President Trump, whom Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar waxed positive about in a breakfast speech on Wednesday morning, is giving sweeping new powers to his department and standing behind major key pieces of his agenda.

Azar’s speech was an expected accompaniment to the Trump administration’s announcement that there would be a new $6.2 billion budget for the Corporation for Public Broadcasting and PBS — money the White House has been particularly aggressive about cutting. In addition, a new National Center for State Health Policy, which the White House says will be “addressing the health crisis affecting every state in our union,” was also revealed.

“No nation has demonstrated more flexibility,” Azar said of the administration’s refusal to negotiate with Congress over spending, despite the government funding lapse that has hobbled federal programs, “than our country.”

The Department of Justice announced this week that it would seek contempt charges against a Texas county judge, Mike Baselice, who it said was rejecting consent decrees that have been ordered by the courts. That announcement comes days after President Trump asked the Justice Department to investigate claims that Planned Parenthood was “selling baby body parts,” a ridiculous charge that a nonpartisan congressional panel this week found to be completely baseless.

“The prime mission of the Department of Justice is to uphold and enforce the law,” Attorney General Jeff Sessions said in a statement. “When the law is on your side, we should not hesitate to act, because the right to peaceably to assemble and to petition the government is at the heart of our democracy. When the law is on the other side, we must defend it.”

Read the full story at The Hill.


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