Every week, RI Relevant’s Matt Gage will break down who’s relevant and who isn’t relevant. A student at Catholic University in Washington D.C., he’s got his ear to the ground. Therefore, he’ll focus on national politics and issues. But he’ll sprinkle in some sports and local news from time to time as well.
Matt is a South Kingstown native and former Hendricken High School Class President (2017). He’s a political science major. Send him an email at email@example.com.
Gun Control Debate: Santa Fe High School was the site of yet another mass shooting on Friday, experiencing ten fatalities at the hands of a teen gunman. A student at the school, 17-year-old Dimitrios Pagourtzis surrendered to police, but not until he had inflicted unfathomable damage. Congressional Democrats and gun control activists, once again, are imploring Republican lawmakers to author legislation and enact firearm restrictions in attempts to curtail this epidemic. Republicans, however, refuse to concede to their colleagues across the aisle, and rather demand further inquiry and funding into mental health awareness outlets.
Gina Haspel: President Trump’s nominee for CIA Director has been confirmed by the United States Senate by a slim majority vote of 54-45. Haspel has been on the receiving end of great criticism from both sides of the aisle, though mainly the Left, for her role in the controversial black-site and waterboarding interrogation methods used during the Bush administration. The controversial nominee was able to convince a few of her skeptics that, if confirmed, she would not reinstate these methods. Haspel is the first ever woman to head the Central Intelligence Agency.
Justify: Mike Smith and Justify showed no signs of fatigue in the 143rd running of the Preakness Stakes on Saturday. Overcoming the elements yet again, the duo was able to once again beat the field, with Bravazo placing 2nd, Tenfold placing 3rd, and Good Magic running out of gas in the final stretch, placing 4th. With two of the three crown jewels now under their saddle, the duo will be racing for royalty on June 9th at the Belmont Stakes in New York .
Big Spending Republicans:Touting his record as perhaps the most fiscally conservative Republican in the Senate, Senator Rand Paul introduced his “Penny Plan” to colleagues this week. The plan would cut roughly $400 billion in spending for fiscal year 2019, and cap spending increases at 1% annually in years to follow. Over the next decade, Paul’s plan would have saved an estimated $13.3 trillion with a balanced federal budget by 2023. When it came to a vote this week, Paul’s plan flopped dramatically. Only receiving 20 fellow Republican votes, the “Penny Plan” was brutally rejected – even by many in his own party. What ever happened to fiscally responsible conservatives? Notable ‘Yes’ votes included Senator Cruz (R-TX), Rubio (R-FL) and Lee (R-UT).
Claire McCaskill: The Missouri Democrat boldly voted ‘No’ for Gina Haspel during the confirmation vote for the now-CIA Director. As a Democrat in a state that President Trump carried handily in 2016, McCaskill may have some explaining to do for her constituents in what is set to be a difficult re-election for her. McCaskill says the reason for her vote came during her own private cross-examination of Haspel, noting some of the nominee’s answers as troubling.