Senate

As if 2020 couldn't get any more politically contentious, a fight is underway over a Supreme Court vacancy — just 43 days until Election Day, and as Americans are already voting in some places during this election season.

Raising the stakes even more, this is not just any seat. It's the chair formerly held by Ruth Bader Ginsburg, the liberal and feminist cultural icon.

The death of Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg on Friday at age 87 will inevitably set in motion what promises to be a nasty political battle over who will succeed her at the Supreme Court.

Just days before her death, as her strength waned, Ginsburg dictated this statement to her granddaughter Clara Spera: "My most fervent wish is that I will not be replaced until a new president is installed."

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., said the Senate will vote on President Trump's nominee to replace Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, who died Friday of complications from cancer.

McConnell released a statement expressing condolences for Ginsburg and followed with a pledge to continue consideration of Trump's judicial nominees.

Senate Republicans rallied around a $300 billion coronavirus aid package, but it fell short of the necessary 60-vote majority to advance, effectively killing the measure. Sen. Rand Paul of Kentucky was the lone Republican joining Senate Democrats to oppose it — Sen. Kamala Harris, D-Calif., missed the vote.

President Trump has unveiled his latest list of potential Supreme Court nominees, reviving a tool that served him well in energizing the conservative base in the 2016 campaign. But this latest list, his fourth, is quite different from those in 2016 and 2017.

Ohio U.S. Senator Rob Portman
J. Scott Applewhite / Associated Press

Sen. Rob Portman (R-Ohio) joined almost all Republicans on Thursday in voting for a $300 billion COVID-19 aid package, which failed to advance due to opposition from Democrats. Sen. Sherrod Brown (D-Ohio) was among those who blocked legislation, which he called "emaciated," from moving forward.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell rolled out a new proposal for a smaller version of a pandemic relief aid bill, but it's unclear how much support the measure could garner even in his own party. And top Democrats opposed the plan, arguing it was "emaciated" even before it was officially released.

Updated 7:50 p.m. ET

Postmaster General Louis DeJoy has announced he will suspend the controversial changes he instituted to the U.S. Postal Service until after the November election.

"To avoid even the appearance of any impact on election mail, I am suspending these initiatives until after the election is concluded," DeJoy said in a statement.

U.S. Postal Service Mailbox
Jo Ingles / Ohio Public Radio

The U.S. House is being called back to Washington to deal with issues involving the U.S. Postal Service. Sen. Sherrod Brown (D-Ohio) says the Senate should be called back as well.

Republicans in Congress are signaling that the Census Bureau cannot take the extra time it has said it needs to count every person living in the U.S. amid the coronavirus pandemic — even if that risks leaving some residents out of the 2020 census.

Ever since the pandemic struck, state and local election officials across the country have made it clear: To avoid an election disaster in November, they need more money now.

Sen. Sherrod Brown, D-Ohio, left, and Sen. Rob Portman, R-Ohio, speak to reporters on Capitol Hill in Washington, Wednesday, Dec. 5, 2018.
J. Scott Applewhite / AP

Ohio's U.S. Senators are calling on Congress to expand broadband around the country, noting the growing importance the internet has played during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Following a week of waiting after polls closed on June 23, Amy McGrath has won the Kentucky Democratic Senate primary and will face Repulican Sen. Mitch McConnell in November. What was once seen as a forgone conclusion months ago turned into one of the country’s closest primaries.

Updated at 12:58 p.m. ET

Senate Democrats, emboldened by a national outcry for reform of the country's law enforcement departments, blocked debate Wednesday on a Republican police reform bill that they said did not go far enough to address racial inequality.

Updated at 5:00 p.m. ET

Senate Republicans unveiled legislation on Wednesday to address a national outcry for reform of the country's law enforcement departments, with hopes of acting on police misconduct, dangerous practices and concerns of systemic racism.

But Democrats say the proposal, which would encourage police departments to end such practices such as chokeholds and no-knock warrants but does not explicitly ban them, falls short.

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