It’s been a busy week in Washington, D.C. (well, and New York City, too). The 45th Presidential Transition Team, operating out of D.C. and New York, is now in place and the job of filling Cabinet positions and White House senior staff has kicked into high gear. It’s just the beginning and there is much speculation about who will get what job in the Trump Administration, but announcements are already coming out – a sure sign that the peaceful transition from the 44th President to the 45th President is under way – democracy in action.
Congress also came back into session this week for the 114th Congress Lame Duck Session. The focus will be on funding the federal government for Fiscal Year 2017. House and Senate leaders, along with Administration officials, have been negotiating to put together another Continuing Resolution (CR) – the current CR expires December 9th. The current strategy is to put together a bill that funds the government to some point in March. This would allow President-Elect Trump to get his team in place and make his requests for the budget known to Congress. Additionally, organizing for the 115th Congress began and leadership elections were held for Senate Republicans, Senate Democrats, and House Republicans. House Democrats postponed their elections till the week of November 30th.
Want even more information? On Tuesday, AIADA hosted a special Post-Election AutoTalk webinar, sponsored by AIADA Affinity Partner CNA National, to brief dealers on what the 2016 election results will mean for their businesses in the coming weeks and months. During the webinar, AIADA’s Vice President of Government Relations, Rachel Robinson, summarized the results of the election, explaining how a lame duck session of Congress will likely play out before the end of the year and what issues the 115th Congress will likely focus on when it gavels in this January, how issues like trade and the regulatory environment will be impacted by new leadership in Washington, and what to expect from the presidential transition in the coming weeks. If you missed it, listen to a recording of this special AutoTalk webinar by clicking HERE.
The Week in Review will be on break next Friday giving thanks. Now, here’s What You Auto Know.
House Passes Bill Targeting ‘Midnight’ Obama Regs
The House on Thursday passed legislation that would allow Congress to overturn in a single vote any regulations finalized in the last days of the Obama administration.
Despite Democratic opposition, the Midnight Rule Relief Act passed largely along party lines, by a 240-179 vote. The bill would amend the Congressional Review Act to allow Congress to overturn many rules all at once by way of a resolution.
Rep. Bob Goodlatte (R-Va.) urged his colleagues on the floor Thursday morning to pass the legislation and tell the American people that lawmakers heard them on Election Day loud and clear.
“The American people have said no to the continuance of the Obama administration’s policies,” he said.
“This bill guarantees that Congress can prevent any and all last-minute defiance of the people’s will by midnight regulations that stubbornly seem to entrench the last pieces of the administration's bipartisan agenda.”
House Republicans are doing everything in their power to keep the Obama administration from enacting any new rules in its final days.
To read more from The Hill, please click HERE.
Donald Trump Is Choosing His Cabinet. Here’s the Latest Shortlist.
Current and former officeholders have been filtering in and out of Trump Tower this week as Donald J. Trump’s transition team works to assemble leaders of the new administration. Here are some possibilities for the cabinet and other key posts, compiled by reporters for The New York Times, using information from the Trump transition team, lawmakers, lobbyists and Washington experts.
Mr. Trump takes over at a time of diverse and complex threats to American security. The new C.I.A. director will have to decide whether to undo a C.I.A. “modernization” plan put in place this year by Director John O. Brennan, and how to proceed if the president-elect orders a resumption of harsh interrogation tactics — which critics have described as torture — for terrorism suspects.
Mike Pompeo, Representative of Kansas and a former Army officer, has been selected. Mr. Pompeo is a member of the House Intelligence Committee and was a sharp critic of Hillary Clinton during the congressional investigation into the 2012 attack on the American diplomatic compound in Benghazi, Libya.
The nation's top law enforcement official will have the authority for carrying out Mr. Trump's “law and order” platform, including his threat to “jail” Hillary Clinton. The nominee can change how civil rights laws are enforced.
Jeff Sessions, Senator of Alabama, has been selected by Mr. Trump. Mr. Sessions is a strong proponent of strict immigration enforcement, reduced spending and tough-on-crime measures. His nomination for a federal judgeship in 1986 was rejected because of racially charged comments and actions, which are very likely to become an issue as he faces another set of Senate confirmation hearings.
National Security Adviser
The national security adviser, although not a member of the cabinet, is a critical gatekeeper for policy proposals from the State Department, the Pentagon and other agencies, a function that takes on more importance given Mr. Trump's lack of experience in elective office.
Michael T. Flynn, a retired Army lieutenant general and former director of the Defense Intelligence Agency has been selected. General Flynn has been outspoken about his view of the threat posed by Islamist militancy and was an ardent supporter of Mr. Trump during the campaign.
To read more from the New York Times, please click HERE.
The Kaminsky Column: Now What?
Enough time has passed since Election Day that dealers have, for the most part, caught their breaths. Some of us were thrilled by the results, some of us weren’t, but I feel confident in saying that most of us were caught by surprise. And we weren’t alone. Nearly every poll, pundit, and prognosticator had picked democrat Hillary Clinton as the 45th president of the United States. Washington outsider Donald Trump’s victory left his supporters cheering, and his detractors scratching their heads.
In politics, true surprises happen rarely. And when they do, the aftermath is felt for a long time. As the media and pollsters are looking back, scrambling to explain how they were so wrong with their predictions, dealers are looking ahead – to what a Trump presidency will mean for our businesses.
For many, a Trump administration offers new hope that small businesses like ours might see some relief from overreaching regulatory agencies like the CFPB, NLRB, and EPA. So far, Trump’s comments seem to support our optimism, but a great deal will depend on the team he builds around him and the cooperation he is able to engender from the Republican-led, 115th Congress.
To read more from AIADA Chairman Kaminsky, please click HERE.
In Trade News
Trump Transition Memo: Trade Reform Begins Day 1 (CNN)
Trump Digs in for Major U.S. Trade Reset with the World (CNBC)
What Is Lost by Burying the Trans-Pacific Partnership? (The New York Times)
In Auto News
Subaru SUV Concept Foreshadows Upcoming Family Hauler (Detroit Free Press)
U.S. Dealerships Face Evolution, Not Revolution, Expert Says (Automotive News)
U.S. News Announces the 2017 Best Vehicle Brands (U.S. News &World Report)
We hope these make you laugh! Click HERE to see some of the best Vice President Joe Biden memes.