McConnell says he won’t help Dems raise debt limit again

WASHINGTON — Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell said Friday he would not again help Democrats extend the government’s borrowing authority, raising fresh doubts about how Congress will avert a federal default when a temporary patch expires in December.

Racism of rioters takes center stage in Jan. 6 hearing

It had only been hinted at in previous public examinations of the Jan. 6 Capitol insurrection: Scores of rioters attacked police officers not just with makeshift weapons, stun guns and fists, but with racist slurs and accusations of treason.

Lawmakers mark Juneteenth by reviving ‘abolition amendment’

As the nation this week made Juneteenth a federal holiday, honoring the end of the enslavement of Black people, lawmakers are reviving calls to end a loophole in the Constitution that allowed another form of slavery — forced labor for those convicted of some crimes — to thrive.

GOP blocks Capitol riot probe, displaying loyalty to Trump

WASHINGTON — Senate Republicans on Friday blocked creation of a bipartisan panel to investigate the deadly Jan. 6 attack on the Capitol, displaying continuing party loyalty to former President Donald Trump and firm determination to shift the political focus away from the violent insurrection by his GOP supporters.

Biden’s ‘Jobs Cabinet’ to sell infrastructure as GOP resists

WASHINGTON — President Joe Biden set about convincing America it needs his $2.3 trillion infrastructure plan on Thursday, deputizing a five-member “jobs Cabinet” to help in the effort. But the enormity of his task was clear as Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell’s vowed to oppose the plan “every step of the way.”

McConnell vows ‘scorched earth’ if Senate ends filibuster

WASHINGTON — Senate Republican leader Mitch McConnell warned ominously Tuesday of a “scorched earth” landscape if Democrats use their new majority to bring an end to the Senate filibuster in hopes of muscling legislation supporting President Joe Biden’s agenda past GOP opposition.

At conservative conference, Trump is still the golden boy

WASHINGTON — A conference dedicated to the future of the conservative movement turned into an ode to Donald Trump on Friday as speakers declared their fealty to the former president and attendees posed for selfies with a golden statue of his likeness.

Democrats to ‘act big’ on $1.9T aid; GOP wants plan split

WASHINGTON — Democrats in Congress and the White House rejected a Republican pitch to split President Joe Biden’s $1.9 trillion COVID-19 rescue plan into smaller chunks on Thursday, with lawmakers appearing primed to muscle the sweeping economic and virus aid forward without GOP help.

GOP largely sides against holding Trump impeachment trial

WASHINGTON — All but five Senate Republicans voted in favor of an effort to dismiss Donald Trump’s historic second impeachment trial on Tuesday, making clear a conviction of the former president for “incitement of insurrection” after the deadly Capitol siege on Jan. 6 is unlikely.

Democrats ask ethics panel to investigate Sens. Cruz, Hawley

WASHINGTON — Seven Democratic senators on Thursday asked the Senate Ethics Committee to investigate the actions of Republican Sens. Ted Cruz and Josh Hawley “to fully understand their role” in the Jan. 6 insurrection at the Capitol by supporters of former President Donald Trump.

Trump trial pending, McConnell calls it ‘vote of conscience’

WASHINGTON — President Donald Trump’s impeachment trial is likely to start after Joe Biden’s inauguration, and the Republican leader, Mitch McConnell, is telling senators their decision on whether to convict the outgoing president over the Capitol riot will be a “vote of conscience.”