TPM News

WASHINGTON (AP) — Congressional leaders have finalized a sweeping $1.3 trillion budget bill that substantially boosts military and domestic spending but leaves behind young immigrant “Dreamers,” deprives President Donald Trump some of his border wall money and takes only incremental steps to address gun violence.

As negotiators stumbled toward an end-of-the-week deadline to fund the government or face a federal shutdown, House Speaker Paul Ryan dashed to the White House amid concerns Trump’s support was wavering. Although some conservative Republicans balked at the size of the spending increases and the rush to pass the bill, the White House said the president backed the legislation.

Trump himself sounded less than enthused, tweeting late Wednesday: “Had to waste money on Dem giveaways in order to take care of military pay increase and new equipment.”

Talks had stretched into Wednesday evening before the 2,232-page text was finally released.

“No bill of this size is perfect,” Ryan said. “But this legislation addresses important priorities and makes us stronger at home and abroad.”

Leaders hoped to start voting as soon as Thursday. A stopgap measure may be needed to ensure federal offices aren’t hit with a partial shutdown at midnight Friday when funding for the government expires.

Negotiators have been working for days — and nights — on details of the bill, which is widely viewed as the last major piece of legislation likely to move through Congress in this election year. Lawmakers in both parties sought to attach their top priorities.

Two of the biggest remaining issues had been border wall funds and a legislative response to gun violence after the clamor for action following recent school shootings, including the one in Parkland, Florida.

On guns, leaders agreed to tuck in bipartisan provisions to bolster school safety funds and improve compliance with the criminal background check system for firearm purchases. The bill states that the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention can do research on gun violence, though not advocacy, an idea Democrats pushed.

But there was no resolution for Dreamers, the young immigrants who have been living in the United States illegally since childhood but whose deportation protections are being challenged in court after Trump tried to end the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, or DACA.

Democrats temporarily shut down the government earlier this year as they fought for that protection. But the issue only rose to a discussion item when Trump made a late-hour push for a deal in exchange for $25 billion in border wall funds.

Instead, Trump is now poised to win $1.6 billion for barriers along the border, but none of it for the new prototypes he recently visited in California. Less than half the nearly 95 miles of border construction, including levees along the Rio Grande in Texas, would be for new barriers, with the rest for repair of existing segments.

In one win for immigrant advocates, negotiators rejected Trump’s plans to hire hundreds of new Border Patrol and immigration enforcement agents.

“We are disappointed that we did not reach agreement on Dreamer protections that were worthy of these patriotic young people,” said House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi.

The emerging plan removes a much-debated earmark protecting money for a rail tunnel under the Hudson River. The item was a top priority of Trump’s most powerful Democratic rival, Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer of New York, but Trump vowed to veto the bill over the earmark. Under the legislation, the project would remain eligible for funding, however, and a Schumer aide said it was likely to win well more than half of the $900 million sought for the project this year.

The core purpose of the bill is to increase spending for military and domestic programs that have been sharply squeezed under a 2011 agreement that was supposed to cap spending. It gives Trump a huge budget increase for the military, while Democrats scored wins on infrastructure and other domestic programs that they failed to get under President Barack Obama.

That largesse has drawn opposition from some fiscal conservatives and could make passage a potentially tricky process.

Last month, Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul triggered a brief government shutdown over his objections to the deficit spending. On Wednesday, he tweeted his opposition to the emerging legislation, known as an “omnibus.”

“It’s a good thing we have Republican control of Congress or the Democrats might bust the budget caps, fund planned parenthood and Obamacare, and sneak gun control without due process into an Omni … wait, what?” Paul tweeted.

Most essential was support from Trump, who has been known to threaten to veto legislation even when his team is involved in the negotiations.

Word of Trump’s discontent sent Ryan to the White House, where he was invited to a face-to-face with the president, with Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell on the phone.

White House aides said the president’s support was never in doubt, but one senior White House official said the president was concerned that details of the package weren’t being presented as well as they could be, both to members of Congress and the public.

The group discussed how they could better sell the package, said the official, who was granted anonymity to discuss the private conversation.

“The president and the leaders discussed their support for the bill,” said White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders, adding that it would fund Trump priorities such as wall construction, add money to combat the opioid crisis and provide new infrastructure spending.

Both parties touted $4.6 billion in total funding to fight the nation’s opioid addiction epidemic, a $3 billion increase. More than $2 billion would go to strengthen school safety through grants for training, security measures and treatment for the mentally ill. Medical research at the National Institutes of Health, a longstanding bipartisan priority, would receive a record $3 billion increase to $37 billion. Funding was also included for election security ahead of the 2018 midterms.

Child care and development block grants would receive a huge $2.4 billion increase to $5.2 billion. And an Obama-era transportation grant program known as TIGER would see its budget tripled to $1.5 billion. Head Start for preschoolers would get a $610 million boost, while an additional $2.4 billion would go for child care grants.


Associated Press writers Jill Colvin, Alan Fram and Matthew Daly contributed to this report.

Read More →

WASHINGTON (AP) — A modest measure strengthening the federal background check system for gun purchases will be included in the $1.3 trillion government spending bill being negotiated by congressional leaders, aides said Wednesday.

The “Fix NICS” measure would provide funding for states to comply with the existing National Instant Criminal Background Check system and penalize federal agencies that don’t comply. The bipartisan measure was approved in the House, but stalled in the Senate amid concerns by some Republicans about restricting gun rights without due process and complaints by Democrats that it does not go far enough to address gun violence.

The giant spending bill also includes money to improve school safety as Congress struggles to respond to the deadly assault on a Florida high school and other shootings. The money will be used to train school officials and law enforcement officers how to identify signs of potential violence and intervene early, install metal detectors and take other steps to “harden” schools to prevent violence.

The House approved the STOP School Violence Act earlier this month, but the measure has not been taken up in the Senate.

Kris Brown, co-president of the Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence, said she and other gun-control advocates would be disappointed if Fix NICS represents the strongest action Congress takes this year on guns.

“It’s a tiny, baby step forward,” Brown said Wednesday in a conference call with reporters. “We think it’s not far enough.”

Congress is under pressure to respond to the public outcry over gun violence following the Florida shooting and other incidents, including a fatal shooting Tuesday at a school in Maryland.

The bare-bones plan to bolster the federal background check system and enhance school safety programs emerged as the most likely course of action in a bitterly divided Congress facing an election year.

The bills were key parts of President Donald Trump’s limited plan to combat school shootings, which also includes creation of a federal commission headed by Education Secretary Betsy DeVos. Trump initially appeared to back a proposal that increases the minimum age for purchasing assault weapons to 21, but has since said he would leave decisions to states. Trump’s plan also leaves the question of arming teachers to states and local communities.

The apparent decision to include Fix NICS and the school safety measure in the spending bill ensures that Congress takes some action on guns ahead of major rallies scheduled Saturday in Washington and other cities urging more gun control.

The Brady campaign has urged a three-point plan that includes expansion of background checks to cover gun purchases at gun shows and on the internet; banning new assault weapons and high-capacity magazines; and enabling court-issued restraining orders against people deemed a threat to themselves or others.

The National Rifle Association backs Fix NICS as a way to add transparency and accountability to the background check system, but has pushed harder for a separate bill allowing gun owners to carry concealed weapons across state lines.

Lawmakers also were discussing a provision that would allow the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to do research on gun safety. A law adopted in the 1990’s blocks such research and prohibits the CDC from engaging in advocacy on issues related to guns.

The so-called Dickey Amendment, named after former Arkansas Rep. Jay Dickey, has been the focus of a political fight for more than two decades. The NRA pushed for the law but maintains it doesn’t oppose gun research. Instead the group says it opposes research that is biased, flimsy or aimed at advocacy.

Rep. Stephanie Murphy, D-Fla., called language allowing federal research on guns a major breakthrough. “It’s a victory for our country & children,” she tweeted. “Our work to stop gun violence will continue.”


Follow Matthew Daly:

Read More →

Former FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe, who was fired by Attorney General Jeff Sessions last week, himself oversaw a criminal investigation into Sessions’ testimony to Congress in early 2017, ABC News first reported Wednesday.

Citing unnamed sources familiar with the matter, ABC News reported that McCabe authorized the investigation after then-FBI Director James Comey received a letter from Sen. Patrick Leahy (D-VT) and then-Sen. Al Franken (D-MN) in March of last year regarding Sessions’ contacts with Russians. McCabe served as acting FBI Director in between Trump’s firing of Comey in May and the confirmation of current Director Christopher Wray in August.

In January, during his confirmation hearing before the Senate Judiciary Committee, Sessions said he had not had contacts with Russians during the 2016 campaign.

The Washington Post revealed in March that the claim was not true: Sessions had met twice with Russia’s then-ambassador to the United States during the campaign.

One unnamed source told ABC News that Sessions was not aware of the probe when he fired McCabe last week for McCabe’s lack of “candor – including under oath – on multiple occasions” during an inspector general’s investigation. (McCabe denies wrongdoing and has said his firing was due to his potential as a witness in special counsel Robet Mueller’s probe.)

Sessions’ lawyer did not confirm that he lacked awareness of the probe into his actions, the outlet said. The lawyer did say the FBI probe of Sessions’ testimony was closed.

“The Special Counsel’s office has informed me that after interviewing the attorney general and conducting additional investigation, the attorney general is not under investigation for false statements or perjury in his confirmation hearing testimony and related written submissions to Congress,” Sessions’ attorney, Chuck Cooper, told ABC News.

The outlet said it “was told” that top Republicans and Democrats in Congress were informed of the investigation of Sessions by Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein and McCabe “last year,” after the March revelations and Sessions’ subsequent recusal from matters relating to Russian election interference.

ABC News noted that Mueller interviewed Sessions two months ago as part of his probe, and that it is unknown whether Mueller may be pursuing other leads related to Sessions.

Read More →

Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Wolf on Wednesday blasted Republican lawmakers for pushing to impeach state Supreme Court justices who ruled that the Keystone State’s congressional districts were unfairly gerrymandered on partisan lines.

“This is an unprecedented and undemocratic attempt to retaliate against the judicial branch,” Wolf, a Democrat, said in a statement. “The legislature should be helping people, not settling personal grudges. This is nonsense and a waste of precious time and resources.”

Twelve Pennsylvania GOP lawmakers on Tuesday filed legislation to remove four of the five Democratic justices on the court — David Wecht, Christine Donahue, Kevin Dougherty and Debra McCloskey Todd — for “misbehavior in office.”

The court in January voted 5-2 on party lines to strike down congressional maps drawn in 2011, determining that they were so gerrymandered in Republicans’ favor that they violated the state constitution and needed to be replaced before the May primary. The map has typically given Republicans 13 out of 18 congressional seats, even as they have won around 50 percent of the statewide vote.

After lawmakers failed to meet a court-imposed deadline to negotiate new maps with the governor’s office, the court ordered that its own map, drawn by an outside expert, be used.

That decision inspired a federal lawsuit from Pennsylvania Republicans, who also made two unsuccessful appeals to the U.S. Supreme Court to block the court-drawn map.

It also prompted Rep. Cris Dush (R) to kick off the impeachment charge, rallying other GOP lawmakers to back his legislation calling for the justices’ ouster. Backers of the measure say the court overstepped its judicial authority by imposing new district lines. Justice Max Baer, the court’s fifth Democrat, escaped an impeachment resolution because he said the current map could stay in place until 2020.

It’s unclear how much support the impeachment push has in the GOP-controlled legislature.

“I have not heard much from leadership on the matter nor all that much from my colleagues,” Rep. John McGinnis, one of the Republican co-sponsors, told TPM in an email.

The public response has been similarly mixed, according to McGinnis: “Reactions I received from the public split between those grateful for my action and those accusing me of being a fascist.”

Senate President Pro Tempore Joseph Scarnati (R) and House Speaker Michael Turzai (R), who led the federal lawsuit against the new maps, did not immediately return TPM’s request for comment on the impeachment resolutions.

A spokesperson for Turzai told the Huffington Post on Tuesday that leadership still needed to survey members about the resolutions and review evidence, and that the decision would not be “taken lightly.”

Removing justices would require a two-thirds vote in the state Senate, where Republicans control 34 of the 50 seats.

As controversial as this proposal may seem, Pennsylvania Republicans on Capitol Hill have said it deserves consideration. Rep. Ryan Costello called the new map a form of “judicial activism” worthy of impeachment. And Sen. Pat Toomey said impeachment was a “conversation that needs to happen.”

Read More →

LONDON (AP) — Breaking more than four days of silence, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg admitted mistakes and outlined steps to protect user data in light of a privacy scandal involving a Trump-connected data-mining firm.

Zuckerberg posted on his Facebook page Wednesday that Facebook has a “responsibility” to protect its users’ data.

“If we can’t then we don’t deserve to serve you,” he wrote.

I want to share an update on the Cambridge Analytica situation — including the steps we've already taken and our next…

Posted by Mark Zuckerberg on Wednesday, March 21, 2018

Zuckerberg and Facebook’s No. 2 executive, Sheryl Sandberg, have been quiet since news broke Friday that Cambridge Analytica may have used data improperly obtained from roughly 50 million Facebook users to try to sway elections.

Zuckerberg said the company has already taken the most important steps to prevent such a situation from happening again in previous years. For example, it reduced the access outside apps had to user data back in 2014, though some of the measures didn’t take effect until a year later, allowing Cambridge to access the data in the intervening months.

Earlier Wednesday, an academic who developed the app used by Cambridge Analytica to harvest data said that he had no idea his work would be used in Donald Trump’s 2016 presidential campaign and that he’s being scapegoated in the fallout from the affair.

Alexandr Kogan, a psychology researcher at Cambridge University, told the BBC that both Facebook and Cambridge Analytica have tried to place the blame on him for violating the social media platform’s terms of service, even though Cambridge Analytica ensured him that everything he did was legal.

“My view is that I’m being basically used as a scapegoat by both Facebook and Cambridge Analytica,” he said. “Honestly, we thought we were acting perfectly appropriately, we thought we were doing something that was really normal.”

Authorities in Britain and the United States are investigating the alleged improper use of Facebook data by Cambridge Analytica, a U.K.-based political research firm. Facebook shares have dropped some 9 percent, lopping more than $50 billion off the company’s market value, since the revelations were first published, raising questions about whether social media sites are violating users’ privacy.

The head of Cambridge Analytica, Alexander Nix, was suspended Tuesday after Britain’s Channel 4 News broadcast hidden camera footage of him suggesting the company could use young women to catch opposition politicians in compromising positions. Footage also showed Nix bragging about the firm’s pivotal role in the Trump campaign.

Nix said Cambridge Analytica handled “all the data, all the analytics, all the targeting” for the Trump campaign, and used emails with a “self-destruct timer” to make the firm’s role more difficult to trace.

“There’s no evidence, there’s no paper trail, there’s nothing,” he said.

In a statement, Cambridge Analytica’s board said Nix’s comments “do not represent the values or operations of the firm, and his suspension reflects the seriousness with which we view this violation.”

Facebook itself is drawing criticism from politicians on both sides of the Atlantic for its alleged failure to protect users’ privacy.

Sandy Parakilas, who worked in data protection for Facebook in 2011 and 2012, told a U.K. parliamentary committee Wednesday that the company was vigilant about its network security but lax when it came to protecting users’ data.

He said personal data including email addresses and in some cases private messages was allowed to leave Facebook servers with no real controls on how the data was used after that.

“The real challenge here is that Facebook was allowing developers to access the data of people who hadn’t explicitly authorized that,” he said, adding that the company had “lost sight” of what developers did with the data.

On Tuesday, the chairman of the U.K. parliament’s media committee, Damian Collins, said his group has repeatedly asked Facebook how it uses data, but company officials “have been misleading to the committee.”

The committee summoned Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg to testify. Facebook sidestepped questions on whether Zuckerberg would appear, saying instead that the company is currently focused on conducting its own reviews.

Meanwhile, Britain’s information commissioner, Elizabeth Denham, said she is pursuing a warrant to search Cambridge Analytica’s servers. She has also asked Facebook to cease its own audit of Cambridge Analytica’s data use.

Denham said the prime allegation against Cambridge Analytica is that it acquired personal data in an unauthorized way, adding that data protection laws require services like Facebook to have strong safeguards against misuse of data.

Leading Democrats in the U.S. Senate also called on Zuckerberg to testify. Sen. Dianne Feinstein of California, the top Democrat on the Senate Judiciary Committee, called Facebook’s latest privacy scandal a “danger signal.” She wants Zuckerberg’s assurances that Facebook is prepared to take the lead on measures to protect user privacy — or Congress may step in.

Kogan’s work involved modeling human behavior through social media. In collaboration with Cambridge Analytica, he developed a Facebook-based personality survey called “This Is Your Digital Life” and paid about 200,000 people to take part. As a result, participants unknowingly gave the researchers access to the profiles of their Facebook friends, allowing them to collect data from millions more users.

Kogan said Cambridge Analytica approached him to gather Facebook data and provided the legal advice that this was “appropriate.”

“One of the great mistakes I did here was I just didn’t ask enough questions,” he said. “I had never done a commercial project; I didn’t really have any reason to doubt their sincerity. That’s certainly something I strongly regret now.”

He said the firm paid some $800,000 for the work, but it went to participants in the survey.

“My motivation was to get a dataset I could do research on; I have never profited from this in any way personally,” he said.

Read More →

In the wake of a report that he ignored his national security team’s advice not to congratulate Russian president Vladimir Putin on Putin’s recent re-election, President Donald Trump defended the exchange Wednesday.

Trump is right in one regard: According to the archives from former President Barack Obama’s White House, Obama called Putin in 2012 “to congratulate him on his recent victory in the Russian Presidential election.”

However, Russia at the time was not accused of poisoning a Russian ex-spy and his daughter on British soil, nor was the country believed by U.S. intelligence agencies to have interfered in an American election.

The Washington Post reported Tuesday, citing unnamed sources familiar with Trump’s call with Putin earlier in the day, that Trump had ignored a plea from national security advisers written in capital letters in briefing materials: “DO NOT CONGRATULATE.” The Post also reported that Trump was prompted in the briefing materials to condemn the poisoning, more advice he did not follow. 

Asked Tuesday whether the White House believed Putin’s election was “free and fair” — election observers say they recorded fraud and vote-riggingpress secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders said “in terms of the election there, we’re focused on our elections” and “what we do know is that Putin has been elected in their country, and that’s not something that we can dictate to them how they operate.”

Read More →

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Trump administration will decide by the end of April which countries will be spared from steep taxes on steel and aluminum imports.

U.S. Trade Rep. Robert Lighthizer told the House Ways and Means Committee Wednesday that some countries won’t have to pay the tariffs, which take effect Friday, while they try to negotiate exemptions.

President Donald Trump has imposed tariffs of 25 percent on imported steel and 10 percent on aluminum, saying that relying on foreign metals jeopardizes U.S. national security. He exempted Canada and Mexico from the tariffs, provided they reach an agreement to revamp the North American Free Trade Agreement.

Lighthizer said the administration is also negotiating tariff exemptions with the European Union, South Korea, Argentina and Australia and expects to begin talks with Brazil.

The EU has threatened to respond to the metals tariffs with taxes on a range of U.S. products including jeans, motorcycles and bourbon.

EU Trade Commissioner Cecili Malmstrom met with U.S. Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross. The two issued a joint statement Wednesday saying the U.S. and EU have agreed to work on a resolution to the trade dispute “as rapidly as possible.”

The Commerce Department is separately reviewing companies’ request for relief from the tariffs if, for example, the steel or aluminum they need is not produced in the United States.

The deadline for the metals tariffs comes just as the administration prepares to slap big tariffs and impose investment restrictions on China for strong-arming U.S. companies into handing over technology. It says theft of intellectual property is one reason for the United States’ massive trade deficit with China in goods: $375 billion last year.

Members of Congress are worried that the aggressive action will invite a counterpunch from China and that U.S. farmers are especially vulnerable to retaliatory tariffs on American soybeans.

Lighthizer promised to strike back if China targets U.S. farmers. “We can’t have a $375 billion trade deficit and not do anything to defend ourselves,” Lighthizer said.

Read More →

Rep. Louie Gohmert (R-TX) said Wednesday that special counsel Robert Mueller should be fired.

The far-right Texas congressman joined President Donald Trump’s lawyer John Dowd, who said over the weekend that Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein should end Mueller’s investigation.

“I think Mueller should be fired,” Gohmert said, according to video captured by CNN. “He should be. He should never have been appointed, and he should never have accepted. He should be fired.”

The “only reason” not to fire Mueller “in actuality,” Gohmert said, is that “some establishment Republicans” have said such an action could result in the President’s impeachment.

“Even one senator saying that may be an impeachable offense,” he said. “No, it’s not.”

In fact, two Republican senators have said Mueller’s firing could be an impeachable offense: Sens. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) and Jeff Flake (R-AZ).

Gohmert continued: “But because we have so many people that have not bothered to do their homework on who Robert Mueller is and the damage he’s done, especially to the FBI as director, the thousands of years of experience he ran off that might — could have helped guide some of these wayward FBI agents away from the path they took.”

Mueller retired as FBI director in 2013 after 12 years leading the bureau.

“He’s done enough damage, he needs to go,” Gohmert added Wednesday.

Watch below:

Read More →

MIAMI (AP) — Former Vice President Joe Biden says he would “beat the hell” out of President Donald Trump if they were in high school together and Trump disrespected women.

The Democrat spoke Tuesday at an anti-sexual assault rally at the University of Miami.

“A guy who ended up becoming our national leader said, ‘I can grab a woman anywhere and she likes it,'” Biden says. “If we were in high school, I’d take him behind the gym and beat the hell out of him.”

Biden says any guy who disrespected women was “usually the fattest, ugliest S.O.B. in the room.”

The school’s “It’s on Us” rally sought to change on-campus culture surrounding sexual assault.

Read More →

Mississippi Agriculture Commissioner Cindy Hyde-Smith (R) has officially been named to replace retiring Sen. Thad Cochran (R-MS), setting up a tough election against hardline conservative state Sen. Chris McDaniel (R).

Mississippi Gov. Phil Bryant (R) announced his choice Wednesday, making her the first female senator in the state’s history. But she’ll have to fight hard to keep her new job, as McDaniel, a Tea Party favorite with a rabidly loyal base in the state, is already gunning for the seat.

Hyde-Smith, a former conservative Democrat who switched parties in 2010, sought to bolster her right-wing standing as she braced for a tough race.

“I’ve been a conservative all my life and I’m very proud of my conservative voting record,” Hyde-Smith said in her acceptance speech, talking up her pro-life and pro-gun views. “I have a record of conservatism, I have a record of accomplishments and getting things done for you.”

She also acknowledged her looming primary fight — one that’s almost guaranteed to turn nasty, as the Cochran-McDaniel 2014 primary was one of the strangest and darkest races in modern political memory. Cochran barely held on in that race, and McDaniel maintains it was stolen from him.

“We’re going to have some rough days ahead, but you know what? That’s okay,” she said.

But some Republicans aren’t so sure it will be okay. Establishment-friendly Republicans in both D.C. and Mississippi tell TPM that they’re worried her fairly recent party switch gives McDaniel serious fodder in the race and could endanger their hold on the seat given his controversial views and past statements. Former U.S. Agriculture Secretary Mike Espy (D) has already announced a bid. If no candidate wins a majority in the November non-partisan campaign, Espy could very well face McDaniel in a runoff that Republicans say could be competitive in the solidly Republican state.

Republicans including President Trump and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) had encouraged the popular Bryant to appoint himself, but he opted against it. And the White House is reportedly unhappy with the pick, with Trump threatening to refuse to endorse or campaign for her.

Some Mississippi Republicans are already seeing ghosts of Alabama. Like failed candidate Roy Moore (R), McDaniel has a rabid following and views that are fringe enough to put what should be a safe seat in play. While he obviously doesn’t have the same baggage Moore did as an accused sexual predator, Mississippi has a larger African American population and isn’t quite as solidly Republican as its neighbor.

McDaniel was quick to blast Hyde-Smith’s relatively recent party change.

“She ran as a Democrat. She served as a Democrat. She voted like a Democrat. Although her reputation in Jackson was that of a moderate Democrat, the last thing the state of Mississippi needs in Washington is another moderate Democrat,” he said in a statement.

Cochran will resign on April 1 due to a long battle with health problems, and Hyde-Smith will be sworn in shortly after that.

Read More →