On Day 34 of the Trump presidency, here's what you need to know
by Aubrey Whelan, Staff writer, Posted: February 23, 2017
A daily round-up of news about President Trump and his policies, from Philadelphia and around the country.
President Trump's administration walked back federal directives that allowed transgender students to use bathrooms that matched their gender, saying the decision should be left up to the states. The New York Times reported that Attorney General Jeff Sessions had pushed to rescind the guidelines, but Education Secretary Betsy DeVos, whose signature was needed to do so, was reluctant. Trump sided with Sessions. In Philadelphia, school district officials said they wouldn't change their policies protecting transgender students, which include allowing them to choose their bathrooms. "We will stand with you even if the federal government refuses to," Mayor Kenney tweeted.
Sen. Bob Casey is up for re-election next year — and in this volatile political climate, his votes on cabinet nominee are the subject of much scrutiny. The right has complained about Democratic obstructionism — and for the left, voting against Trump nominees has become a bellwether on how committed a politician is to opposing the president's agenda. Though Casey has been outspoken about many of Trump's nominees, the senator hasn't said how he'll vote on Supreme Court nominee Neil Gorsuch. So, naturally, everyone's after him about it. (For what it's worth, a new poll of Pennsylvania residents out of Lancaster's Franklin and Marshall University found respondents had a "blah attitude" toward the president, but also toward Casey and Gov. Tom Wolf, another Democrat up for re-election next year.)
Reporters are beginning to pick through thousands of emails, made public yesterday, that U.S. Environmental Protection Agency head Scott Pruitt sent while he was attorney general of Oklahoma. The gist so far? The man who runs the EPA now really hated the EPA then — and was very close with the oil and gas industries he now regulates.
In Bucks County — which went blue, but just barely, in November — a former Trump delegate to the RNC is organizing a rally in a state park to support the president next weekend. "This sign-waving rally will be peaceful, positive, patriotic, uplifting, and open to anyone that supports an America First agenda," organizers write.