Politics

Political news

Updated at 5:15 p.m. ET

Emory Rounds III, President Trump's nominee to lead the Office of Government Ethics, got a warm if brief welcome Wednesday from a Senate committee.

Sen. Tom Carper, D-Del., summed up senators' concerns about OGE, which has gone toe-to-toe with the Trump White House several times. Carper asked Rounds, "Are you confident you can maintain independence from this White House, and when necessary hold it accountable?"

Rounds replied, "I certainly intend to do so, yes sir."

A newly unveiled Trump administration proposal would not just block groups like Planned Parenthood from receiving Title X funds. It also could pave the way for a host of previously ineligible organizations — some of which oppose contraception — to receive funds through the federal government's family planning program.

Teachers in Kentucky flexed their newfound political clout in primary elections Tuesday after a series of massive protests at the state Capitol earlier this year.

High school math teacher Travis Brenda ousted one of the Kentucky legislature's top Republican leaders in a primary election. Brenda ran a campaign attacking state Rep. Jonathan Shell for his role in writing bills that weakened retirement benefits for state workers and overhauled Kentucky's tax code.

Copyright 2018 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

Copyright 2018 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

Copyright 2018 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

ARI SHAPIRO, HOST:

The first time Gavin Grimm was on this program, he was a high school junior. He's transgender. And he sued the school board after they prohibited him from using the boy's restroom at his public school in Gloucester, Va.

A major Veterans Affairs reform has passed the Senate by 92-5 and is on its way to the White House. The $55 billion bill will change how the VA pays for private care, expand a VA caregiver program and start a review of the VA's aging infrastructure. President Trump has said he will sign it — and it's sure to be touted among his biggest legislative achievements.

It took more than 280 characters, but a federal judge in Manhattan ruled Wednesday that President Trump and his aides cannot block critics from seeing his Twitter account simply because they had posted caustic replies to his tweets in the past.

Copyright 2018 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

RACHEL MARTIN, HOST:

Expectations for this North Korea nuclear summit are shrinking, it seems.

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

Sen. Chris Van Hollen On ZTE Sanctions

May 23, 2018

Copyright 2018 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

RACHEL MARTIN, HOST:

Copyright 2018 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

Let's ask Cokie about the history of women in American politics.

(SOUNDBITE OF ARCHIVED RECORDING)

SHIRLEY CHISHOLM: I am not a candidate of the women's movement of this country, although I am a woman and proud.

(APPLAUSE)

Copyright 2018 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

In need of strong turnout from the GOP base in the midterm elections, President Trump rallied anti-abortion activists at a fundraiser in Washington, D.C., on Tuesday night, telling voters that failing to turn out for the November midterms would risk undoing the victories they've won during the Trump administration.

Copyright 2018 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

ARI SHAPIRO, HOST:

Copyright 2018 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

Copyright 2018 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

Copyright 2018 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

As voters go to the polls in Texas this year, they're seeing something they haven't encountered in a generation - a Democratic Party that's making an effort to win all across the state. NPR's Scott Detrow reports.

Copyright 2018 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

Lawmakers have asked Education Secretary Betsy DeVos about an NPR report about a troubled grant program for public school teachers. Here's NPR's Cory Turner.

Copyright 2018 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

Copyright 2018 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

Copyright 2018 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

Copyright 2018 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

ARI SHAPIRO, HOST:

Let's turn now to Ambassador Wendy Sherman. She was North Korea policy coordinator in the Clinton administration, and she led the Iran nuclear agreement negotiating team for President Obama. Welcome back to the program.

Updated at 5:44 p.m. ET

The House voted Tuesday to ease rules for midsize and regional banks in what is considered the largest undoing to date of banking rules put in place in the wake of the financial crisis. The vote was 258-159.

The Senate has already approved the bill that would allow banks with up to $250 billion in assets to escape some of the toughest rules put in place by the Dodd-Frank Act in 2010 to shore up the banking system. President Trump could sign the bill as early as this week.

Updated on May 23 at 10:10 a.m. ET

Senate negotiators have released legislation to overhaul policies for handling sexual harassment complaints in Congress, including requirements that lawmakers be held personally liable for some financial settlements.

The bill would require lawmakers to repay any awards and settlements that stem from acts of harassment they personally commit—including members who leave office. It would also require the public release of settlements and awards, even if the funds are fully reimbursed to the U.S. Treasury.

Updated at 4:16 p.m. ET

Key congressional leaders are set to meet Thursday with federal law enforcement and intelligence bosses amid a slow-motion standoff over secret documents in the Russia investigation, the White House said on Tuesday.

Press secretary Sarah Sanders said that the White House had brokered a meeting at which two key Republican chairmen would hear from the leaders of the Justice Department, FBI and the intelligence community following weeks' worth of requests for the classified material.

Updated at 3:18 p.m. ET

China is cutting tariffs on vehicles from the U.S., but the biggest benefits could go to German automakers — and Tesla, the American electric-car maker.

Chinese President Xi Jinping signaled in a speech last month that the tariff cut would be coming. The foreign ministry confirmed it Tuesday: Tariffs will drop from 25 percent to 15 percent for imported cars. Tariffs on imported auto parts will fall to six percent.

Updated at 3:15 p.m. ET

House GOP leaders promised Republicans Tuesday they will bring up immigration legislation in June, even though that pledge threatens to divide the party and undermine the staying power of House Speaker Paul Ryan.

"What we're trying to do is find where the consensus sweet spot is," Ryan told reporters. "It's a very difficult issue. Immigration is an issue that has a lot of passionate positions, a lot of passionate thoughts, and our members come from various different perspectives."

The net appears to be closing in on Roger Stone.

The outspoken, self-described "dirty trickster" and longtime confidant of President Trump is facing heat from congressional investigators, as well as a possible indictment from the Justice Department — or so he suspects.

Updated at 11:47 p.m. ET

Tuesday was another big night for Democratic women and political newcomers in the party, with a historic nomination in Georgia, an intra-party squabble settled in Texas and an upset victory in a Kentucky House race.

The day's contests featured Democratic ideological and stylistic battles, but in the end the national party largely got the candidates they wanted — especially in critical Texas — that they believe will be the most competitive general election nominees.

Pages