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Tag Archives: West Wing

Hugh Hewitt: The White House West Wing (Staff) Renovation

U.S. Senate

The exit of Stephen K. Bannon completes a restructuring of the West Wing that began almost as soon as the president took office and is now apparently complete. Like the physical renovation of the West Wing, it was noisy, not very attractive … but it was necessary.

What is needed now are successes in cooperation with Congress—beyond confirmation of Supreme Court Justice Neil M. Gorsuch, the Veterans Affairs reform bill, and the 14 Congressional Review Act laws that were all enormously significant—but those were low-profile victories, and it seemed like Gorsuch was half a year ago.

What is needed above all is either a tax bill or resurrection of the health-care fix. Slashing the corporate tax rate is probably the easiest (and perhaps most economically significant) bit of legislation to accomplish—but so too must arrive the repeal of the Budget Control Act, which has devastated national security via the “sequester” and hamstrung a key Trump promise, that of a 355-ship Navy.

The staffing reset—along with a rhetorical reset from President Trump himself begun last week—can help get things moving.

 

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Hugh Hewitt: Winning In Washington

U.S. Senate

What does it mean to “win” in Washington? I’ve long described “progress” as the ongoing, incremental expansion of liberty and literacy in a growing number stable regimes in or aligned with the West. And by that definition, much of the agenda of President Trump’s administration could well be described as “winning.”

Health and Human Services Secretary Tom Price and EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt have become the domestic policy stars of the Trump administration, joining Defense Secretary Mattis, Homeland Security Secretary Kelly and CIA Director Pompeo as foreign policy counterparts off to successful starts. Each of the five brought to the task discipline and passion to lead their agencies.

The key, however, is that all five have sought and received buy-ins from the president and Vice President Pence on their policy directions and priorities—and, even more, that they pursue and defend their missions with little or no reference to the raging battle between the West Wing and the media elites.

Any assessment of the Trump administration ought to include a clear-eyed evaluation of where they are in fact wining.

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