After the 115th Congress met for the first time this week, the GOP-controlled chambers got to work on radical measures regarding health care and for a time, the Ethics Committee. In other news, Trump's inauguration and the inauguration parade are taking shape as prominent politicians accept invitations and performances are set.
1. House Speaker Paul Ryan pledges to Defund Planned Parenthood.
Yesterday, Ryan announced that as a part of the Affordable Care Act repeal, Planned Parenthood will be federally defunded. More than 40 percent of Planned Parenthood's funding comes from the federal government with the other approximately 60 percent coming from private donations and other sources. This bill will obviously be controversial and will require almost bipartisan support, which, at this point, it may not have. Planned Parenthood called this move "a crusade against Americans." Read what college students have to say about this pledge here.
2. Senator Bernie Sanders prints out Trump tweets for a presentation.
On January 4, Senator Bernie Sanders could be seen on CSPAN with one of Donald Trump's tweets printed out on poster-board. The tweet was an early one from Trump's primary campaign regarding "Social Security, Medicare & Medicaid." Sanders gave a presentation "urging Trump to veto any cuts" to the programs. The sight quickly through Twitter as college students related to Sanders' presentation aide.
3. Both the Clintons and the W. Bushes will attend Trump's inauguration.
On Tuesday, it was announced that both Hillary and Bill Clinton as well as George W. and Laura Bush will be attending Trump's inauguration. Bush the Elder and his wife, Barbara, will not attend due to health concerns. These two political couples will join President Jimmy Carter, who announced his attendance far earlier, at the inauguration.
4. A viral Facebook video leads to the arrest of four Chicagoan teens.
Throughout this week, Chicagoan and national media outlets were scrambling to understand a story of kidnap and torture. A disabled Chicagoan teen was kidnapped by four young adults and held captive. In the Facebook video, the teens can be heard shouting "F*** Donald Trump" and "F*** white people." The four attackers were arrested and charged with a hate crime. Any connection to the official Black Lives Matter movement - which was reported by some news-sites - is false.
5. House Republicans vote to strip the House Ethics Committee before quickly reversing the decision.
On Tuesday night, GOP House members voted to eliminate an independent ethics committee, but by Wednesday morning, there was so much criticism that the Congressmen backed down from the vote. From president-elect Donald Trump to citizens making calls to their representatives, prominent politicians and private citizens alike strongly opposed this measure. By Wednesday afternoon, the House majority reversed its decision.
6. Trump will meet with National Intelligence officials today to be briefed on Russian hacking.
Even though Trump has been skeptical to say the least about any allegations of Russian hacking of the DNC, he will be briefed by the National Intelligence today. He also said through his Twitter account that he will release insider information about the hacking by today. In fact, earlier in the week, he openly mocked the agency, so his briefing today will be telling of the relationship to come between the agency and him.
7. A Congressman's son dabbed in his father's swearing-in photo.
Amidst meeting cute congressional kids and taking ceremonial swearing-in photos, House Speaker Paul Ryan got a lesson in recent pop culture. The son of Roger Marshall (R-KS) decided to dab in the background between his father and Ryan. Confused, Ryan asked if he was going to sneeze before asking him to stop. Marshall later tweeted that his son is "grounded" for his - as hilarious as it was - disruption.
8. Trump says Mexico will "pay the U.S. back" for the wall.
This morning, Trump tweeted again about the "dishonest media" misreported his intentions with the "Great Wall." In his words, "for the sake of speed" the money spent on the wall will be have to be repaid instead of having Mexico completely finance the building project, which Mexican president Peña Nieto in the past has refused.
9. Dan Coats is named head of national intelligence.
A former senator from Indiana, Dan Coats will be the director of the national intelligence under Trump, who continues to be critical of the organization. Coats recently retired from the Senate, this month to be exact, after a collective 23 years of political service. He also served in the United States Army for two years in the 60s.
10. Talladega College's band will perform at Trump's inauguration.
On Wednesday, Talladega College, a historically black college, announced that its marching band would be performing in Trump's inauguration parade. The decision is controversial among current students and alumni, but the college has since stood firm on its decision because of "lessons students can learn from this experience cannot be taught in a classroom" according to the school's president.
In two weeks, Trump will be taking the oath of office and will become the 45th president of the United States. To keep up with national politics until then, make Fresh U your first stop in college-based political coverage.
Lead Image Credit: ABC News via Twitter