Republicans

Even from the beginning, Mitch McConnell and Donald Trump had a complicated relationship.

In 1989, McConnell was running for reelection to the Senate. As he once told a Senate committee, the reason he and other lawmakers spent much of their time fundraising was because "we like to win."

Saying that "modern politics is trapped in a partisan death spiral," Rep. Justin Amash, the only Republican in Congress who has accused President Trump of impeachable conduct, is quitting the GOP.

Amash, a fifth-term congressman representing Michigan's 3rd Congressional District, chose Independence Day to disclose his decision.

Tim Padgett / WLRN.org

Venezuelans are still a relatively small voter bloc in Florida. But they’re growing, thanks to the crisis in Venezuela. And a survey was released Tuesday that Democratic presidential candidates gathered here this week may want to see.

Paola Chinchilla / WMFE

On Monday, Trump supporters formed a line outside the Amway Center, where the president plans to announce his re-election campaign.

Florida is expected to be a key battleground in the 2020 election, and the campaign launch highlights the importance of the I-4 corridor.

Supporters wore hats and T-shirts and held signs with slogans like “re-elect Trump, Keep America Great” and “Trump 2020”.

Jennifer Petiel and her friend Gary Beck arrived 40 hours before the start of the rally, to secure their place in line.

In 2016, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., refused to hold a hearing on President Barack Obama's Supreme Court nominee, saying that it was an election year and that the American people "deserved a voice in the selection of their next Supreme Court Justice."

That was then.

Speaking to an audience in Kentucky on Monday, McConnell said should a vacancy occur on the court in 2020, another presidential election year, he would allow a vote.

Needle Exchanges Find New Champions Among Republicans

May 9, 2019
Sammy Mack / WLRN News

Once repellent to conservative politicians, needle exchanges are now being endorsed and legalized in Republican-controlled states.

At least four legislatures have considered bills to allow hypodermic needle exchanges, and two states, Georgia and Idaho, made them legal this year. In each of these states, the House and Senate are controlled by Republicans and the governor is a Republican.

After high turnout in last year's midterm elections propelled Democrats to a new House majority and big gains in the states, several Republican-controlled state legislatures are attempting to change voting-related rules in ways that might reduce future voter turnout.

New York Republican Rep. Elise Stefanik is deeply worried about her party.

"We are facing a crisis level of Republican women in Congress," Stefanik said on Thursday, noting that there are only 13 Republican women in the U.S. House, down from 23 last session.

Stefanik stepped down as House Republicans' recruitment head last month. But with a new group she's launching, dedicated to boosting women candidates, she still has top Republicans' full attention.

President Trump delivered the first Oval Office address of his presidency Tuesday night — and it came in the midst of a protracted partial government shutdown.

There were a lot of questions going into the address, but there were at least as many afterward — especially, and most importantly: What now?

So what did we learn from the president's address and the rare Democratic response? Here are seven insights:

Some members of the Republican National Committee and grassroots Republicans are backing an effort to block potential primary challengers to President Trump, even though party insiders are insisting it is too late to change the rules for the 2020 campaign.

Updated at 3:45 p.m. ET

President Trump and congressional leaders met at the White House on Friday in what House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., called a "lengthy and sometimes contentious" session and in which the president threatened to keep the government shut down for months or years.

And at the end, the two sides seemed no closer to resolving their standoff over funding a border wall that has forced a partial government shutdown now hitting the two-week mark, with the possibility of lasting much longer.

Ashley Nickloes is a busy woman. She's working toward her master's degree. She has four living children (she specified that a fifth died after a preterm birth). And when I caught her, she was in St. Louis, doing simulator training for her role as a pilot in the Air National Guard.

"You know, you can only be busy a hundred percent of the time," she laughed. "You get enough sleep when you're dead."

On top of all that, she also ran for Congress in Tennessee last year, but lost in the primary.

Republican Representative Ileana Ros-Lehtinen warned party leaders that what she sees as the GOP's focus on conservative, white, male voters harms its electoral prospects. In an interview with Morning Edition host Rachel Martin, Ros-Lehtinen said Republicans would "lose this whole generation" if it did not "aggressively pursue" young voters.

Updated at 4:22 p.m. ET

House Republicans' campaign operation suffered a cyberattack during the 2018 midterm election cycle, it said Tuesday.

A spokesman working on behalf of the National Republican Congressional Committee acknowledged the compromise and said it was reported to authorities.

Less than a month after the midterm elections, Republican state lawmakers in Wisconsin and Michigan are working to limit the powers of newly elected Democrats in statewide office.

Just two days after the Nov. 6 election in Wisconsin, when Democrat Tony Evers beat two-term Republican Gov. Scott Walker, Wisconsin Senate Majority Leader Scott Fitzgerald said a lame-duck session agenda was already taking shape.

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