Columns

Trump shifts blame to conservatives for health bill

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Donald Trump on Sunday attacked conservative lawmakers for the failure of the Republican bill to replace former President Barack Obama’s health care law, as aides signaled a greater willingness to work with moderate Democrats on upcoming legislative battles from ...

Winners, losers in failure of House GOP health plan

WASHINGTON (AP) — The old and the poor made out great when House Republicans failed Friday to dismantle Barack Obama's Affordable Care Act. The rich and the almost rich didn't do so well. The measure would have repealed major parts of Obama's health law, capping future funding for Medicaid ...

Ryan fails in first test of Trump presidency

WASHINGTON (AP) — House Speaker Paul Ryan guaranteed a win on the Republican plan to dismantle Barack Obama's health care law. Instead, he suffered a brutal defeat, cancelling a vote and admitting "we're going to be living with Obamacare for the foreseeable future." Friday's painful rebuke ...

Whatever replaces Obamacare will look a lot like Obamacare

WASHINGTON — “Mend it, don’t end it” was Bill Clinton’s rhetorical straddle regarding affirmative action. Republican efforts to “repeal and replace” the Affordable Care Act (Obamacare) look increasingly like “mend it, don’t end it.” The problem is not that, as is ...

Feds: Trump DC hotel not in violation of government lease

WASHINGTON (AP) — The federal agency overseeing Donald Trump’s lease for a luxury hotel in Washington ruled Thursday his inauguration as president doesn’t violate terms of the agreement barring government officials from profiting from the property. In a letter to the Trump Organization, ...

Gorsuch steals the week

WASHINGTON — Watching the Senate confirmation hearings of Supreme Court nominee Neil Gorsuch, one might easily find oneself wishing he were president of the United States. Alas, he’s not. But Gorsuch’s selection to replace the late Justice Antonin Scalia is the sanest act committed by a ...

Fact Check: Trump ‘achievements’

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Donald Trump is taking credit for persuading TransCanada Corp. to withdraw a hefty lawsuit against the U.S. government over the previous administration’s rejection of the Keystone XL pipeline. But the Canadian company says its bid for compensation for the stalled ...

VICE PRESIDENT MIKE PENCE, center, joins Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., right, and Sen. John Barrasso, R-Wyo., left, to speak with reporters Tuesday about the Republican plan to replace Obamacare. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)

AP Interview: McConnell rejects some Trump aid cuts

WASHINGTON — Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell on Tuesday shot down prospects for major parts of President Donald Trump’s budget, rejecting proposed cuts to foreign aid and medical research. “Every president sends up a budget, and with all due respect to the current president, I ...

House Speaker Paul Ryan of Wisconsin speaks at a news conference at the Republican National Committee Headquarters in Washington on Wednesday as the GOP moves on its long-awaited plan to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)

Ryan’s legacy as speaker on line with health care vote

WASHINGTON (AP) — The vote on the Republican health care bill is a defining moment for House Speaker Paul Ryan that could boost his aggressive agenda to overhaul the tax code and remake the federal government. Or send it off the rails. If he fails? “It will be very hard to manage ...

AP Photo

NATIONAL EDUCATION ASSOCIATION staff members from Washington joining students, parents and educators at a May 13, 2014, rally at the Supreme Court in Washington on the 60th anniversary Brown v. Board of Education decision that struck down “separate but equal” laws that kept schools segregated.

Bedroom to boardroom, high court in your business

WASHINGTON — Quick, name a Supreme Court justice. OK, name three. One of the current justices, Stephen Breyer, once noted wryly that their names are less well-known than those of the Three Stooges. But from the time Americans roll out of bed in the morning until they turn in, the ...

Questions for Judge Gorsuch as he goes before committee

WASHINGTON — This week, the Senate Judiciary Committee will question Neil Gorsuch about the judiciary’s role. Herewith some pertinent questions: — Lincoln’s greatness began with his recoil from the 1854 Kansas-Nebraska Act, which empowered residents of those territories to decide ...

AP Explains: Senate confirmation and the Supreme Court pick

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Senate has confirmed 124 Supreme Court justices since the United States was founded. Neil Gorsuch wants to be the newest member of the relatively small group of men and women who guide the nation's judicial branch. The modern-day confirmation process is arduous, with ...

An historic opportunity

“No government ever voluntarily reduces itself in size. Government programs, once launched, never disappear. Actually, a government bureau is the nearest thing to eternal life we’ll ever see on this earth!” — Ronald Reagan President Trump presents his first budget to Congress on ...

The NEA is a government frill that should be shorn

WASHINGTON — Although the National Endowment for the Arts’ 2016 cost of $148 million was less than one-hundredth of 1 percent of the federal budget, attempting to abolish the NEA is a fight worth having, never mind the certain futility of the fight. Let’s pretend, counterfactually, the ...

Trump’s allies melting away on his wiretapping claims

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Donald Trump’s explosive allegation that Barack Obama wiretapped his New York skyscraper during the presidential campaign has left him increasingly isolated, with allies on Capitol Hill and within his own administration offering no evidence to back him up. On ...

Sunshine Week celebrates the right to know

Rita Ward had a question: Why did a weekly listing of causes of death suddenly stop appearing in the local newspaper? It turned out the health department in Vanderburgh County, Indiana, halted its practice of providing causes of death to the Evansville Courier & Press. When Ward and a ...

APSWObamaRecords

Obama’s final year: US spent $36 million in records lawsuits

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Obama administration in its final year in office spent a record $36.2 million on legal costs defending its refusal to turn over federal records under the Freedom of Information Act, according to an Associated Press analysis of new U.S. data that also showed poor ...

Both sides loose with facts in health debate

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Congressional Budget Office report on a Republican health care bill has set off an intense reaction in Washington, and some on both sides of the debate are playing loose with the facts. Republicans are overlooking President Donald Trump’s promise to deliver ...

Bills won’t improve state’s poor record on openness

Newspaper titan William Randolph Hearst described the grist of his industry this way: “News is something which somebody wants suppressed.” By that measure, Michigan is a state teeming with potential news stories. We’ve been stuck with an F grade in public access to information, and a ...

Trump’s actions raise fears about data access

WASHINGTON (AP) — Wondering who is visiting the White House? The web-based search has gone dark. Curious about climate change? Some government sites have been softened or taken down. Worried about racial discrimination in housing? Laws have been introduced to bar federal mapping of such ...