Republicans

In last week's primaries, Republican internal divisions were highlighted. But Tuesday night, it was the Democrats' turn — and in some of the very places the party needs to win to take back the House.

A small group of House Republicans began gathering support Wednesday for a plan to force votes on immigration legislation as early as this summer, despite protests from party leaders.

Midterms, especially primaries, are won and lost by activists.

Political ads in Georgia's Republican gubernatorial primary this year may be the most charged of any intraparty battle around the country, especially when it comes to guns.

One ad shows former state Sen. Hunter Hill at a shooting range loading one gun, eyes steady on the camera, and firing another.

"We don't need a carry permit," Hill says in the ad. "The only thing we need as Americans is the U.S. Constitution. And as governor, I won't give an inch on our Second Amendment."

Democrats are going into the 2018 elections with the wind at their backs, which could even be enough to flip a Senate map heavily stacked for Republicans come November.

Updated at 11:55 a.m. ET

The House intelligence committee concluded its Russia investigation on Friday by releasing a heavily redacted copy of its full report clearing Donald Trump's campaign of any wrongdoing.

As House Republicans poured out of the closed-door meeting where Speaker Paul Ryan, R-Wis., told them he won't run for re-election this year, there was a constant theme: Things are on track. All is well. And a sitting speaker's decision to call it quits after less than three years in charge of the House chamber shouldn't be taken — at all — as a sign the GOP is facing an increasingly challenging election cycle.

"I go back to my district and people couldn't be more ecstatic about the things we're doing," Florida Rep. Brian Mast said. "I'm not concerned about it at all."

Updated at 3:00 p.m. ET

House Speaker Paul Ryan announced Wednesday that he will not seek re-election and will retire in January.

"You all know I did not seek this job," Ryan said, addressing reporters. "I took it reluctantly. ... I have no regrets."

Ryan, 48, cited wanting to be around his adolescent children more often.

Florida Trend via Miami Herald

As a veteran and West Point graduate, retired Florida real estate developer Al Hoffman Jr. says he knows what military-style weapons like the AR-15 can do.

“They're still designed to kill people,” said Hoffman, of North Palm Beach. “I don't care what anybody says, that's what they're for.”

Hoffman served as finance chair for the Republican National Committee and co-chair of both George W. Bush campaigns. Now, as a private citizen and major Republican donor, he plans to put his influence to use to ban assault weapons.

Updated at 1:50 p.m. ET

During a meandering speech Friday morning at the Conservative Political Action Conference, President Trump doubled down on arming some teachers and school personnel after last week's shooting at a Parkland, Fla., high school that killed 17 people.

Updated at 3:34 p.m. ET

President Trump could notify Congress as soon as Friday that he endorses releasing the controversial memo that alleges the FBI and Justice Department abused their surveillance powers.

That would set the stage for it to become public, perhaps that afternoon, although the procedure is unclear.

Democrats went on the attack Thursday trying to stop the process and even to get rid of the man who has driven it, Trump ally Devin Nunes, the Republican chairman of the House intelligence committee.

Updated at 3:06 p.m.

Republicans are gathered at the storied Greenbrier Resort — home to a Cold War-era bunker once meant to house Congress in the event of a nuclear attack — to plot the party's legislative agenda for 2018 and strategize for what could be a bruising midterm election.

Republicans on the campaign trail this year will be eager to tout the potential benefits of their tax cut plan.

Updated on Dec. 22 on 12:02 p.m. ET

Congressional Republicans delivered on their first major legislative accomplishment of the Trump era on Wednesday, when the House voted 224-201 to pass a $1.5 trillion tax package. The bill cuts individual rates for eight years and slashes the top corporate tax rate to 21 percent permanently.

Updated at 12:44 a.m. ET

Democrat Doug Jones has won the Alabama Senate special election, a victory that was a stunning upset in a deeply red state that voted overwhelmingly for President Trump. The president, who had backed Republican Roy Moore despite multiple accusations of sexual misconduct and assault, congratulated Jones on Twitter.

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