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Congress

Updated at 4:56 p.m. ET

Attorney General Jeff Sessions says he will recuse himself from any investigations into possible Russian involvement in the 2016 elections.

"Let me be clear: I never had meetings with Russian operatives or Russian intermediaries about the Trump campaign," Sessions reiterated during an afternoon news conference in response to reports that he had met twice with the Russian ambassador to the U.S. last year.

"I should not be involved in investigating a campaign I had a role in," Sessions said.

President Trump is receiving plaudits for his first joint address to Congress.

The White House certainly thinks it went well — so much so, it was reported that the White House is holding its revised travel ban, in part, to bask in the glow of the positive reviews.

Snap polls after the speech showed that people who watched it largely liked it.

President Trump pushed the reset button after a rocky first month in office, delivering an on-message joint address to Congress that outlined his vision for America.

"I am here tonight to deliver a message of unity and strength, and it is a message deeply delivered from my heart," Trump said at the outset, declaring that "the torch of truth, liberty and justice ... is now in our hands. And we will use it to light up the world."

MichaelDaugherty.net

Sixty-two-year-old Michael Daugherty is a well-known and well-decorated contemporary American composer -- recognized for such works as his Grammy Award-winning Metropolis Symphony and 2015 cello concerto Tales of Hemingway

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Republicans in Congress said little when Donald Trump's ban on immigrants led to chaos, they ignored widespread protest against his cabinet picks, and they still fail to call out statements that are untrue. Save for a scattered voice of dissent in Republican ranks, the GOP seems unruffled by Donald Trump's behavior as president - except when it comes to Russia. John McCain is turning into Trump's fiercest critic where most others fear to tread. Is this his moment to be a hero?

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Want to know how the 12 U.S. Senators from New England are voting on President Donald Trump's nominees? Look no further.

Chion Wolf / WNPR

Republicans in Congress are mulling an obscure rule change that could threaten Connecticut's newly established, state-sponsored retirement savings plan. 

In a rare display of bipartisanship, the U.S. Senate confirmed former wrestling executive Linda McMahon today to lead the Small Business Administration.

The Senate confirmed Rep. Tom Price, R-Ga., early Friday as the new secretary of Health and Human Services.

He was approved by a party-line vote of 52-47. Democrats were concerned that the conservative congressman wants to pare down government health programs. They were also troubled by lingering ethics questions over Price's investments.

Updated at 3:20 p.m. ET

President Trump started the day by blasting a Democratic senator who revealed criticism of Trump from his nominee to the Supreme Court on Wednesday.

Judge Neil Gorsuch told Connecticut Sen. Richard Blumenthal that he found President Trump's recent attacks on judges to be "demoralizing" and "disheartening." Gorsuch made the comments during a private meeting, and a member of the Supreme Court nomination team escorting Gorsuch through the get-acquainted meetings also confirmed the remarks to NPR's Tamara Keith.

The words were those of Coretta Scott King, widow of the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr.

But they resulted in a rarely invoked Senate rule being used to formally silence Sen. Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass.

Today the Senate confirmed Betsy DeVos as President Trump's education secretary, 51-50.

Senate Democrats held an all-night session Monday night into Tuesday morning in a last-ditch effort to try to stop President Trump's nominee for secretary of education, Betsy DeVos, from being confirmed.

Among those who took to the floor was Sen. Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts, who said it was "difficult to imagine a worse choice to head the Department of Education."

Updated Feb. 3 at 4:45 p.m. ET

On Thursday the GOP-controlled House voted to overturn an Obama administration rule designed to keep firearms out of the hands of some people deemed mentally ill.

The action was the latest move by congressional Republicans to undo several of President Obama's regulations on issues such as gun control and the environment through an arcane law called the Congressional Review Act.

Through years of acrimony over the relative merits of Obamacare, one kind of health insurance has remained steady, widespread and relatively affordable: Employer-sponsored plans.

Job-based medical plans still cover more Americans than any other type, typically with greater benefits and lower out-of-pocket expense. Recent cost increases for this sort of coverage have been a tiny fraction of those for Obamacare plans for individuals.

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