School vouchers, rising in many GOP states, founder in Texas

AUSTIN, Texas (AP) -- Gary VanDeaver describes himself as a conservative less than a minute into many conversations. The Texas state representative blames "unelected federal judges" for imposing gay marriage on America and has been endorsed by anti-abortion groups and the National Rifle Association. But when it comes to one centerpiece conservative initiative -- allowing tax-subsidized vouchers for students to enroll in private schools -- VanDeaver says absolutely no way.

Conservatives back revised health bill, GOP moderates balk

WASHINGTON (AP) -- The moribund Republican health care bill received a jolt of life Wednesday when the conservative House Freedom Caucus endorsed a revised version of the measure. But a leading GOP moderate criticized the reshaped legislation as a conservative exercise in "blame-shifting and face-saving" that wasn't winning new support from party centrists, leaving its fate unclear.

Closed parks, furloughs, 'Green Eggs': A look at shutdowns

Disputes over spending and health care in a divided Washington have triggered shutdowns of the federal government in recent years. Republicans now control the White House and Congress, and if lawmakers and President Donald Trump fail to agree on a spending bill by midnight Friday, a shutdown of an all-GOP government would occur for the first time in modern history. A look at recent government shutdowns: CLINTON AND GINGRICH'S CONTRACT WITH AMERICA Nov.

Republicans in position to reshape federal bench

WASHINGTON (AP) -- Republicans have put President Donald Trump's Supreme Court nominee on the bench, and they're now in a position to fill dozens more federal judgeships -- and reshape some of the nation's highest courts. Democrats have few ways to stop them.

The Latest: Kansas Democrat plans another run for Congress

WICHITA, Kan. (AP) -- The Latest on the special election for a Kansas House seat (all times local): 10:45 p.m. The Democratic candidate who ran an unexpectedly competitive race in a special congressional election in Kansas plans to run for the seat again in 2018. A spokesman James Thompson says the first time candidate "shocked the entire country" Tuesday with his strong effort against Republican Ron Estes.

Republicans survive election scare, win Kansas House seat

WICHITA, Kan. (AP) -- Republicans survived an election scare on Tuesday and won a Kansas House seat in the first congressional election since President Donald Trump's victory, but the margin was much closer than expected in a district that had voted overwhelmingly for Trump in November. Republican state Treasurer Ron Estes, 60, will represent the Kansas 4th congressional district replacing Mike Pompeo, who Trump named as CIA director.

Trump records call for GOP hopeful in House race in Kansas

WICHITA, Kan. (AP) -- President Donald Trump stepped into a surprisingly competitive special congressional election in Kansas Monday, recording a get-out-the-vote call on behalf of Republican candidate Ron Estes. The robocall from Trump came as the contest also pulled U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz of Texas to Wichita to campaign for Estes and amid a flood of out-of-state GOP money ahead of Tuesday's election in the 4th Congressional District of southern Kansas.

The Latest: Cruz says eyes of nation on Kansas House race

WICHITA, Kan. (AP) -- The Latest on Kansas' special congressional election (all times local): 5:30 p.m. U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz says the Democratic left has a small impassioned group of activists who are out of their minds. The Texas Republican told about 200 supporters of Republican Ron Estes at a rally Monday that the hard-core base is going to show up at the nation's first congressional election on Tuesday in Kansas.

White House wealth: Trump employees disclose their finances

The White House released financial disclosures for many of its senior officials Friday -- a group of some of the wealthiest people ever to join a presidential administration. The documents provide a snapshot of what the employees' finances looked like when they joined government service in January, but they do not give a full account of how those people are disentangling from business assets that could pose possible conflicts of interest.

Trump advisers richer than previous White House officials

WASHINGTON (AP) -- President Donald Trump's son-in-law and daughter are holding onto scores of real estate investments -- part of a portfolio of at least $240 million in assets -- while they serve in White House jobs, according to new financial disclosures. The revelations about Jared Kushner and Ivanka Trump were part of a massive White House release of financial disclosure forms Friday night for dozens of its top administration officials.

White House wealth: Trump employees disclose their finances

WASHINGTON (AP) -- The White House released financial disclosures for many of its senior officials Friday -- a group of some of the wealthiest people ever to join a presidential administration. The documents provide a snapshot of what the employees' finances looked like when they joined government service in January, but they do not give a full account of how those people are disentangling from business assets that could pose possible conflicts of interest.

Coffee shop brews up backlash with political punch cards

PITTSBURGH (AP) -- A Pittsburgh coffee shop is brewing up backlash over a loyalty punch card featuring pictures of President Donald Trump and other conservatives. Black Forge Coffee House owner Nick Miller says the satiric cards are meant to express frustration with the system and nothing more. However, critics complain the punch holes make it look like the politicos have been shot in the forehead. The subjects include Vice President Mike Pence, Texas Sen.

Trump's son-in-law retains scores of real estate holdings

WASHINGTON (AP) -- President Donald Trump's son-in-law and daughter are holding onto scores of real estate investments -- part of a portfolio of at least $240 million in assets -- while they serve in White House jobs, according to new financial disclosures. The revelations about Jared Kushner and Ivanka Trump were part of a massive White House release of financial disclosure forms Friday night for dozens of its top administration officials.

As GOP schism grows, Trump attacks fellow Republicans

WASHINGTON (AP) -- President Donald Trump trained his fire on members of his own party Thursday, declaring in the aftermath of the Republican's failed health care push that the conservative Freedom Caucus will hurt the entire GOP agenda. He vowed to "fight them" in 2018 if they don't get behind him.

Ex punk-rocker O'Rourke launches longshot bid against Cruz

AUSTIN, Texas (AP) -- A former punk-rocker who needed a hefty upset to win his congressional seat six years ago will have to pull off an even bigger one to unseat powerful Sen. Ted Cruz. Beto O'Rourke, a 44-year-old Democrat from the remote West Texas city of El Paso, has advocated for legalizing marijuana and preaches tolerance on the U.S.-Mexico border in defiance of President Donald Trump's "Build that wall" mantra.

2016 GOP Debate

Five things to know about the Republican primary debate and which candidate got the most airtime and questions.