DC Digest – February 21, 2017

 In Today’s Issue:

  • Immigration Updates
  • Transgender Directive
  • Confirmations and Budget Implications
  • Overtime Rule
  • New Accreditors

The University of Michigan Law School has compiled a database of pending legal actions against the Immigration Executive Order.

Refugee/Visa Order

DHS Releases Q&A on Immigration Enforcement

Today, the Department of Homeland Security released a Q&A on the memorandum implementing the President’s Executive Order on border security and immigration. (This is separate from the refugee/visa order detailed above). The entire Q&A can be found here.

The guidance specifically exempts those protected by Obama’s Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA), a policy that grants temporary permits to undocumented immigrants brought to the U.S. as children. (See Q. 30 in the document).

Later in the day, Press Secretary Sean Spicer told reporters that the future fate of DACA isn’t a settled matter, even though it was exempted from today’s guidance.

Immigration Rules

Hatching Ideas

As part of his “Innovation Agenda” Sen. Orrin Hatch (R-Utah) floated ideas for changes to H-1B visas including potential changes to salary requirements and sponsorships. The Utah Republican says he stands ready to advance issues like encryption and increasing the amount of visas for the high-skilled workers that help power places like Silicon Valley.

Unlikely Allies


The Trump Administration is exploring a move away from former President Barack Obama’s directive that extends legal protections to transgender students.


On Friday 17th the Senate confirmed Oklahoma Attorney General Scott Pruitt to be EPA Administrator and Mick Mulvaney was confirmed to lead the White House Office of Management and Budget.

Budget Dates

Mr. Mulvaney’s work begins with several important and upcoming deadlines. The Pentagon has signaled that it will officially ask Congress for more military money by March 1. Lawmakers must approve the fiscal 2017 appropriations bills by April 28, when the existing continuing resolution funding ends. The appropriations panels will then work on fiscal 2018 legislation due in September.


The Justice Department requested Friday that an appeals court provide more time for the agency to file a reply brief in a case challenging an injunction against the Obama overtime rule. The rule, which doubles (to $47,476) the salary threshold under which virtually all workers are guaranteed time-and-a-half pay when they work more than 40 hours in a given week, was set to take effect December 1.

Working Late


Congressional Republicans have appointed two new members to the federal advisory committee that oversees college accreditors — ahead of the panel’s first meeting during the Trump Administration later this week.

Senate Republicans selected Claude Pressnell, president of the Tennessee Independent Colleges and Universities Association, which represents private, nonprofit colleges in the state. House Republicans appointed Brian Jones, president of Strayer University.