On December 19, 2018, President Donald Trump ordered all remaining U.S. troops to be withdrawn from Syria. The U.S. had been conducting direct combat operations in Syria since April 2017. Department of Defense officials said they expected the troop withdrawal to take no more than 30 days. In a video posted to Twitter, Trump said, “We have won against ISIS. Our boys, our young women, our men – they’re all coming back, and they’re coming back now.” According to The New York Times, this move was the catalyst for Secretary of Defense Jim Mattis’s retirement, which was announced Thursday night. Click here to read more about the conflict in Syria and the Trump administration.
New Mexico Governor Susana Martinez (R) signed an executive order on Tuesday that requires all state boards, commissions, and agencies to complete a Regulatory Impact Form (RIF) for each proposed rule or regulatory change.
The RIFs will feature information about each proposal’s impact on the general public and possible outcomes to expect if the proposal is not implemented. State regulators must also include information that identifies the problem that the proposal is intended to address and provides an explanation for why the proposal is the best option among other possible solutions. The RIFs will be posted online through the state’s Sunshine Portal for public review 48 hours prior to the public comment period.
“Improving our regulatory environment has been a top priority for this administration, and analyzing each proposed rule is another step forward in ensuring that regulations are created responsibly and transparently,” said Martinez in a press release. “This new tool will help regulators and the public better understand the impact these regulations have on the people of our state.”
Democratic Governor-elect Michelle Lujan Grisham has not indicated whether or not she supports the order. She could rescind the order after she takes office in early 2019.
The RIFs in New Mexico are similar to the Regulatory Impact Analyses (RIA) submitted by federal agencies as part of the federal regulatory review process. Pursuant to Presidential Executive Order 12866, federal agencies must submit RIAs to the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs (OIRA) for each proposed significant regulatory action— those that may conflict with presidential priorities or have large impacts on the economy, environment, public health, or state or local governments.
Unlike federal RIAs, New Mexico’s RIFs will be required for all proposed rules or regulatory changes and will not be limited to those with significant regulatory impacts.
Congress Rick Nolan (D), who represents Minnesota 8th Congressional District, announced Friday that he will retire at the end of his current term and not seek re-election in 2018. Nolan was elected to his current seat in the U.S. House of Representatives in 2012. Nolan was one of nine individuals elected to the U.S. House of Representatives in 2012 who had prior congressional experience. He served three terms in the U.S. House of Representatives, from 1974 to 1980. Three candidates have filed to run in primaries for Nolan’s seat.
As of February 9, a total of 50 current representatives have announced that they will not seek re-election in 2018. Of those 50, 34 are Republicans and 16 are Democrats.