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Rep. Steve Stivers, former chair of top Republican committee, to leave Congress early

Rep. Steve Stivers, former chair of top Republican committee, to leave Congress early

Photo: Bill Clark/CQ Roll CallRep. Steve Stivers (R-Ohio), former chair of the National Republican Congressional Committee, Monday that he will be retiring from Congress on May 16 to become president and CEO of the Ohio Chamber of Commerce.Why it matters: Stivers' resignation will add breathing room to the Democrats' razor-thin majority in the House and create a special election in Ohio's Republican-leaning 15th congressional district.Between the lines: Stivers raised $1.3 million in the first quarter of 2021 and was reportedly considering a run for U.S. Senate in Ohio.What he's saying:...

April 19, 2021
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Biden administration reverses Trump-era restrictions on fetal tissue research

Biden administration reverses Trump-era restrictions on fetal tissue research

The Biden administration on Friday Trump-era restrictions on federal funding for fetal tissue medical research by government scientists. Background: The Trump administration in 2019 announced it would no longer fund research that used fetal tissue from elective abortions. Outside research proposals were also subject to ethics reviews. Scientists at the time and argued it could hinder lifesaving medical research. What they're saying: "We believe that we have to do the research it takes to make sure that we are incorporating innovation and getting all of those types of treatments and...

April 16, 2021
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Oath Keepers founder to cooperate with prosecutors in first guilty plea from Capitol riot

Oath Keepers founder to cooperate with prosecutors in first guilty plea from Capitol riot

Photo: Samuel Corum/Getty ImagesA member of the far-right "Oath Keepers" militia Friday to two charges stemming from his involvement in the Jan. 6 Capitol siege.Why it matters: It's the first guilty plea that federal prosecutors have secured in their sprawling investigation, and comes exactly 100 days after the Jan. 6 siege. Jon Ryan Schaffer, 53, is expected to cooperate with the government.The big picture: Prosecutors last month requested a delay in a series of cases related to the Jan. 6 Capitol riot, describing the massive undertaking as "likely the most complex investigation ever...

April 16, 2021
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New York legalizes recreational marijuana

New York legalizes recreational marijuana

Photo: Seth Wenig-Pool/Getty Images)New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo on Wednesday signed a bill to legalize recreational marijuana for all adults over the age of 21. Why it matters: New York is the 15th state to legalize recreational marijuana and is expected to quickly become one of the largest markets for legal cannabis in the country.The state of play: While the regulatory framework and infrastructure for selling and purchasing recreational marijuana will be rolled out in the coming months, eligible New Yorkers will immediately permitted to have up to three ounces of weed for recreational use...

March 31, 2021
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Biden demands Congress tighten gun laws in wake of Boulder, Atlanta shootings

Biden demands Congress tighten gun laws in wake of Boulder, Atlanta shootings

Photo: Tasos Katopodis/Getty ImagesPresident Biden on Tuesday urged Congress to pass gun control legislation, including two House-approved bills to expand background checks, and renew bans on assault weapons and high-capacity magazines.Why it matters: They were some of Biden's most forceful comments on gun control since he was elected, and they came in the wake of a mass shooting in Boulder, Colorado, on Monday and a series of shootings in Georgia last week. What they're saying: "This is not and should not be a partisan issue. This is an American issue," Biden said, noting that he had...

March 23, 2021
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Menendez calls Ron Johnson's remarks about BLM and Jan. 6 "racist" on Senate floor

Menendez calls Ron Johnson's remarks about BLM and Jan. 6 "racist" on Senate floor

Sen. Bob Menendez (D-N.J.) called comments by Sen. Ron Johnson (R-Wis.) "racist" on the Senate floor Tuesday evening, after Johnson that he would have been more afraid of the Jan. 6 Capitol rioters if they had been Black Lives Matter protestors or Antifa.Why it matters: Menendez himself acknowledged that the speech broke with Senate decorum, noting that "we often twist ourselves into pretzels to avoid saying anything that might be interpreted as a criticism of another senator."Catch up quick: Johnson said on a radio talk show last week that he was not afraid during the Jan. 6 pro-Trump...

March 17, 2021
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Biden's name will not appear on stimulus checks, White House says

Biden's name will not appear on stimulus checks, White House says

Photo: Kevin Dietsch/UPI/Bloomberg via Getty ImagesPresident Biden will not sign his name on the stimulus checks set to be distributed this month as part of his $1.9 trillion COVID relief package — set by former President Trump in the first two rounds of direct payments last year.What they're saying: "This was not about him. This was about the American people getting relief," White House press secretary Jen Psaki said at a briefing on Tuesday. Psaki added that Biden "didn't think that was a priority or a necessary step" and that his "focus was on getting them out as quickly as possible."The...

March 9, 2021
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Republican Sen. Roy Blunt will not seek re-election in 2022

Republican Sen. Roy Blunt will not seek re-election in 2022

Photo: Alex Wong/Getty ImagesSen. Roy Blunt (R-Mo.), widely seen as a member of the Republican establishment in Congress, will not run for re-election in 2022, he on Twitter Monday.Why it matters: The 71-year-old senator is the No. 4 ranking Republican in the Senate, and the fifth GOP senator to announce he will not run for re-election in 2022 as the party faces questions about its post-Trump future.The other GOP senators who have announced their retirement are:What to watch: Sens. Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) and Ron Johnson (R-Wis.) are also considering retiring in 2022.Background: Blunt was...

March 8, 2021
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Capitol repairs, security top $30M since Jan. 6 attacks

Capitol repairs, security top $30M since Jan. 6 attacks

Photo: Bill Clark/CQ-Roll Call, Inc via Getty ImagesThe Architect of the Capitol Brett Blanton on Wednesday said that repairs and security expenses related to the Jan. 6 insurrection have already cost more than $30 million.The state of play: Congressional appropriations committees have allocated the $30 million for repairs and perimeter fencing around the Capitol building through March 31, per .What they're saying: The Architect of the Capitol told Congress that his team was actively preparing for the inauguration when the riots began at the Capitol. What to watch: Blanton asked the House...

February 24, 2021
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Report: Watchdog blocked inquiry on Secret Service conduct in Trump administration

Report: Watchdog blocked inquiry on Secret Service conduct in Trump administration

Photo: Brendan Smialowski/AFP via Getty ImagesDespite recommendations from career staff, a federal watchdog for the Secret Service last year declined to take up probes into the agency's handling of Black Lives Matter protests in D.C., and on the spread of COVID-19 among Secret Service members, according to the . Flashback: Law enforcement agencies used tear gas and physical force to remove protestors from Lafayette Square last year, allowing the Secret Service to take then-President Trump across the street to a photo-op in front of a church. What we know: Department of Homeland Security...

April 20, 2021
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