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April 21, 2017
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When members of Congress return to Washington next week after their long spring recess, both parties plan to focus on passing a spending bill to keep the federal government running past April 28. When Congress returns next week, President Trump wants House Republicans to take up the American Health Care Act again, with a new amendment, so he will be able to point to a concrete accomplishment in his first 100 days in office; his 100th day is April 29.

"Congress usually cannot take on two big things at once," The New York Times says. Five days to pass a spending bill, The Washington Post adds, is "a tight timeline under the most generous of circumstance that would be nearly impossible to meet if House leaders also try to force a vote on the repeal legislation." In theory, Democrats and Republicans could pass a very short-term stopgap spending bill, but a new GOP push to pass the AHCA, which repeals large parts of the Affordable Care Act, would not put Democrats in a very cooperative mood.

The first attempt to pass the AHCA failed very publicly last month. But at a news conference on Thursday, Trump said "the plan gets better and better and better, and it's gotten really, really good, and a lot of people are liking it a lot," adding he thinks the House can pass that as well as a spending bill. "We have a good chance of getting it soon," Trump said of the AHCA. "I'd like to say next week, but it will be — I believe we will get it."

Hopes of passing the health-care bill rest on an amendment negotiated by relative moderate Rep. Tom MacArthur (R-N.J.) and Freedom Caucus chairman Rep. Mark Meadows (R-N.C.). The draft plan would allow states to seek waivers to requirements that insurers offer essential health benefits and not charge more to people with pre-existing conditions, if the state maintained a high-risk pool. (Jeff Spross has more details at The Week.)

Even if House Republicans get the plan translated into legislative language and get it scored by the Congressional Budget Office, there's no guarantee it would pass. The amendment "really doesn't address the concerns that I had," Rep. Dan Donovan (R-N.Y.) told The New York Times. Fellow moderate Rep. Charlie Dent (R-Pa.) agreed it "does nothing to change my views," criticizing any focus "on an arbitrary 100-day deadline." Peter Weber

12:12 a.m. ET
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With 100 percent of precincts in Alabama reporting and Democrat Doug Jones ahead by nearly 21,000 votes, Republican Roy Moore told his supporters to keep the faith, because "when the vote is this close, it's not over."

Moore, who during the special Senate race was accused by several women of groping them when he was in his early 30s and they were teenagers, said he had been "painted in an unfavorable and unfaithful light," and did not concede the election. He told his supporters to go home and get some rest, and stay tuned for news about a recount.

In Alabama, there is an automatic recount when the vote is within half of a percent, but Jones is ahead by nearly two percent. Moore might be counting on absentee ballots, but MSNBC's Steve Kornacki said those were among the first votes to be counted. It's unclear how many provisional and military ballots there are, but Kornacki estimated there are 1,000 to 1,500, not enough for Moore to close the gap. Catherine Garcia

December 12, 2017

In his victory speech Tuesday night, Democrat Doug Jones, the projected winner of the Alabama special Senate election, said his entire campaign was based on "dignity and respect."

"This campaign has been about the rule of law," he continued. "This campaign has been about common courtesy and decency and making sure everyone in this state, regardless of which ZIP code you live in, is going to get a fair shake in life." Jones thanked the volunteers who "knocked on 300,000 doors" and made "1.2 million phone calls" on his behalf, and said he's ready to go to Washington to work on health care, particularly funding the Children's Health Insurance Program (CHIP). It was a night to "rejoice," he said, celebrating Alabama taking "the right road." Catherine Garcia

December 12, 2017

If you were expecting an angry tweet from President Trump after the candidate he supported in the Alabama Senate special election, Republican Roy Moore, lost to Doug Jones, the Democrat, nope. On Tuesday night, Trump tweeted out his cordial congratulations to Jones.

Moore wasn't Trump's first choice in the race — he campaigned for Sen. Luther Strange (R-Ala.) in the GOP primary. But he eventually went all-in for Moore, who he saw as a reliable Republican vote in the Senate. Peter Weber

December 12, 2017
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Moments after several media outlets projected Democrat Doug Jones winning the Alabama special Senate election, the president and CEO of the Senate Leadership Fund super PAC released a short but scathing rebuke of the person he holds responsible for the stunning loss.

"This is a brutal reminder that candidate quality matters regardless of where you are running," Steven Law said. "Not only did Steve Bannon cost us a critical Senate seat in one of the most Republican states in the country, but he also dragged the president of the United States into his fiasco." The Republican candidate was Roy Moore, a former judge who was accused by several women of groping them when he was in his early 30s and they were teenagers. Bannon, President Trump's former chief strategist, appeared at a Monday night rally for Moore, where he railed against Republicans who refused to support Moore, while Trump tweeted multiple times in favor of Moore and recorded robo-calls on his behalf. The Senate Leadership Fund is close with Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.).

The chairman of the National Republican Senatorial Committee, Sen. Cory Gardner (Colo.), took a different approach in the statement he made Tuesday night. "Tonight's results are clear — the people of Alabama deemed Roy Moore unfit to serve in the U.S. Senate," he said. "I hope Senator-elect Doug Jones will do the right thing and truly represent Alabama by choosing to vote with the Senate Republican majority." Nice try, senator. Catherine Garcia

December 12, 2017
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Democrat Doug Jones will be the next senator representing Alabama, The Associated Press, Fox News, and The New York Times project.

The former U.S. attorney defeated Republican Roy Moore in a contentious election that took a turn last month when several women came forward and accused Moore of sexual misconduct when they were teenagers and he was in his early 30s. Moore had the support of President Trump, who recorded robo-calls on his behalf, as well as former White House chief strategist Stephen Bannon. Jones will be the first Democratic senator in Alabama in two decades. Catherine Garcia

December 12, 2017
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The results are still coming in for Alabama's special Senate election between Democrat Doug Jones and Republican Roy Moore, and with 86.7 percent of precincts reporting, they are tied with each having 49.2 percent of the vote.

Moore was far ahead in the polls until several women accused him in recent weeks of sexual misconduct when they were teenagers and he was in his early 30s, and in the days leading up to the election, Moore and Jones were in a dead heat. Moore has the support of President Trump, who recorded robo-calls on his behalf. The race will decide who will fill the seat vacated by Attorney General Jeff Sessions. Catherine Garcia

December 12, 2017
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White House attorney Ty Cobb says that on Tuesday, Special Counsel Robert Mueller announced he's finished the interviews he requested with about two dozen current and former White House witnesses as part of the investigation into Russian meddling in the presidential election.

Attorneys have refused to say which White House officials have been interviewed, but it's been reported that White House communications director Hope Hicks, White House counsel Don McGahn, former chief of staff Reince Priebus, and former spokesman Sean Spicer have all spoken with investigators. Mueller could still ask for additional interviews with the staffers and others who have not yet been questioned.

Cobb had said he thought the interviews would be finished by Thanksgiving and Mueller would announce the investigation was complete by the end of the year, but one attorney representing a senior Trump administration official in the probe told Politico that's a "nonsensical" timeline. "You say what you need to say to keep the sun coming up in the morning, but if you woke Ty Cobb up in the middle of the night and ask him if he thinks this is really going to be over in three weeks I think his answer is, 'Are you f—ing kidding me? Of course it won't.'" Catherine Garcia

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