Dems support ACA as Trump punts on GOP repeal

Democrats attack Republicans over President Donald Trump’s health care repeal plans, which now look to be delayed until after the 2020 presidential election. (April 2)

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Young Republicans Have Mixed Feelings About Cohen’s Testimony (HBO)

Michael Cohen’s three days of trashing President Trump on Capitol Hill happens to coincide with one of the largest pro-Trump events on the Washington calendar — the annual Conservative Political Action Conference, just across the Potomac from D.C. at the National Harbor in Maryland.

CPAC attendees were close to Washington, but the accusations of fraud, racism and deceit against Trump from Cohen were, for the most part, far from their minds.

When CPAC speakers did mention Cohen Thursday, it was to dismiss him as a liar and a buffoon. But they didn’t do it much, preferring to rally conservatives to the Trump cause under giant signs reading What Makes America Great in that Trump campaign font.

In the halls, though, it was clear that many attendees had watched Cohen’s televised testimony Wednesday and followed the news of his allegations. Mostly they towed the GOP party line on Cohen. But not everyone did.

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Young Republicans Have Mixed Feelings About Cohen’s Testimony (HBO)

Michael Cohen’s three days of trashing President Trump on Capitol Hill happens to coincide with one of the largest pro-Trump events on the Washington calendar — the annual Conservative Political Action Conference, just across the Potomac from D.C. at the National Harbor in Maryland.

CPAC attendees were close to Washington, but the accusations of fraud, racism and deceit against Trump from Cohen were, for the most part, far from their minds.

When CPAC speakers did mention Cohen Thursday, it was to dismiss him as a liar and a buffoon. But they didn’t do it much, preferring to rally conservatives to the Trump cause under giant signs reading What Makes America Great in that Trump campaign font.

In the halls, though, it was clear that many attendees had watched Cohen’s televised testimony Wednesday and followed the news of his allegations. Mostly they towed the GOP party line on Cohen. But not everyone did.

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GOP senator says she’s a ‘no’ on declaration

Republican Sen. Lisa Murkowski says she will vote to terminate President Donald Trump’s emergency declaration on border security. (Feb. 26)

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AP Top Stories February 20 P

Here are the top stories for Wednesday, Feb. 20th: Trump says timing of Mueller report release up to new attorney general; GOP senator breaks with Trump over ‘Emergency Declaration,’ Severe winter storm hits Midwest; Meghan Markle has baby shower in NYC.

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GOP leader ‘hopeful’ on border security funding

House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy expressed optimism on border security funding, telling reporters, “I’m hopeful next week we can get this all solved and continue to move forward on our next challenges.” (Feb. 8)

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Trump calls on GOP, Dems to unite on immigration

President Donald Trump is addressing immigration in his State of the Union speech, saying Republicans and Democrats “must join forces” to confront what he’s calling “an urgent national crisis.” (Feb. 5)

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AP Top Stories January 23 A

(23 Jan 2019) Here’s the latest for Wednesday January 23rd: Senate plans votes on GOP, Dem shutdown proposals; Big opposition protests planned in Venezuela; L.A. teachers end strike; Winter weather in Midwest.

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For Florida’s Felons, The Fight To Regain Their Voting Rights Is Just Starting (HBO)

More than 1.4 million convicted felons gained the right to vote back after Florida passed an amendment to its constitution last year. But getting the amendment passed was just the first hurdle for advocates hoping to re-enfranchise those citizens.

Now, some are worried that calls by Republican leaders in the state to pass legislation clarifying the amendment could end up undercutting it.

Ion Sancho, who served as the Leon County, Fla. Supervisor of Elections for nearly three decades, told VICE News that Florida has been the “genesis of the modern era of voter suppression tactics” — and that talk from GOP state lawmakers about legislating the amendment could be yet another example.

“I am anticipating that they’re going to try to slow-walk it,” he said of Republicans in the state legislature. “They’re going to try to put any kind of impediment they can. “

So far, there are no specific proposals on the table concerning the amendment from Florida legislators. But state Sen. Dennis Baxley, an Ocala Republican, says he and other skeptics of the amendment are simply considering options to make it easier for both ex-felons and state officials to verify who’s eligible.

“Whatever we’re doing is going to be about compliance,” he said. “Anything we would do would be how do we validate that…so that there is not mishap or an opening for mischief.”

Baxley pointed to the fact that there is currently no centralized database in Florida where ex-felons can confirm that they’ve finished all the terms of their sentence, a requirement to be able to register under the new amendment. Supervisors of Elections also can’t independently confirm eligibility, and were given no guidance from the Secretary of State on how to implement the amendment.

Still, advocates of the change say they’re ready for any attempts to slow-walk the law, and willing to fight such efforts in court. In the meantime, says Demetrius Jifunza, an ex-felon who fought for the amendment and registered the first day he was eligible, advocates for the amendment are going to focus their efforts on getting people registered and involved in politics — so they can combat any attempts to take their rights away again.

“So, you know, it’s politics and it’s Florida. I mean you could snowball things, put language into something to hold things up,” he acknowledged.

But Jifunza added: “The only way to combat that is if we stay on top of things.”

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GOP leaders defend action against Rep. Steve King

(15 Jan 2019) Republicans are making life in the House less comfortable for Rep. Steve King, with one GOP leader suggesting Tuesday that the nine-term Iowan leave Congress after the latest in a string of his “racist” comments. (Jan. 15)

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