Former Secretary of Labor Elaine Chao, who is the only member of President George W. Bush’s Cabinet to serve the full eight years of his two terms in office, has been selected by President-Elect Donald Trump to head the Department of Transportation in his upcoming administration.
Chao, who was the first Asian American woman to sit on a presidential Cabinet, previously served as Deputy Secretary of Transportation and Director of the Peace Corps under President George H.W. Bush.
Chao’s tenure as Labor Secretary was marked by her decidedly pro-business stance, leaving her frequently at odds with labour unions and workers’ rights groups. The Government Accountability Office reported in 2008 that the Labor Department inadequately investigated tens of thousands of complaints filed by workers alleging labour violations. In addition, the Department of Labor under Chao was repeatedly criticized for failing to conduct proper safety inspections to protect worker health, while redirecting resources towards stricter scrutiny of labour unions’ financial records. Nonetheless, Chao has remained a powerful player within the national Republican party even after leaving the position of Secretary of Labor, particularly as a close strategist and advisor to her husband of over twenty years, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell.
The Affordable Care Act — a hallmark legislation of the Obama administration’s legacy — helped give provide healthcare coverage for over 20 million Americans. The ACA has given access for 4.3 million AAPI to access preventative care, and has helped tens of thousands of AAPI who had been denied healthcare due to a preexisting condition get coverage. Over a hundred thousand uninsured AAPI youth now are covered by their parents’ plan, and 2.5 million AAPI women now have coverage for women’s health services.
The Affordable Care Act has been an unqualified boon for American public health. And yet, Congressional Republicans are eyeing the recent presidential election of Donald Trump as an opportunity to gut the program.
Yesterday, I reported that Trump supporter Carl Higbie had appeared on Fox News’ The Kelly File to offer Japanese American incarceration (a note on language by the JACL) as a legal precedent for a national Muslim registry.
Last night, Higbie was invited back onto The Kelly File to clarify his statements (video after the jump).
Earlier this morning, President-elect Donald Trump announced that he has chosen Alabama Senator Jeff Sessions to fill the role of US Attorney General under the upcoming Trump administration.
This selection is tantamount to a declaration of war against people of colour and immigrants, including against Asians and Asian Americans. The Asian American community must rally to stop the confirmation of Senator Sessions as our next head the Department of Justice.
By Guest Contributor: Lakshmi Gandhi (@LakshmiGandhi)
‘He doesn’t have security clearance! This is why security clearances are important! This episode is more relevant than the producers probably realize!’
Those were my first thoughts while watching last night’s episode of Designated Survivor.
Since 2001, Reappropriate has been the web's foremost Asian American activism, identity, feminism, and pop culture blog!