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Civilized conversations between DC's top politicos and journalists
  • Sen. Bernie Sanders: It's time for Democratic ‘soul-searching’

    At a Monitor Breakfast, Sanders, named chair of 'outreach' for Senate Democrats, said the 'real action to transform' the country would come in 'grass-roots America.'

  • Education Secretary John King: US still has work to do on equity in schools

    Three key areas need progress, King said at a Monitor breakfast Wednesday: equity; elevating the teaching profession; and access, affordability, and graduation rates in college.

  • Union leader Trumka: 'no doubt' he can trust Clinton on trade

    At a Monitor breakfast, AFL-CIO chief Richard Trumka said he has 'absolute trust' in Hillary Clinton to make major changes in the TPP free trade deal. 

  • Blocking Pacific trade deal means 'handing the keys' to China, official says

    Both Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump are against the Pacific trade deal. But the US trade representative still thinks it will pass Congress. 

  • For US House candidates, who is the bigger liability, Clinton or Trump?

    Rep. Greg Walden, chairman of the National Republican Congressional Committee, says GOP presidential candidate Donald Trump isn't weighing down Republicans in contested races as much as Democrats are being hurt by the top of their ticket.

  • Will Dems retake House? It's too early to tell, say campaign officials

    Demographics and dislike for Trump work to Democrats' advantage, but congressional campaign officials are cautious with their predictions.

  • Quality care for vets more important than wait times, says VA secretary

    Veterans Affairs Secretary Robert McDonald says wait times aren't the best measure of whether care at VA hospitals is improving. Satisfaction matters more. 

  • Treasury secretary nudges Congress on Puerto Rico debt crisis (+video)

    Short delay in House action is OK, Jacob Lew says, but time is 'very short' to enact legislation letting the island restructure its debt. 

  • New encryption technology is aiding terrorists, intelligence director says

    New, commercially available encryption software 'had and is having major, profound effects on our ability' to collect intelligence, 'particularly against terrorists,' James Clapper told reporters at a Monitor-hosted breakfast.

  • Obama's Asia trade deal still alive, top economic adviser says

    The Trans-Pacific Partnership, which is opposed by both leading candidates, is a key element of President Obama’s effort to increase US engagement with the Pacific region and help offset China’s rising influence.

Homeland Security chief weighs plan to protect voting from hackers

Secretary of Homeland Security Jeh Johnson said he's considering whether to designate the US election system as critical infrastructure, which could trigger greater cybersecurity at the ballot box.

  • EPA administrator: 'We're going to keep reducing greenhouse gas emissions'

    The Environmental Protection Agency plans to finalize rules to curb methane emissions from the oil and gas sector this spring, EPA administrator Gina McCarthy said Tuesday.

  • Should a black woman fill Supreme Court vacancy? What Al Sharpton says.

    Civil rights leader Al Sharpton also discussed Thursday whom Democrats could turn to if their presidential front-runner, Hillary Clinton, were indicted.

  • Senate Foreign Relations chairman: 'Gitmo's not going to close'

    GOP Sen. Bob Corker said that would be the case unless President Obama issues an executive order, something he’s opposed to. The senator on Wednesday also commented on the challenging situation in Syria.

  • Influential Democrat on trade issues steps up opposition to TPP

    The stance by Michigan Rep. Sander Levin will make it harder for the White House to get the Trans-Pacific Partnership approved by Congress before President Obama leaves office.

  • GOP's response if Trump is nominee: At least we're not socialists

    Republicans looking to retain the Senate are confident they can do so, no matter who the GOP presidential nominee is. 

  • Intelligence panel's top Democrat: Afghanistan shows 'limits of state-building'

    Rep. Adam Schiff on Tuesday sized up US operations in that country, as well as the fight against ISIS in Iraq and Libya.

  • White House chief of staff promises 'audacious executive action'

    Denis McDonough, the top-ranking White House staffer, also on Wednesday had kudos for Nikki Haley, who delivered the GOP rebuttal to the State of the Union address.

  • Rep. McCaul: why US is in 'highest threat environment since 9/11'

    Michael McCaul, chairman of the House Homeland Security Committee, on Wednesday also urged greater efforts to reach out to the Muslim community to spot signs of self-radicalization.

  • Without naming names, John McCain frets about top of GOP ticket in 2016

    Sen. John McCain didn't go after Donald Trump explicitly, but he warned Wednesday that a weak Republican nominee could jeopardize GOP control of the Senate. 

  • McCain: Americans now more likely to support US troops in Iraq, Syria

    Since the Paris attacks, Sen. John McCain said Wednesday, Americans are more likely to back calls for a more aggressive role in the fight against the Islamic State.

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