House Passes Bill to Allow Lawmakers to Oust U.S. Olympic Movement Leaders

Federal lawmakers passed a sweeping bill on Thursday giving themselves the ability to oust leaders of the U.S. Olympic movement, in the wake of scandals over the movement’s handling of finances, abuse claims and athlete welfare.

The legislation was approved unanimously in the House of Representatives, after passing in the Senate, also unanimously, in August. It now heads to the desk of President Trump, whose aides didn’t immediately comment on his willingness to sign the bill.

If signed, the law would allow Congress to vote to remove board members of the U.S. Olympic and Paralympic Committee, which oversees domestic amateur sports. They would also be able to decertify a specific sport’s national governing body.

In addition, the law would significantly expand athlete representation in sports governing bodies, potentially setting off efforts among candidates to join a movement long dominated by professional sports leaders, while athletes’ rights activism is growing rapidly.

Lawmakers who crafted the bill, chiefly Sen. Jerry Moran (R., Kan.) and Richard Blumenthal (D., Conn.), frequently said they were motivated by what they had learned about national governing bodies such as USA Gymnastics’ handling of allegations of sexual assault and the case of former women’s team physician Larry Nassar, in particular.

The USOPC initially fought the bill, arguing that it could endanger Team USA’s ability to compete in the Olympic Games because of International Olympic Committee rules about national committees’ independence from their countries’ governments. At one point in late 2019, USOPC Chief Executive Sarah Hirshland shared with senators an IOC letter that set out what the proposed law should say and not say to comply with Olympic rules.

After senators, including Colorado Republican Cory Gardner who counts the committee among his constituents, rejected the argument, the USOPC dropped its opposition. This year, the USOPC took a markedly different

Ex-FDA leaders warn against Trump manipulation of COVID-19 vaccine

  • Seven former FDA commissioners penned an op-ed on Tuesday warning against political manipulation of the administration.
  • The commissioners, including President Trump’s first appointee and former advisor, say the White House is undermining faith in science and contributing to skepticism of a coronavirus vaccine.
  • For decades, “the public knew we were speaking on behalf of experts whose judgments were grounded in science,” the commissioners wrote. “That is changing in deeply troubling ways.”
  • “If the White House takes the unprecedented step of trying to tip the scales on how safety and benefits will be judged, the impact on public trust will render an effective vaccine much less so.”
  • Visit Business Insider’s homepage for more stories.

President Donald Trump’s first head of the Food and Drug Administration has joined six other former commissioners in warning that the White House is undermining faith in science in an apparent effort to rush out a vaccine for the coronavirus.

For decades, “the public knew we were speaking on behalf of experts whose judgments were grounded in science,” the ex-FDA leaders said in an op-ed published Tuesday by The Washington Post. “That is changing in deeply troubling ways.”

The commissioners, including former Trump campaign advisor Scott Gottlieb, cited the president’s own rejection of FDA standards for a vaccine. On Sept. 23, he declared that such standards — ensuring any vaccine meets the approval of career scientists, not just White House flacks — “sounds like a political move.” They also pointed to “acknowledged acts of political influence on the FDA’s coronavirus communications,” including the scientifically dubious emergency authorization for convalescent plasma treatment.

That, they argue, is undermining faith in the FDA and causing widespread skepticism of any Trump-approved coronavirus vaccine. Recent polls have indicated that a third of Americans would refuse to take any such inoculation.

“If the

House GOP leaders rally opposition to Democrats’ scaled-down COVID bill

House Republicans are rallying members to oppose a new scaled-down coronavirus relief package from Democrats.

The GOP effort comes as negotiations between Speaker Nancy PelosiNancy PelosiAirline industry applauds Democrats for including aid in coronavirus relief package Democrats unveil scaled-down .2T coronavirus relief package Trump tax reveal roils presidential race MORE (D-Calif.) and Treasury Secretary Steven MnuchinSteven Terner MnuchinDemocrats unveil scaled-down .2T coronavirus relief package Households, businesses fall into financial holes as COVID aid dries up Centrist Democrats got their COVID bill, now they want a vote MORE showed signs of progress Tuesday on a COVID-19 aid bill after a weeks-long impasse.

Democrats unveiled their $2.2 trillion slimmed down proposal on Monday evening, which could come to the floor for a vote before the end of the week if a bipartisan agreement isn’t reached. The price tag is significantly lower than the $3.4 trillion HEROES Act passed by House Democrats in May.

But House GOP leaders on Tuesday rejected the new legislation.

“This bill recycles the same socialist wish list that was offered in the Heroes Act, which House Republicans overwhelmingly rejected,” House GOP Whip Steve ScaliseStephen (Steve) Joseph ScaliseGinsburg becomes the first woman to lie in state in the Capitol House GOP slated to unveil agenda ahead of election House panel details ‘serious’ concerns around Florida, Georgia, Texas, Wisconsin elections MORE wrote in a memo sent to members urging a “no” vote on the legislation.

“Costing approximately $2.2 trillion, this is nothing more than a messaging exercise intended to appease the far-left base by included progressive policies that have nothing to do with the COVID-19 pandemic. Neither this bill nor anything like it will ever become law and Republicans should remain unified against this partisan power grab,” he added.

Congressional Republicans have expressed strong reservations about a