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The Journal Gazette

Thursday, March 14, 2019 1:00 am


Trump faces defections on emergency

WASHINGTON – An eleventh-hour Republican rescue mission to save President Donald Trump from an awkward defeat by the GOP-run Senate on his declaration of a national emergency at the Mexican border seemed to collapse Wednesday.

The setback made it likely that defections from his own party will force Trump to cast his first veto – on a struggle directly related to his signature issue.

After a closed-door lunch, GOP lawmakers predicted that the Senate would approve a resolution today annulling the emergency Trump has declared along the southwest border. The Democratic-led House passed the legislation last month, meaning Senate assent would send it to Trump.

Trump made clear he was not backing away from his border emergency. He told reporters that he has told GOP senators to “vote any way you want.”

Cummings rejects GOP on Cohen

The House Oversight Committee chairman on Wednesday rejected Republican calls for a new investigation into President Donald Trump’s former personal lawyer Michael Cohen and whether he again lied to Congress.

But Rep. Elijah E. Cummings, D-Md., left open the possibility of further action against Cohen if new evidence of perjury is found. Cummings’ statement came the day after a Cohen attorney sent him a letter clarifying Cohen’s remarks, acknowledging he “could have been clearer and more complete” during an exchange about whether he ever sought a pardon from Trump.

Senate approves Rao for bench

The Senate on Wednesday confirmed President Donald Trump’s nominee to replace Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh on a high-profile appeals court.

White House official Neomi Rao won confirmation to a seat on the U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit on a straight party-line vote, 53-46. No Republican opposed Rao, and no Democrat supported her.

Rao, 45, heads the White House Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs, where she plays a key role in Trump’s efforts to roll back federal regulations. She also worked in the George W. Bush White House but has never tried a case in state or federal court.

Ohio Senate votes for abortion bill

The Republican-led Ohio Senate on Wednesday again passed legislation to ban abortion after a fetal heartbeat is detected, moving the state a step closer to potentially enacting one of the most restrictive abortion measures in the country.

The senators’ 19-13 vote sends the so-called heartbeat bill to the GOP-controlled House for consideration. Republican Gov. Mike DeWine has indicated he would sign such a ban.