaching.   Before joining the University of Michigan faculty, Justice Larsen clerked for Associate Justice Antonin Scalia of the Supreme Court of the United States and for Judge David B. Sentelle of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit.  Justice Larsen received her B.A. from the University of Northern Iowa and her J.D. from Northwestern University Law School, from which she graduated first in her class and where she served as an Articles Editor on the Northwestern University Law Review.

If confirmed, Kevin C. Newsom of Alabama will serve as a Circuit Judge on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit.  Mr. Newsom is currently the chair of the appellate group at Bradley Arant Boult Cummings, resident in the firm’s Birmingham office.  Before joining Bradley, Mr. Newsom served as the Solicitor General of Alabama, where he directed the State’s litigation before the Supreme Court of the United States, the United States Courts of Appeals, and the Alabama Supreme Court.  Mr. Newsom has argued four cases in the Supreme Court of the United States and has argued more than 35 cases in the United States Courts of Appeals for the Second, Third, Fourth, Fifth, Sixth, Seventh, Tenth, and Eleventh, and D.C. Circuits, as well as in state supreme and appellate courts and a Native American tribal appellate court.  In addition to this service, Chief Justice John Roberts has twice appointed Mr. Newsom to the Advisory Committee on Appellate Rules, which advises the Judicial Conference of the United States concerning amendments and improvements in the Federal Rules of Appellate Procedure.  Earlier in his career, Mr. Newsom clerked for Associate Justice David Souter of the Supreme Court of the United States and for Judge Diarmuid O’Scannlain of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit.  Mr. Newsom received his B.A., summa cum laude, from Samford University, and his J.D., magna cum laude, from Harvard Law School, where he served as an Articles Editor on the Harvard Law Review.

If confirmed, David R. Stras will serve as a Circuit Judge on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit.  Justice David Stras currently serves as a Justice on the Minnesota Supreme Court.  Justice Stras was appointed to the Court in 2010.  Before his appointment to the Minnesota Supreme Court, Justice Stras was a professor at the University of Minnesota Law School, while also serving as counsel at the Minneapolis law firm of Faegre & Benson.  Earlier in his career, Justice Stras clerked for Associate Justice Clarence Thomas of the Supreme Court of the United States, Judge J. Michael Luttig of the United States Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit, and for Judge Melvin Brunetti of the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit.  Justice Stras received his B.A. with highest distinction from the University of Kansas, his M.B.A. from the University of Kansas, and his J.D. from the University of Kansas School of Law, where he served as editor-in-chief of the Criminal Procedure Edition of the Kansas Law Review.

If confirmed, David C. Nye of Idaho will serve as a District Judge on the U.S. District Court for the District of Idaho.  Judge David C. Nye currently serves as an Idaho trial court judge in Pocatello, Idaho.  Judge Nye was appointed to the state trial court in 2007 and was reelected by the people of Idaho to that position in 2010 and 2014.  Previously, Judge Nye was a partner at Merrill & Merrill, Chartered, in Pocatello, Idaho.  Judge Nye received his B.A. and his J.D. from Brigham Young University.

If confirmed, Scott L. Palk of Oklahoma will serve as a District Judge on the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Oklahoma.  Scott Palk currently serves as the Assistant Dean for Students and Assistant General Counsel at the University of Oklahoma College of Law in Norman, Oklahoma—a position he has held since 2011.  Mr. Palk took this position after 19 years of public service as a state and Federal prosecutor, where he worked on death penalty, organized crime, and terrorism cases.  Mr. Palk earned his undergraduate degree in Business Administration from Oklahoma State University and his J.D. from the University of Oklahoma College of Law.

If confirmed, Damien M. Schiff of California will serve as a Judge on the U.S. Court of Federal Claims.  Damien Schiff is currently a Senior Attorney at the Pacific Legal Foundation, a non-profit legal organization based in Sacramento, California.  Mr. Schiff has extensive experience litigating cases concerning a variety of Federal and state environmental and land-use issues, including Sackett v. U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, a groundbreaking decision in which the United States Supreme Court upheld the right of landowners to challenge Clean Water Act compliance orders issued by the Environmental Protection Agency.  Earlier in his career, Mr. Schiff clerked for Judge Victor J. Wolski of the U.S. Court of Federal Claims.  Mr. Schiff received his B.A., magna cum laude, from Georgetown and his J.D., magna cum laude, from the University of San Diego School of Law in 2004.

President Donald J. Trump Announces Intent to Nominate Judicial Candidates

The President today announced his intent to nominate of these individuals to the following Federal judgeships.

If confirmed, Dabney L. Friedrich of Washington, D.C., will serve as a District Judge on the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia.  Dabney Friedrich has a lengthy career of distinguished public service.  Most recently, Ms. Friedrich served as a Commissioner on the United States Sentencing Commission, where she established sentencing policies and practices for the Federal criminal justice system by promulgating guidelines for congressional review and recommending changes in criminal statutes.  Prior to that service, Ms. Friedrich served as an Associate Counsel to the President during the George W. Bush Administration, as Chief Crime Counsel to Senator Orrin G. Hatch, as an Assistant United States Attorney in the Eastern District of Virginia, as a trial attorney at the Department of Justice, and as an Assistant United States Attorney in the Southern District of California.  Before holding those positions, Ms. Friedrich clerked for Judge Thomas F. Hogan of the District of Columbia District Court.  Ms. Friedrich received her B.A., magna cum laude, from Trinity University, her Diploma in Legal Studies from Oxford University, and her J.D. from Yale Law School, where she served as a Senior Editor on the Yale Journal on Regulation.

If confirmed, Terry F. Moorer of Alabama will serve as a District Judge on the U.S. District Court for the Middle District of Alabama.  Judge Terry F. Moorer currently serves as a Magistrate Judge on the U.S. District Court for the Middle District of Alabama, a position he assumed in 2007.  Before assuming his judgeship, Judge Moorer served as an Assistant United States Attorney in the Middle District of Alabama, as a Command Judge Advocate in Camp Arifjan, Kuwait, and as an attorney in the Office of Staff Judge Advocate in Fort Rucker, Alabama.  Judge Moorer earned his Associate of Arts from the Marion Military Institute, his B.A. from Huntington College, and his J.D. from the University of Alabama Farrah School of Law.

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Republicans just took a major step toward rescuing Americans from Obamacare MAY 8, 2017 AT 9:55 am By: Andrew Bremberg – White House

On Thursday, Republicans in the United States House of Representatives took a major step toward repealing and replacing the disaster known as Obamacare.

Despite promises of lowering healthcare costs for all Americans, Obamacare has sent premiums and deductibles through the roof, making quality healthcare unaffordable. In fact, premiums have risen by an average of over 40 percent nationally. Forty-one states saw average deductibles increase last year, with 17 of them facing double-digit rate increases.

And it keeps getting worse.

Five states now have only one insurer on the Obamacare marketplace and nearly a third of all counties have only a single insurer. Just in the past few weeks, more insurers have announced they will drastically reduce their participation for next year, too. Take Iowa. In the past month, two insurers have announced they are leaving the individual market in the state. The last insurer with a significant presence in the state is considering leaving, too. What will Iowans do next year.

It’s not just insurers that are abandoning Obamacare. With skyrocketing costs and dwindling options, Americans are choosing to flee Obamacare, too.

In 2017, enrollment fell by 500,000 people year-over-year, missing initial estimates by millions. In 2016, nearly 20 million people opted out of Obamacare altogether, with 6.5 million forced to pay the mandate penalty.

And yet, in spite of the overwhelming evidence that Obamacare is hurting the American people, Congressional Democrats have chosen not to lift a finger to help.

Democrats claim they’re opposed to repealing and replacing Obamacare, but the flawed program is effectively “repealing” itself through the total collapse of the Exchange marketplaces. It’s regrettable that Democrats inexplicably continue to fiddle on the deck of the Titanic, excoriating those of us trying to deploy the lifeboats for the American people in the short-term and simultaneously build a more seaworthy vessel for the long-term.

Seeing this, President Trump refused to sit idly by, choosing instead to work closely with House Republican leaders to craft a plan that will reduce health insurance costs, provide greater choice and flexibility to families, and take care of the most vulnerable people in our communities.

The American Healthcare Act (AHCA), which the House passed Thursday afternoon, will provide middle and low income Americans with tax credits to help them pay their health insurance premiums.  It will expand access to health savings accounts by nearly doubling the maximum allowed contribution to be deductible. It eliminates one-size-fits-all mandates and enables states to promote innovation and competition. Under this plan, Americans will see nearly $1 trillion in tax relief.

All of this means that costs are going to come down and the American people will be able to keep more of their hard-earned money.

On top of that, AHCA will protect the most vulnerable Americans, including those with pre-existing conditions. Nobody can be denied coverage because of a preexisting condition — insurance companies are banned from turning away patients from renewing their plans simply because they are sick.

Lower costs. More choices. Better care. Protection for the most vulnerable among us.

This is a plan that puts politics aside and focuses on the needs of the American people.

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