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Louisiana voters ready to fill out 2017 roster in Congress

  • 11:20 am Saturday, December 10th, 2016 by Jamie Dupree
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The 2016 campaign comes to an end on this Saturday in Louisiana, as the state holds a runoff election for a U.S. Senate seat, and two U.S. House races, as Republicans led by their President-Elect try to avoid any election surprise that would trump back the GOP majorities in Congress next year.

The Senate race features GOP state treasurer John Kennedy, running against Democrat Foster Campbell. The polls have given Kennedy a solid advantage, but we have learned to avoid leaning too heavily on polling data once again this year.

Along with the Senate race, two U.S. House races are on [More]

Trump Transition hits U.S. Intelligence over claim of Russian election interference

  • 11:53 pm Friday, December 9th, 2016 by Jamie Dupree
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Hours after President Obama ordered a full report on possible Russian interference in the 2016 elections, President-Elect Trump’s transition team publicly attacked the U.S. Intelligence Community, dredging up CIA mistakes on Iraq from the Bush Administration to undermine assertions of Russian involvement in this year’s campaign.

“These are the same people that said Saddam Hussein had weapons of mass destruction,” the terse statement from the Trump Transition read, in what was a direct rebuke of the CIA.

A senior U.S. official told the Washington Post, “It is the assessment of the intelligence community that Russia’s goal here was to favor one candidate [More]

No Cabinet post for Rudy Giuliani as Trump search continues for Secretary of State

  • 5:22 pm Friday, December 9th, 2016 by Jamie Dupree
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President-Elect Donald Trump announced on Friday that former New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani would not be chosen for a post in the Trump Administration, as speculation swirled on Trump’s seemingly expanded and extended search for a Secretary of State, the highest-profile job still not filled by Mr. Trump.

Giuliani, who was often by Mr. Trump’s side for months on the campaign trail, had been considered by many to be a leading candidate for a Cabinet job, but it did not pan out that way.

The New York Times and other news organizations swiftly reported that Giuliani had told Mr. Trump of his [More]

No Cabinet post for Rudy Giuliani as Trump search continues for Secretary of State

  • 5:22 pm Friday, December 9th, 2016 by Jamie Dupree
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President-Elect Donald Trump announced on Friday that former New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani would not be chosen for a post in the Trump Administration, as speculation swirled on Trump’s extended search for a Secretary of State.

Giuliani, who was often by Mr. Trump’s side for months on the campaign trail, had been considered by many to be a leading candidate for a Cabinet job, but it did not pan out that way.

“This is not about me; it is about what is best for the country and the new administration,” Giuliani said in a joint statement released by the Trump Transition.

“From the [More]

Senate Democrats threaten government shutdown at midnight tonight

  • 9:45 am Friday, December 9th, 2016 by Jamie Dupree

The U.S. Senate returns to work on this Friday facing a classic late year political skirmish over a stop gap budget bill, as several Democrats are threatening to block action on the must-pass measure, which could force a shutdown of the federal government over the weekend.

With the House already gone for the year, a group of Senate Democrats are demanding late legislative changes in a temporary budget plan on provisions dealing with benefits for retired coal miners; there are also disputes simmering over a major water resources measure that was approved by the House.

At issue in the “Continuing Resolution” is [More]

A final vote, as lawmakers wrap up their careers in Congress

  • 9:46 pm Thursday, December 8th, 2016 by Jamie Dupree
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As the U.S. House left town for the year on Thursday afternoon, it was a bittersweet day for many lawmakers who were wrapping up their careers in the Congress, as they said goodbye to friends, co-workers and colleagues and looked back with a smile at their time on Capitol Hill.

“I won’t miss the circus, but I will miss the clowns,” chuckled retiring Rep. Ander Crenshaw (R-FL), who did not run for re-election after 16 years in the House.

“I’ve got mixed emotions,” Crenshaw told me with his trademark wry smile on his face. “But I leave with a great sense [More]

Astronaut and Senator, John Glenn dies at age 95

  • 3:57 pm Thursday, December 8th, 2016 by Jamie Dupree
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A national hero who was the first American to orbit the earth, former astronaut and U.S. Senator John Glenn died on Thursday at age 95. He was the last of the original Mercury 7 astronauts.

On February 20, 1962, Glenn flew on his short, yet historic flight into space, as the U.S. was plunged into a space race against the Soviet Union.

“Zero-G and I feel fine,” Glenn said as he traveled in the spaceship named Friendship 7.

After leaving the space program, Glenn won election to the U.S. Senate in 1974, serving there until he retired after the 1998 elections.

“Senator John [More]

Loud confirmation fight seems likely for Attorney General Pruitt

  • 4:00 am Thursday, December 8th, 2016 by Jamie Dupree
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It didn’t take long for critics to take shots at Oklahoma Attorney General Scott Pruitt, as President-Elect Donald Trump’s choice to head the Environmental Protection Agency was swiftly denounced by Democratic Senators and liberal interest groups, likely signaling a big fight over his confirmation next year.

“Anyone leading EPA who wants to ignore science or look out for special interests at the expense of public health can expect a fight with me,” said Sen. Tom Carper, a Democrat from Delaware, who will be the top Democrat on the panel that holds hearings on Pruitt’s selection.

“Hard to imagine worse EPA pick than [More]

Final days in Congress not equal for all departing lawmakers

  • 3:30 am Thursday, December 8th, 2016 by Jamie Dupree
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This is the time of year when I tend to take a longer look at the list of lawmakers in Congress who are “not voting,” as some members of the House and Senate sometimes check out a little early before their terms are finished, while others are more than happy to stick around to the last vote, thoroughly enjoying their final moments on Capitol Hill.

“I have a job to do,” said Rep. Jeff Miller (R-FL), who did not run for re-election in November, but has been busily filling his final days with work before his term ends.

“I have a lot [More]

New York grumbles about security costs for President-Elect Trump

  • 10:11 pm Wednesday, December 7th, 2016 by Jamie Dupree
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As the Congress tries to approve a stop gap budget on Thursday and leave Capitol Hill for the rest of the year, lawmakers from New York are grumbling about the $7 million of extra funding in that plan, arguing their city is being shortchanged for necessary police security around President-Elect Donald Trump.

“Inexcusable,” said Rep. Gregory Meeks (D-NY), as lawmakers from New York expressed frustration that they weren’t given the full $35 million request to pay extra work by the NYPD.

“The NYPD takes protecting the President-Elect and his family very seriously, but New York City residents shouldn’t pick up tab,” said [More]

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