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Thursday, Feb 29th

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Sen. Mitch McConnell will step down as Republican leader at the end of the year

Mitch McConnell to resignSenate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell will step down from the helm of the Republican Conference this year, ending his time as the longest-serving leader in Senate history.

The Kentucky Republican, who has served as GOP leader since 2007, made his announcement in a Senate floor speech Wednesday. An election to replace him as leader will occur in November with his successor taking charge in January.

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Mask mandates? Supreme Court rejects appeal from Marjorie Taylor Greene, GOP lawmakers

Greene mask mandate challenge rejected by SCOTUSThree Republicans who had their pay docked in 2021 for flouting a mask mandate on the floor of the House of Representatives during the COVID pandemic got no help from the Supreme Court on Tuesday.

The justices, without comment, declined an appeal from Reps. Tom Massie, Ralph Norman and Marjorie Taylor Greene in their suit against former House Speaker Nancy Pelosi.

Lower courts had said Pelosi could not be sued because courts don’t have jurisdiction over Congress’ internal rules.

Lawyers for the current House speaker, Republican Mike Johnson of Louisiana, agreed with that decision. Despite House GOP leaders ‘opposition to the mask rule, they told the Supreme Court, “this case is not about the wisdom of the rule or whether it was based on sound science.”

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Democrats flip Santos’s New York House seat in high-stakes special election

Tom Suozzi wins Santos' House seat

Former Rep. Tom Suozzi (D) has won back his old seat in the House, giving Democrats a critical pickup that will further narrow the GOP House majority, according to a projection from Decision Desk HQ.

Suozzi defeated Republican Mazi Pilip in the special election to fill the seat vacated by former Rep. George Santos (R), who was expelled from his seat in December in the aftermath of criminal charges being filed against him and the many false claims he made about his background.

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Senate advances Ukraine aid bill despite Trump opposition

Senate passes aid billA narrowly divided U.S. Senate moved closer to passing a $95.34 billion aid package for Ukraine, Israel and Taiwan on Sunday, showing undiminished bipartisanship despite opposition from Republican hardliners and Donald Trump.

The Democratic-led Senate voted 67-27 in a rare Sunday session to clear the latest procedural hurdle and moved the foreign aid measure toward an ultimate vote on passage in the coming days.
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House GOP fails to impeach Mayorkas over border handling

Mayorkas impeachments attempt fails

House Republicans’ high-stakes gamble to impeach Alejandro Mayorkas just barely failed on Tuesday, an embarrassing political setback for an already embattled majority.

The articles of impeachment against the Homeland Security secretary failed in an 214-216 vote, after four Republicans sided with Democrats to oppose recommending Mayorkas be booted from office. But Republican lawmakers quickly predicted they will bring it back up once Majority Leader Steve Scalise, who is undergoing treatment for blood cancer, returns.

“We’ll bring it back. The guy deserves to be impeached," said Homeland Security Chair Mark Green (R-Tenn.), who has led the effort against Mayorkas.

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Ilhan Omar speech proved to be mistranslated but outrage continues spread

Ilhan Omar

A week after a mistranslated clip of Ilhan Omar sparked outrage online, some far-right House Republicans are still following through with calls for the progressive lawmaker to be censured. And the repercussions of the misinformation extend beyond the country.

The Republican representative Marjorie Taylor Greene, has gone furthest in her response to the clip, calling Omar a “foreign agent in our government”. Greene, a leading supporter of Donald Trump, who also attempted to censure the Michigan Democrat Rashida Tlaib in November, called Omar a “terrorist sympathizer” on X last week, adding: “Somalian first. Muslim second. She never mentions America.”

According to the Minnesota Reformer, a Minnesota-based news outlet, which worked with two independent Somali translators, Omar said: “We are people who know that they are Somali and Muslim”, not that she was “Somalians first” as the video suggested.

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Trump Denies Endorsing GOP Border Bill Author Whom He Definitely Endorsed

James Lankford

Not only did he publicly back Sen. James Lankford for reelection in 2022, but he also praised the Oklahoma Republican's stance on border security.

In 2022, former President Donald Trump called Sen. James Lankford (R-Okla.), one of the three main negotiators of a sweeping immigration overhaul and foreign aid bill now in the Senate, ”Strong on the Border.”

On Monday, Trump said incorrectly that he had not endorsed him and that the border bill would be bad for Lankford’s political career.

“Just to correct the record, I did not endorse Sen. Lankford. I didn’t do it,” Trump said in a telephone interview with right-wing commentator Dan Bongino.

“He ran, and I did not endorse him,” Trump said.

Except Trump actually did endorse Lankford, who won in a walkover of a reelection contest.

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