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McConnell: No government shutdown this week over immigration

WASHINGTON — Testing the resolve of Democrats, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell declared Sunday there won’t be a government shutdown this week over the question of protecting immigrants brought to the country illegally as children, describing it as a “non-emergency” to be addressed next year. “There’s not going to be a government shutdown. It’s just …

Conyers gives up Judiciary post amid sex harassment probe

WASHINGTON — Michigan congressman John Conyers is giving up his leadership position as top Democrat on the House Judiciary Committee. His decision comes ahead of a congressional probe into allegations of sexual harassment made against him. Conyers says he doesn’t want the allegations to undermine his colleagues in the Democratic caucus or those who serve …

Official says Trump doesn’t know who to believe about Moore

WASHINGTON— President Donald Trump doesn’t know who to believe about sexual misconduct allegations involving Roy Moore, but isn’t campaigning for his party’s Senate candidate in Alabama because of “discomfort” with the claims made by a number of women, aides said Sunday. One Republican senator urged Alabama voters to reject Moore in the Dec. 12 election even if …

VA’s quiet plan to widen private care with TRICARE stirs ire

WASHINGTON — As part of its effort to expand private health care, the Department of Veterans Affairs has been developing plans to merge its health system with the Pentagon’s, a cost-saving measure that veterans groups say could threaten the viability of VA hospitals and clinics. VA spokesman Curt Cashour called the plan a potential “game-changer” …

Moore threatens lawsuit over story that threatens campaign

WASHINGTON — Alabama Republican Roy Moore says a lawsuit will be filed over the newspaper report carrying allegations that he had sexual contact with a 14-year-old girl four decades ago. And he said that neither Democrats nor Republicans want to see him win a special Senate election. While pressure to quit the race four weeks …

Brazile stirs Dem party strife as bellwether gov race nears

WASHINGTON— Democrats are struggling to put the bitter 2016 election behind them as the party’s current chairman and his predecessor bicker over Hillary Clinton’s failed campaign, further exposing deep divisions two days before the closely watched Virginia governor’s race that could foretell Democratic prospects in 2018 and beyond. The dueling across Sunday news shows was …

Trump hypes mock video of golf ball seen striking Clinton

WASHINGTON — President Donald Trump took another swing at Hillary Clinton in the latest sign that his campaign fury hasn’t faded, retweeting a mock video that shows him smacking a golf ball that — in the next frame — seemingly strikes her in the back before she stumbles and falls down while boarding a plane. …

Suicide among veterans highest in western US, rural areas

WASHINGTON — Suicide among military veterans is especially high in the western U.S. and rural areas, according to new government data that show wide state-by-state disparities and suggest social isolation, gun ownership and access to health care may be factors. The figures released Friday are the first-ever Department of Veterans Affairs data on suicide by …

Senate OKs bills to address VA budget crisis, claims backlog

WASHINGTON — The Senate approved a pair of bills Tuesday taking aim at urgent problems at the Department of Veterans Affairs, clearing a $3.9 billion emergency spending package to fix a looming budget crisis and adopting new measures to pare down a rapidly growing backlog of veterans’ disability claims. Both bills passed by unanimous vote. The spending package …

White House: Trump to decide soon on ending health payments

WASHINGTON — The White House is insisting that the Senate resume efforts to repeal and replace the nation’s health care law, signalling that President Donald Trump stands ready to end required payments to insurers this week to let “Obamacare implode” and force congressional action. “The president will not accept those who said it’s, quote, ‘Time to move …

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