Congress

Any doubt that Senate Republicans would hold the line behind their leader's decision to block President Obama's Supreme Court nominee has been erased.

"I can now confidently say the view shared by virtually everybody in my conference, is that the nomination should be made by the president the people elect in the election that's underway right now," Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., told reporters.

Senator Patty Murray in the KUOW offices, Jan. 2016.
KUOW Photo/Gil Aegerter

Bill Radke talks to Senator Patty Murray about the Every Child Achieves Act that was signed into law and what she hopes to accomplish for education in 2016. 

Rep. Jim McDermott has represented the Seattle area for 14 terms.
KUOW Photo/Joshua McNichols

Jim McDermott has represented Seattle in the U.S. Congress since 1989. He was elected to that office 14 times. But now, he wants to retire, to travel, to teach and to paint.

Rep. Jim McDermott in Feb. 2.014.
Flickr Photo/Transportation for America (CC BY NC ND 2.0)/http://bit.ly/1Pc1hdI

Bill Radke talks to Peter Jackson, a writer and the son of former Washington Senator "Scoop" Jackson, about the legacy of longtime Congressman Jim McDermott, who announced his retirement Monday. KUOW reporter Joshua McNichols also shares an update from the congressman's press conference. 

When Republicans took over both chambers of Congress in January, party leaders vowed they would prove to the country that Republicans could govern. They promised to stop with the self-made crises, such as government shutdowns, and rack up legislative accomplishments. So in the first year of a GOP-controlled Congress in nearly a decade, how well did Republicans prove they can govern?

Just days before the election of a new speaker of the House, lame-duck Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio, made good on one last promise — that he'd try to "clear the barn" for his successor.

In one fell swoop, two thorny issues were crossed off the to-do list: raising the debt ceiling by next Tuesday and coming up with a budget agreement.

Thursday was one of the most important days of Hillary Clinton's political career. The Democratic presidential candidate faced grilling for more than eight hours over the 2012 terror attack on the diplomatic outpost in Benghazi, Libya, that claimed the lives of four Americans, including U.S. Ambassador Chris Stevens.

The questions from the 12 House Select Committee members — seven Republicans and five Democrats — split mostly along partisan lines.

Kevin McCarthy Gone, In 60 Seconds

Oct 9, 2015

There was chaos on Capitol Hill on Thursday after front-runner Rep. Kevin McCarthy withdrew his name from the House speakership election. The closed-door House Republican meeting that was supposed to emerge with a speaker nominee spilled out into the hallway outside of the House Ways and Means Room in the Longworth Office Building. That's where reporters rushed lawmakers to find out exactly what had happened and where the conference might go from here.

Here's a peek into that hallway, in 60 seconds:

In a stunning turn of events, Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif., has withdrawn from the race to become the next speaker of the House.

McCarthy was the favorite ahead of Thursday's closed-door vote by House Republicans. He was in a three-way race for the top spot in the House with Reps. Jason Chaffetz, R-Utah, and Daniel Webster, R-Fla.

This post was updated at 4:25 p.m.

In a shocking move Thursday afternoon, House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif., pulled out of the race for speaker of the House, throwing the GOP leadership race into chaos and confusion.

According to Republican congressmen coming out of the caucus meeting — where lawmakers were expected to pick a successor to retiring House Speaker John Boehner — McCarthy told Republicans he didn't have a path to victory.

Even though President Obama has not yet released details of the Trans-Pacific Partnership announced Monday, supporters and opponents are making their voices heard — at full volume.

Business leaders and interest groups hope their impassioned pleas will sway Congress, which must vote on the proposed deal next year.

This is what the cheers sounded like:

For the first time since surreptitious videos put Planned Parenthood in the spotlight again, the organization's president, Cecile Richards, faced the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform.

(This post was last updated at 1:31 p.m. ET.)

House Speaker John Boehner will give up his seat in Congress at the end of October.

Boehner became the 53rd speaker of the House in 2011. The Ohio Republican's tenure has been marked by fierce confrontations with Democrats and sometimes with his own party. One of those fights led to a 16-day partial government shutdown in 2013.

Amid renewed conflict with more conservative members of his party, Boehner is once again facing the prospect of a government shutdown.

Updated at 12:34 p.m.

Sen. Harry Reid, D-Nev., the Democratic leader in the Senate, said he won't seek re-election next year.

U.S. Capital congress
Flickr Photo/Stephen Melkisethian (CC-BY-NC-ND)

Marcie Sillman talks to Cathy Allen, political consultant and president of The Connections Group, about Washington state's political clout in Congress now that the majority party is Republican.

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