Transition 2017

trpAmericans elected businessman Donald Trump the next president of the United States, marking the end of a tumultuous campaign season that unfortunately saw little attention given to the struggles facing low-income Americans. Spotlight will use this resource page to capture what happens next as the U.S. government prepares for the new administration. Over the next few months, Spotlight will post the latest news, statements, events and staff appointments surrounding the transition. To submit a resource to this page, contact Adam Bradley at


Trump Team Prepares Dramatic Cuts — The Hill, 1/19/17

“The departments of Commerce and Energy would see major reductions in funding, with programs under their jurisdiction either being eliminated or transferred to other agencies. The departments of Transportation, Justice and State would see significant cuts and program eliminations.

The Corporation for Public Broadcasting would be privatized, while the National Endowment for the Arts and National Endowment for the Humanities would be eliminated entirely.

Overall, the blueprint being used by Trump’s team would reduce federal spending by $10.5 trillion over 10 years.”

Trump’s Health Secretary Pick Fought to Limit Coverage in one of America’s Neediest States — Los Angeles Times, 1/18/17

“Georgia has some of the worst health outcomes in the country, with high rates of untreated illness and death from preventable diseases.

The state is also home to Dr. Tom Price, the 62-year-old Republican congressman whom President-elect Donald Trump has tapped to be the next Health and Human Services secretary. Trump has charged Price with repealing the Affordable Care Act and developing a replacement that Trump promised will protect millions of Americans who’ve gained coverage through the law.

He is an unorthodox choice for the task.”

Nominations Derailed: The Last 10 Cabinet Appointees to Fail — Slate, 1/10/17

“On the rare occasions that Cabinet-level picks have failed in recent decades, the nominations have been withdrawn before the Senate’s up or down vote over questions about embarrassing or controversial details of their personal or professional lives. That’s theoretically still possible in a Trump administration, but it strains the imagination given the president-elect’s steadfast unwillingness to back down in the face of political norms or even public pressure. In administrations past, wounded nominees stepped aside rather than become a distraction. In Trump’s, distractions might be part of the plan.”

Why lobbyists care so much about Cabinet hearings — The Hill, 1/10/17

“While all Cabinet appointments draw attention from interest groups, those made during the presidential transition period draw the most.

Lobbyists won’t be alone, other friends and foes have been invited to participate. But it will be the lobbyists who will signal how receptive the Washington policy community will be to the next administration: submitting letters of support and opposition; delivering in-person testimony; and, for the first time, using social media to comment on every moment of each confirmation hearing.”

Trump Enters Pivotal Stretch as Cabinet Hearings Begin — The Hill, 1/10/17

“Events will be coming thick and fast. Trump is set to give his first formal news conference since July on Wednesday morning; there will be a slew of confirmation hearings for his Cabinet-level nominees; and President Obama will deliver his farewell address from Chicago on Tuesday evening — an event that is likely to heighten the contrasts between the outgoing president and his successor.

Trump could settle nerves within his own Republican Party if his news conference and the confirmation hearings go well. But if things go awry, it could deepen anxieties among fellow Republicans and voters more generally.”

What to expect from Trump’s confirmation hearings [VIDEO] — Washington Post, 1/8/17

Trump Picks New Policy Staffers — Politico, 1/5/17

“President-elect Donald Trump continued to build out his White House team Thursday with a slew of staffing announcements across different policy areas.

The announcements included positions on the domestic policy council, the office of the senior adviser to the president for policy and the national trade council.”

Trump Transition Lags Obama Pace — The Atlantic, 1/3/17

“In the weeks after the election, Trump made a show of naming members of his Cabinet in rapid succession, giving the impression that his transition was proceeding speedily, faster even than many people expected after such a shocking result on November 8. But the slew of nominations obscured an important detail: Trump’s team had done little or no vetting of those appointees before or immediately after the election, as the Obama transition had done. Potential picks were rarely asked to submit information for a standard FBI background check or financial documents needed for disclosure requirements and an ethics agreement. That meant that a process that takes weeks or even months did not begin until late November or December in some cases.”

Donald Trump Is Choosing His Cabinet. Here’s The Latest List — New York Times, 12/28/16

“These are Mr. Trump’s selections for his cabinet and other top administration jobs so far. Times reporters have compiled possibilities for other posts, using information from the Trump transition team, lawmakers, lobbyists and Washington experts.”

Donald Trump Will Reportedly Select Rick Perry for Energy Secretary — Huffington Post, 12/13/16

“The former Republican presidential candidate met with Trump on Monday after Trump transition sources said he was a leading contender for Energy secretary. He had reportedly been under consideration for other administration posts as well, and had already met with Trump last month.

The department that Perry will lead was one that he famously forgot to name during a GOP presidential primary debate in 2011. Perry listed off federal agencies he hoped to eliminate if he were elected president.”

Donald Trump Selects Scott Pruitt to Run the EPA — New York Times, 12/7/16

“Mr. Pruitt, a Republican, has been a key architect of the legal battle against Mr. Obama’s climate change policies, actions that fit with the president-elect’s comments during the campaign. Mr. Trump has criticized the established science of human-caused global warming as a hoax, vowed to “cancel” the Paris accord committing nearly every nation to taking action to fight climate change, and attacked Mr. Obama’s signature global warming policy, the Clean Power Plan, as a “war on coal.”

Trump Taps Ben Carson for Secretary of Housing and Urban Development — NPR, 12/5/16

“The famed retired neurosurgeon is an unorthodox pick to lead the agency which oversees affordable housing programs and enforces fair housing legislation. In fact, a top Carson aide, Armstrong Williams, told The Hill last month that the former GOP presidential hopeful wasn’t interested in a Cabinet position because, ‘Dr. Carson feels he has no government experience, he’s never run a federal agency. The last thing he would want to do was take a position that could cripple the presidency.'”

James Mattis, Outspoken Ex-Marine, is Trump’s Choice as Defense Secretary — New York Times, 12/1/16

“General Mattis, 66, led the United States Central Command, which oversees military operations in the Middle East and Southwest Asia, from 2010 to 2013. His tour there was cut short by the Obama administration, which believed he was too hawkish on Iran.

But his insistence that Iran is the greatest threat to peace in the Middle East, as well as his acerbic criticism of the Obama administration’s initial efforts to combat the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria, made him an attractive choice for the incoming president.”

Trump picks Elaine Chao for transportation secretary — CNN, 11/29/16

“Chao served as secretary of labor under President George W. Bush from 2001 through 2009 — the longest tenure in the position since World War II — and has been married to McConnell since 1993. She was the first Asian-American woman to serve in a Cabinet position.

Chao also served as the deputy secretary of transportation under President George H.W. Bush from 1989 to 1991. Following her time in government, Chao has held a position as a distinguished fellow at the Heritage Foundation in addition to conducting media appearances.”

Trump to pick Seema Verma for Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services — Reuters, 11/29/16

“Trump is expected to officially announce his selection of Verma and Republican U.S. Representative Tom Price, an orthopedic surgeon who he will nominate to be secretary of health and human services, casting them as his “dream team” whose job will be to transform the U.S. healthcare system, the official said.”

Donald Trump Chooses Tom Price as Health Secretary — Wall Street Journal, 11/29/16

“Mr. Price, a 62-year-old former orthopedic surgeon, is one of several GOP physicians who sought to carve out a leading role in shaping the party’s health policy and, in particular, the party’s alternative vision to Democrats’ Affordable Care Act.

Much of his criticism of the law has centered on the authority it gives to the federal government, and to the agency that he may now head.”

President-Elect Trump Announces Additional Agency Landing Team Members — Trump Transition Page, 11/22/16

Trump Asks Rep. Mike Pompeo to be CIA Director, Sources Say — CNN, 11/18/16

“The selection of Pompeo rounds out a trio of national security picks Trump has made — including Sen. Jeff Sessions for attorney general and retired Lt. Gen. Michael Flynn for national security advisor. A formal announcement from the incoming administration is expected later Friday morning, sources said.”

Trump Picks Jeff Sessions for Attorney General — CNN, 11/18/16

“Sessions, 69, is currently serving his fourth Senate term and was the first sitting senator to endorse Trump. During Trump’s campaign, he served as a key validator from within the Republican establishment at critical times and urged Republicans to coalesce around Trump.”


Center for Presidential Transition

Ending Child Poverty: Recommendations for the New Administration — Child Poverty Action Group

How Federal Support Could Boost Private School Choice Programs — AEI

Trump Transition Memo: Trade Reform Begins Day 1 — CNN

The Next President Must Make Data Work for Students: Recommendations for the New Administration — Data Quality Campaign


What’s Next for Health Care? — American Enterprise Institute, 12/16/16

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