Politics & Government

Politics, elections, law, military and veteran's affairs

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The United States is seen as the de facto leader of NATO.

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So when NATO foreign ministers get together, you would think the U.S. would have its foreign minister there.

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In a hearing that stretched through nearly 12 hours Tuesday, the Supreme Court nomination of Neil Gorsuch took a long step toward Senate confirmation.

Barring an utterly unforeseen reversal when the questioning resumes Wednesday, observers expect Judiciary Committee approval along party lines on April 3 and a similar win on the Senate floor.

Twenty senators took turns asking questions for half an hour each. The Republicans tried to get the country to share their affinity for the nominee. The Democrats tried to tie him to President Trump.

Connie Dotts is a big fan of her insurance.

"I like that we can choose our own doctors," says the 60-year-old resident of Mesa, Ariz. "They also have extensive mental health coverage."

Dotts isn't on some pricey plan, either. She's among the nearly 2 million people enrolled in Medicaid in Arizona and one of the more than 400,000 who have signed up since the Republican-led state expanded Medicaid in 2013.

There's a wall-long mural in the manufacturing area of SilencerCo, in West Valley City, Utah, that shows a crowd of people with muzzled mouths. One's holding a sign that says, "Fight the Noise." Another says: "Guns don't have to be loud."

As a leading manufacturer and seller of gun silencers — or suppressors, as they're more accurately called — SilencerCo wants to quiet guns. Congress may soon help in the effort.

After a day of statements, Tuesday's Supreme Court confirmation hearing was all about answers. Judge Neil Gorsuch was careful in his responses to Senate Judiciary Committee members, but there were still a number of insights that marked the day. Read our full Day 2 coverage here. These are five highlights:

When Donald Trump was elected president, his daughter Ivanka Trump said she would move to Washington, D.C., but not into a White House office.

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The Senate Judiciary Committee is spending 10 hours today questioning President Trump's nominee for the Supreme Court, Neil Gorsuch. But how much will we really learn about Gorsuch from his answers?

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One member of the conservative House Freedom Caucus who intends to vote no on the Republican health care bill is Congressman Ted Yoho of Florida. Congressman, welcome to the show.

TED YOHO: Thanks for having me on.

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For more now, we turn to NPR legal affairs correspondent Nina Totenberg. Hey there, Nina.

NINA TOTENBERG, BYLINE: Hi.

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(SOUNDBITE OF ARCHIVED RECORDING)

CHUCK GRASSLEY: Welcome back, Judge Gorsuch.

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Today on Capitol Hill, President Trump's nominee for the Supreme Court, Judge Neil Gorsuch, was back before the Senate Judiciary Committee.

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President Trump's eldest daughter, Ivanka, will soon be setting up shop at the White House. She won't have a formal role in her father's administration. She will have her own office and access to classified information. NPR's Jackie Northam reports.

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Updated at 10 a.m. ET Thursday

Nevada has ratified the Equal Rights Amendment — roughly 35 years after a deadline imposed by Congress.

On Wednesday, the state Senate approved the long-dormant ERA, which among other things guarantees that "equality of rights under the law shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or by any state on account of sex." The senators passed a measure sent to them by the state Assembly, which had already approved it earlier this week.

President Trump made the trip up Pennsylvania Avenue to close the deal with members of his own party on a bill that, on the face of it, does what Republicans have been promising to do for years: Repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act, also known as Obamacare.

He came with a tough love message for members of his own party.

"Looks like you'd be ripe for a primary if you don't keep your promise," the president told the group of lawmakers in a closed-door meeting, according to Rep. Blake Farenthold. "He did say that," the Texas Republican adds.

If you're poor and you want to keep your health insurance, you may have to go to work.

That's the message from Republican lawmakers who Monday night released a series of changes to their plan to overhaul the Affordable Care Act.

A key change, designed to help attract votes from conservative Republicans, would let state governors require people to work to qualify for health insurance under Medicaid.

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Updated at 10:35 p.m. ET

The White House says President Trump will attend a NATO meeting on May 25 in Brussels, and "looks forward to meeting with his NATO counterparts to reaffirm our strong commitment to NATO, and to discuss issues critical to the alliance, especially allied responsibility-sharing and NATO's role in the fight against terrorism."

The statement follows criticism of Secretary of State Rex Tillerson's announced intention to visit Russia in April, but not take part in a NATO foreign ministers meeting, which is also next month.

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Now a story about an uncontroversial Cabinet secretary in the Trump administration running a department with an agenda that has bipartisan support. It's a rare thing these days. The Department of Veterans Affairs has suffered scandal after scandal.

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The Trump administration is pressuring so-called sanctuary cities. NPR's John Burnett reports.

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The Trump administration's talk of cracking down on undocumented immigrants has frightened many people living in the country illegally. And it has deterred some domestic abuses victims from appearing in court for fear they'll be spotted by agents from Immigration and Customs Enforcement, says Denver City Attorney Kristin Bronson.

Bronson tells NPR's Rachel Martin that four women — victims of what Bronson calls physical and violent assault — have not pursued cases.

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Call it an outburst of outrage giving.

Since President Trump's budget proposal was unveiled last Thursday, Meals on Wheels America, the national group which says it supports more than 5,000 community-based organizations that deliver meals to homebound seniors, has seen a flood of donations.

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