Former senator, ex-GOP chairman elected to UNC board

RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) -- The North Carolina Senate has elected a recent colleague and a former state Republican Party chairman to the University of North Carolina Board of Governors. Former Sen. Bob Rucho of Matthews and Tom Fetzer of Wilmington were among six elected Wednesday to four-year terms on the panel, which oversees the UNC system's 17 campuses. Rucho served in the Senate over two decades before declining to seek re-election last year.

Editorial Roundup: Excerpts from recent editorials

Excerpts from recent editorials in the United States and abroad: ___ March 29 The Telegraph, UK, on Britain formally beginning the process to leave the European Union: This is a historic day for Britain. Today, a UK government triggers Article 50 and begins the process of Brexit. And so the country enters a period of negotiation that, early signs suggest, will be tough, even acrimonious. But the goal is worth some hard work.

Poll: Americans dislike GOP's, Trump's plan on health care

WASHINGTON (AP) -- Note to President Donald Trump and House Republicans: People really don't like your approach to overhauling America's health care. If you're hoping to revive the effort, you may want to try something different. Sixty-two percent of Americans turned thumbs down on Trump's handling of health care during the initial weeks of his presidency, according to a poll by The Associated Press-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research released Wednesday.

Perez asks for Democratic Party staff resignations

ATLANTA (AP) -- New Democratic National Committee Chairman Tom Perez is asking all paid party employees to resign as he tries to rebuild the embattled organization. Perez spokeswoman Xochitl Hinojosa confirms that the chairman is overhauling the DNC's internal structure in the coming weeks. Some staffers will be rehired for permanent positions.

House sends bill to Trump blocking online privacy regulation

WASHINGTON (AP) -- Congress has sent President Donald Trump legislation that would kill an online privacy regulation, a move that could eventually allow internet providers such as Comcast, AT&T and Verizon to sell the browsing habits of their customers. The Federal Communications Commission rule issued in October was designed to give consumers greater control over how internet service providers share information.

Iowa Republicans back 'fetal heartbeat' abortion legislation

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) -- Republicans in the Iowa Legislature are backing newly filed legislation that would ban abortions once a fetal heartbeat is detected, which would be the strictest ban in the country if enacted. A GOP-led House committee had been set to vote on the provision Tuesday night but lawmakers later adjourned without a decision. It's expected to be taken up again Wednesday.

House GOP blocks effort by Democrats to obtain Trump's taxes

WASHINGTON (AP) -- House Republicans on Tuesday blocked more attempts by Democrats to obtain President Donald Trump's tax returns from the IRS. House Democrats tried for a third and a fourth time to use procedural votes to pry loose Trump's returns. Republicans blocked both efforts, one on the House floor and the other in the House Ways and Means Committee. The House voted 228-190 on a mostly party-line vote to block the Democrats' effort.

McConnell confident Dems won't keep Gorsuch off high court

WASHINGTON (AP) -- A showdown loomed over President Donald Trump's Supreme Court nominee Tuesday as the number of Democrats opposing Judge Neil Gorsuch grew to more than 25. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell pledged Gorsuch would be confirmed next week regardless of the Democratic opposition. Sen. Dick Durbin of Illinois, the No. 2 Senate Democrat, was joined Tuesday by more than half-a-dozen other senators who announced their intention to vote against Gorsuch.

The Latest: Ryan says funding bill avoids shutdown fight

WASHINGTON (AP) -- The Latest on House Republicans and health care, tax cuts and other issues (all times local): 11:30 a.m. Speaker Paul Ryan says next month's governmentwide funding bill should not get ensnared with a fight over taking federal money away from Planned Parenthood. The Wisconsin Republican says "defunding" Planned Parenthood belongs on legislation to repeal the Affordable Care Act.

Ryan says House to revisit health care, offers no details

WASHINGTON (AP) -- Speaker Paul Ryan said Tuesday he's going to give battered House Republicans another crack at a health care overhaul. But he offered no timeline, and leaders haven't resolved how to overcome the deep GOP divisions that crumpled their legislation last week in a humiliating retreat for themselves and President Donald Trump.

States push to protect birth control despite failed GOP bill

CARSON CITY, Nev. (AP) -- Even with the Republican failure to repeal Barack Obama's health care law, Democratic lawmakers in some states are pressing ahead with efforts to protect birth control access, Planned Parenthood funding and abortion coverage in case they are jeopardized in the future. Republicans in the U.S. House of Representatives withdrew a bill last week that would have repealed Obama's Affordable Care Act.

White House looks to bounce back after health care loss

WASHINGTON (AP) -- Regrouping after a rocky few weeks, the White House declared Monday that President Donald Trump doesn't consider the health care battle to be over, suggesting he may turn to Democrats to help him overhaul the system after his own party rejected his proposal. The sudden interest in bipartisanship is a shift for a president who has spent months mocking Democratic leaders as inept.

GOP failure in Congress boosts Medicaid effort in Kansas

TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) -- Legislators and advocates in Kansas pushing to expand the state's health coverage for the poor to thousands of adults are buoyed by the failure of Republicans in Washington to repeal former President Barack Obama's signature health care law. The GOP-controlled Kansas Legislature already was more receptive this year to expanding the state's Medicaid program, thanks to elections last year that put more moderates and liberals in office.

Dems force 1-week delay on panel vote on Supreme Court pick

WASHINGTON (AP) -- Senate Democrats on Monday forced a one-week delay in a committee vote on President Donald Trump's Supreme Court nominee, who remains on track for confirmation with solid Republican backing. Sen. Chuck Grassley, R-Iowa, chairman of the Judiciary Committee, announced that, as expected, Democrats have requested a postponement. The committee vote on Judge Neil Gorsuch now will be held April 3.

Bulgaria near final results give pro-EU party clear victory

SOFIA, Bulgaria (AP) -- A center-right, pro-European Union party is the clear winner in Bulgaria's parliamentary election, according to near final results Monday. With about 96.7 percent of the votes counted, GERB had 32.6 percent of the votes, the central election commission said. The results allows party leader Boiko Borisov, a former prime minister, to form his third Cabinet. The Socialist Party was in second place, polling 27.1 percent.

GOP controls federal government but struggles to govern

The Republican Party of "no" for Democrat Barack Obama's eight years is having a hard time getting to "yes" in the early Donald Trump era. The unmitigated failure of the GOP bill to replace Obamacare underscored that Republicans are a party of upstart firebrands, old-guard conservatives and moderates in Democratic-leaning districts. Despite the GOP monopoly on Washington, they are pitted against one another and struggling for a way to govern.

Bitter GOP finger-pointing clouds path for Trump agenda

WASHINGTON (AP) -- President Donald Trump is hoping to drive his priorities forward following the crumbling of the Republican health care bill but GOP finger-pointing is rampant, underscoring how tough it will be to produce the unity the party will need. Rep. Ted Poe, R-Texas, criticized the contrarian House Freedom Caucus on Monday, a day after resigning from the hard-right group because it helped sink the Republican health care effort.

The Latest: Texas Republican quits hard-line Freedom Caucus

WASHINGTON (AP) -- The Latest on Republican plans to overhaul the health care system (all times local): 7 p.m. A member of the conservative House Freedom Caucus is resigning after the hard line group helped scuttle the Republican health care overhaul. Texas GOP Rep. Ted Poe says in a statement Sunday that "saying 'no' is easy, leading is hard but that is what we were elected to do.