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Senate stall on budget talks greases path to government shutdown

Lawmakers are racing to pass short-term government spending legislation Thursday as they stare down a fast-approaching shutdown deadline, but Democratic absences and Republican demands for several votes on unrelated policies stand in the way of swift passage.... Read more»

Congress avoids government shutdown with passage of short-term funding plan

After hours of uncertainty and an unsuccessful bid by some Republicans to defund federal vaccine mandates, the Senate passed a short-term funding plan that staved off a government shutdown and gives lawmakers two more months to pass a long-term plan. ... Read more»

Attorney General Garland defends memo in school speech maelstrom

Rejecting assertions from Republican lawmakers that he is trampling conservative speech, Attorney General Merrick Garland is doubling down on his efforts to protect school board members as division over critical race theory and mask mandates usher violent threats. ... Read more»

Analysis

Faith in values: The conservative fairy tale about government

When people tell stories rooted in fantasy, they’re called fairy tales. Such was the case last fall when Sen. Mike Lee (R-UT) spoke at an anti-poverty forum at the Heritage Foundation. His remarks spun a mythical tale of our nation’s past, when kind, hard-working men and women helped their neighbors and didn’t need the big, bad government. According to Sen. Lee, a free-market economy and a volunteer society were all we needed to thrive. These two magical ingredients supposedly spurred “millions of ordinary Americans to make our economy very wealthy and our society truly rich.”... Read more»

Senate confirms Az justice's 9th Circuit appointment

The Senate Tuesday unanimously approved the nomination of Arizona Supreme Court Justice Andrew Hurwitz to a vacant seat on the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals.... Read more»

Senate ends bill-blocking secret holds

The Senate voted last night to adopt a rule bringing more transparency to a practice long used to delay legislation. In a 92-4 vote, the Senate ended the "secret holds" that lawmakers used to anonymously hold up bills and nominees without having to explain their objections.... Read more»