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  • ** FILE ** President Barack Obama, flanked by Vice President Joseph R. Biden and House Speaker John A. Boehner of Ohio, gives his State of the Union address during a joint session of Congress on Capitol Hill in Washington, Tuesday, Feb. 12, 2013. (AP Photo/Charles Dharapak, Pool)

    Sen. Roy Blunt: Obama 'has a lot of explaining to do' in State of the Union speech

    A top Senate Republican said Saturday that President Obama "has a lot of explaining to do" in his State of the Union speech about the weak economy and persistently high unemployment.

  • ** FILE ** Actress Glenn Close arrives for the Breakthrough Prize in Life Sciences awards Thursday, Dec. 12, 2013, in Moffett Field, Calif. The Breakthrough Prize in Life Sciences recognizes excellence in research aimed at curing intractable diseases and extending human life. (AP Photo/Ben Margot)

    Actress Glenn Close, advocacy groups prod Congress on mental health legislation

    With a boost from some Hollywood royalty Wednesday, lawmakers on both sides of the aisle are increasingly bullish about the likelihood they’ll be able to boost mental health spending in response to the Newtown school shooting, even as Democrats vowed not to let that spoil their push for a broader crackdown on gun ownership.

  • Gina McCarthy

    GOP takes issue with nominee to head EPA

    The Obama administration's choice to head the Environmental Protection Agency is the latest Cabinet nominee to face stiff resistance from Republicans. Sen. Roy Blunt said Monday that he will place a hold on Gina McCarthy, poised to take over the reins of the EPA, until the Obama administration sets a clear time frame for its study of a long-delayed levee project in the senator's home state of Missouri.

  • **FILE** Sen. Roy Blunt, Missouri Republican, speaks during a news conference on Capitol Hill in Washington on March 6, 2012, following a Republicans strategy session. (Associated Press)

    Sen. Blunt to block Obama EPA nominee over Mo. levee project

    Sen. Roy Blunt will place a hold on Gina McCarthy, the White House's pick to head the Environmental Protection Agency, until the Obama administration sets a time frame for its study of a long-delayed levee project in southeast Missouri.

  • Members of a Yakima, Wash., weapons seller carry firearms Saturday to a Second Amendment rally in the state capital. (Seattle Times via Associated Press)

    Senators say Obama’s proposal for gun control has little support

    Republican senators Sunday indicated that little support exists on Capitol Hill — even among some Democrats — for the ban on assault weapons and high-capacity ammunition clips called for in President Obama's gun control initiative.

  • Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid of Nevada leaves the White House in Washington, Friday, Dec. 28, 2012, after a closed-door meeting between President Barack Obama and congressional leaders to negotiate the framework for a deal on the fiscal cliff. (AP Photo/ Evan Vucci)

    Sides trade blame on 'fiscal cliff' as talks proceed

    The two Senate leaders were trying Saturday to hash out a tax-and-spending deal to avert this "fiscal cliff," even as both sides took to the airwaves to try to assure voters they want to get something done.

  • Rep. W. Todd Akin, Missouri Republican, talks with reporters about his Senate candidacy. He has apologized for insensitive remarks about rape but the Republican Party still wants him to drop out of the race. (Associated Press)

    Akin vows to stay in Missouri Senate race despite GOP ire

    Defiant Rep. W. Todd Akin of Missouri vowed Tuesday to stay in his state's U.S. Senate race as the Republican nominee, letting pass an initial withdrawal deadline despite near-unanimous demands from Mitt Romney and a parade of prominent Republicans that he step aside after his insensitive remarks about rape and abortion.

  • Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (center), Nevada Democrat, leads a March 1, 2012, news conference with fellow Senate Democrats on Capitol Hill after the defeat of a Republican effort to roll back President's policy on contraception insurance coverage. He is joined by (from left) Sens. Patty Murray of Washington state, Charles Schumer of New York and Senate Majority Whip Richard Durbin of Illinois. (Associated Press)

    Senate narrowly defeats contraception amendment

    Senators narrowly rebuffed a Republican-led attempt Thursday to undo President Obama's new contraception mandate as the culture wars and charges of religious freedom violations spilled out onto the chamber floor and both parties vowed to make the vote an issue in November's elections.

  • **FILE** Sen. Roy Blunt, Missouri Republican (Associated Press)

    No end near in uproar over insurance coverage of contraception

    President Obama's efforts last week have failed to quell the fury over his decision to require most health plans to cover contraception. Republicans are still promising a fight in Congress, and two leading Catholic groups remain on the fence although the administration thought they had been won over.

  • Blount, a Romney backer, wins a key post

    Sen. Roy Blunt of Missouri, a supporter of Mitt Romney, won a Senate GOP leadership post Tuesday over Sen. Ron Johnson of Wisconsin, a tea party favorite.

  • Ray Mabus

    EDITORIAL: The USS Karl Marx

    The responsibility for naming U.S. warships has traditionally been left to the secretary of the Navy. That needs to change. President Obama's Navy secretary, Ray Mabus, has politicized the christening process to the point where some form of oversight is needed.

  • Carnahan, Fox News settle Mo. Senate race lawsuit

    Former Missouri Senate candidate Robin Carnahan has settled a lawsuit with the Fox News Network alleging copyright infringement by one of her campaign ads.

  • **FILE** Sen. Roy Blunt, Missouri Republican (Associated Press)

    MASTIO: Big buts on earmark ban

    Say what you will about Missouri's Sen.-elect Roy Blunt. He heard the electorate's verdict on congressional earmarks and he doesn't care. The man with a backbone says through a representative that he's not backing the ban and he "will fight for Missouri's fair share."

  • Carnahan hit for backing stimulus program; Blunt labeled insider

    With campaign money from their national parties having never arrived or now on the sidelines, the candidates for a U.S. Senate seat in Missouri went one on one Thursday in their first debate.

  • Candidates get creative to build text-message list

    A sign near the toilet said: "Text FLUSH to Robin." Above the restroom sink was another suggestion: "Text WASH to Robin."

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