The Latest: Freedom Caucus member defends against Trump

WASHINGTON (AP) -- The Latest on efforts to repeal and replace President Barack Obama's health care law (all times local): 10:31 a.m. A House Freedom Caucus member is defending the group's opposition to the failed GOP health care bill. That's after President Donald Trump lashed out at the Republican conservative group Thursday morning. Jim Jordan of Ohio says, "I respect the president, but our focus is on the legislation.

The Latest: Senator says Russia undermined trust in media

WASHINGTON (AP) -- The Latest on the Senate intelligence committee's hearing on Russian interference in last year's presidential election (all times local): 10:40 a.m. Sen. Mark Warner is alleging that Russia continually sought to undermine American trust in the U.S. media. Speaking at a congressional hearing on Russian meddling in the presidential election on Thursday, Warner calls the tactic Russian propaganda "on steroids.

Trump administration drops human rights in Bahrain F-16 deal

WASHINGTON (AP) -- The Trump administration has told Congress it plans to approve a multibillion-dollar sale of F-16 fighter jets to Bahrain without the human rights conditions imposed by the State Department under President Barack Obama. If finalized, the approval would allow the Gulf island to purchase 19 of the jets from Maryland-based Lockheed Martin Corp., plus improvements to other jets in Bahrain's fleet.

Voters in Meadows' district watch his health care stance

MORGANTON, N.C. (AP) -- The voters in western North Carolina who sent U.S. Rep. Mark Meadows to office expected him to remain a Republican outsider. So they aren't surprised he helped lead an effort that scuttled his party's attempt to reform the nation's health care laws. But his supporters are also carefully watching to make sure he works as hard to find solutions as he has at fighting establishment Republicans and Democrats.

Republican foes of health care bill win praise in districts

BUCKNER, Kentucky (AP) -- One of the House Republican rebels, Kentucky Rep. Tom Massie, wasn't just "no" on the GOP health care bill to replace Barack Obama's Affordable Care Act. Massie was "hell no." That won over Mary Broecker, president of the Oldham County Republican Women's Club and a strong proponent of a full-blown repeal of the 2010 law.

Senate hearing to focus on Russian disinformation tactics

WASHINGTON (AP) -- Some tactics Russia used to meddle in last year's presidential election would give shivers to anyone who believes in American democracy, the Senate intelligence committee's top Democrat says. Sen. Mark Warner of Virginia spoke ahead of a committee session Thursday that will address how the Kremlin allegedly uses technology to spread disinformation in the U.S. and Europe. Warner and the panel's chairman, Sen. Richard Burr, R-N.C.

Trump admin drops human rights conditions for Bahrain F-16s

WASHINGTON (AP) -- The Trump administration told Congress on Wednesday it plans to approve a multibillion-dollar sale of F-16 fighter jets to Bahrain without the human rights conditions imposed by the Obama administration. If finalized, the approval would allow the Gulf island to purchase 19 of the jets from Maryland-based Lockheed Martin Corp., plus improvements to other jets in Bahrain's fleet.

House approves bill to force public release of EPA science

WASHINGTON (AP) -- House Republicans are taking aim at the Environmental Protection Agency, targeting the way officials use science to develop new regulations. A bill approved Wednesday by the GOP-controlled House would require that data used to support new regulations to protect human health and the environment be released to the public. Rep.

Senate intel leaders pledge Russia probe cooperation

WASHINGTON (AP) -- Pledging cooperation, the top Republican and Democrat on the Senate intelligence committee said Wednesday they would steer clear of politics in their panel's probe of Russian interference in last year's election. They made a point of putting themselves at arm's length from the House investigation marked by partisanship and disputes.

Putin critic says he narrowly escaped death after poisoning

WASHINGTON (AP) -- A Russian opposition leader critical of President Vladimir Putin says he narrowly escaped death after being poisoned with a substance his doctors still haven't been able to identify. Vladimir Kara-Murza Jr. says his survival shows there are "near misses" in the Russian government's campaign to silence its political opponents. He says the official diagnosis was toxic action by an undefined substance.

After setback, abortion foes keep pressing Congress to act

NEW YORK (AP) -- The collapse of the Republican health care overhaul was a sharp setback for anti-abortion leaders, whose hopes of halting federal funding to Planned Parenthood were derailed. But they continue to pursue that goal and also are pushing for a federal ban on most abortions after 20 weeks of pregnancy.

After setback, abortion foes keep pressing Congress to act

NEW YORK (AP) -- The collapse of the Republican health care overhaul was a sharp setback for anti-abortion leaders, whose hopes of halting federal funding to Planned Parenthood were derailed. But they continue to pursue that goal and also are pushing for a federal ban on most abortions after 20 weeks of pregnancy.

The Latest: Senate intel panel working on Russia probe

WASHINGTON (AP) -- The Latest on congressional maneuvering around investigations into Russian meddling into United States politics (all times local): 3:23 p.m. The Senate intelligence committee chairman says his panel's "challenge" is to answer for Americans whether President Donald Trump was directly involved in Russia's meddling in the 2016 election. Sen. Richard Burr, R-N.C., called the investigation the biggest he's seen since he was elected to Congress.

Democratic Rep. appears ready to announce challenge to Cruz

WASHINGTON (AP) -- Democratic Rep. Beto O'Rourke of Texas said Wednesday he is preparing for a campaign announcement in El Paso and insisted GOP Sen. Ted Cruz is beatable. "He's been running for president for four years while he should have been serving the people in Texas," said the 44-year-old third-term congressman, who would enter next year's contest against Cruz as a considerable underdog in Republican-leaning Texas.

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.

US hearing on climate science focuses on name calling

WASHINGTON (AP) -- Climate science and politics too often reverts into name calling and bullying, which can get in the way of real work. That was the only thing House Science Committee members, three scientists who often clash with mainstream science and a prominent climate scientist could agree to at a contentious hearing Wednesday. They couldn't agree on who was doing the name calling, though.

Zinke: Border wall 'complex,' faces geographic challenges

WASHINGTON (AP) -- Geographic and physical challenges -- including the Rio Grande and threatened wildlife -- will make it difficult to build the "big, beautiful wall" that President Donald Trump has promised on the U.S.-Mexico border, Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke said Wednesday. Building a wall "is complex in some areas," including Big Bend National Park and along the river, which twists through nearly half of the 2,000-mile border, Zinke said.

Rep. Maxine Waters' no-holds-barred remarks find fans

WASHINGTON (AP) -- Rep. Maxine Waters doesn't expect to pose for a photo with President Donald Trump anytime soon. In fact, the California congresswoman plans to boycott any meeting, event, ceremony or public event with the president, at the White House or even in her home district of Los Angeles.

Trump's budget priorities set small businesses strategizing

NEW YORK (AP) -- The priorities laid out in President Donald Trump's budget message have some small business owners strategizing how they might benefit from a big boost in defense spending, and others thinking about how to make up for revenue they could lose to cuts in grant programs and subsidies.

Census suggests counting LGBTQ, then "corrects" and deletes

WASHINGTON (AP) -- The U.S. Census Bureau said Wednesday that it mistakenly proposed counting LGBTQ Americans and has since "corrected" the proposal to remove the gender and sexuality category. Gay rights groups quickly declared that it was another sign that President Donald Trump was reneging on a campaign promise to protect them.