TrumpWatch Daily Update; Week 22, Monday
In a CNBC interview today, Energy Secretary Rick Perry denied that man-made carbon dioxide emissions are the primary cause of climate change. Asked whether he believed that carbon dioxide was “the primary control knob for the temperature of the Earth and for climate,” Perry said that “No, most likely the primary control knob is the ocean waters and this environment that we live in.” He also said that being a skeptic about the causes of climate change was “quite all right.” He argued, “this idea that science is just absolutely settled and if you don’t believe it’s settled then somehow you’re another Neanderthal, that is so inappropriate from my perspective.”

In the next session, the Supreme Court will consider whether gerrymandered election maps favoring one political party over another violate the Constitution. The Court accepted a case from Wisconsin, where a split panel of three federal judges ruled last year that Republican leadership in 2011 pushed through a plan so partisan that it violated the Constitution’s First Amendment and equal rights protections. After granting the case, the Court voted 5 to 4 to stay the lower court’s decision, which required new districts be drawn this Fall. Wisconsin argued that would create unnecessary work should the Supreme Court ultimately overturn the lower court’s decision. The liberal justices went on record saying they would have denied the stay, meaning that the court’s five conservatives granted it, a clear indication of the importance of the Garland/Gorsuch seat on the Court.

Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer blasted Republican plans to repeal and replace Obamacare and kicked off a series of procedural moves for Democrats to take in order to hold the Senate floor Monday night in protest. Democrats' coordinated effort will not actually stall any work being done on the bill, but Democrats are attempting to draw attention to the closed-door process that Republicans are taking in drafting the bill. Responding to complaints about a lack of transparency, Majority Leader Mitch McConnell argued that senators will get plenty of time to see and debate the bill during the amendment process. Schumer twice asked McConnell whether the Senate will have at least 10 hours to review the measure before it goes to the floor for a vote and McConnell ducked the question both times. McConnell has said that he intends for the Senate to vote on the bill—which no one has seen—before July 4.

Six experts announced last week that they were quitting the Presidential Advisory Council on HIV/AIDS. “The Trump Administration has no strategy to address the on-going HIV/AIDS epidemic, seeks zero input from experts to formulate HIV policy, and — most concerning — pushes legislation that will harm people living with HIV and halt or reverse important gains made in the fight against this disease,” wrote Scott Schoettes, a member of the council since 2014, in a Newsweek guest column that was co-signed by the other 5 departing members of the Council.