Sessions’ Chief of Staff Tapped for White House Position

Rick Dearborn, seated on the couch with his left hand raised, will serve as Deputy Chief of Staff in President-elect Donald Trump’s White House.

President-elect Donald Trump announced a key appointment Wednesday to his White House staff. Trump said U.S. Sen. Jeff Sessions’ Chief of Staff Rick Dearborn will serve as deputy chief of staff for legislative, intergovernmental affairs and implementation.

Dearborn has 25 years of experience on Capitol Hill and served in the Energy Department under President George W. Bush. Dearborn has worked for six U.S. senators, including two members of Senate leadership.

“We thank Rick Dearborn for his service of more than two decades to Alabama and the United States and now look forward to Rick once again serving in a vital role as President-elect Trump begins to institute his brand on an eager and waiting nation,” Business Council of Alabama President and CEO William J. Canary said.

“Having had the privilege of serving in the White House as a presidential appointee, I appreciate the enormous responsibility that Rick will undertake and remain proud of and for him,” Canary said. “Congratulations are due Rick on his pending appointment and thanks are due President-elect Trump for his choice of a person with outstanding credentials and experience.”

Dearborn was confirmed by the Senate to become the Assistant Secretary of Energy for Congressional Affairs, where he worked with the Senate, House and Tribal Governments on President Bush’s energy agenda.

Dearborn is the second aide to Sen. Sessions that has been picked to join Trump’s White House. Former Sen. Sessions’ spokesman Stephen Miller will be President Trump’s senior policy advisor.

Trump has nominated Sen. Sessions for U.S. Attorney General.

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Wisconsin Republican Rep. Paul D. Ryan was reelected Speaker of the House as the 115th Congress took its seats on Monday. Ryan was elected speaker for the 2017-2018 congressional term with 239 Republican votes. California U.S. Rep. Nancy Pelosi received 189 Democratic votes but remains as House Minority Leader, Roll Call reported.

Incumbent Alabama Reps. Robert Aderholt, R-Haleyville, Mo Brooks, R-Huntsville, Bradley Byrne, R-Mobile, Gary Palmer, R-Hoover, Martha Roby, R-Montgomery, and Mike D. Rogers, R-Saks, took their seats and voted for Ryan. U.S. Rep. Terri A. Sewell, D-Birmingham, voted for Minority Leader Pelosi.

Minority Leader Pelosi said that the House Democratic Steering Committee has recommended to the Democratic Caucus that Rep. Sewell be appointed to the House Ways & Means Committee. The powerful committee is the oldest in the U.S. Congress and is the chief tax-writing committee in the House. Rep. Sewell was elected to a fourth term on Nov. 8, 2016, to represent Alabama’s 7th Congressional District.

Republicans are buoyed by unified government on Capitol Hill and at the White House, with President-elect Donald Trump awaiting his inauguration on Jan. 20. For the 115th Congress, Speaker Ryan will lead a House with 241 Republicans and 194 Democrats. Republicans last had control of both chambers and the White House from 2003 to 2007.

“I want to say to the American people: We hear you. We will do right by you. And we will deliver,” Speaker Ryan said in a floor speech after his re-election.

The 46-year-old speaker is now in his 10th term representing Wisconsin’s 1st District. As a leader of the party establishment, Speaker Ryan is expected to be challenged by hardline conservatives in the House Freedom Caucus and likely would have had his speakership targeted had Trump lost the presidential election.

Speaker Ryan was first elected House speaker in October 2015 following the resignation of U.S. Rep. John A. Boehner of Ohio. The U.S. House speaker is second in line of succession to the presidency after the vice president.


The National Association of Manufacturers (NAM) said quick Senate confirmation of a Department of Labor secretary will begin a manufacturing turnaround and end eight years of volatility and policy uncertainty in the rules governing the workplace.
A recent NAM study calculated the cost of recent labor regulations to the economy to be $85 billion, more than 400 million hours of paperwork, and up to 155,000 jobs lost over the next 10 years. That’s equivalent to the entire population of Dothan and Hoover.

The right type of change starts with confirming U.S. Labor Department secretary nominee Andrew Puzder, the NAM said, and the Senate should move swiftly to confirm President-elect Donald Trump’s choice. The president-elect was wise to choose the leader who turned around Hardee’s and Carl’s Jr., saving not only brick-and-mortar businesses but also jobs that jumpstart better lives.

Some worst-offending policies of the current administration:

Hindering the ability of employers, particularly smaller-sized firms, to seek advice on how to comply with labor laws, which can harm manufacturing workers and their employers;

President Obama tried to more than double the minimum salary threshold for employees exempted from overtime pay and add a costly automatic increase provision;

Preventing employers from incentivizing safe workplace practices and trying to turn back the clock on labor law by refusing to allow modernizations that best fit the modern workplace.

It’s time for more balance: a labor policy that can achieve both a positive work environment and create new job openings in manufacturing and in other sectors for all Americans. The NAM is confident that President-elect Trump and Andrew Puzder can get working on right away-if senators act in manufacturing’s and the people’s interest.


U.S. Chamber of Commerce President and CEO Thomas J. Donohue will deliver his annual State of American Business address to outline the top challenges facing the business community and the Chamber’s policy priorities for 2017.

As Congress begins its 115th session, the U.S. Chamber is working hard to focus lawmakers’ attention on the jobs and growth this country needs. Learn about our public policy agenda, economic forecast for the new year, and insights into tomorrow’s business environment during the annual State of American Business address on January 11.

Donohue will outline the Chamber’s Jobs, Growth, and Opportunity Agenda to revitalize the American economy, create jobs, spur growth, and lift incomes. The agenda is economic competitiveness, comprehensive tax reform, capital markets, financial regulations, retirement reform, debt and deficit, health care and regulations, regulatory reform, and energy and environmental regulations.

Don’t miss it!


Senate Majority and Minority Leadership Speak On Obamacare Repeal and Other Issues
C-SPAN (Jan. 5, 2017) – “Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell opens Thursday’s debate on repealing the Affordable Care Act, saying repeal is only the first step and that Republicans will have a replacement plan after a period of transition. His Democratic counterpart, Senator Chuck Schumer, responds by saying that a replacement needs to be in place before the law is repealed.”


Senate Advances Budget Resolution With Obamacare Repeal; GOP Wants Adoption in Both Chambers By Inauguration Day
Roll Call Staff (1/4) “The Senate on Wednesday voted 51-48 to move ahead in debating a fiscal 2017 budget resolution that would include reconciliation instructions repealing the 2010 health care law. The motion to proceed to the resolution required only a simple majority vote.

“The Senate (was) expected to begin debate on the budget resolution later Wednesday and through Thursday, and work on amendments next week. Lawmakers hope to see the budget resolution adopted by both chambers by Jan. 20, when Donald Trump will be sworn in as president, though the president does not need to sign the resolution.”