U.S. Senate

The Senate is negotiating its own legislation to repeal and replace much of the Affordable Care Act in secret talks with senators hand-picked by party leaders and with no plans for committee hearings to publicly vet the bill.

"I am encouraged by what we are seeing in the Senate. We're seeing senators leading," said Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, one of the 13 Republicans involved in the private talks. "We're seeing senators working together in good faith. We're not seeing senators throwing rocks at each other, either in private or in the press."

James Mackler, via Twitter

Nashville attorney and former Army helicopter pilot James Mackler says he is running for the Democratic nomination to represent Tennessee in the U.S. Senate.

This is how the Senate changes — not with a bang, but with a motion to overturn the ruling of the chair.

By a simple majority vote, Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., set a new precedent in the Senate that will ease the confirmation for President Trump's Supreme Court nominee Neil Gorsuch on Friday, after 30 more hours of debate on the floor.

"This will be the first, and last, partisan filibuster of a Supreme Court justice," said McConnell in a closing floor speech.

Updated at 7:15 p.m. ET.

Forty-one Democratic senators have now publicly announced that they will vote against ending debate this week on the nomination of Judge Neil Gorsuch to the U.S. Supreme Court. That means Republicans cannot at this time clear the 60-vote threshold needed to proceed to an up-or-down vote on the nomination. It also sets up an historic vote to end the Senate's filibuster rule for Supreme Court nominees.

The U.S. Senate could make history this week, but no one is feeling particularly good about it.

"It is depressing; I'm very depressed," said Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz. "We're all arguing against it, but we don't know any other option."

The nomination of Neil Gorsuch to the Supreme Court and the GOP blockade against Merrick Garland before him are forcing another showdown over whether to invoke the "nuclear option" and change the rules of the Senate to make it easier for a president to get all of his nominations approved.

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Kentucky's U.S. Senate candidates disagree over a bill that would rescue the pensions and health benefits of thousands of retired union coal miners.

Wasin Pummarin, 123rf Stock Photo

A bill to have Tennessee state lawmakers fill U.S. Senate vacancies has been defeated. 

Kentucky’s junior Republican U.S. senator says he’s interested in running for president in 2016. Rand Paul tells ABC News he’s not going to deny that he’s interested. Paul tells ABC the Republican Party needs to change, but not what he calls the party's core message of encouraging economic growth to generate government revenue. Paul says the Republican Party needs to consider some different ideas that include allowing states to make decisions on the legalization of marijuana and taking a more moderate approach on immigration.

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Ashley Judd is the most discussed potential Democratic candidate to challenge U.S. Sen. Mitch McConnell' for his seat in 2014, but not all Kentucky Democratic statewide officers are supporting the idea. Auditor Adam Edelen said he'll be encouraging and supporting Alison Lundergan Grimes, the Kentucky secretary of state, for the 2014 senate race -- because of Grimes' focus on state, not national, issues.