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Congress

A detainee in solitary at the Northwest Detention Center in Tacoma.
KUOW Photo/Megan Farmer

Immigration detention is a booming business in the U.S., mostly run by private, for-profit contractors. A new bill in Congress aims to phase out these private facilities, including the Northwest Detention Center in Tacoma.

Republicans' complex health care calculations are coming down to simple math.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell needs 50 of the chamber's 52 Republicans to vote for a bill that aims to repeal most of the Affordable Care Act and drastically reshape the Medicaid system. McConnell's office is planning to bring the bill up for a vote next week.

'Week in Review' panel Bill Radke, Christopher Parker, Billy Bryant and Natalie Brand.
KUOW Photo/Kara McDermott

Amazon tells Seattle it wants to see other cities and announces plans for a second headquarters in another North American metropolis.

The only Republican Congressman from the Puget Sound area said this week he won't run for another term. Who will take over for Rep. Dave Reichert?

Mardie Rhodes has lived in the 8th Congressional District for the last 20 years. She says she's a retiree from the health care field.
KUOW photo/David Hyde

The Democrats challenging Republican Rep. Dave Reichert in the 8th Congressional District were by turns respectful and gleeful at the prospect of his retirement.

Rep. Dave Reichert, R-Wash., speaks with the media after testifying before the Senate Law and Justice Committee about Green River serial killer Gary Ridgway on Friday, Nov. 20, 2015, in Olympia, Wash.
AP Photo/Rachel La Corte

Rep. Dave Reichert said Wednesday that he won't seek re-election in a race that could decide whether Republicans still control Congress. 

Cathy McMorris Rodgers, the top woman in Republican leadership in the U.S. House, is being challenged by a Democrat.

Former leader of the Washington state senate Lisa Brown is running for Congress.

Brown announced Thursday that she’s challenging McMorris Rodgers for her eastern Washington seat.

Updated at 1:55 p.m. ET

In an emotional return to the Senate floor on Tuesday afternoon, Sen. John McCain admonished the leaders of his party for how they managed the health care bill and called instead for "regular order."

Updated: 7:26 p.m.

The House overwhelmingly passed a sanctions bill on Tuesday that would punish Russia for interfering in the 2016 election and tie President Trump's hands in terms of lifting economic restrictions on Moscow.

Other than vodka, the Russian product most familiar to Americans is probably the anti-virus software made by Moscow-based Kaspersky Lab.

Updated at 1:35 p.m. ET

Americans broadly disapprove of the Senate GOP's health care bill, and they're unhappy with how Republicans are handling the efforts to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act, according to a new NPR/PBS NewsHour/Marist poll.

Bill Radke talks with Aaron Katz, who teaches health policy the University of Washington School of Public Health, and retired physician Roger Stark, a healthcare analyst for the Washington Policy Center.

They discuss the current healthcare bill being debated in the Senate and the Congressional Budget Office score that predicts 22 million fewer Americans will have insurance by 2026.

Updated at 8:10 pm ET

Congressional forecasters say a Senate bill that aims to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act would leave 22 million more people uninsured by 2026.

That's only slightly fewer uninsured than a version passed by the House in May.

Updated 12:30 p.m. ET

President Trump kept one of his campaign promises, signing a bill Friday to make it easier for the secretary of veterans affairs to fire and discipline employees. It came in response to the 2014 VA scandal in which employees covered up long wait times while collecting bonuses.

The bill, which passed earlier this month with strong bipartisan support, also gives the secretary authority to revoke bonuses and protects whistleblowers who report wrongdoing.

Screenshot from appropriations.house.gov

Both Democrats and Republicans pushed back against cuts proposed for the U.S. Department of Energy when Energy Secretary Rick Perry came to Capitol Hill on Tuesday.

Washington state Republicans criticized Trump administration proposals to lop one-fourth off efforts to clean up radioactive waste at the Hanford Nuclear Reservation and sell off much of the Northwest’s high-voltage power grid.

Russia's efforts to interfere with last year's elections will be front and center during two hearings on Capitol Hill on Wednesday. Former Secretary of Homeland Security Jeh Johnson will appear before the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence while the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence will hear from current U.S. intelligence officials and state election experts.

Here are five questions likely to be on lawmakers' minds as they listen to witnesses and ask questions.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell says Republicans will release a discussion draft of their version of the health care bill on Thursday, with a vote likely next week.

Private health care talks have been underway in the Senate for weeks. McConnell tapped a 13-member working group last month to hash out senators' differences over the House-passed American Health Care Act. McConnell's office has since taken the lead drafting the Senate version of the party's long-promised legislation to dismantle the Affordable Care Act.

Updated at 10:15 p.m. ET

House Majority Whip Steve Scalise of Louisiana has undergone surgery and will need further operations, after being shot by a man who opened fire with a rifle on an early morning baseball practice for Republican members of Congress in Alexandria, Va. Scalise was the most seriously injured of four victims of the shootings.

In this Sept. 10, 2013, file photo Rep. Adam Smith, D-Wash., speaks on Capitol Hill in Washington.
AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin

Washington Rep. Adam Smith (D) has unveiled a bill aimed at deterring Russian aggression against the U.S. and its allies.

The bill would pressure the Trump administration to create a comprehensive policy on Russia and increase sanctions.

The nation's top legal officer is set to go before Congress on Tuesday to try to defuse a bomb that the former FBI director dropped into his lap.

Attorney General Jeff Sessions is scheduled to appear before the Senate Intelligence Committee less than one week after James Comey told the committee he could not discuss openly certain information about Sessions' recusal from the investigation into Russia's election meddling last year.

TV networks have deployed countdown clocks. People are tweeting about places to watch and whether they'll offer morning cocktail specials. Congressional aides report that demand for seats inside the Senate hearing room has reached levels not seen for decades.

Anticipation is building for testimony from fired FBI Director James Comey, not least in the White House, where the president and his aides worry the telegenic former law enforcement leader could inflict both political and legal wounds.

What Comey might say

Spokane Republican Cathy McMorris Rodgers says the current Republican health care bill is only part of a larger plan.
Flickr Photo/Gage Skidmore (CC BY-SA 2.0)/https://flic.kr/p/e4kQ16

Most Washington state lawmakers are dismayed about the House vote to repeal the Affordable Care Act. State insurance officials say it could lead to thousands of people losing their health insurance.


US Congress
AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin

Bill Radke talks to Margot Sanger-Katz, The New York Times reporter who covers health care for The Upshot, about the health care bill that passed the House and what happens next. 

Police officers pause next to a sign outside a restaurant as they observe a May Day anti-capitalism march, Friday, May 1, 2015 in Seattle.
AP Photo/Ted S. Warren

When you’re out marching on May Day in Seattle on Monday, remember how the tradition began: as an attempt to get workers an eight-hour day.

And then think about this: Some labor advocates say the eight-hour day is under attack in Congress.

President Donald Trump shakes hands with 10th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals Judge Neil Gorsuch, his choice for Supreme Court associate justice in the East Room of the White House in Washington, Tuesday, Jan. 31, 2017.
AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster

Bill Radke talks to New York Times Magazine staff writer Emily Bazelon about the Senate vote on Judge Neil Gorsuch and what it means now that Senate Democrats are threatening to filibuster the the vote. 

After a day of statements, Tuesday's Supreme Court confirmation hearing was all about answers. Judge Neil Gorsuch was careful in his responses to Senate Judiciary Committee members, but there were still a number of insights that marked the day. Read our full Day 2 coverage here. These are five highlights:

FBI Director James Comey testifies on Capitol Hill in Washington, Tuesday, Jan. 10, 2017, before the Senate Intelligence Committee hearing on Russian Intelligence Activities.
AP Photo/Cliff Owen

Starting Monday morning, NPR reporters provide live coverage of the House Intelligence Committee’s public hearing on the investigations into alleged Russian interference in the 2016 U.S. Presidential election.

United States Capitol building.
Flickr Photo/Eric E Johnson (CC BY NC ND 2.0)/https://flic.kr/p/7enkXF

President Trump will address a joint session of Congress for the first time on Tuesday evening at the Capitol, around 6:00 p.m. PST.

The address comes a day after Trump gave an outline of his budget plan for Congress, which would increase defense spending and make cuts to domestic programs. Following tradition, House Speaker Paul Ryan invited the president to make the speech to lay out his agenda in the early days of his new administration. 

At a session in Fremont, Shaine Truscott with SEIU-775 helps train "peacekeepers" for protests.
KUOW photo/David Hyde

In a Fremont conference room, about a dozen people pored over a hand-drawn map of the area around Republican Congressman Dave Reichert's office over in Issaquah. 

This is the specter currently haunting President Donald Trump and Republicans in Congress: a left-wing Tea Party movement – led by paid protesters – that aims to disrupt their Town Halls and other public events across the country.


Mardie Rhodes of Sammamish was one of the people at the rally in Issaquah on Thursday.
KUOW photo/David Hyde

Protesters gathered outside Congressman Dave Reichert's office in Issaquah on Thursday, upset that he hasn’t scheduled face time with the public during the first Congressional recess since Donald Trump was elected president.

An influential Washington state Congress member is among the officials pushing for an investigation into Michael Flynn's actions.

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