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Congress

Mitt Romney, the 2012 Republican presidential nominee and former governor of Massachusetts, officially announced Friday morning that he is running for the Senate seat being vacated by seven-term GOP Sen. Orrin Hatch of Utah.

Romney tweeted a video announcement, after delaying a planned launch on Thursday in the wake of the deadly mass school shooting in Parkland, Fla.

Romney, who spoke out forcefully against Trump during the 2016 presidential campaign, blasted Washington and took veiled swipes at the president in the video.

Updated at 9:07 a.m. ET

President Trump signed a bipartisan budget agreement Friday morning, following approval of the bill in Congress shortly before sunrise.

The two-year spending pact will let lawmakers spend $300 billion more than current law allows.

The deal suspends a 2011 budget law championed by conservatives that set hard caps on discretionary spending and included an automatic trigger known as "sequester" cuts if Congress attempted to bust those spending caps.

Updated at 4:52 p.m. ET

Senate leaders reached a bipartisan budget agreement to increase military and domestic spending levels for two years, paving the way for the first long-term spending pact since President Trump took office.

The White House and House Speaker Paul Ryan quickly declared support for the pact, helping pave the way for its passage by the end of the week, despite opposition from fiscal hawks and liberal Democrats.

Frankieleon / Creative Commons

Do you remember where you were on April 1, 2010? That's the last time the U.S. Census Bureau counted you as one of the 323.1 million people who live in the U.S. Don't remember? No problem. It's time for the 2020 Census. 

Updated at 6:57 p.m. ET

The House passed a bill Tuesday evening to avert a government shutdown on Thursday, as Senate leaders still hope to clear the way for years of budget harmony this week with a long-term spending agreement.

But as Congress worked on keeping things running, President Trump made a fresh call to shut down the government over immigration.

Updated on Feb. 5 at 5:15 p.m. ET

The recently-released Republican memo alleging abuses of covert surveillance powers by the Justice Department and FBI to investigate a former member of President Trump's campaign team will not have "any impact on the Russia probe," said Republican Trey Gowdy, R-S.C.

Gowdy, a member of the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence, was speaking on CBS's Face the Nation on Sunday. He also said that even if the controversial Steele dossier didn't exist, there would still be a Russia investigation.

U.S. Senator Chris Murphy, D-Conn., says he believes Congress will eventually reauthorize federal funding for the Community Health Center Fund, which constitutes the largest chunk of federal money that goes to community health centers. Murphy gave the assurance to health care providers and clients at an OPTIMUS Health Care clinic in Bridgeport’s East Side neighborhood on Thursday.

Updated at 3:30 a.m. ET Thursday

The FBI clashed with the White House on Wednesday over the much discussed Republican memo that alleges the bureau abused its surveillance powers. The bureau said it has "grave concerns" about the "accuracy" of the document that the president supports making public.

Meanwhile, the ranking Democrat on the House intelligence committee, which voted to release the memo, says Republicans secretly made "material changes" to the document after the decision to make it public.

Ninian Reid / Creative Commons

This hour, we provide analysis of President Trump's State of the Union address. Much of the speech was aimed at bridging a divide between disgruntled hardliners now unsure about Trump’s seriousness on immigration, and more traditional Republicans, hoping to draft off a rising stock market and their tax cut win.

Annette Elizabeth Allen / NPR

President Trump is delivering his State of the Union address to Congress, which will be followed by a response from the Democratic Party. Journalists across the NPR newsroom will be annotating those remarks, adding fact-checks and analysis in real time.

Massachusetts Congressman Joe Kennedy III will give the Democratic response to Trump's State of the Union -- a high-profile gig that comes with risks.

Updated at 5:06 p.m. ET

The federal government is back open for business on Tuesday, but the immigration fight that brought it to a three-day shutdown is far from over.

Updated at 11:16 p.m. ET

A partial government shutdown now looks inevitable after the Senate lacks the votes on a stopgap spending bill late Friday night.

The vote was 50-48 in favor of the measure with Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., yet to vote.

Sen. Richard Blumenthal speaking to reporters in Hartford on November 13, 2017.
Ryan Caron King / WNPR

Connecticut Senator Richard Blumenthal is prepared to vote against a short-term funding bill that would prevent a government shutdown at the end of the week.

Updated at 12:05 p.m. ET

Rep. Darrell Issa, R-Calif., announced he will not seek re-election Wednesday, adding to a record number of House Republicans heading for the exits ahead of the 2018 midterms — perhaps seeing the writing on the wall of a possible wave election for Democrats.

There are now 31 Republicans who will not seek re-election in November: 19 who are retiring outright and another 12 who are running for higher office. And that list is is expected to grow in the coming weeks.

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