Colorado weighs strategy for guarding against pot crackdown

DENVER (AP) -- Colorado is considering an unusual strategy to protect its nascent marijuana industry from a potential federal crackdown, even at the expense of hundreds of millions of dollars in tax collections. A bill pending in the Legislature would allow pot growers and retailers to reclassify their recreational pot as medical pot if a change in federal law or enforcement occurs. It's the boldest attempt yet by a U.S.

McCain calls for Tillerson to be given team at US State Dept

BERLIN (AP) -- U.S. Sen. John McCain is urging President Donald Trump to nominate a team of senior officials at the State Department to back up new Secretary of State Rex Tillerson. McCain, the chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee, spoke Saturday during an event in Brussels. He pointed to "confusion" over whether Tillerson would attend a meeting of NATO foreign ministers. He does now plan to be there.

Self-inflicted collapse chokes GOP effort to undo Obamacare

WASHINGTON (AP) -- House Republicans passed roughly 60 bills over the past six years dismembering President Barack Obama's health care overhaul. Other than minor tweaks, they knew the measures would go nowhere because the Democrat still lived in the White House. With a bill that counted Friday, they choked. It was an epic, damaging, self-inflicted collapse that smothered the GOP effort.

Mindy Kaling's Newark joke leads to dinner with Cory Booker

NEWARK, N.J. (AP) -- A joke about Newark, New Jersey, on "The Mindy Project" led to dinner plans between U.S. Sen. Cory Booker and star Mindy Kaling. Her character joked after hearing that Booker had come to her colleague's event that "I guess anything to get out of Newark, huh?" Booker tweeted "Ouch!" at Kaling on Thursday. He added that he still loved her, though.

Democrats oppose Gorsuch, say he rules against workers

WASHINGTON (AP) -- Three additional Democrats said Friday that they will vote against Supreme Court nominee Neil Gorsuch and will support a filibuster against him. California Sen. Kamala Harris and Washington Sen. Patty Murray both said that they believe the Denver-based appeals court judge has ruled too often against workers and in favor of corporations. New Mexico Sen.

New Congress, all-GOP, same political divisions

WASHINGTON (AP) -- With control of the White House and Senate and a commanding majority in the House, Republicans were supposed to brush off any challenge from the hardline Freedom Caucus and work their will with impunity. But something happened on the way to governing. Now, House Republican leaders are struggling with the same divisions that plagued them under President Barack Obama.

A look at the wiretap flap from Trump tweets to Capitol Hill

WASHINGTON (AP) -- President Donald Trump's startling allegation that former President Barack Obama tapped his phones during last year's election is pitting the White House against U.S. intelligence officials, sparking grave concern in law enforcement circles and alarming Democrats and Republicans alike. A look at the controversy: TRUMP'S ALLEGATION On Saturday, March 4, while at his Florida estate, Trump angrily tweeted that Obama was behind a politically motivated plot to upend his campaign.

Next steps on health care: To be decided

WASHINGTON (AP) -- Republican House leaders delayed a planned vote Thursday on a bill to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act, also known as "Obamacare," because they lacked the votes. The delay was a stinging setback for President Donald Trump and Speaker Paul Ryan, R-Wis. A look at what's next: ___ House Republicans planned to meet behind closed doors Thursday night to figure out their next steps.

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New Congress, all-GOP, same political divisions

WASHINGTON (AP) -- With control of the White House and Senate and a commanding majority in the House, Republicans were supposed to brush off any challenge from the hardline Freedom Caucus and work their will with impunity. But something happened on the way to governing. Now, House Republican leaders are struggling with the same divisions that plagued them under President Barack Obama.

VA urges 'hiring surge' to reduce veterans' appeals backlog

WASHINGTON (AP) -- The Department of Veterans Affairs is warning of a rapidly growing backlog for veterans who seek to appeal decisions involving disability benefits, saying it will need much more staff even as money remains in question due to a tightening Trump administration budget. The red flag is included in a Government Accountability Office report released Thursday.

Senate votes to kill privacy rules guarding your online info

NEW YORK (AP) -- The Senate voted to kill Obama-era online privacy regulations , a first step toward allowing internet providers such as Comcast, AT&T and Verizon to sell your browsing habits and other personal information as they expand their own online ad businesses. Those rules, not yet in effect, would have required internet providers to ask your permission before sharing your personal information.

Ag pick seeks to reassure Congress as Trump eyes farm cuts

WASHINGTON (AP) -- Agriculture Secretary nominee Sonny Perdue on Thursday sought to reassure farm-state senators in both parties who are fearful about the impact of President Donald Trump's proposed deep cuts to farm programs, promising to promote agricultural trade and create jobs in the struggling industry.

The Latest: Law professor: Gorsuch won't be 'robotic vote'

WASHINGTON (AP) -- The Latest on nomination hearings for Supreme Court nominee Neil Gorsuch (all times local): 2:30 p.m. A law professor says Judge Neil Gorsuch may be conservative, but he's predicting that President Donald Trump's nominee for the Supreme Court won't be "a robotic vote for the right of the court.

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CONGRESS-HEALTH OVERHAUL Trump urges support for health care legislation WASHINGTON (AP) -- President Donald Trump is urging people to call their lawmakers to express support for the Republican legislation to repeal and replace "Obamacare." Trump posted a video on Twitter Thursday asking people to get behind the plan. He says that people were "given many lies" about the Affordable Care Act.

Nevada backs Equal Rights Amendment decades after deadline

CARSON CITY, Nev. (AP) -- Nevada on Wednesday became the first state to approve the Equal Rights Amendment decades after the deadline to enshrine in the U.S. Constitution that women and men are equal under the law. Lawmakers who backed the amendment say it is a profound and overdue gesture for women who continue to experience discrimination 45 years after Congress first submitted it to the states.

Senate votes to block another Obama-era rule

WASHINGTON (AP) -- The Republican-led Senate voted Wednesday to block an Obama-era rule that critics said would have led to more citations for workplace safety record-keeping violations. Senators voted 50-48 to block Occupational Safety and Health Administration rule. The House had voted to do so previously.

AP Exclusive: Before Trump job, Manafort worked to aid Putin

WASHINGTON (AP) -- Before signing up with Donald Trump, former campaign manager Paul Manafort secretly worked for a Russian billionaire with a plan to "greatly benefit the Putin Government," The Associated Press has learned. The White House attempted to brush the report aside Wednesday, but it quickly raised fresh alarms in Congress about Russian links to Trump associates.