CategoryFederal

OIRA reviewed 44 significant rules in February

The White House Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs (OIRA) reviewed a total of 44 significant regulatory actions issued by federal agencies in February 2020. The agency approved one rule without changes and approved the intent of 36 rules while recommending changes to their content. Agencies withdrew seven rules from the review process.

OIRA reviewed 23 significant regulatory actions in February 2019, 20 significant regulatory actions in February 2018, and three significant regulatory actions in January 2017. During the Obama administration from 2009-2016, OIRA reviewed an average of 40 significant regulatory actions each February.

OIRA has reviewed a total of 76 significant rules so far in 2020. The agency reviewed a total of 475 significant rules in 2019, 355 significant rules in 2018, and 237 significant rules in 2017.

As of March 2, 2020, OIRA’s website listed 114 regulatory actions under review.

OIRA is responsible for reviewing and coordinating what it deems to be all significant regulatory actions made by federal agencies, with the exception of independent federal agencies. Significant regulatory actions include agency rules that have had or may have a large impact on the economy, environment, public health, or state and local governments and communities. These regulatory actions may also conflict with other regulations or with the priorities of the president.

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What happens to Democratic delegates allocated to withdrawn candidates?

Seven Democratic presidential candidates have been allocated at least one pledged delegate each. Three have withdrawn from the race: Michael Bloomberg, Pete Buttigieg, and Amy Klobuchar. What will happen to their delegates?

The Delegate Selection Rules for the 2020 Democratic National Convention include two provisions dealing with the binding of delegates to the candidates they supported at the time of their selection.

  1. “No delegate at any level of the delegate selection process shall be mandated by law or Party rule to vote contrary to that person’s presidential choice as expressed at the time the delegate is elected.”—Rule 13.I (p. 14)
  2. “Delegates elected to the national convention pledged to a presidential candidate shall in all good conscience reflect the sentiments of those who elected them.”—Rule 13.J (p. 14)

Beyond this, the Delegate Selection Rules do not directly address how a candidate’s withdrawal from the race before the convention affects the delegates pledged to that candidate.

In some states, however, statutes establish provisions releasing delegates upon a candidate’s withdrawal, at the candidate’s direction, or after a specific number of ballots have been taken at the national convention.

For example, Tennessee state law says that delegates to national nominating conventions are bound by the results of the presidential preference primary for the first two ballots taken at the convention. From the third ballot onward, delegates remain bound to their candidates so long as they maintain at least 20 percent of the total convention vote. Tennessee law also allows candidates to release their delegates, thereby freeing them to vote for other candidates.

Eleven states allow for the release of pledged delegates either upon a candidate’s withdrawal or at the candidate’s direction: Arizona, Connecticut, Georgia, Kentucky, Massachusetts, Michigan, Nebraska, New Mexico, Oklahoma, Oregon, and Tennessee.

Nine states allow for the release of pledged delegates after a specific number of ballots have been taken at the convention: Arizona, Indiana, Kentucky, Massachusetts, Michigan, Nebraska, New Mexico, Oregon, and Tennessee.

All together, 12 states have at least one of these provisions in place. Indiana has no candidate-withdrawal statute. Connecticut, Georgia, and Oklahoma do not have multiple-ballot release statutes. The remaining states have both in place: Arizona, Kentucky, Massachusetts, Michigan, Nebraska, New Mexico, Oregon, and Tennessee.

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Siegel and Gandhi advance to TX-10 Democratic primary runoff

Mike Siegel and Pritesh Gandhi advanced to a Democratic primary runoff election for Texas’ 10th Congressional District on March 3. With 97% of precincts reporting, Siegel received 44.0% of the vote, and Gandhi received 33.1%. Shannon Hutcheson was in third with 23.4%. The runoff will be held May 26, 2020. The winner of the primary runoff will run in the general election on November 3, 2020.

One of the main issues in the race was healthcare. Gandhi said he would support “Medicare for all that want it.” Siegel said he supported a single-payer, universal healthcare option.

All 435 House districts will be up for election on November 3, 2020, and the results will determine the partisan balance of the U.S. House in the 117th Congress. As of March 2020, Democrats have a 232-197 advantage over Republicans. If Republicans win 18 Democratic-controlled districts, they will win control of the House. If Democrats hold as many districts, they will maintain their control of the chamber.

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Winegarner and Jackson advance to Republican Party primary runoff in Texas’ 13th Congressional District

Josh Winegarner and Ronny Jackson advanced to a May 26 Republican runoff from a field of 15 candidates in Texas’ 13th Congressional District. As of 1:50 a.m. Eastern Time on Mar. 4, 99% of precincts had reported. Winegarner led with 39.8% of the vote, followed by Jackson with 20.2% and Chris Ekstrom with 15.5%.
President Donald Trump (R) and former Texas Gov. Rick Perry (R) endorsed Jackson. Incumbent Rep. Mac Thornberry and U.S. Rep. Mike Conaway (R-Texas) endorsed Winegarner.
Democrats have a 232-197 advantage over Republicans in the U.S. House of Representatives. There is one independent member, and there are five vacancies. Currently, if Republicans win 18 Democratic-controlled districts in the November general election, they will win control of the House. If Democrats hold as many districts, they will maintain their control of the chamber.


Davis defeats Leeder in Texas’ 21st Congressional District Democratic primary

Wendy Davis defeated Jennie Lou Leeder in the Democratic primary for Texas’ 21st Congressional District on March 3, 2020. As of 12:48 a.m. ET, 19% of precincts had reported. Davis led with 84.1% of the vote to Leeder’s 15.9%. Davis will face incumbent Rep. Chip Roy in the general election on Nov. 3, 2020.
Davis is a former member of the Texas State Senate and was the Democratic nominee for governor in 2014, losing the general election to Greg Abbott (R). Leeder, the Democratic chairwoman of Llano County, was the Democratic nominee for Texas’ 11th Congressional District in 2018, losing to incumbent Mike Conaway (R).
Democrats have a 232-197 advantage over Republicans in the U.S. House of Representatives. There is one independent member, and there are five vacancies. Currently, if Republicans win 18 Democratic-controlled districts in the Nov. general, they will win control of the House. If Democrats hold as many districts, they will maintain their control of the chamber.


Hightower, Carl advance to Republican primary runoff in AL-01

Bill Hightower and Jerry Carl advanced to a Republican primary runoff for Alabama’s 1st Congressional District on Tuesday, March 3, 2020. Hightower received 37.8% of the vote and Carl received 37.3% with all precincts reporting. Chris Pringle received 20%. The runoff will be held on March 31, 2020. A candidate needed more than 50% of the vote to win the primary outright.
Hightower was a state senator for Alabama’s 35th district from 2013 to 2018. He emphasized bills he introduced or sponsored during that time including proposals to ban the sale of fetal body parts and to institute term limits for Alabama state senators and representatives. Carl described himself as an outsider. He focused on his experience running small businesses saying it made him a problem solver, and he compared himself to President Trump.
Incumbent Bradley Byrne (R) ran for U.S. Senate as opposed to seeking re-election to the House. This election is the sixth time within the last century that Alabama’s 1st Congressional District has been an open seat. Ratings outlets rate the general election for the district Safe or Solid Republican. All 435 House seats are up for election in 2020, and Democrats hold a 232-197 majority in the chamber.


Bennett, Cawthorn advance to Republican primary runoff in NC-11

Lynda Bennett and Madison Cawthorn advanced to a Republican primary runoff for North Carolina’s 11th Congressional District on March 3, 2020. With 99% of precincts reporting, Bennett received 22.7% of the vote to Cawthorn’s 20.4%. Jim Davis received 19.3%. A candidate needed more than 30% of the vote to win the primary outright. The primary runoff is May 12.
Incumbent Rep. Mark Meadows (R), former chairman of the House Freedom Caucus, announced he would not seek re-election the day before the December 20, 2019, filing deadline. Twelve candidates joined the race following his announcement.
Meadows endorsed Bennett. She also received endorsements from Rep. Jim Jordan (R) and the House Freedom Fund. Bennett highlighted her background as a real estate broker and as vice-chair of the Haywood County Republican Party, along with the activism training she received from the Heritage Foundation and other conservative groups. Cawthorn owns a real estate investment company and is a motivational speaker. He said he was a proven fighter, having experienced a car accident that left him paralyzed. Matthew Burril endorsed Cawthorn after withdrawing from the primary.
Ratings outlets rate the general election for North Carolina’s 11th Safe or Solid Republican. All 435 House seats are up for election in 2020. Democrats hold a 232-197 majority over Republicans in the chamber.


Hunt wins Republican primary in Texas’ 7th Congressional District

Wesley Hunt defeated five other candidates in the Republican Primary on March 3, 2020. He will advance to the general election on Nov. 3. As of 10:53 p.m. Central Time on March 3, 5% of precincts had reported. Hunt led with 61.8% of the vote, followed by Cindy Siegel with 27.8% and Maria Espinoza with 5.4%. The other candidates in the race were Kyle Preston, Jim Noteware, and Laique Rehman.
Incumbent Lizzie Pannill Fletcher (D) was unopposed in the Democratic primary. Fletcher was first elected in 2018, winning by five percentage points. Republicans had held the seat since 1967 before that.
The 7th District has a 2017 Cook Partisan Voter Index score of R+7, meaning this district’s results were 7 percentage points more Republican than the national average in the 2012 and 2016 presidential elections. Two of three race rating outlets rate the race as lean Democratic, while the other rates it as likely Democratic.


Granger defeats Putnam in Texas’ 12th Congressional District Republican primary

Rep. Kay Granger defeated Chris Putnam in the Republican primary for Texas’ 12th Congressional District. As of 11:48 p.m. ET, 84% of precincts had reported. Granger led with 59.1% of the vote to Putnam’s 40.9%. Granger will face the winner of the Democratic primary in the Nov. 3 general election.
Both candidates in the race highlighted their support for President Donald Trump. Granger emphasized Trump’s endorsement of her campaign, while Putnam called Granger a career politician, and said Granger was not supportive of the president.
Democrats have a 232-197 advantage over Republicans in the U.S. House of Representatives. There is one independent member, and there are five vacancies. Currently, if Republicans win 18 Democratic-controlled districts in the Nov. general, they will win control of the House. If Democrats hold as many districts, they will maintain their control of the chamber.


Sessions, Tuberville advance to Republican primary runoff for Senate in Alabama

Jeff Sessions and Tommy Tuberville advanced to a Republican primary runoff election for U.S. Senate in Alabama on Tuesday. As of 11:15 p.m. ET on March 3, 41% of precincts had reported. Sessions had received 32.5% of the vote and Tuberville received 32.4%. Bradley Byrne had received 25.2%. The runoff will be held on March 31, 2020. A candidate needed more than 50% of the vote to win the primary outright.
Sessions held the seat for 20 years before President Donald Trump appointed him as U.S. attorney general in 2017. He has said he committed to the Trump agenda as a U.S. senator and in the Department of Justice. Tuberville, a former college football coach, has called himself the outsider in the race who can stand with Trump.
Roy Moore had received 6.9% of the vote with 41% of precincts reporting. Moore was the Republican nominee in the 2017 special Senate election to fill the seat after Sessions’ appointment. Moore lost to Democrat Doug Jones by 1.7 percentage points.
Jones was the first Democrat to win a Senate seat in Alabama since 1992. Donald Trump won Alabama by 28 percentage points in the 2016 presidential election. Republicans hold a majority in the Senate with 53 seats to Democrats’ 45. Two independents caucus with Democrats.