A weekly outreach to our friends and colleagues in Canada
Weekly Washington Wrap
Keying in on Keystone – Well, that didn’t take long. On his second working day in office, the new President of the United States delivered on his campaign promise to revive the Keystone XL pipeline. President Donald Trump ordered that permits for both the Dakota Access and the KXL pipelines be approved in an “expedited manner.” In the case of Keystone, the President invited TransCanada to resubmit its application for a pipeline permit and directed the State Department to issue a final decision on that application within 60 days. It’s a seismic shift from the workings of the Obama administration that dragged the process out for seven long years and even had Obama posing in front of pipelines in Cushing, Oklahoma and lending support for the “southern” portion of the project leading into his 2012 reelection before ultimately rejecting it once the election was behind him.
Time Up for TPP – Also this week the new president signed a memorandum withdrawing the United States from all Trans-Pacific Partnership negotiations and from signing the trade deal. President Trump also reversed an Obama-era order (that reversed a Bush-era order) regarding the use of federal dollars to overseas organizations providing abortions and ordered a rollback of Obamacare. Additionally the President issued a freeze on the massive number of regulations issued by Obama on his final weeks in office that have not yet been approved.
No Waffling on that Wall – Yesterday President Trump signed directives to build a wall along the US border with Mexico and crack down on US cities that shield illegal immigrants as he speeds along keeping promises he made on the campaign trail to thwart illegal immigration and enhance national security. The two executive orders, signed during an appearance at the Department of Homeland Security, address building a wall along the roughly 2,000-mile US-Mexico border and the other strips federal grant money from "sanctuary" states and cities that harbor illegal immigrants. In the coming days, the new president is also expected to issue executive orders that would block the visas of those traveling to the US from known terror-sponsoring states including Syria, Sudan, Somalia, Iraq, Iran, Libya and Yemen.
Trump Bump – History was made Tuesday when the Dow Jones industrial average reached 20,000 points for the first time ever as the stock market extended its rally in optimistic response to the election of President Trump. Investors are responding to the Trump administration’s promises of sacking the burdensome regulations of the Obama years and substantially reducing corporate taxes and to his executive orders reviving job-creating pipeline projects like the Keystone XL that Obama rejected.
You’re Confirmed! -- The Senate confirmed South Carolina Governor Nikki Haley to be US Ambassador to the United Nations this week on a 96-4 vote. Congressman Mike Pompeo (R-KS) was also confirmed by the Senate to be Director of the CIA on a 66-32 vote. Four of President Trump’s Cabinet nominees were approved at the committee level as well and now await final approval by the whole Senate. They are: Rex Tillerson (State), Elaine Chao (Transportation), Dr. Ben Carson (Housing and Urban Development) and Wilbur Ross (Commerce). On another note, Congresswoman Lynn Jenkins of Kansas announced this week that she will not be seeking reelection in 2018. Jenkins, a Republican, was first elected to Congress in 2008.
What a Week It Was
So last week was quite the scene in Washington, DC. Since Carolina-Canada Connections readers are so well aware of current events, we won’t rehash what all y’all already know – namely that the Obamas moved out, the Trumps moved in, some folks celebrated in historic halls and balls and others rioted in the streets. In short, the American transfer of power played out in the usual way: half the country was happy and the other was not.
No matter who wins the White House every four years, one thing we here at Team Wilkins are always grateful for is the unique seat to history found at our Nelson Mullins office at 101 Constitution overlooking Capitol Hill and all the good stuff going on!
The view from our Nelson Mullins’ rooftop.
This year was no exception. It was wonderful to catch up with so many great Canadians and Americans up on our rooftop in town for the various festivities. We especially enjoyed visiting with our pal and the President and CEO of Global Public Affairs Randy Pettipas. We always love seeing our good friends with the Canadian Association of Petroleum Producers Tim McMillan and Chelsie Klassen.
Susan and David Wilkins and CBC’s Chris Hall.
Of course, many fantastic South Carolinians were in town, too, and stopped by our office to watch the new President’s Inaugural parade including Tony Denny, Carol Stewart and Governor Nikki Haley’s staff (Haley is now officially our United States Ambassador to the United Nations!) It is always good to spent time with South Carolina Representative Bruce Bannister and his wife Mary Margaret; Dan Adams and his wife Tammy, and South Carolina Attorney General Alan Wilson and his dad, Congressman Joe Wilson (R-SC).
Wilkins’ longtime pal – the always funny and festive Henry Swink – is ready to see a new president sworn in.
Wilkins is joined by great Americans Claire and Tom Huffaker who recently moved back to DC after years working and raising their impressive family in Calgary.
Everyone loves a parade! Law enforcement leads the way!
A new president rolls by!
Other big time VIP attendees included conservative political commentator Laura Ingraham and former New York Governor George Pataki.
In the course of the exciting week, David and Susan Wilkins saw numerous people at the celebrations and balls they attended but to start down that trail is to leave someone out – so we’ll just say it was a joy to see everyone!
They Said What?
- “It’s good for economic growth, it’s good for jobs, and it’s good for American energy,” – White House spokesman Sean Spicer Tuesday in announcing that President Trump had signed an executive order clearing the way for the Keystone XL pipeline.
- “The media took it lying down for eight years when the press secretary or other people in the Obama administration explicitly said false things about Benghazi, lied about the extent of the IRS targeting of conservatives, lied about cash transfers to Iran, bragged about making an echo chamber to pass the Iran deal, and had a president himself saying repeatedly ‘If you like your healthcare plan you can keep it’ a gazillion times while millions of people lost their healthcare plans. A media that doesn’t push back against that type of falsehood for eight years and then gets all upset at Sean Spicer talking about numbers is not going to be taken seriously at all...”– The Federalist’s Mollie Hemingway on why the media has lost credibility to vet Trump now because of the lack of vetting reporters gave to the Obama administration.
- “In editing the piece for air, his quote was shortened and as a result his opinions mischaracterized. We are fixing the piece online to include his full quote and context. We apologize and regret the error,” – ABC News apology to White House spokesman Sean Spicer after the network was forced to admit it edited a quote to mislead viewers into thinking a former George W. Bush press secretary was being harshly critical of Trump spokesman Spicer.
- “Barron will be this country’s first homeschool shooter,” – Tweet by Saturday Night Live writer Katie Rich attacking the President and First Lady’s 10-year old son Barron Trump. The “joke” tweet was left up for three hours before it was deleted in the face of massive public outrage and Rich was later suspended from SNL and offered up an apology tweet.
- “Yes, I'm angry. Yes, I am outraged. Yes, I have thought an awful lot about blowing up the White House. But I know that this won't change anything. We cannot fall into despair. As the poet W.H. Auden once wrote on the eve of World War II, we must love one another or die. I choose love,” – Singer Madonna at the Women’s March in Washington, DC last weekend. (When she learned that the Secret Service was looking into her violent proclamation she clarified that she didn’t so much really mean blowing up the White House.)
If you are interested in the possibility of having Ambassador Wilkins speak at an event, please contact Christy Cox at Christy.Cox@nelsonmullins.com or call 803.255.9470.
The articles published in this newsletter are intended only to provide general information on the subjects covered. The contents should not be construed as legal advice or a legal opinion. Readers should consult with legal counsel to obtain specific legal advice based on particular situations.