Politics & Government

Lawmakers from both parties are increasingly convinced that the United States Senate is on a collision course that will permanently change the dynamics of the chamber — and the United States Supreme Court.

There's a growing bipartisan sadness and resignation about next week's showdown over the rules that govern high court nominations. But that doesn't mean there's any serious attempt from either party to avoid it.

After seven years of trying, Republicans failed to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act last week.

That doesn't mean the health care drama is over, though. House Speaker Paul Ryan this week told donors that the party is "going to keep getting at this thing," according to The Washington Post.

But whatever Ryan and his colleagues manage to do, plenty could still change in the Affordable Care Act. Last week's failed bill, after all, was only one part of the GOP's plan.

Code Switch's Adrian Florido has been covering the new sanctuary movement for us. For this episode, he spoke to key players to understand why hundreds of churches are ready to start a public fight with the current administration to prevent deportations of immigrants living in the U.S. illegally.

He also looks at why the movement has to wrestle with important questions: Who controls the story and the message? How much say does an individual or family have in how a sanctuary church leverages their story?

Hillary Clinton criticized the lack of diversity in the Trump White House and the ill-fated Republican health care proposal in what were her most political public remarks since losing the November presidential election to Donald Trump.

Clinton made her observations in an address to the Professional BusinessWomen of California in San Francisco Tuesday night. "There's no place I'd rather be than here with you," she told the gathering, adding, "other than the White House."

In Washington, D.C., U.S. Capitol Police say they have arrested an adult suspect after an incident Wednesday in which a driver "nearly struck" police officers and shots were fired.

The officers observed an "erratic and aggressive" driver near the U.S. Capitol on Independence Avenue at 9:22 a.m. ET and tried to carry out a traffic stop, Capitol Police communications Director Eva Malecki said in a statement to NPR.

The family of President Trump's son-in-law and adviser, Jared Kushner, has called off talks with Chinese insurance company Anbang to redevelop a Manhattan office tower — a deal that raised ethical concerns.

"Kushner Companies is no longer in discussions with Anbang about 666 5th Avenue's potential redevelopment, and our firms have mutually agreed to end talks regarding the property," read a statement from the Kushner family. "Kushner Companies remains in active, advanced negotiations around 666 5th Avenue with a number of potential investors."

The fallout from Friday's Republican health care bill collapse is still trying to be understood.

Right after the bill was pulled, President Trump teased that he wanted to work with Democrats and believed a bipartisan bill would be possible.

But it wasn't clear if that was just talk. On Tuesday night, he may have taken the first step to trying to reach across the aisle.

Gov. John Kasich speaking at a podium
KAREN KASLER / STATEHOUSE NEWS BUREAU

The White House is reportedly quietly restarting talks on health care reform, after the bill President Trump and Republicans back was pulled just hours before a vote on Friday. Gov. John Kasich said he was working on that issue too this week.

Rep. Janine Boyd (at podium) touted a similar bill in last year's state congressional session that failed to pass.
JO INGLES / Ohio Public Radio

There’s a bill in the legislature that’s meant to provide a way for women who earn less than their male counterparts to report those situations.

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Updated 10:30 p.m. ET

About three years from now, the U.S. government is going to start asking some personal questions. The possible topics of those questions were released on Tuesday as part of the run-up to the 2020 Census, the national head count of every resident in the U.S. required by the Constitution every 10 years.

The Constitution and the Supreme Court both say a president is largely immune from civil lawsuits. The chief executive does critical work leading the nation, the logic goes, and shouldn't be bedeviled by ordinary civil lawsuits.

That's the argument that President Bill Clinton used almost exactly 20 years ago, when he tried but failed to stop the sexual harassment suit brought by Paula Jones. Now it's being made by lawyers for President Trump, against a sexual harassment suit brought by Summer Zervos, a former contestant on Trump's TV show The Apprentice.

Groups that help low-income families get food assistance are alarmed by a recent drop in the number of immigrants seeking help. Some families are even canceling their food stamps and other government benefits, for fear that receiving them will affect their immigration status or lead to deportation. Many of the concerns appear to be unfounded but have been fueled by the Trump administration's tough stance on immigration.

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President Trump today signed a sweeping executive order designed to undo many of the Obama administration's efforts to combat climate change.

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The Government Accountability Office has agreed to examine costs and security issues surrounding President Trump's frequent visits to Mar-a-Lago. The president has spent half of his weekends since taking office at the private club he owns in Palm Beach, Fla.

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Now that the Republican health care bill is dead, President Trump says his plan is to let Obamacare explode. There are lots of ways his administration can chip away at the Affordable Care Act, which is the official name for Obamacare.

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In 2008, candidate Barack Obama ran an ad with this opening line: "The hands that built this nation can build a new economy. The hands that harvest crops can also harvest the wind."

And then it showed men working on roofs: "The hands that install roofs can also install solar panels."

House Republicans emerged from a members-only meeting Tuesday morning to bullishly declare the health care legislative battle is not over.

"We promised that we would repeal and replace Obamacare, and that's exactly what we're going to do," House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif., told reporters after the meeting.

Updated at 2:55 p.m. ET with additional reporting

The wonkiest soap opera in Washington served up yet more of its trademark plot twists on Tuesday as the House Intelligence Committee's investigation into Russia detoured even further into partisan bickering.

The upshot of the day's back-and-forth was this: Former Acting Attorney General Sally Yates, a holdover from the previous administration whom President Trump fired on Jan. 31, is not barred by the White House from testifying in open hearings in Congress.

Calls are growing for the Republican chairman of a key intelligence panel to recuse himself.

"There is such a cloud over the chairman's leadership," Adam Schiff of California, the ranking Democrat on the House Intelligence Committee, told NPR's Steve Inskeep on Morning Edition.

Schiff was referring to Chairman Devin Nunes, who revealed Monday that he had met with an intelligence official on the White House grounds a day before announcing that there was evidence he had seen to indicate the Trump campaign and transition were scooped up in incidental surveillance.

Officials in New York, California and elsewhere say they'll fight Attorney General Jeff Sessions' move to cut off billions in federal grant money to cities that don't share the Trump administration's strict approach to enforcing immigration laws.

"The Trump Administration is pushing an unrealistic and mean spirited executive order," New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio tweeted Monday night. "If they want a fight, we'll see them in court."

Ohio Rep. Dan Ramos (D-Lorain)
STATEHOUSE NEWS BUREAU

U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions threw down an ultimatum to so-called sanctuary cities and states, either work with the federal immigration enforcement or lose grant funding. But House Democrats aren’t budging.

Disillusioned with traditional protest, activist, writer and Occupy Wall Street co-creator Micah White moved to rural Nehalem, Ore. — population 280 — not long after the Occupy movement fizzled out to run for local office and test out an idea of social change.

"We could have activists take over small towns for the benefit of people who live there and the people who are going to move there, and actualize all of the grand ideas that we have on the left," he tells me. "That's where I'm at as an activist, thinking, 'Is that possible?' "

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