Geoff Bennett

Geoff Bennett is a congressional reporter for NPR. He previously covered Capitol Hill and national politics for NY1 News in New York City and more than a dozen other Time Warner-owned cable news stations across the country. Prior to that role, he was an editor with NPR's Weekend Edition. Geoff regularly guest hosts C-SPAN's Washington Journal — a live, three-hour news and public affairs program. He began his journalism career at ABC News in New York after graduating from Morehouse College.

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MICHEL MARTIN, HOST:

The Senate will postpone its consideration of the GOP bill to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act until Sen. John McCain returns to Washington.

The Republican senator from Arizona is recovering from brain surgery performed Friday to remove a nearly 2-inch blood clot from above his left eye. The surgery was described as a "minimally invasive craniotomy with an eyebrow incision."

Updated 5:30 p.m. ET

Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Chuck Grassley, R-Iowa, tells NPR that he's sending a letter to Donald Trump Jr., saying that he wants the president's eldest son to testify in an open session of the committee and will subpoena him if necessary.

Grassley first spoke with CNN.

It's the first formal invitation for Trump Jr. to appear before congressional investigators, who want to learn more about his June 2016 meeting with Russian lawyer Natalia Veselnitskaya.

The Republican effort to overhaul the Affordable Care Act, or Obamacare, has led to a standoff in the Senate.

Senate Democrats on Monday night began using parliamentary maneuvers to slow Senate business as part of a coordinated protest against the GOP push to pass an Obamacare replacement bill. A small group of Republican senators has been working in private for weeks, shielding from public view the bill and the negotiations surrounding it.

Copyright 2017 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

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Gunfire broke out this morning on a baseball field in Alexandria, Va., just outside of Washington, D.C. Republican lawmakers were on that field practicing for a congressional charity game. Five people were shot.

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The House of Representatives on Tuesday overwhelmingly approved legislation making it easier for the Department of Veterans Affairs to fire employees for misconduct while better protecting staffers who bring wrongdoing to light.

The bill, dubbed the Department of Veterans Affairs Accountability and Whistleblower Protection Act, cleared the Senate by a voice vote last week and is expected to be signed into law by President Trump soon.

Updated at 8:19 p.m. ET

President Trump is preparing to announce changes in U.S. policy toward Cuba, possibly tightening restrictions on travel and trade that were loosened under former President Barack Obama.

Trump is expected to announce the changes in Miami on Friday.

The move was confirmed by a congressional source with direct knowledge of the situation.

Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla., has been leading the push for a more restrictive policy, along with his fellow Cuban-American, Rep. Mario Diaz-Balart, R-Fla.

House Republicans voted Thursday to deliver on their promise to repeal Dodd-Frank — the massive set of Wall Street regulations President Barack Obama signed into law after the 2008 financial crisis.

In a near party-line vote, the House approved a bill, dubbed the Financial Choice Act, which scales back or eliminates many of the post-crisis banking rules.

The legislation is the brainchild of House Financial Services Committee Chairman Jeb Hensarling, R-Texas.

Copyright 2017 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

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Marianne Karth and Lois Durso are two mothers on a mission to prevent truck underride collisions. Underride crashes — when a car collides with a truck and gets lodged underneath — are among the most fatal types of accidents on the road. A vehicle's passenger compartment is often crushed or ripped off.

In 2004, Durso's daughter — Roya Sadigh — was driving in a blizzard the night before Thanksgiving, when her car skidded out of control and slid under the side of a truck trailer. Roya died instantly.

Copyright 2017 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

President Trump's sudden firing of former FBI Director James Comey is sending shock waves through Capitol Hill this morning. And it led to a rare public show of force staged by Democrats on the Senate floor. NPR's Geoff Bennett joins us with the latest. Geoff, good morning.

With just two days left to stop a partial shutdown of the federal government, the Trump administration on Wednesday removed another major sticking point in the spending bill negotiations.

The White House told lawmakers it will not cut off federal subsidies that help low-income Americans pay for health insurance under the Affordable Care Act, at least for now, an administration official and congressional sources confirm to NPR.

Democrats sought to have the federal payment — known as a cost-sharing reduction, or CSR — included in the spending package.

Congress returns Tuesday from its spring recess, facing yet another down-to-the-wire spate of deal-making — and a White House anxious to claim its first major legislative win.

On Friday night, the funding measure lawmakers approved last year to keep the federal government running will expire. The timing leaves members of the House and Senate just four days to reach a new agreement to fund the government, or risk a partial shutdown of federal agencies on Saturday — the 100th day of Donald Trump's presidency.

On Capitol Hill, Freedom Caucus chairman Mark Meadows carries a reputation of a right-wing rebel — after he and his group of roughly three dozen hard-line House conservatives helped kill the Republican health care bill last month. But back home in his western North Carolina congressional district, Meadows is hailed a hero.

Updated at 10:30 a.m. ET

Lawmakers on Capitol Hill want the Trump administration to outline a broader strategy in Syria following the president's decision to authorize U.S. missile strikes Thursday night in response to the apparent chemical weapons attack by Syrian President Bashar Assad.

Updated at 9:45 a.m. ET

The House Freedom Caucus is resurgent.

The group of roughly 36 hard-line conservatives was at the leading edge of Republican opposition during the Obama years. It wasn't clear how relevant the caucus would be with a Republican in the White House.