National background check system gets help in Congress' budget plan

Politics / Political News /

WASHINGTON -- A measure to beef up enforcement of the nation's background check system for potential gun buyers will be included in the government funding bill due for a congressional vote this week.

The provision, crafted by Senate Majority Whip John Cornyn, R-Texas, is designed to push federal agencies and states to upload criminal records ...Read more

As Trump fumes over leak about his congratulatory call to Putin, word is 'there's going to be a scalp over this'

Politics / Political News /

WASHINGTON -- President Donald Trump and some aides were furious on Wednesday after the leak of sensitive notes for briefing the president before a call with Russian President Vladimir Putin, according to aides and a close associate.

The leak appeared designed to embarrass Trump for congratulating rather than confronting Putin -- contrary to ...Read more

Rand Paul on last-minute federal budget: 'A rotten, terrible' way to govern

Politics / Political News /

WASHINGTON -- With Congress teetering on the brink of its third government shutdown in three months, Sen. Rand Paul still hasn't seen the details of a new budget bill that's likely to be 1,000 pages long -- and he's not pleased.

That matters because it was Paul, R-Ky., who last month single-handedly prevented Congress from speedily moving ahead...Read more

Rubio launches new Facebook page for Venezuelan dissidents

Politics / Political News /

WASHINGTON -- Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fl., has launched a new Facebook page to talk directly with Venezuelans inside the country and abroad.

In his first video message, Rubio tells visitors in Spanish that the new page will be a way for Venezuelans to circumvent state-controlled media, learn more about what's really going on in the world as well as...Read more

Trump faults his Justice Department on Arizona 'Dreamer' case, citing Lou Dobbs

Politics / Political News /

WASHINGTON -- President Donald Trump faulted the Justice Department on Wednesday for its handling of a case involving the young immigrants known as "Dreamers," citing the punditry of Fox Business News analyst Lou Dobbs.

"Department of Justice should have urged the Supreme Court to at least hear the Drivers License case on illegal immigrants in ...Read more

Cruz's one-man energy crusade

Politics / Political News /

WASHINGTON -- Ted Cruz has a plan to fix an environmental regulation Texas oil refiners hate.

Yet Cruz's plan has not been widely embraced by the very industry he's trying to help.

Texas' powerful oil and gas sector detests the Environmental Protection Agency's Renewable Fuel Standard, which mandates that transportation fuel contain a certain ...Read more

In Illinois, 'Chuy' Garcia out to early lead in race to replace US Rep. Luis Gutierrez

Politics / Political News /

CHICAGO--Jesus "Chuy" Garcia took a commanding early lead Tuesday night in the Democratic primary for Illinois' lone Latino-majority congressional seat as he seeks to replace the retiring U.S. Rep. Luis Gutierrez.

Garcia, who has served as a Cook County commissioner on the Southwest Side for the past seven years, had collected 67 percent of the...Read more

In a one-two legal punch, Trump faces new jeopardy from sex scandals

Politics / Political News /

LOS ANGELES -- President Donald Trump faced new legal and political jeopardy Tuesday as a former Playboy Playmate and alleged paramour sued to break a confidentiality agreement and a judge rejected his move to quash a lawsuit stemming from a charge of sexual assault.

The developments, coming on opposite coasts, promised many more months -- if ...Read more

US election systems need stronger defenses against cyberattacks, senators warn

Politics / Political News /

WASHINGTON -- A bipartisan group of senators Tuesday said the nation's election systems, targeted by Russian intelligence operatives in 2016, are badly in need of federal funds and expertise to prevent cyberattacks that could impede or distort future elections.

The Senate Intelligence Committee, as part of its investigation into Russian efforts...Read more

McCain blisters Trump for congratulatory call to Putin

Politics / Political News /

WASHINGTON -- Sen. John McCain blasted President Donald Trump for his call earlier Tuesday congratulating President Vladimir Putin on his re-election, saying Trump had "insulted every Russian citizen who was denied the right to vote in a free and fair election."

McCain, the Republican senator who is undergoing treatment for brain cancer yet ...Read more

Trump loses bid to kill lawsuit of woman who says he sexually assaulted her

Politics / Political News /

LOS ANGELES -- A New York judge ruled Tuesday that an Orange County woman who accused President Donald Trump of sexually assaulting her at the Beverly Hills Hotel in 2007 can move forward with her defamation suit against him.

Justice Jennifer G. Schecter of New York state court in Manhattan rejected a request by Trump's lawyers that she dismiss...Read more

Ex-Playboy Playmate sues to speak publicly about alleged tryst with Trump

Politics / Political News /

LOS ANGELES -- A former Playboy model who says she had an affair with President Donald Trump has filed a lawsuit to break a confidentiality agreement that bars her from speaking publicly about the alleged tryst.

Karen McDougal, Playboy's 1998 Playmate of the Year, sued the parent company of the National Enquirer to extract herself from the ...Read more

California disclosure law for faith-based pregnancy centers faces skeptical questions in Supreme Court

Politics / Political News /

WASHINGTON -- A California disclosure law that requires faith-based pregnancy centers to inform clients about abortion as an option faced sharp, skeptical questions in the Supreme Court on Tuesday.

Justice Anthony M. Kennedy and the court's conservatives said the law appeared to violate the First Amendment.

It is "mandating speech," Kennedy ...Read more

Authorities considered committing future school killer Nikolas Cruz. Here's why they didn't

Politics / Political News /

MIAMI -- It was the day before Nikolas Cruz's 18th birthday, and, far from celebrating, administrators at his Parkland high school were fretting about what adulthood would portend for their very troubled student.

Cruz's mother, Lynda Cruz, was going to help him get a government ID. That, in turn, would allow him to buy guns.

Cruz had told a ...Read more

Paul Ryan yields to Trump on high-profile issues

Politics / Political News /

WASHINGTON -- Speaker Paul D. Ryan laughed Tuesday when a reporter asked him if he thinks President Donald Trump should stop attacking Special Counsel Robert S. Mueller III.

"The special counsel should be free to follow through with his investigation to its completion without interference, absolutely," Ryan said. "I am confident that he'll be ...Read more

Congressional leaders haggle over abortion rights and healthcare in dispute over spending bill

Politics / Political News /

WASHINGTON -- Congressional negotiators laboring to write a trillion-dollar plan to fund the federal government are caught up in last-minute partisan disputes over abortion rights and health care costs, among other matters.

House and Senate leaders must agree on a package before Friday's deadline to avert another government shutdown, which ...Read more

Democrats consider attacking their own California candidates to win back Congress

Politics / Political News /

WASHINGTON -- The filing deadline for California's June primary has passed, but Democrats and their affiliated groups aren't done trying to shape the field of candidates running to unseat Republican members of Congress.

Facing the risk that the party could get shut out of the general election race for one or more competitive Republican-held ...Read more

Trump attacks Iranian government while delivering Nowruz holiday message

Politics / Political News /

WASHINGTON -- President Donald Trump used the annual presidential statement marking the Persian holiday of Nowruz to criticize Iran's government and military leaders with sharp-tongued language rarely before seen in a celebratory presidential message.

"The history of Nowruz is rooted in Iran, where for millennia a proud nation has overcome ...Read more

Calif. congressional candidate, a Navy vet, says prior service should be required to run for office

Politics / Political News /

SAN DIEGO -- Former Navy SEAL Josh Butner is under fire for comments he made taking a shot at his Democratic opponent for Congress, saying, "It should be a requirement to have served to even run."

The comment came in an interview with Voice of San Diego.

"When you look at anybody for any political office you should look at their past ...Read more

Trump-Sessions relations at crossroads after attack on Mueller

Politics / Political News /

WASHINGTON -- Donald Trump's aides are watching for two key encounters this week to see if Attorney General Jeff Sessions has finally extricated himself from the danger of being fired, in part by ousting the former No. 2 official at the FBI, according to two people familiar with the situation.

Sessions' standing improved after his Friday night ...Read more