The Latest: Democrats block spending bill as shutdown looms

WASHINGTON (AP) -- The Latest on efforts in Congress to repeal the health care law and agree on a spending bill to keep the government open (all times local): 7:15 p.m. Senate Democrats have blocked a quick vote on a short-term spending bill less than 30 hours before the deadline to avoid a government shutdown. Republicans had sought approval late Thursday, with Majority Leader Mitch McConnell seeking an agreement. But Democratic leader Chuck Schumer objected.

AP Explains: Behind the visa program targeted by Trump

NEW YORK (AP) -- President Donald Trump is targeting a visa program cherished by tech companies for bringing in programmers and other specialized workers from other countries. Although these visas, known as H-1B, aren't supposed to displace American workers, critics say the program mostly benefits consulting firms that let tech companies save money by contracting out their jobs to foreign workers.

Trump order would target high-skilled worker visa program

WASHINGTON (AP) -- President Donald Trump is planning to sign an executive order that seeks to make changes to a visa program that brings in high-skilled workers. Trump is heading Tuesday to Kenosha, Wisconsin, where he plans to sign an order dubbed "Buy American, Hire American," said administration officials who spoke on the condition of anonymity despite the president's frequent criticism of the use of anonymous sources.

Former Trump campaign chairman to register as foreign agent

WASHINGTON (AP) -- President Donald Trump's former campaign chairman Paul Manafort will register with the Justice Department as a foreign agent for lobbying work he did on behalf of political interests in Ukraine, led at the time by a pro-Russian political party, his spokesman said Wednesday. Manafort is the second Trump campaign adviser to have to register as a foreign agent since the election.

Newest justice joins high court amid competing caricatures

WASHINGTON (AP) -- Somewhere between the Republican caricature of the next justice of the Supreme Court as a folksy family guy and the Democrats' demonization of him as a cold-hearted automaton, stands Neil Gorsuch. Largely unknown six months ago, Gorsuch has seen his life story, personality and professional career explored in excruciating detail since he was nominated by President Donald Trump 10 weeks ago.

Joining high court, the real Neil Gorsuch set to stand up

WASHINGTON (AP) -- Somewhere between the Republican caricature of the next justice of the Supreme Court as a folksy family guy and the Democrats' demonization of him as a cold-hearted automaton, stands Neil Gorsuch. Largely unknown six months ago, Gorsuch has seen his life story, personality and professional career explored in excruciating detail since he was nominated by President Donald Trump 10 weeks ago.

Trump-supporting mayor appears to survive re-election scare

CHICAGO (AP) -- A longtime suburban Chicago mayor who held a fundraiser for President Donald Trump last year has expanded his narrow lead in his re-election battle with a union organizer backed by top Democrats. With all precincts reporting Wednesday, Bolingbrook Mayor Roger Claar held a 104-vote lead over Will County Commissioner Jackie Traynere.

Chicago suburban mayor and Trump backer has narrow vote lead

CHICAGO (AP) -- A longtime suburban Chicago mayor who aligned himself with President Donald Trump was holding on to a narrow lead late Tuesday in his re-election battle with a union organizer backed by top Democrats. With all precincts reporting, Mayor Roger Claar held a 62-vote lead over Will County Commissioner Traynere. The county clerk's office said vote by mail ballots postmarked by April 4 and provisional ballots remain to be counted.

How Senate Dems have said they will vote on court pick

So far, just three Democrats have said they will vote for President Donald Trump's Supreme Court nominee while the majority of Democrats oppose Neil Gorsuch. That puts Democrats close to the 41 votes that would force Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., to change Senate rules this week, scrapping the 60-vote threshold to ensure confirmation of Gorsuch with just a simple majority in the 100-seat chamber. All 52 Republicans back the nominee.

Will suburban mayor pay political price for backing Trump?

BOLINGBROOK, Ill. (AP) -- In Roger Claar's 31 years as mayor, Bolingbrook has grown from a sleepy town surrounded by farm fields to a diverse Chicago suburb nearly twice as large, with its own airport and even an IKEA. And every four years, Claar has easily won re-election, facing little if any opposition. But then the mayor invited Donald Trump to town, hosting a September fundraiser for the future president at a city-owned golf club.