Abortion

Trump administration swayed by GOP think tank on abortion, LGBT decisions, group says
Ties between administration and The Heritage Foundation correlate with several health policy decisions, liberal watchdog group says

HHS Office of Civil Rights Director Roger Severino speaks at a news conference at the Department of Health and Human Services on January 18, 2018 in Washington, DC. Severino, a former director of The Heritage Foundation’s DeVos Center for Religion and Civil Society, joined HHS as the director of OCR in late March 2017. Close ties between the administration foundation correlate with several Trump administration health policy decisions, a liberal think tank says. (Aaron P. Bernstein/Getty Images)

Close ties between the administration and a prominent conservative think tank correlate with several Trump administration health policy decisions, according to new information from a liberal government watchdog group shared exclusively with CQ Roll Call.

The 35-page Equity Forward report says that The Heritage Foundation’s influence plays a large role in decisions related to abortion, fetal tissue research, contraception and protections for same-sex couples.

In 2020, Biden experience could turn out to be baggage
Former vice president may have to answer for positions now out of favor in party moving further left

Former Vice President Joe Biden announced he is seeking the Democratic presidential nomination on Thursday. (Mark Wilson/Getty Images file photo)

Joe Biden entered the 2020 race for president Thursday at the top of the polls, with universal name recognition and the still-fresh sheen of his time as a popular vice president to Barack Obama.

In a video posted to his social media platforms, Biden characterized the race as a “battle for the soul of this nation.”

Texas Senate 2020: MJ Hegar challenges John Cornyn
Democrat raised more than $5 million in an unsuccessful House race in 2018

Sen. John Cornyn, R-Texas, is running for a fourth term next year. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Air Force veteran MJ Hegar, who raised millions in an unsuccessful House race in 2018, announced Tuesday that she is taking on Texas Republican Sen. John Cornyn.

The Democrat garnered national attention last cycle with a viral web video “Doors” highlighting her background as a combat veteran. She was injured in Afghanistan and later sued the Defense Department over the barring of women from certain positions. In a nearly four-minute video released Tuesday, Hegar once again introduced herself to Texans, recapping her 2018 spot.

Could this be the primary where outside GOP groups help women win?
Female Republicans in North Carolina's 3rd District earn endorsements from super PACs

Voters in North Carolina’s 3rd District will pick their party nominees in the special election primary for the the late Rep. Walter B. Jones’ seat. Winners must clear 30 percent of the vote, or the top-two finishers will advance to a July runoff. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Republicans’ biggest problem electing women has been in primaries.

But in the first special election primary of the year, where 17 Republicans are vying next week for the nod in North Carolina’s 3rd District, the two candidates who have attracted the most significant outside support are women.

Florida man arrested for death threats to Reps. Tlaib, Swalwell and Sen. Booker
John Joseph Kless was arrested and charged with making threatening communications

Rep. Eric Swalwell, D-Calif., was among three Democratic lawmakers who recently received death threats by voicemail at their D.C. offices. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

A Florida man was arrested Friday after police said he threatened to kill three Democratic lawmakers: Reps. Eric Swalwell and Rashida Tlaib, as well as Sen. Cory Booker.

John Joseph Kless, 49, was charged in the Southern District of Florida with making threatening communications, after he apparently left death threats by voicemail in the lawmakers’ Washington offices. 

O’Rourke touts Senate run in White House bid — even though he lost
Texan cites battle with Cruz as evidence he can energize Democrats, win over Republicans

Presidential candidate Beto O’Rourke speaks during his town hall event in Alexandria, Va. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

ALEXANDRIA, Va. — Ruth traveled to Texas last year to knock on doors when former Democratic Rep. Beto O’Rourke ran for Senate. Now she’s concerned he’s repeating mistakes from that race, and she told him so to his face.  

Ruth, who declined to give her last name, told O’Rourke at a town hall meeting Wednesday she did not think he drew enough of a contrast with GOP Sen. Ted Cruz, who was narrowly re-elected in November.

Trump civil rights official wants to defend abortion opponents and religious freedom
OCR is now reporting a rise in civil rights complaints related to a person’s moral beliefs

Roger Severino, the director for the HHS’ Office of Civil Rights, speaks at a news conference on Jan. 18 announcing a new division on conscience and religious freedom. The new division will aide medical professionals who object to certain procedures on religious grounds. (Aaron P. Bernstein/Getty Images file photo)

A Trump administration official charged with protecting civil rights has major plans for defending abortion opponents and promoting religious freedom, he said in a rare and wide-ranging interview.

Roger Severino, the director for the Department of Health and Human Services’ Office of Civil Rights, highlighted his goals to investigate states that require insurance to cover abortion, protect individuals who reject certain vaccinations on religious grounds, and defend students training to be medical providers if they object to participating in abortions.

In their first 100 days, socialist Democrats have shown they are unable to lead
Nancy Pelosi’s optimism over 2020 is misplaced, NRCC chairman writes

National Republican Congressional Committee Chairman Tom Emmer says the past three months have been “disastrous” for House Democrats. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

OPINION — After 100 days of accomplishing nothing but tax increases and bad headlines, the speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives boldly proclaimed her socialist Democratic caucus have the 2020 elections in the bag. Her faux confidence is misplaced; the past three months for her band of socialists were disastrous.

In the first 100 days, the socialist Democrats managed to call for over $100 trillion in new spending, but are so dysfunctional, they refuse to propose a budget outlining the payment plan for their radical agenda. Ridiculously, these socialists have spent weeks continuing to attack President Donald Trump’s budget proposal. Talk about hypocrisy.

New Mexico Secretary of State Maggie Toulouse Oliver preparing run for Senate
Would face Luján in primary for seat being vacated by Udall retirement

New Mexico Secretary of State Maggie Toulouse Oliver is considering a run to become the state's first female Senator. (photo courtesy of Maggie Toulouse Oliver for Secretary of State)

New Mexico Secretary of State Maggie Toulouse Oliver is “gearing up” for a run for the state's open Senate seat, a spokeswoman said Thursday.

She plans to make an announcement this month, said Heather Brewer, Toulouse Oliver's campaign manager for her 2018 campaign for secretary of state.   

Bernie Sanders’ new Medicare for All bill would cover some long-term care

Renelsa Caudill, a nurse at MedStar Washington Hospital Center, is greeted by Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., after speaking at an event to introduce the “Medicare for All Act of 2019,” in Dirksen Building on Wednesday, April 10, 2019. Sens. Kirsten Gillibrand, D-N.Y., and Jeff Merkley, D-Ore., are also pictured. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

Sen. Bernie Sanders on Wednesday released an updated bill to implement a single-payer health insurance system, a politically divisive hallmark of his White House bid.

The unnumbered Senate bill would transition the U.S. health care system to a single-payer system over a four-year transition and eliminate nearly all premiums, co-pays and deductibles. The legislation largely mirrors Sanders’ 2017 proposal, but the new plan also would cover home and community-based long-term care services through an expanded Medicare program, according to a summary. The earlier version would have maintained those services through existing Medicaid benefits.