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Rising Rubio seeks to separate from GOP's presidential pack

Marco Rubio’s “lean” presidential campaign is putting on weight. By every measure, the Florida senator’s bid for the Republican nomination has grown more robust in October, boosted again by a strong showing in Wednesday night’s debate. In preference polls and money flowing in, he’s ticking upward.

Congress OKs bipartisan budget deal, but road ahead not easy

Congress sent President Barack Obama a bipartisan budget accord Friday that staves off a destabilizing U.S. default, eases the threat of a federal shutdown and spotlights the pitfalls — and opportunities — posed by the current brand of divided government.

Rare statewide Democrat tries to hold on in Deep South

Mississippi Attorney General Jim Hood is hardly out of place in Southern politics: He speaks often about his Christian faith and rails against “perverts” and online predators who target children.

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Insurgents vs mainstream: Debate highlights GOP’s 2 tracks

Jeb Bush and Marco Rubio fought for control of the Republican’s establishment wing in Wednesday night’s third GOP debate, as insurgent outsiders Donald Trump and Ben Carson defended the seriousness of their White House bids, underscoring the volatile two-track fight for the party’s presidential nomination.

Fresh starts as GOP taps new speaker, approves budget deal

House Republicans embraced a new leader Wednesday and swiftly consented to a major budget-and-debt deal to avert a federal financial crisis, highlights of a day of dramatic fresh starts at the Capitol after years of division and disarray.

Ex-House Speaker Hastert pleads guilty to evading bank laws

Dennis Hastert pleaded guilty Wednesday to evading banking laws in a hush-money scheme, averting a potentially lurid trial by agreeing to a deal with federal prosecutors that recommends the former House speaker serve no more than six months in prison.

No shutdown, no default: Congress leaders, Obama back deal

Striving to end a cycle of crisis, congressional leaders and the White House united Tuesday behind an ambitious budget and debt deal aimed at restoring a semblance of order to Capitol Hill and ending the threat of government shutdowns until well after a new president takes office.

GOP, Dems moving in opposite directions after a pivotal week

After a pivotal week, the presidential race has become a tale of two parties on sharply different trajectories: Hillary Rodham Clinton has tightened her grip on the Democratic nomination while Republican concern is reaching new heights.

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Paul Ryan is in, will seek job of House Speaker

Rep. Paul Ryan on Thursday formally declared his candidacy for speaker of the House after getting unified support from across the Republican conference.

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Obama vetoes $612 billion defense bill in rebuke to GOP

President Barack Obama vetoed a sweeping $612 billion defense policy bill Thursday in a rebuke to congressional Republicans, and insisted they send him a better version that doesn’t tie his hands on some of his top priorities.

For House conservatives, blocking Ryan's rise poses risks

The truculent House Freedom Caucus has flashed a green light — or perhaps a blinking yellow one — to Rep. Paul Ryan, opening the door for him to become the next House speaker. Yet on their way to becoming Ryan’s kingmaker, the group’s anti-establishment conservatives have faced a decision that could make or break their own clout as well.

Fact check: Clinton and critics on Benghazi, emails

Congressional investigations, by definition, are about finding facts. But some facts were twisted Thursday in a showdown between Hillary Rodham Clinton and her Republican questioners over how history — and voters — will remember the deadly 2012 attack on a diplomatic compound and CIA quarters in Benghazi, Libya.

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Joe says no: Biden won't run, a boost for Clinton

After months of tortured indecision, Vice President Joe Biden said Wednesday he won't be a candidate in the 2016 White House campaign, solidifying Hillary Rodham Clinton's status as the Democratic front-runner and the party's likely heir to President Barack Obama's legacy.

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Ryan to seek speakership if he’s unity candidate

Wisconsin Rep. Paul Ryan told GOP lawmakers late Tuesday that he will run for speaker, but only if he emerges by week’s end as their consensus candidate — a bid to impose unity on a disordered and divided House. Ryan spoke to the House GOP behind closed doors and said if all factions can share his vision and he can get the endorsement of the major caucuses, then he will “be all in.”

Missouri gubernatorial candidates raise millions of dollars

A Republican and a Democrat expected to run for Missouri governor raised more than $1 million apiece in recent months that could be spent on what’s turning out to be an expensive race.