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Washington Letter November 2016


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Federal Government

President-elect Donald J. Trump launches transition process

Republican President-elect Donald J. Trump began the transition process this month following his Nov. 8 election victory, laying out a plan for his first 100 days in office, choosing several individuals to serve in his cabinet, and reinforcing some of his positions on various issues of interest to the ABA. Trump, who defeated Democrat Hillary Clinton when he exceeded the 270 electoral votes needed to win the election, is expected to receive as many as 306 electoral votes when the 538 members of the Electoral College convene Dec. 19.

Federal Government

Republicans maintain majorities for 115th Congress

Republicans − who will be in control of the White House, Senate and House for the first time in 10 years − began organizing for the 115th Congress this month with narrower Senate and House majorities than in the current Congress. Still awaiting the results of Dec. 10 runoff elections in Louisiana for two House seats and one Senate seat, the 115th Congress currently stands at 239 Republicans and 194 Democrats in the House and 51 Republicans, 46 Democrats and two independents in the Senate. The upcoming Congress will be the most diverse in history with 39 Hispanics, 49 African-Americans and 15 Asian-Americans.

Federal Government

ABA urges CFPB to modify proposed rule on confidential information disclosure to protect attorney-client privilege

ABA President Linda A Klein recently urged the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) to modify a proposed rule on disclosure of records and information that the association believes may threaten the attorney-client privilege. In comments submitted Oct. 24 to the CFPB, Klein expressed the ABA’s strong support for preserving the attorney-client privilege and the work product doctrine.


District judge blocks nursing home binding arbitration ban

A federal judge has blocked a final rule issued Oct. 4 by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) that seeks to prohibit nursing homes from requiring pre-dispute binding arbitration to settle disputes over residents’ care. The CMS rule, which was scheduled to go into effect Nov. 28, would apply to nursing facilities participating in the Medicare or Medicaid programs and would benefit approximately 1.5 million nursing home residents.