Kelsey Snell

Congressional leaders are planning to delay a spending fight until after the memorial ceremonies for former President George H.W. Bush are completed.

House leaders are drafting a bill to postpone a potential government shutdown from midnight on Friday night to the end of the day on Dec. 21.

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Updated at 6:31 p.m. ET

The controversial judicial nomination of Thomas Farr has been derailed in the Senate.

South Carolina Sen. Tim Scott — the lone African-American Republican in the Senate — sealed Farr's fate by saying on Thursday that he opposed the nomination. His opposition, along with Arizona GOP Sen. Jeff Flake and all Senate Democrats, means there is not enough support for the nomination to go forward.

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AILSA CHANG, HOST:

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President Trump is throwing his support behind legislation that could shorten sentences for some drug offenders and help prisoners adjust to life after incarceration.

Details of the measure have not been officially released, but Trump said Wednesday the bill will provide incentives for prisoners to participate in training or rehabilitation programs with a goal of reducing recidivism.

It will also include measures to address sentencing disparities and inequities.

Updated at 5:15 p.m. ET

House Republicans elected top leaders Wednesday to oversee their transformation from an ideologically diverse majority power to an increasingly conservative minority in the next session of Congress.

Updated at 2:37 p.m. ET

House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., offered an olive branch to President Trump and congressional Republicans, just hours after Democrats took back control of the House of Representatives.

The congressional leader said that the new Democratic House majority will seek bipartisanship with Republicans, a comment that echoed what Trump himself had conveyed in his own postelection press conference.

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STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

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House Democrats are promising to start 2019 with a familiar pledge: They want to drain the swamp.

House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., who plans to run for speaker, announced Tuesday that Democrats plan to use their majority in the House to act as a check on President Trump and on corruption in Washington.

Updated at 3:44 a.m. ET Wednesday

Republicans and Democrats will split control of Congress next year. House Democrats are projected to pick up enough GOP-held seats to take the majority in the House, according to The Associated Press. Senate Republicans are projected to maintain and perhaps expand their majority.

The results create a divided Capitol Hill next year and mean President Trump's plans for new tax cuts, tougher immigration legislation and changes to the Affordable Care Act will be blocked.

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Updated at 8:52 p.m. ET

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell has a message for Republican voters who are celebrating the confirmation of Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh: Get to the polls in November if you want more conservatives sitting on judicial benches.

Updated at 8:41 p.m. ET

Brett Kavanaugh's nomination to the Supreme Court cleared a key procedural hurdle in the Senate on Friday, and his confirmation now seems all but certain, after a key swing vote, Sen. Susan Collins, R-Maine, declared her support in a speech on the Senate floor.

Moments after Collins completed her remarks, Sen. Joe Manchin, D-W.Va., announced in a statement that he too will support the nomination when it comes up for a final vote.

That final vote is expected as soon as Saturday.

Updated at 7:51 a.m. ET on Thursday

The FBI's highly anticipated supplemental background check on Brett Kavanaugh was sent to the White House and Capitol Hill overnight, with senators set to review the report on Thursday in the final chapter of what has become a deeply acrimonious confirmation battle.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., announced the planned arrival of the report on Wednesday night and said all senators would get a chance to review it ahead of the next procedural milestones in the chamber.

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(SOUNDBITE OF ARCHIVED RECORDING)

CHRISTINE BLASEY FORD: (Reading) I am here today not because I want to be. I am terrified. I am here because I believe it is my civic duty to tell you what happened to me while Brett Kavanaugh and I were in high school.

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Christine Blasey Ford has just begun to speak to the Senate Judiciary Committee, offering testimony today against Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh. Let's just bring the sound of that as we hear a bit of her opening statement.

Updated at 6:10 p.m. ET

The House voted 361-61 to approve a spending bill to avoid a shutdown threat until early December. President Trump has said he plans to sign the legislation.

The legislation also includes a full year of funding for the Departments of Defense, Labor and Health and Human Services and a short-term extension of the Violence Against Women Act; but it has no new money for Trump's proposed wall with Mexico.

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