This week, we take a look at what exactly lawmakers have been doing, aside from making laws.
Happening in the World: Prime Minister of Thailand Prayuth Chan-o-cha will keep his job after a vote of no confidence in his leadership failed in the country’s National Assembly. Protests against his rule are in the works in Bangkok today as Prayuth comes under fire for what is described as a lackluster COVID-19 vaccine rollout, as well as his alleged holding of political prisoners and a victorious election result in 2019 that many perceive to be ill-gotten. Prayuth, the former Commander in Chief of Thailand’s army, has been the Southeast Asian nation’s head of government since 2014 when a military coup under his direction ousted democratically elected PM Yingluck Shinawatra. (Reuters)
Happening in the US: Senator Joe Manchin (D-WV) has announced his opposition to the nomination of Neera Tanden for the position of Director of the Office of Management and Budget, a cabinet level position in President Biden’s administration. The Director of the OMB oversees federal executive agencies and helps prepare the President’s budget plan for congressional debate and approval. Tanden, who is currently the CEO of the liberal-leaning non-profit Center for American Progress, has seen criticism for her remarks on social media and in CAP internal communications picking fights with political opponents on both the left and the right. Manchin, a moderate-to-conservative Democrat, cited Tanden’s apparent lack of bipartisanship and incendiary comments as the reason for his refusal to support her nomination. Due to the Senate’s current partisan divide of 50-50, Manchin’s refusal means that if no Republicans come out in support of Tanden, her nomination will be defeated. (Axios)
Happening in NYC: Members of the New York City Council questioned leaders from the Metropolitan Transportation Authority (the organization that oversees the subway and buses in NYC) last Wednesday, February 10, on a number of pandemic-related issues, such as when 24 hour service on the subway will be restored and why fare hikes are being proposed. Since last May, the subway has been indefinitely closed to the general public from 1 to 5 am each day allegedly to clean trains and stations, although trains still run during that time period in order to transport MTA workers and police officers. Speaker of the NYC Council Corey Johnson (D-Manhattan) stated a commitment to “mak[ing] sure we’re not compounding the inequities that made this pandemic so devastating to New York City” in his criticism of the continued lack of overnight service on the subway as well as a proposed increase in the subway fare from $2.75 to $3.50 per ride. Council member Brad Lander (D-Brooklyn) accused MTA Chairman Pat Foye of “hygiene theatre” for his refusal to consider options to safely reopen overnight service for the estimated 50,000 people who have to use overnight buses to get around during the hours when the subway is closed. (Gothamist)
Happening in Our Community: Ever wanted to become a SoundCloud rapper or Bedroom pop artist but don’t know where to start? Well here’s your chance! Learn the basics of audio mixing this Monday, February 22, from 1 to 2 pm with Rosana Cabán from the Sound Art program by registering here.
that important building where they do stuff via Bwog Archives