A US politician is stepping down as chairman of the Senate intelligence committee after his mobile phone was seized by FBI agents. Republican senator Richard Burr is being investigated over his share dealings before the US stock market crashed in March because of the coronavirus pandemic. There are reports that Mr Burr and other senators sold shares after being briefed privately on the risks of the COVID-19 crisis.
Despite a record-breaking, eight hours and ten-minute oppositional speech by House Democratic Leader, Nancy Pelosi, Senate leaders struck a bipartisan deal, Wednesday, to add hundreds of billions of dollars to military and domestic programs, while raising the federal debt limit. Critics call the deal, made in advance of a potential government shutdown, a ‘monstrosity.’
A short-term spending bill was passed by the House, Thursday, to avoid looming government shutdown, but Senate Democrats aim to block the measure. Another short-term option was proposed by Democratic Senate leader, Chuck Schumer, including agreements on government spending levels and the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program, to last just four or five days.
President Trump tweeted his support for former Massachusetts governor, Mitt Romney, Monday, saying he has his ‘full support and endorsement’ as he runs for a Utah Senate seat. The endorsement was surprising, as Romney has been a harsh critic of Trump. Romney believes he can ‘bring Utah’s values and Utah’s lessons to Washington.’
A memorial service was held for late Senator John McCain in a Phoenix, Arizona church on Thursday. Nearly a quarter of McCain’s fellow senators, both Republican and Democrat, attended along with over 1,000 Arizona residents. McCain was eulogized by people including former Vice President Joe Biden and Arizona Cardinals wide receiver Larry Fitzgerald.
The Senate, in a rare move of bipartisanship on Capitol Hill, passed a $700 billion defense bill, which goes beyond what President Trump asked for in a decision made on Monday. Senators came to an 89-9 agreement, approving the bill called the National Defense Authorization Act.
The healthcare plan Senate Republicans have been working on in secret will be released on Thursday. There isn’t much information on what exactly the plan is. However, it is expected to be a version based on the current law and a bill passed by the House in May. Republicans can only afford to lose two of the 52 seats they hold in the Senate to pass the bill.
Roy Moore, the ex-chief justice of Alabama’s Supreme Court removed twice, is now the frontrunner to the Alabama Senate seat, vacated by Attorney General Jeff Sessions. Moore, also known as the “Ten Commandments Judge,” is famous for usually riding a horse on polling days. Moore managed to receive 39% of the vote, which means he is the betting favorite to become the newest United States senator.