PM To Shape His Own Cabinet After Win

Scott Morrison will get to shape his own cabinet after making minimal changes when he took over from Malcolm Turnbull in August. A series of key portfolios will remain in the same hands, but a set of retiring ministers means he has gaps to fill. Ken Wyatt is tipped to take on indigenous affairs, becoming the first indigenous Australian to hold the role. Mr Wyatt told Sky News on Tuesday. Labor was planning to appoint “father of reconciliation” Patrick Dodson to the role if the party won the election, but the Liberals now have the chance to make history. Western Australian MP Ben Morton travelled with Mr Morrison for the election campaign and looks set for a promotion, while assistant defence minister David Fawcett could also take a step up. West Australian senator Linda Reynolds has already been promised the Defence portfolio to replace Christopher Pyne. Mr Morrison will have to find new ministers for industrial relations, jobs, women, and human services. Others talked about for promotions include WA MP Steve Irons, and Victorians Tim Wilson and Jane Hume. Environment Minister Melissa Price is facing pressure to keep her role after struggling to answer questions. She has rarely been allowed to do press conferences on her own since taking over the job in August. Greens leader Richard Di Natale told reporters in Melbourne. If so, the prime minister will have to choose between veteran Eric Abetz and younger senator Jonathon Duniam, as well as consider whether to promote Richard Colbeck into cabinet. Peter Dutton is expected to keep Home Affairs, while Treasurer Josh Frydenberg and Finance Minister Mathias Cormann are also set to stay in the same roles. Attorney-General Christian Porter will be Leader of the House, replacing Mr Pyne in the job of managing the day to day of parliament tactics. Health Minister Greg Hunt, Education Minister Dan Tehan and Foreign Minister Marise Payne are likely to keep their spots. The new ministry is not expected to be announced until at least this weekend, as counting continues following Saturday’s election.

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8/18/2017 – H.R. 510 – Rapid DNA Act of 2017 designed to help eliminate huge backlogs of DNA analysis for law enforcement was signed into law. As was S. 114 – VA Choice and Quality Employment Act of 2017. This bill makes hiring new and former VA civil servants easier and more flexible as well as putting new life in a program that allows, in certain circumstances, veterans to go outside the VA to find medical services. 8/23/2017 – In a series of bi-partisan veterans bills, President Trump signed H.R. 2288 – Veteran’s Appeal Improvement and Modernization Act of 2017. This legislation provides multiple avenues to appeal VA decisions which hopefully will considerably speed up the process. 8/25/2017 – The final guidance to bar transgender Americans from enlisting in the armed forces was given to military commanders. It further directed the military departments to determine the best way to get currently serving transgender soldiers and sailors discharged. On Oct 30, 2017 a federal judge blocked the implementation of this order.

Prior to that Sec Def decided to “study” the ramifications before moving out to obey it. 9/5/17 – President Trump ordered Attorney General to end President Obama’s Deferred Action on Childhood Arrivals (DACA) executive order that protected roughly 800,000 undocumented children who were brought to the U.S. Most know no other country other than America. DACA was originally implemented because Congress refused to protect these children. 800,000 children and young adults. 10/12/17 – President Trump tried to salvage his failure to repeal Obamacare in the Senate by signing two executive orders designed to make ACA crumble. First he decided not to make the payments the law promised to insurers to make up for their cost of subsidizing deductibles for low income insured (the GOP refused to pass the necessary appropriations, so President Obama found money elsewhere). This action should not impact ACA too much because insurers felt they may not get reimbursed and raised their rates accordingly.

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The other provision is designed to make it easier for small businesses and trade groups to form across state line insurance consortiums. If it passes judicial muster, this has the potential to disrupt the exchanges and ultimately drive prices higher for those not in the consortiums or to drop their insurance. 12/1/17 – President Trump withdrew from the United Nations’ New York Declaration for Refugees and Migrants pact. The declaration aims to ensure the rights of migrants, help them resettle and provide them with access to education and jobs. Nikki Haley, the US ambassador to the UN, said that this global approach is not compatible with the America’s sovereignty. 12/6/17 – On this day, President Trump broke 70 years of US foreign policy decisions and recognized Jerusalem as the capital of Israel. Jerusalem has been the de facto capital because it has been the seat of Israeli government for a long time. Trump took this action against the advise of his Secretary of State, Secretary of Defense, and most other cabinet members as well as Egypt, Saudi Arabia, and most other allies.

Many experts expect this move to kill what is left of the peace process and may lead to massive violence in the Middle East. 12/22/17 – President Trump signed his first piece of major legislation, the 2017 Tax Cut and Jobs Act. This act temporarily lowered marginal tax rates and expanded the thresholds to with they apply. Also gone are personal deductions and several other long-term items. In order to reduce the number of people itemizing, the standard deduction was doubled. The corporate tax rate, however, was permanently cut from 35% to 21%. In addition to slashing the corporate rate, and equally important change was the permanently elimination of the corporate Alternative Minimum Tax (ATM). The practical impact of this change is to allow large corporations to once again not pay any tax whatsoever. About the only thing the president retained from his budget is that it was a two-year deal. Where Trump proposed agency cuts, Congress increased. 3/8/18 – President Trump signed an executive order which imposes tariffs on steel of 25% and 10% on aluminum.