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Censure sensibility: Once rare, party censure rises amid polarized politics

Arizona is not the only state where political parties are taking their elected officials to task, a change that analysts and former lawmakers attribute to the politically polarized times and now almost a rite of passage for some prominent politicians. ... Read more»

Biden pick to lead FDA fields questions over pharma ties, abortion pill, COVID tests

Dr. Robert Califf, former head of the Food and Drug Administration and President Joe Biden’s pick to lead the FDA again, drew praise from a top Senate Republican, as well as critical questions from conservatives and others during a Tuesday confirmation hearing. ... Read more»

Transgender Biden nominee draws tirade from Rand Paul at confirmation hearing

Pennsylvania’s former top health official faced a tirade at her confirmation hearing Thursday from Republican Sen. Rand Paul, an ophthalmologist, about gender-affirmation surgery for minors, as well as criticism about the state’s response to the pandemic. ... Read more»

Former Sen. DeConcini: Senate intelligence chairman scandal 'quite disturbing'

Former Arizona U.S. Sen. Dennis DeConcini said he is stunned that federal agents seized the cellphone of Senate Intelligence Committee Chairman Richard Burr (R-N.C.) as part of an insider trading probe.... Read more»

Acting VA secretary tells Senate $17.6B needed to fix agency

Acting Veterans Affairs Secretary Sloan Gibson told a Senate committee Wednesday that the agency will need another $17.6 billion over the next three years to cut patient waiting times for the rising number of veterans.... Read more»

McCain, Flake back plan to let vets seek non-VA health care

With problem-plagued health care at the Department of Veterans Affairs, Arizona’s senators joined other lawmakers to back a bill letting vets seek care elsewhere. The bill, and a similar Democratic measure, come in the wake of problems that forced the VA secretary's resignation. ... Read more»

Wait times of 115 days, hidden patient lists detailed in VA report

The inspector general's preliminary findings reveal that 1,700 patients at the veterans center in Phoenix were not on the official waiting list and that the average wait for new patients who did get appointments was nearly four months. ... Read more»

Benghazi attack, revisited

President Obama says the May 8 House hearing on Benghazi and subsequent reporting about it produced no new information. That’s largely the case, but the president misrepresented some facts at his May 13 press conference in dismissing the House investigation as a “political circus.”... Read more»

Beer tax break brews bipartisanship

Lawmakers who normally wouldn't warm bar stools together are brewing up some bipartisanship to slash the federal excise tax on small beer producers. The sudsy collaboration invited quips from two senators who rarely agree but are together behind this bill. "If beer can't do it, nothing can!" enthused Chuck Schumer. "Maybe if we drink more of it, we'd have a better level of bipartisanship," added Richard Burr.... Read more»