DeVos hit with two lawsuits in one day over backlog of student debt relief claims

Pressure is mounting on Education Secretary Betsy DeVos to take action on thousands of federal student loan forgiveness applications languishing at the U.S. Department of Education.  On Thursday, California Attorney General Xavier Becerra suedDeVos and the department for failing to process more than 50,000 debt relief claims submitted by former Corinthian Colleges students. The case is similar...
Ivanka Trump, her brand dropped by some retailers, opens her own store in Trump Tower

Ivanka Trump, her brand dropped by some retailers, opens her own store in Trump Tower

Ivanka Trump's fashion company on Thursday opened a new store in the lobby of Trump Tower, where it plans to sell handbags, jewelry and candles as part of broader push to bypass retailers and sell directly to consumers.  The store in Midtown Manhattan — currently the company's only bricks-and-mortar location — comes after a number of high-profile retailers, including Nordstrom and...
Music promoter dangled possible Putin meeting for Trump during campaign

Music promoter dangled possible Putin meeting for Trump during campaign

About a month after Donald Trump launched his presidential bid, a British music promoter suggested his Russian pop-star client could arrange for the new candidate to meet with Russian President Vladimir Putin, according to an email obtained by The Washington Post.  The July 2015 offer by publicist Rob Goldstone came about a year before he set up a meeting for Trump's eldest son with a Russian...
Farenthold won’t seek re-election amid allegations of sexual harassment

Farenthold won’t seek re-election amid allegations of sexual harassment

A congressman under scrutiny for allegations that he sexually harassed female staff members and created a hostile work environment announced Thursday that he will not seek reelection next year.  Rep. Blake Farenthold, R-Texas, who settled a complaint with his former communications director but denied wrongdoing in the case, plans to serve out the rest of his term but will not seek reelection...
Trump chose five families to argue for tax bill; their stories show the reality is complicated

Trump chose five families to argue for tax bill; their stories show the reality is complicated

Bryant and Ashley Glick of New Holland, Pa., got a call Monday asking if the couple would like to come to the White House and meet President Donald Trump. They couldn't say yes fast enough.  By Wednesday, the Glicks were one of five families standing with Trump as the president made his "closing argument" in support of Republicans' plan to overhaul the tax code. Trump heralded the bill...
White House urges Roy Moore to concede, as supporters look for evidence of ‘voter fraud’

White House urges Roy Moore to concede, as supporters look for evidence of ‘voter fraud’

 Two days after losing Alabama's special Senate election, Republican nominee Roy Moore has yet to concede the race to Democrat Doug Jones - even after White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders said that he should.  "I think the president's position is pretty clear in his outreach to Doug Jones directly," Sanders said at Thursday's briefing with reporters. "He likes...
Doubting the intelligence, Trump pursues Putin and leaves a Russian threat unchecked

Doubting the intelligence, Trump pursues Putin and leaves a Russian threat unchecked

In the final days before Donald Trump was sworn in as president, members of his inner circle pleaded with him to acknowledge publicly what U.S. intelligence agencies had already concluded — that Russia's interference in the 2016 election was real.  Holding impromptu interventions in Trump's 26th-floor corner office at Trump Tower, advisers — including Trump's son-in-law, Jared Kushner...
A lawmaker accused of molesting a teen killed himself. His widow calls it a ‘high-tech lynching.’

A lawmaker accused of molesting a teen killed himself. His widow calls it a ‘high-tech lynching.’

Dan Johnson posted a final message on Facebook to his friends and family on Wednesday afternoon. It appeared to be a goodbye.  In it, he denied the accusations that had tormented him and his family for the past 48 hours — that he, a Kentucky state representative and the self-proclaimed "Pope" of his Louisville church — had gotten drunk and molested a 17-year-old girl during...
Scott wins at least temporary victory on Supreme Court appointments

Scott wins at least temporary victory on Supreme Court appointments

Saying it is too soon to rule on the issue, the Florida Supreme Court on Thursday dismissed a high-profile case about whether Gov. Rick Scott or his successor has the power to appoint replacements for three justices whose terms end as Scott’s tenure comes to a close. Thursday’s decision — which a dissenting justice asserted sets up a “constitutional crisis” — isn&rsquo...
Trump would improve ties with Russia if his foes would let him, laments Putin

Trump would improve ties with Russia if his foes would let him, laments Putin

Russian President Vladimir Putin on Thursday said that he didn't think President Trump would be able to improve relations between their two countries because he was being held back by his political opposition.  Saying that Trump undoubtedly has had some successes as president, including a booming U.S. stock market, Putin said that reports about Russia's interference in the 2016 U.S. presidential...
For both parties, a new midterm election playbook

For both parties, a new midterm election playbook

Alabama's surprising election outcome upended the expectations in both parties for next year's midterm campaigns, with Democrats emboldened by signs of a resurgent voter base and Republicans sensing new vulnerabilities.  The victory Tuesday by Democrat Doug Jones to represent that heavily conservative state in the Senate was the latest example in a string of elections this year that Democratic...
Grassley: Two controversial federal bench nominees won’t be confirmed

Grassley: Two controversial federal bench nominees won’t be confirmed

The Senate Judiciary Committee's top Republican said Wednesday that two of President Donald Trump's nominees for open seats on the federal bench will not be confirmed, just a day after urging the White House to "reconsider" them.  Sen. Charles Grassley, R-Iowa, said that based on his discussions with the White House, the nominations of Jeff Mateer and Brett Talley would not move forward...
What kind of senator will Doug Jones be?

What kind of senator will Doug Jones be?

Democrat Doug Jones debuted Wednesday as the next senator from Alabama by sidestepping highly charged topics, steering clear of criticism — and leaving wide open the question of what kind of lawmaker he will be.  Jones, who will narrow the Republican majority in the Senate to 51-49 when he is sworn in, will arrive in Washington sometime in the next few weeks with unusual influence for a...
The suburban revolt against Trump continued in Alabama

The suburban revolt against Trump continued in Alabama

The backlash in the suburbs against President Donald Trump is one of the most significant political stories of 2017. If Democrats win the House next year, it will be the main reason.   In Alabama, Sen.-elect Doug Jones, D, flipped or came close on Tuesday in suburban counties that Trump had won around Birmingham and Montgomery.   His victory offers the latest data points for a...
Omarosa Manigault dismisses reports of dramatic firing

Omarosa Manigault dismisses reports of dramatic firing

Omarosa Manigault said Thursday that she was not fired and escorted off the White House grounds, blaming "one individual who has a personal vendetta against me" for the dramatic narrative of her departure as one of Trump's top aides.  In her first comments since the White House confirmed that she was leaving, Manigault said during an interview on ABC's "Good Morning America"...
With victory in Alabama, Democrats see clearest path yet to taking back the Senate

With victory in Alabama, Democrats see clearest path yet to taking back the Senate

Democrats didn't just win Alabama on Tuesday night. They won their clearest path yet to taking back the Senate majority next year.  No, we're not saying the Senate majority will definitely switch parties in next November's midterm elections as a result of one race, as remarkable as the race was. But thanks to Alabama, Democrats' path just got a lot easier.  Before Tuesday, Democrats needed...
Doug Jones’s victory scrambles the Republican congressional agenda

Doug Jones’s victory scrambles the Republican congressional agenda

Doug Jones's odds-defying victory in Alabama — handing Democrats a vanishingly rare Senate win in the Deep South — scrambles President Donald Trump's legislative agenda for the coming year, threatens to heighten Republican infighting and sounds a klaxon for the GOP's prospects in November's midterm elections.  Any dent in the two-seat advantage Republicans hold in the Senate would...
State attorneys general ask FCC to delay net neutrality vote

State attorneys general ask FCC to delay net neutrality vote

The attorneys general of nearly 20 states asked the Federal Communications Commission to delay a vote on changing the country’s net neutrality rules as they investigate reports that impersonators posted hundreds of thousands of fake comments on the commission’s notice of the proposed change. “If the well of public comment has been poisoned by falsified submissions, the Commission...
Local GOP leaders: Democrats shouldn’t read much into Roy Moore’s loss

Local GOP leaders: Democrats shouldn’t read much into Roy Moore’s loss

Democrats locally and nationally should not be quick to discern a political sea change in Tuesday night’s Alabama U.S. Senate election, current and former leaders of Palm Beach County’s Republican Party said Wednesday. In the vote to replace U.S. Sen. Jeff Sessions, now the U.S. Attorney General, in what traditionally is a deep-red southern state, Democratic candidate Doug Jones narrowly...
#ThankYouAlabama: Doug Jones wins Senate seat over Roy Moore, Twitter celebrates

#ThankYouAlabama: Doug Jones wins Senate seat over Roy Moore, Twitter celebrates

News that Alabama voters chose Tuesday to send Democrat Doug Jones to the U.S. Senate over embattled Republican Roy Moore was greeted with relief and joy on social media. Moore was considered a favorite to take the seat vacated by Attorney General Jeff Sessions early in the race, but his grip on the position slipped amid a flurry of sexual misconduct allegations. Several women told reporters that...
Omarosa Manigault Newman ‘physically dragged’ from White House, reports say

Omarosa Manigault Newman ‘physically dragged’ from White House, reports say

Omarosa Manigaul Newman, the “Apprentice” star turned White House aide, was removed from the White House Tuesday night,“physically dragged and escorted off the campus,” according to several news reports. Manigault-Newman announced her resignation on Wednesday, effective next month.
Roy Moore thought his stance on abortion would lead him to victory. It didn’t.

Roy Moore thought his stance on abortion would lead him to victory. It didn’t.

Roy Moore's campaign had one weapon that seemed to offer his supporters a counterweight to the allegations that he had pursued teenaged girls when he was in his 30s: abortion.  In the run-up to Tuesday's special election for U.S. Senate, the Alabama Republican denied any improper sexual behavior, but also went on the offensive against Democrat Doug Jones for being a pro-choice radical, a supporter...
Winners and losers from the Alabama special election

Winners and losers from the Alabama special election

After what seems like years, the Alabama special election is over. The race to replace Attorney General Jeff Sessions in the Senate featured votes spanning nearly four full months, featured one bizarre turn after another, and ended Tuesday night with Democrat Doug Jones pulling off the upset over Roy Moore, who faced allegations that he sexual assaulted teenage girls while he was in his 30s. ...
A lousy night for Republicans and a big defeat for Trump

A lousy night for Republicans and a big defeat for Trump

Tuesday's special U.S. Senate election in Alabama was never destined to bring good news for the Republican Party, no matter the outcome. But the stunning victory by Democrat Doug Jones was a devastating blow to a party wracked by divisions and intraparty rivalries and a humiliating defeat for President Donald Trump.  For some Republicans, the fact that the controversial and flawed Roy Moore will...
Dems jubilant — and newly confident about 2018 — as Alabama delivers win on Trump’s turf

Dems jubilant — and newly confident about 2018 — as Alabama delivers win on Trump’s turf

The Democrats' seismic victory Tuesday in the unlikely political battleground of Alabama brought jubilation — and a sudden a rush of confidence — to a party that has been struggling to gain its footing since Donald Trump won the presidency 13 months ago.  The triumph of Democrat Doug Jones, the result of a vigorous turnout of the party's traditional voters and of Republican splintering...
Roy Moore’s collapse in Alabama was a self-inflicted wound by Senate GOP

Roy Moore’s collapse in Alabama was a self-inflicted wound by Senate GOP

Roy Moore's stunning collapse in Alabama represents as a self-inflicted wound by Senate Republicans, however unintentional.  Facing what they believed were few good options, the GOP's top strategists tried to execute a complicated play in a three-way race for the party's nomination to succeed Jeff Sessions, who left the seat to become attorney general.  The path to victory for the establishment...
Democrat Doug Jones seized the moment to score an unexpected Senate win

Democrat Doug Jones seized the moment to score an unexpected Senate win

Running for Senate was always something Doug Jones wanted to do.  "It just all seemed like the right time and the right place and the right moment in my life to do it," he explained in a late-October interview with The Washington Post.  On Tuesday, Jones' long-shot bet to snatch away a Republican-held seat in the heart of the conservative Deep South paid off. As it turned out,...
Tax increases would need two-thirds vote of Legislature under proposal

Tax increases would need two-thirds vote of Legislature under proposal

A measure that would require future tax or fee increases to be approved by two-thirds votes of the Legislature is ready for consideration by the state Constitution Revision Commission. The commission’s Finance and Taxation Committee on Tuesday voted unanimously to advance a proposed constitutional amendment (Proposal 72), sponsored by Commissioner Fred Karlinsky of Weston, that would require...
Lawmakers call for investigation into Trump sexual misconduct allegations

Lawmakers call for investigation into Trump sexual misconduct allegations

More than 100 Democratic lawmakers are calling on the House Oversight Committee to investigate allegations of sexual misconduct levied against President Donald Trump, a group of female U.S. representatives said at a news conference Tuesday. More than a dozen women have accused the president of forced kissing, unwanted groping and making inappropriate sexual comments since 2015, when Trump announced...
‘I am not a liar,’ local Trump accuser tells national talk show

‘I am not a liar,’ local Trump accuser tells national talk show

A Palm Springs woman who last year accused President Donald Trump of sexual misconduct in 2003 shared her story again today on a national television show and called for an ethics investigation into similar allegations against Trump by 15 other women. “He can’t get away with this,” Melinda McGillivray said on NBC’s Megyn Kelly Today, a day after three other Trump accusers...
Trump vows Americans will return to the moon. The question is how?

Trump vows Americans will return to the moon. The question is how?

Once again, the Trump administration has pledged to restore America’s leadership in space by teaming with the private sector and returning to the moon. Speaking at a White House ceremony Monday, President Donald Trump offered high ambitions, but few specifics in signing a new space policy directive that had no timeline and promised no funding for future missions. With Apollo astronaut Harrison...
Alabama dad criticizes Roy Moore in memory of his gay daughter

Alabama dad criticizes Roy Moore in memory of his gay daughter

An Alabama father who said that his daughter took her life because “she didn’t want to be gay anymore” stood outside Alabama Senate candidate Roy Moore’s rally in Midland City on Monday to urge people not to vote for the former judge. Photos from the rally showed peanut farmer and Midland City native Nathan Mathis holding a photo of his daughter in a basketball uniform. Near...
Roy Moore would be a ‘threat’ to teenage pages at the Capitol, congresswoman says

Roy Moore would be a ‘threat’ to teenage pages at the Capitol, congresswoman says

Controversial Alabama judge and U.S. Senate hopeful Roy Moore would pose a threat to the teenagers who work as pages in the Senate if he is elected, a congresswoman said.  The unusual warning about a potential incoming senator was revealed Monday in a letter sent Friday by Rep. Gwen Moore, D-Wis., to the administrative body that runs the Senate, the office of the Sergeant at Arms and Doorkeeper...
Administration explains how tax plan would pay for itself, gets attacked for assumptions

Administration explains how tax plan would pay for itself, gets attacked for assumptions

For months, Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin has said that the Republican tax plan wouldn't add a penny to the national debt, pledging that more than 100 people in his agency were "working around the clock" to calculate how much additional growth would come from the plan. On Monday, the Treasury Department released the fruit of those efforts: a one-page document asserting that the $1.5...
Steve Bannon rescued Roy Moore’s campaign against all odds

Steve Bannon rescued Roy Moore’s campaign against all odds

 On the night of Nov. 14, Roy Moore's campaign for an Alabama Senate seat looked all but finished.  After five women came forward with accounts of Moore's alleged sexual misconduct with them as teenagers, including one who was 14 years old, the GOP candidate was abandoned by Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and many Republicans in Congress, and the Republican National Committee cut...
Former Flynn associate denies allegation of Inauguration Day communication

Former Flynn associate denies allegation of Inauguration Day communication

An official with a company that former national security adviser Michael T. Flynn advised on a proposal to build nuclear power plants in the Middle East denied that Flynn communicated with the firm's managing director about the project on Inauguration Day.  Thomas B. Cochran, senior scientist at ACU Strategic Partners, described the charges by a congressional witness as "patently false and...
While Democrats call for resignations, conservative women stand by colleagues accused of sexual misconduct

While Democrats call for resignations, conservative women stand by colleagues accused of sexual misconduct

Conservative women, shaped by a mixture of party loyalty and a rejection of gender-driven politics, have shown little evidence that they will follow the example of their Democratic sisters and publicly cut ties with men in their political camps who have been accused of sexual misconduct.  After female Senate Democrats prompted the resignation of Sen. Al Franken, D-Minn., last week, saying they...
A campaign memoir that shows Trump, at least partly, as he is

A campaign memoir that shows Trump, at least partly, as he is

President Donald Trump likes gold fixtures, marble tiles and the trappings of grandeur. When he talks about himself in interviews and in his books, he talks in superlatives. He has billed himself as masterful negotiator. He has described himself as having the world’s best memory. He almost never apologizes, and he rarely admits to having flaws.  Over the years, his advisers and aides have...
Texas Congressman runs what aides call a hostile workplace

Texas Congressman runs what aides call a hostile workplace

When Lauren Greene, a former communications director for Rep. Blake Farenthold, sued him claiming sexual harassment, among her complaints was that he “disclosed that a female lobbyist had propositioned him for ‘a threesome.'”  Farenthold, in legal documents, said that Greene had it wrong. The woman was not a lobbyist, he said.  As allegations of sexual misconduct rock Capitol...
Officials: Targeting welfare programs will help spur economic growth

Officials: Targeting welfare programs will help spur economic growth

Some House Republicans believe that Congress should cut Americans off government anti-poverty programs in part to help grow the national economy. “For us to achieve 3 percent GDP growth over the next 10 years from tax reform, we have to have welfare reform. We need people who are mentally and physically able to work to get into the workforce,” Rep. Rod Blum, R-Iowa, said. “In my...
Trump to pitch tax plan; Treasury offers rosy estimate

Trump to pitch tax plan; Treasury offers rosy estimate

President Donald Trump on Wednesday will try to sell the American people on an unpopular Republican tax overhaul that his administration claims will generate a large part of $1.8 trillion in new revenue — a figure that a top Democratic lawmaker dismissed as “fake math.” The White House said Monday that Trump’s pitch will focus on how the GOP tax reform plan will lead to a brighter...
Trump accusers call for congressional investigation into alleged sexual misconduct

Trump accusers call for congressional investigation into alleged sexual misconduct

Update 3:15 p.m. Dec. 11: White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders denied the allegations levied against President Donald Trump in a news briefing Monday, telling reporters that the president has “addressed these accusations directly and denied all of these allegations.” "The American people knew this and voted for the president, and we feel like we're ready...
The rise, striking fall of a Trump adviser

The rise, striking fall of a Trump adviser

A brass band played, fighter jets streaked the clear blue sky and a red carpet adorned the airport tarmac on the day in May 2016 when Vladimir Putin came to Athens for a visit.  "Mr. President, welcome to Greece," the Greek defense minister, Panos Kammenos, said in Russian as he smiled broadly and greeted a stone-faced Putin at the base of the stairs from the plane.  Kammenos,...
8.8 million Americans face big tax hike if Republicans scrap the medical deduction

8.8 million Americans face big tax hike if Republicans scrap the medical deduction

Anne Hammer is one of millions of elderly Americans who could face a substantial tax hike in 2018 depending on the final negotiations over the Republican tax bill.  In her retirement community in Chestertown, Maryland, it's the big topic of conversation.  Hammer is 71. Like many seniors, her medical bills are piling up. There are doctor visits, insurance premiums, drugs, a colonoscopy, a...
Moore calls sexual-assault allegations ‘ritual defamation’

Moore calls sexual-assault allegations ‘ritual defamation’

In his first sit-down interview since Dec. 4, and his first on local Alabama television since last month, Republican Senate nominee Roy Moore told reporter Bill Britt that the women who have accused him of sexual misconduct were engaged in "ritual defamation" against him.  "I do not know them. I had no encounter with them. I have never molested anyone," Moore said in an interview...
In Franken’s wake, three senators call on President Trump to resign

In Franken’s wake, three senators call on President Trump to resign

Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., and two of his Democratic colleagues have suggested that President Donald Trump should consider resigning, after a run of sexual harassment scandals that has driven out some members of Congress.  Sen. Al Franken "felt it proper for him to resign," Sanders said in an interview with NBC's "Meet the Press" on Sunday morning, referring to the Democrat...
Trump wants Washington Post reporter fired for misleading tweet

Trump wants Washington Post reporter fired for misleading tweet

President Donald Trump on Saturday called for a Washington Post reporter to be fired over a misleading tweet about the size of the crowd at a rally for the president on Friday in Pensacola, Florida.  The reporter, Dave Weigel, posted a picture of an arena with many empty seats. He deleted the tweet after learning that the venue had not yet filled up.  On Saturday night, the president posted...
Sen. Richard Shelby bucks his party and president to oppose Moore for Senate

Sen. Richard Shelby bucks his party and president to oppose Moore for Senate

When Senate candidate Roy Moore of Alabama came hat in hand to Capitol Hill last month to ask his state's senior Republican for help raising money, Sen. Richard C. Shelby had a blunt reply.  "I told him he could raise it himself, you know like I did, you know like everybody else," said Shelby, who has about $10 million cash in his campaign account, with no prospects of a competitive...
Trump accusers deserve a voice, Nikki Haley declares

Trump accusers deserve a voice, Nikki Haley declares

Nikki R. Haley, the U.S. ambassador to the United Nations, said Sunday that women who have accused President Donald Trump of sexual misconduct “should be heard,” a surprising break from the administration’s long-standing assertion that the allegations are false and that voters rightly dismissed them when they elected Trump.  Haley, a former governor and one of the highest-ranking...
Same income, but not taxes in GOP plans

Same income, but not taxes in GOP plans

In most places, a dollar is a dollar. But in the tax code envisioned by Republicans, the amount you make may be less important than how you make it. Consider two chefs working side by side for the same catering company, doing the same job, for the same hours and the same money. The only difference is that one is an employee, the other an independent contractor. Under the Republican plans, one gets...
Trump trying to help push Moore across Alabama finish line

Trump trying to help push Moore across Alabama finish line

President Donald Trump is trying to push embattled GOP Senate candidate Roy Moore across the finish line in Tuesday’s election in Alabama by contending the Democratic nominee would oppose “what we must do” for the nation. Trump, in a tweet early Saturday, hours after boosting Moore’s campaign during a Florida rally, framed the race as a referendum on his efforts to reshape...
Florida Democrats choose Palm Beach County’s Terrie Rizzo in chair vote

Florida Democrats choose Palm Beach County’s Terrie Rizzo in chair vote

Palm Beach County Democratic Chairwoman Terrie Rizzo was chosen Saturday to be chairwoman of the Florida Democratic Party in a vote by party activists in Orlando. Rizzo, who lives west of Boynton Beach, takes over a party rocked by the abrupt resignation of former Chairman Stephen Bittel last month after Politico reported on complaints he created a hostile work environment for women with...
Looks like Ron DeSantis will go Full Trump in Florida governor bid

Looks like Ron DeSantis will go Full Trump in Florida governor bid

U.S. Rep. Ron DeSantis introducing President Donald Trump in Pensacola on Friday night. U.S. Rep. Ron DeSantis, who’s expected to launch a Republican bid for Florida governor in 2018, is leaving little doubt that he’ll be running as an enthusiastic supporter of President Donald Trump. DeSantis and Rep. Matt Gaetz flew with Trump on Air...
‘Outraged’ by $220,000 settlement in Hastings case

‘Outraged’ by $220,000 settlement in Hastings case

U.S. Rep. Alcee Hastings, D-Delray Beach, says he didn’t know about a $220,000 settlement paid to a former staffer and is “outraged” by it. Taxpayers spent $220,000 to settle a sexual harassment lawsuit that involved U.S. Rep. Alcee Hastings, D-Delray Beach,  the Capitol Hill publication...
Sen. Bill Nelson weighs in on eve of Florida Democratic chair vote

Sen. Bill Nelson weighs in on eve of Florida Democratic chair vote

Sen. Bill Nelson is backing Palm Beach County Democratic Chairwoman Terrie Rizzo for the Florida Democratic Party’s top post. Florida Democratic Sen. Bill Nelson is backing Palm Beach County Democratic Chairwoman Terrie Rizzo to lead the Florida Democratic Party ahead of a Saturday vote in Orlando. Longtime Nelson political adviser ...
Therapist threatens to sue PBC if it passes conversion therapy ban

Therapist threatens to sue PBC if it passes conversion therapy ban

A Boca Raton therapist has threatened to sue Palm Beach County if it passes a proposed ban on the controversial practice of conversion therapy, which aims to change an individual’s sexual orientation. Robert Otto argued during Tuesday’s County Commission meeting — and again in an email to County Mayor Melissa McKinlay sent Thursday night — that the state, not the county, has...
House Ethics Committee revives investigation into Rep. Farenthold

House Ethics Committee revives investigation into Rep. Farenthold

The House Ethics Committee announced Thursday it has established a subcommittee to investigate allegations of misconduct by Rep. Blake Farenthold, R-Texas, expanding its work in light of new information that surfaced in recent weeks about a 2015 settlement agreement he reached with his former aide.  The committee initially launched an investigation into Farenthold in September 2015, but it was...

Forever Florida, St. Johns proposals get Senate backing

Measures that would double Gov. Rick Scott’s spending request for the Florida Forever conservation program and earmark money to improve the St. Johns River continued to move easily through the Senate on Thursday. The Senate Environment and Natural Resources Appropriations Subcommittee unanimously backed a proposal (SB 370) to designate $100 million a year for Florida Forever. Also, it approved...
Trump signals he may be open to changes rich friends want in tax bill

Trump signals he may be open to changes rich friends want in tax bill

Some of President Donald Trump's wealthiest New York friends have launched a last-minute campaign to pressure him for changes to the GOP tax bill, telling the president personally that the current plan would drive up their taxes and hurt his home state.  Trump on Saturday attended a fundraiser at the home of Stephen Schwarzman, chief executive of the Blackstone Group and the former leader of...
Franks to resign, says he broached surrogacy with subordinates

Franks to resign, says he broached surrogacy with subordinates

Rep. Trent Franks, an Arizona Republican who is among the most conservative members of the House, said he would resign his seat after House officials learned that he had asked two female employees to bear his child as a surrogate.  Franks' announcement came as the House Ethics Committee said it would create a special subcommittee to investigate Franks for conduct "that constitutes sexual...
To win swing voters, Democrat in Alabama Senate race appeals to morals

To win swing voters, Democrat in Alabama Senate race appeals to morals

Doug Jones, the Democrat working to win a Senate seat that Republicans have held comfortably since the 1990s, is trying not so much to sway swing voters as to recruit them for a moral cause. On a day when his opponent, Republican Roy Moore, made no public appearances, Jones called for Sen. Al Franken, D-Minn., to resign, then rallied with workplace rights activist Lilly Ledbetter to argue that Alabama...
Emails show bid in Russia to help Trump

Emails show bid in Russia to help Trump

An executive at a leading Russian social media company made several overtures to Donald Trump's presidential campaign in 2016 — including days before the November election — urging the candidate to create a page on the website to appeal to Russian Americans and Russians.  The executive at Vkontakte, or VK, Russia's equivalent to Facebook, emailed Donald Trump Jr. and social media...
An accuser says Franken’s speech missed the mark: ‘No apology’

An accuser says Franken’s speech missed the mark: ‘No apology’

By the time Sen. Al Franken, D-Minn., announced his resignation Thursday morning on the Senate floor, eight women had either written essays or given media interviews accusing him of kissing them, groping them or both without their consent over the past decade.  The accusations began three weeks ago with an essay written by Leeann Tweeden, a host on KABC radio in Los Angeles. Tweeden said that...
Why Democrats decided Franken had to go

Why Democrats decided Franken had to go

It seems like a distant memory now, but Al Franken's arrival in the U.S. Senate eight years ago marked the very moment when Democrats' control of Washington reached its highest point in a generation.  After an eight-month recount, the one-time "Saturday Night Live" star had been declared the narrow winner of the 2008 election in Minnesota — and Democrats, who also held the House...
Bannon finds new fight backing Roy Moore, but risks are high

Bannon finds new fight backing Roy Moore, but risks are high

Four months ago, Stephen Bannon was plotting a takeover of Washington and the Republican Party from his office in the West Wing as chief strategist to President Donald Trump.  On Tuesday, Bannon the private citizen stood where his latest fight had taken him: the mulch floor of a barn in southern Alabama, where he delivered a passionate plea to elect Roy S. Moore, the former judge who faces numerous...
Cory Booker expected to campaign for Doug Jones in Alabama Senate race

Cory Booker expected to campaign for Doug Jones in Alabama Senate race

Alabama Democratic Senate nominee Doug Jones and his allies are trying to finalize plans to bring in several high-profile current or former African American elected officials, including Sen. Cory Booker, D-N.J., to campaign for him this weekend, as he wages an aggressive final push to turn out black voters in a Tuesday special election with national stakes.  Rep. Terri Sewell, D-Ala., has been...
Case of fired FAU professor may hinge on single document

Case of fired FAU professor may hinge on single document

Testimony could end today in a trial for fired Florida Atlantic University professor James Tracy, who is hoping a jury will force university administrators to give him his job back and award him back pay based on claims they fired him because of conspiracy theories he expressed about the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting and other events on his personal blog. Tracy’s attorneys rested their...
Florida agency for disabled seeks $89M to avoid deficit

Florida agency for disabled seeks $89M to avoid deficit

One of Gov. Rick Scott’s priorities after taking office in 2011 was to resolve a longstanding deficit in the Medicaid “waiver” program that serves people with developmental disabilities. Now, nearly seven years later, the Agency for Persons with Disabilities will be in the red if the Legislature doesn’t agree to spend at least an additional $89 million for a program meant to...
Eric Sutton promoted to top spot at Florida wildlife agency

Eric Sutton promoted to top spot at Florida wildlife agency

Florida’s wildlife management agency stayed in-house for its new executive director. The Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission on Thursday agreed to promote Assistant Executive Director Eric Sutton to replace departing agency chief Nick Wiley. Sutton will start Friday in the new role. Commissioner Robert Spottswood of Key West said he saw Sutton’s work ethic the past few years, and...
Bill would clarify fantasy sports not subject to Florida gambling laws

Bill would clarify fantasy sports not subject to Florida gambling laws

Despite concerns raised by the Seminole Tribe of Florida, a Senate committee Thursday approved a bill that would make clear fantasy sports contests are not a type of illegal gambling. Lawmakers in recent years have repeatedly considered such bills after questions were raised in Florida and other states about the legality of online fantasy-sports games. In fantasy sports, participants typically select...
GL Homes withdraws controversial Ag Reserve development plan

GL Homes withdraws controversial Ag Reserve development plan

GL Homes has withdrawn its application for a controversial development plan in Palm Beach County’s Agricultural Reserve, ending — for now — a battle that had already begun to divide the county. GL’s decision came Thursday, one day before the builder was to make a presentation to the county’s Planning Commission, the first step in its bid to win final approval from county...
Video: Democrat Lauren Baer focuses on health care in bid for Brian Mast House seat

Video: Democrat Lauren Baer focuses on health care in bid for Brian Mast House seat

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Gbc-Snk9kQ4&w=492&h=307] Democrat Lauren Baer, a former Obama administration foreign policy adviser who hopes to unseat freshman Rep. Brian Mast, R-Palm City, is introducing herself to voters with a three-minute biographical video that doesn’t mention Mast but hints that Mast’s ...
Impeach Trump? Two Palm Beach County Democrats say it’s worth debate

Impeach Trump? Two Palm Beach County Democrats say it’s worth debate

U.S. Reps. Lois Frankel, D-West Palm Beach, and Alcee Hastings, D-Delray Beach, were among only 58 House members voting against tabling an impeachment resolution against President Donald Trump. (Bruce R. Bennett/The Palm Beach Post) An impeachment resolution against President Donald Trump was blocked by the U.S. House of Representatives on Wednesday with a majority of Democrats...
U.S. tax reform may limit bond refinancing, costing Florida billions

U.S. tax reform may limit bond refinancing, costing Florida billions

Florida taxpayers could lose billions of dollars in future savings under part of pending federal tax-reform legislation that would limit the ability of states and local governments to refinance bonds. “This is down in the weeds, but it is extraordinarily important,” said Ben Watkins, director of the state Division of Bond Finance, after briefing aides to Gov. Rick Scott and Cabinet members...
Putin, aiming to cement his legacy, will seek a fourth term

Putin, aiming to cement his legacy, will seek a fourth term

President Vladimir Putin announced on Wednesday that he would seek a fourth term as president of Russia in a March election that he is expected to win handily.  A full, six-year term until 2024 would make his 24-year tenure — including his years as prime minister — the longest by a Russian leader since Josef Stalin sat in the Kremlin for 29 years. It is widely believed that Putin...
Ironing out Senate and House tax bill differences

Ironing out Senate and House tax bill differences

The Senate tax bill, which passed early Saturday morning, contained several last-minute changes that only widened the differences with the House-passed bill.  Lawmakers from both chambers are now headed to conference, where they will try to work out their differences and emerge with a final bill that can be passed by the House and Senate and then sent to President Donald Trump’s desk by...
Flynn said Russian sanctions would be “ripped up,” whistleblower says

Flynn said Russian sanctions would be “ripped up,” whistleblower says

Michael T. Flynn, President Donald Trump’s former national security adviser, told a former business associate that economic sanctions against Russia would be “ripped up” as one of the Trump administration’s first acts, according to an account by a whistleblower made public on Wednesday.  Flynn believed that ending the sanctions could allow a business project he had once...
GOP leaders said to be mulling smaller corporate tax cuts

GOP leaders said to be mulling smaller corporate tax cuts

Leading Republicans are looking at scaling back some of the corporate tax cuts that they are trying to usher into law, two people involved in the tax negotiations said, convinced that they need to find new revenue to make last-minute fixes to the giant package moving through Congress.  The House and Senate passed separate tax cut packages in recent weeks, and both bills would lower the corporate...
Tax bill is likely to undo health insurance mandate, Republicans say

Tax bill is likely to undo health insurance mandate, Republicans say

House and Senate negotiators thrashing out differences over a major tax bill are likely to eliminate the insurance coverage mandate at the heart of the Affordable Care Act, lawmakers say.  But a deal struck by Senate Republican leaders and Sen. Susan Collins of Maine to mitigate the effect of the repeal has been all but rejected by House Republicans, potentially jeopardizing Collins’ final...
On sexual misconduct, Gillibrand keeps herself at the fore

On sexual misconduct, Gillibrand keeps herself at the fore

When the floodgates opened on Wednesday to cast Sen. Al Franken aside, following a half-dozen accusations of sexual misconduct, Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand had positioned herself at the crest of the wave.  “Enough is enough,” she wrote on Facebook, becoming the first of Franken’s Democratic colleagues to call for his resignation on Wednesday morning. By lunchtime, more than a quarter...
House kills Rep. Al Green’s attempt to impeach Trump

House kills Rep. Al Green’s attempt to impeach Trump

The U.S. House voted overwhelmingly Wednesday to block an impeachment resolution brought by Houston Democrat Al Green to remove President Donald Trump from office.  By a vote of 364 to 58, lawmakers approved a GOP motion to table Green's resolution, effectively killing it. In all, only 58 Democrats — including Houston's Sheila Jackson Lee — sided with Green. Four others, including...
Trump Jr. meets with House panel

Trump Jr. meets with House panel

Donald Trump Jr. met behind closed doors for roughly seven hours Wednesday with the House Intelligence committee, fielding extensive questioning about contacts he had with Russians during the 2016 campaign.  Committee members queried President Donald Trump's eldest son about a June 2016 meeting he held with a Russian lawyer after he was told she would provide damaging information about Democratic...
On special ballot to replace Clemens: two Democrats, one Republican

On special ballot to replace Clemens: two Democrats, one Republican

Two Democrats and a Republican from Palm Beach County have qualified for the ballot for a special Florida Senate election to replace Jeff Clemens, the Atlantis Democrat who resigned in October after admitting to an affair with a lobbyist. State Rep. Lori Berman of Lantana and Arthur Morrison of West Palm Beach, both Democrats, and Palm Beach County Republican Vice Chairwoman Tami Donnally of Lake...
Florida lawmakers question Scott request for more tourism funding

Florida lawmakers question Scott request for more tourism funding

Florida Gov. Rick Scott’s request for lawmakers to boost tourism marketing by $24 million next year might be a tough sell in the state House. Members of the House Transportation & Tourism Appropriations Subcommittee said Wednesday that Visit Florida would have to justify the proposed increase by showing how many of the 112.3 million visitors last year, and 88.2 million so far this year, came...
Florida synagogues challenge FEMA over Irma disaster relief

Florida synagogues challenge FEMA over Irma disaster relief

Two Florida synagogues damaged by Hurricane Irma have filed a lawsuit contending that houses of worship are unconstitutionally barred from receiving disaster assistance through a key federal program. Chabad of Key West and Chabad of the Space Coast filed the lawsuit Monday in U.S. District Court in Key West against the Federal Emergency Management Agency and the Florida Division of Emergency Management...
Florida Supreme Court reprimands, suspends St. Lucie Judge Yacucci

Florida Supreme Court reprimands, suspends St. Lucie Judge Yacucci

The Florida Supreme Court on Wednesday publicly reprimanded a St. Lucie County judge who was engaged in a long-running battle with an attorney that included an altercation between the men. In presenting the reprimand, Chief Justice Jorge Labarga said St. Lucie County Judge Philip Yacucci acted improperly in the dispute with attorney Stephen Smith, including refusing to recuse himself...
Florida justices agree to weigh damages in Boynton smoker’s death

Florida justices agree to weigh damages in Boynton smoker’s death

A divided Florida Supreme Court has decided to take up a case that focuses on the amount of damages an adult child should be able to receive in the smoking-related death of her mother. Justices, in a 4-3 decision Tuesday, agreed to consider an appeal in a case filed against R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Co. by Gwendolyn Odom of Delray Beach, whose mother, Juanita Thurston of Boynton Beach, died of lung cancer...
Florida pols weigh in on Trump recognizing Jerusalem as capital of Israel

Florida pols weigh in on Trump recognizing Jerusalem as capital of Israel

Florida Gov. Rick Scott, in Israel on a trade mission, praises President Donald Trump’s decision to recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel. Florida politicians had mixed responses to President Donald Trump‘s decision to recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel and to instruct the State Department to develop a plan to move the U.S. embassy...
Florida House Speaker backs tougher texting-while-driving law

Florida House Speaker backs tougher texting-while-driving law

Texting while driving would become a “primary” traffic offense under legislation backed by House Speaker Richard Corcoran. The legislation, expected to be unveiled Wednesday, would allow law-enforcement officers to pull over motorists if they see them texting or emailing. Currently, texting while driving is a secondary offense, meaning officers can only charge motorists with texting violations...
SEIU Prez Monica Russo drops bid for Florida Democratic chair

SEIU Prez Monica Russo drops bid for Florida Democratic chair

SEIU Florida President Monica Russo, second from right, is giving up her bid for Florida Democratic Party chairwoman. Still in the race, from left: Palm Beach County Democratic Chairwoman Terrie Rizzo, Hillsborough County Democratic State Committeewoman Alma Gonzalez and Brevard County Democratic Chairwoman Stacey Patel. (George Bennett/The Palm Beach Post) Stymied by...
Florida Senate panel rejects three bills to expand gun rights

Florida Senate panel rejects three bills to expand gun rights

With the 2018 legislative session still more than a month away, gun-related measures might have died Tuesday in the Senate. The Senate Judiciary Committee, which has been a stumbling block in recent years for Second Amendment-related bills, narrowly rejected proposals that sought to allow Floridians with concealed-weapons licenses to carry firearms up to the entrances of courthouses (SB 134); inadvertently...
Tax plan crowns a big winner: Trump’s industry

Tax plan crowns a big winner: Trump’s industry

After a frenzy of congressional action to rewrite the tax code, salesclerks and chief executives are calculating their gains. Business was treated with the everyone’s-a-winner approach that ensures no summer camper goes home without a trophy.  Some got special prizes. Cruise lines, craft beer and wine producers (even foreign ones), car dealers, private equity, and oil and gas pipeline managers...
Democratic Rep. Al Green says he will force House impeachment vote

Democratic Rep. Al Green says he will force House impeachment vote

House lawmakers will take their first vote on whether to impeach President Donald Trump this week if a Texas Democrat follows through on plans he announced to colleagues Tuesday.  Rep. Al Green, D-Texas, said in a memo to fellow lawmakers that he planned to bring articles of impeachment to the House floor on Wednesday as a "privileged resolution," one that would be entitled to a vote...
Stephen Bannon returns to the air with satellite radio program

Stephen Bannon returns to the air with satellite radio program

Stephen Bannon, who was President Donald Trump’s chief strategist, has garnered national attention after leaving the White House as he tries to influence political races, and is sometimes given equal billing with Trump in some news accounts about their different stands.  This week, Bannon will have another platform to criticize the Republican establishment and to portray himself as defender...
Conyers faced more allegations as he weighed his future

Conyers faced more allegations as he weighed his future

As Rep. John Conyers Jr., D-Mich., this week weighed calls for his resignation from a Michigan hospital bed, more women were coming forward with accounts of sexual misconduct by the lawmaker.  A former office intern who spoke to The Washington Post, described new complaints about Conyers as the congressman remained hospitalized, assessing whether he would continue his 52-year run in Congress...
Grad students arrested during tax protest at Speaker Ryan’s office

Grad students arrested during tax protest at Speaker Ryan’s office

Eight graduate students were arrested Tuesday protesting the Republican tax plan outside the Capitol Hill office of House Speaker Paul Ryan, R-Wis., the latest demonstration against legislation that students fear will make their education less affordable.  Graduate students say their taxes will skyrocket if a proposal to treat their tuition benefits as income makes it into the final version of...
Senate confirms Kirstjen Nielsen, a top White House aide, to lead Homeland Security

Senate confirms Kirstjen Nielsen, a top White House aide, to lead Homeland Security

The Senate voted Tuesday to confirm Kirstjen Nielsen as the next secretary of the Department of Homeland Security, installing a close confidant of White House Chief of Staff John Kelly to lead the federal agency responsible for carrying out many of President Trump's most ambitious domestic policy plans.  Nielsen, 45, developed a reputation for fierce devotion to Kelly as his deputy at the White...
Palm Beach County commissioner’s brother opens campaign for judge

Palm Beach County commissioner’s brother opens campaign for judge

Attorney Scott Kerner, left, joins former Palm Beach County State Attorney Michael McAuliffe in the race for an open Circuit Court judgeship. Attorney Scott Kerner, the older brother of Palm Beach County Commissioner Dave Kerner, has opened a 2018 campaign against former State Attorney Michael McAuliffe for an open...
Mueller’s budget tops $3.2 million so far in Trump-Russia probe

Mueller’s budget tops $3.2 million so far in Trump-Russia probe

Special Counsel Robert Mueller has spent more than $3.2 million in the opening months of his federal criminal investigation into Russian interference in last year's U.S. election and whether President Donald Trump or anyone close to him colluded in it.  The spending, compiled by Mueller's office, was released by the Justice Department on Tuesday and covers the period from May 17 through Sept...
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