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Opinion: Amid the Alabama Mess, a Reason for Optimism
Gov. Kay Ivey provides an example of politics done right

Alabama Gov. Kay Ivey, center right, seen here with presidential adviser Kellyanne Conway, is a bright spot in the state’ political buffoonery, Murphy writes. (Mark Wallheiser/Getty Images File Photo)

It’s no secret Alabama politicians have been giving Chicago pols a run for their money when it comes to corruption lately.

The state’s most recent governor, Republican Robert Bentley, resigned in April as he faced possible impeachment related to campaign spending and a sex scandal.

Hill Flounders on Kids’ Care
Congress’ failure to extend a popular insurance program leaves millions of children at risk of losing health care

A girl is examined by a physician’s assistant in Aurora, Colo. (John Moore/Getty Images)

Minnesota officials knew they would exhaust Children’s Health Insurance Program money by the end of this year. Then they discovered the news was worse: The state would likely be out of money for coverage of low-income children and pregnant women by the end of September. And it became increasingly clear that Congress was probably not going to meet a deadline to help.

The state will have “to take extraordinary measures to ensure that coverage continues beyond October 1, 2017, if Congress does not act,” warned Minnesota Department of Human Services Commissioner Emily Piper in a Sept. 13 letter pleading with lawmakers for “urgent” action.

Trump Issues Revised Travel Restrictions on Eight Countries
Targeted nations are not satisfying new vetting standards, president says

The new restrictions on travelers from eight countries go into effect Oct. 18. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

President Donald Trump on Sunday issued a revised travel ban targeting citizens of eight countries, adding North Korea, Venezuela and Chad to a list of nations the administration says pose a threat to national security.

Restrictions will remain on the majority-Muslim countries of Iran, Libya, Somalia, Syria and Yemen. Sudan was dropped from the list of countries originally targeted by sections of a March 6 executive order that expired Sunday.

Republicans Head Into Alabama Senate Race Homestretch
Campaigns zero in on turning out supporters

Alabama Sen. Luther Strange is counting on visits by President Donald Trump and Vice President Mike Pence to carry him to victory on Sept. 26. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

The biggest names in the Republican Party — from President Donald Trump to former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin —  will be heading south as the GOP primary runoff in the Alabama Senate race enters the homestretch. 

Sen. Luther Strange and former Alabama Supreme Court Chief Justice Roy Moore have been fighting for the GOP nod to fill the remaining term of former Sen. Jeff Sessions, now Trump’s attorney general. As the top two contenders in the August primary, they advanced to the runoff, which in some ways has turned into a proxy battle within the Republican Party.

GOP Primaries Could Hamper Plans on Taxes
Vulnerable Republican incumbents pose a challenge for McConnell

Alabama Sen. Luther Strange faces former Judge Roy Moore in a crucial Senate primary runoff next week. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Republican hopes for moving an ambitious tax package in a closely divided Senate may hinge on a number of incumbents on the ballot, including Luther Strange of Alabama, who faces a tough primary runoff on Sept. 26.

The vulnerability of Republican incumbents like Strange underscores the challenges facing Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell as he tries to hold together at least 50 votes in his 52-member conference to pass a partisan tax plan under a filibuster-proof reconciliation bill.

Hispanic Lawmakers Show Bipartisan Tone on Immigration
DACA debate has prompted strong positions from members of both parties

Nevada Rep. Ruben Kihuen, left — seen here with New York Rep. Adriano Espaillat — says prior bipartisan work on immigration was an example of “how great this country is.” (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

When it comes to undocumented immigrants who were brought to the United States as children, there is little daylight among most Hispanic members of Congress, regardless of party affiliation.

President Donald Trump has said he will phase out the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, or DACA, but gave Congress a six-month window to come up with a legislative fix. By and large, Hispanic lawmakers from both parties criticized the president’s decision and said Congress needs to protect immigrants covered by DACA, also known as Dreamers, so named after the proposed DREAM Act that would provide them with a path to legal status. 

Record Gains by Latinos Contradict Narrative
Trump’s 2016 victory overshadowed congressional victories

From left, Reps. Adriano Espaillat of New York and Ruben Kihuen of Nevada are the first formerly undocumented members of Congress. Also seen, Reps. Michelle Lujan Grisham of New Mexico, right, and Gwen Moore of Wisconsin, second from left. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

President Donald Trump’s victory last year was widely understood to challenge predictions of a coming surge in Democratic-leaning Latino voters that would forever alter the American electorate. 

But as Latino political leaders kick off National Hispanic Heritage Month this week, some are pointing to Congress to argue that Trump’s win was an anomaly. 

Mo Brooks Announces He Voted for Roy Moore in Alabama GOP Runoff
Congressman endorses former primary rival over Sen. Luther Strange

Alabama Rep. Mo Brooks is backing former primary rival Roy Moore in the state’s Senate GOP runoff. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Republican Rep. Mo Brooks on Saturday called on his supporters to rebuke the GOP establishment and vote for former Judge Roy Moore in the Alabama Senate primary runoff.

“I have voted for Roy Moore because Roy Moore not only stands with America, he will fight for America! I urge you to join that fight,” he told a rally in Huntsville, Alabama.

A Blue Badger in Trump Country
Baldwin cites causes she’s championed well before the president

Wisconsin Sen. Tammy Baldwin is one of 10 Senate Democrats up for re-election next year in states won by President Donald Trump. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

HAYWARD, Wis. — On the banks of Moose Lake, Sen. Tammy Baldwin served meals from a food truck purchased by the local senior resource center and expanded with a grant from the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

Later, Baldwin heard from constituents concerned about President Donald Trump’s proposed cuts to the very same USDA program. She vowed to fight those and other suggested funding reductions from her perch on the Senate Appropriations Committee.

Opioid Epidemic Continues to Ravage the Midwest
Despite congressional action, counties find it hard to keep up

Wisconsin Sen. Tammy Baldwin points to difficulties facing rural populations in getting access to opioid addiction treatment. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

BLACK RIVER FALLS, Wis. — Despite action by Congress to address the opioid addiction epidemic, hard-hit areas of the country like this one in the Midwest are finding it difficult to keep up with the fallout from the unfolding situation.

In July, here in Wisconsin’s Jackson County, for instance, 34 children who were taken out of their homes, many a result of a parent’s opioid addiction, remained in foster care.