McConnell sets Friday test vote on Kavanaugh nomination

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Senate braced for a crucial initial vote Friday on Brett Kavanaugh’s tottering Supreme Court nomination after Majority Leader Mitch McConnell set his polarized chamber on a schedule to decide which party wins an election-season battle royale that has consumed the nation. A showdown roll call over confirmation seemed likely over the […]

Pence informed US leaders of Syria announcement

 LIMA, Peru (AP) — U.S. Vice President Mike Pence informed congressional leaders of President Donald Trump’s plans to announce airstrikes in Syria. Pence’s deputy chief of staff, Jarrod Agen, says Pence called House Speaker Paul Ryan, Senate Republican leader Mitch McConnell and House Democratic leader Nancy Pelosi before Trump’s speech Friday night. Pence is in […]

Senate talks fall short, Schumer shutdown extends into workweek

WASHINGTON (AP) — The government Schumer shutdown is set to sow more disruption and political peril Monday after the Senate inched closer but ultimately fell short of an agreement that would have reopened federal agencies before the beginning of the workweek. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and Democratic leader Chuck Schumer said negotiations kept going […]

Democrats, GOP try to dodge blame for shuttered government

WASHINGTON (AP) — Hours after shuttering much of the federal government, feuding Democrats and Republicans in Congress spent Saturday dodging blame for a paralyzing standoff over immigration and showed few signs of progress on negotiations needed to end it.The finger-pointing played out in rare weekend proceedings in both the House and Senate, where lawmakers were […]

GOP nears Senate OK of tax bill after flurry of final deals

By ALAN FRAM, MARCY GORDON and STEPHEN OHLEMACHER, Associated Press WASHINGTON (AP) — Republicans used a burst of eleventh-hour horse-trading to edge a nearly $1.5 trillion tax bill to the brink of Senate passage Friday, as a party starved all year for a major legislative triumph took a step toward giving President Donald Trump one of […]

Trump promises Alabama Sen. Strange will ‘drain the swamp’

HUNTSVILLE, Ala. (AP) — President Donald Trump implored his supporters Friday to get behind an establishment-backed incumbent in a Republican runoff race in Alabama, arguing that Sen. Luther Strange will “drain the swamp” and doesn’t know the Senate Majority Leader “at all.” Acknowledging he was putting his own political capital on the line, the president […]

GOP discord might not bode well for raising debt ceiling

WASHINGTON (AP) — Fanning the flames of GOP discord, President Donald Trump is accusing Republican congressional leaders of botching efforts to avoid an unprecedented default on the national debt. “Could have been so easy-now a mess!” Trump tweeted. The president’s sharp words underscored the perilous state of play as Congress heads into the fall without […]

Trump suggests Senate GOP leader must deliver or step aside

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Donald Trump escalated a stunning feud against his top Senate partner Thursday, suggesting Majority Leader Mitch McConnell might have to think about stepping aside if he doesn’t deliver on the president’s agenda of health care, taxes and infrastructure. Trump called McConnell’s failure to pass an “Obamacare” repeal last month “a disgrace.” […]

Trump escalates feud with Senate leader over health care

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Donald Trump is escalating a feud with his party’s leader in the Senate. Trump is expressing disbelief that that Sen. Mitch McConnell couldn’t persuade a Republican majority to pass a health care bill. Trump tweeted Thursday: “Can you believe that Mitch McConnell, who has screamed Repeal & Replace for 7 years, […]

Trump threat: End health payments unless there’s an overhaul

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Donald Trump on Saturday threatened once more to end required payments to insurance companies unless lawmakers repeal and replace the Obama-era health care law. In apparent frustration over Friday’s failure by the Senate Republican majority to pass a bill repealing parts of the Affordable Care Act, Trump tweeted: “If a new […]