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Rick Perry Can Help Launch the Next Great Era in American Energy
Trump‘s Energy secretary pick cuts through bureaucracy

Former Texas Gov. Rick Perry, President-elect Trump's nominee for Energy secretary, meets with Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell during a photo op in the Capitol on Jan. 4. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

Texas and energy are synonymous with one another. Most Americans probably think of the Lone Star State as an oil and gas economy with a lot of heft, and for good reason. The industry supports tens of thousands of jobs in the state and helps power one-third of the country.

But what many don’t know is that my state’s energy dominance isn’t confined to oil and gas alone — in recent years, Texas has become a leader in renewables, thanks in large part to former Gov. Rick Perry.  

Capitol Ink | Kapitol Domes

Opinion: Narrowing the Racial Wealth Gap
Do policies meant to address big problems aggravate an economic divide?

The incoming Trump administration and lawmakers should anticipate whether new policies will improve or aggravate wealth inequities, Shapiro and Asante-Muhammad write. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

We have a proposition for the incoming Trump administration and the new Congress and it’s not a liberal or a conservative idea. It’s just a call for pragmatism when developing new federal policies over the next four years.

For too long, even when coming together to enact laws to accomplish noble goals, Congress and previous presidents have ignored the unintended effects of “one-size-fits-all” legislation on the racial wealth divide in this country. What seems like a great idea — making college more affordable, for example — can actually feed the divide.

Clicking Through Confirmation Hearing Roulette
Senators seek reassurances from the adults in the Cabinet

There are high hopes for Defense Secretary-designee James Mattis from lawmakers nervous about the president-elect and other Cabinet picks, Shapiro writes. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Back in the days when remote controls for changing channels were a brag-to-the-neighbors luxury accessory, Mad magazine developed a series of comic features called Television Roulette. They recreated what the dialogue supposedly might sound like if you clicked fast on a Sunday night from, say, Steve Allen to a Drano commercial to Ed Sullivan.

Modern video feeds and the clustering of three Trump Cabinet hearings on Thursday morning allowed you to play a similar game that could be called Confirmation Roulette. At times it went like this:

Keeping America Competitive for Global Investment
Tax and regulatory reform could give U.S. competitive edge

President-elect Donald Trump's expressed frustration with overly burdensome regulations was a hallmark of his campaign. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

The recent announcement that Japan-based SoftBank plans to invest $50 billion in the United States and create 50,000 jobs is good news for America’s economic competitiveness, and Washington, D.C. policymakers should take note of it. Foreign direct investment (FDI) in the United States is a powerful gauge of how America is faring internationally. When a global company such as Nestle, Toyota, or Siemens invests here, it is a vote of confidence in America’s economic strength that translates to employment for millions of American workers.

But multinational companies have unprecedented options for investment. Unfortunately, during the past 15 years, America’s share of the world’s FDI has shrunk from 37 percent in 2000 to only 22 percent this past year. The United States has forfeited a huge portion of its share in global investment, and our leaders in Washington need to take decisive action to reverse this trend.

Trump Veers From Gloater in Chief to Martyr-Elect
But president-elect shows little appreciation for responsibilities

It is “foolish patriotism” to expect President-elect Donald Trump to change his tune once he enters the Oval Office, Shapiro writes. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Ever since the election, I have been one of those Donald Trump skeptics, desperately clinging to the fantasy of the Harry Truman Effect. Somehow I hoped that, once again, the fates that watch over our democracy would take a man of seemingly ordinary clay — like Truman or Jerry Ford — and mold him into a larger, more presidential, figure.

There were moments at the beginning of Trump’s first press conference in nearly six months when, if you really squinted, you might see tentative signs of such a miraculous transformation.

Capitol Ink | Polar Relations Committee Hearing

Sessions Will Follow the Law, But He Won’t Lead on It
Job requires someone who is aware of oppression and discrimination

Alabama Sen. Jeff Sessions’s answers on the first day of his attorney general confirmation hearing on Tuesday were “deeply unsatisfying and basically meaningless,” Allen writes. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

It sounds so good that Jeff Sessions said it over and over again when Democratic senators pressed him on how he would approach the job of attorney general: I will follow the law.

It’s what he said when Illinois Democratic Sen. Dick Durbin asked what he would do with “Dreamers,” undocumented immigrants who came to the U.S. as children. Ditto when Sen. Dianne Feinstein asked him about gay rights and abortion rights. 

Capitol Ink | Dressed for Success

There’s Danger for Democrats, Too, in Obamacare Repeal
Blame for not replacing health care law may end up on everyone’s hands

Vice President-elect Mike Pence, center, and Reince Priebus, incoming White House chief of staff, leave a news conference with Republican senators after the Senate luncheons in the Capitol on Wednesday. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

“So the dog finally caught the car.” That seemed to be the consensus in Washington Wednesday after Vice President-elect Mike Pence and congressional Republicans declared with confidence that they will begin to repeal Obamacare immediately, but struggled to say what Americans could expect as a replacement for the president’s signature health care law, or when.

“It will literally begin on Day One,” Pence promised in a press conference about President-elect Donald Trump’s plans for dismantling Obamacare. But when asked what exactly will happen on Day One, or what the House will eventually vote on, Pence and House Speaker Paul Ryan declined to go into detail.