GOP delivers another self-inflicted wound

(Alex Wong / Getty Images)

THE TAKE | Congress’s actions and inactions may be blocking the GOP’s path to victory in the midterm elections. In the final week before an August recess, Republicans have shown a remarkable capacity to complicate their path to victory.

Latest Politics News

Cantor to leave Congress altogether on Aug. 18

Cantor to leave Congress altogether on Aug. 18

Move will allow successor to take office immediately after Nov. 4 election.

Best State in America: Indiana, for tourists

Best State in America: Indiana, for tourists

The state gets a better return on investment for its tourism budget than any other state.

African leaders to attend unprecedented summit in D.C.

Nearly 50 leaders from the continent are invited to a summit with President Obama on a range of issues.

Kentucky’s Fancy Farm, explained

Kentucky’s Fancy Farm, explained

Barbecue. Lots and lots of barbecue.

Colorado’s marijuana rollout has been ‘largely successful,’ Brookings report finds

Colorado’s marijuana rollout has been ‘largely successful,’ Brookings report finds

Officials have effectively done something no other state has done before: create a regulatory system for recreational pot.

State Department’s visa backlog persists

State Department’s visa backlog persists

The State Department’s processing of visas is still slow due to a global computer glitch that shut the system down almost two weeks ago.

Obamacare hits a new low in popularity. It may not matter all that much.

Obamacare hits a new low in popularity. It may not matter all that much.

A new poll shows the law has never been more unpopular. But it’s not on the tips of Americans’ tongues.

In two states, contrasting responses to tragedy

In two states, contrasting responses to tragedy

Two states experienced mass shootings. Their responses couldn’t have been more different.

Does Lois Lerner have a problem with conservatives?

Republicans will need more than circumstantial evidence to prove that Lerner led efforts to hinder conservative groups.

The most popular fact checks of July

The most popular fact checks of July

Wildly incorrect statements on taxes by a rock star topped our monthly round-up of the most widely read fact checks.

Senate confirms nominee to be ambassador to Russia

The action came just before the Senate recessed.

Senate GOP blocks U.S. ambassador to Russia before recessing, then changes mind and confirms him

The Senate recessed without confirming ambassadors to a number of key countries, including Russia.

CIA director apologizes for search of Senate computers

CIA director apologizes for search of Senate computers

The agency admits that employees improperly searched Senate Intelligence Committee computers.

Senate sends VA, transportation bills to Obama

Senate sends VA, transportation bills to Obama

Action on the troubled agency and the Highway Trust Fund comes on the eve of a five-week summer break.

House GOP spikes border bill rather than see it defeated

House GOP spikes border bill rather than see it defeated

Speaker pulls measure amid grumbling from conservatives that the bill failed to address main issues.

Federal paralegals were paid for four years to sit idle

Federal paralegals were paid for four years to sit idle

Despite backlog of appeals, patent office paralegals sat idle most weeks over four years, watchdog finds

Ted Cruz cracks conservative whip on border bill

Ted Cruz cracks conservative whip on border bill

First-term senator wielding such influence in House is sign of ongoing tumult in Republican Party.

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In the Loop: Sally Jewell talks — so does Harry Reid

In the Loop: Sally Jewell talks — so does Harry Reid

The majority leader likes to threaten his fellow senators with weekend duty.

USDA drops proposal to speed up poultry processing

USDA drops proposal to speed up poultry processing

But regulations still include a proposal to halve the number of federal inspectors in poultry plants.

No action on border crisis better than sending kids back

No action on border crisis better than sending kids back

Congressional gridlock on a border bill may not play well, but sending children back is the worst option.

Watch the U.S. prison population explode

Watch the U.S. prison population explode

In 1978, 300,000 people were behind bars. Today, more than 1.5 million sit in jail.

Column

GOP delivers another self-inflicted wound

GOP delivers another self-inflicted wound

THE TAKE | Congress’s actions and inactions may be blocking the GOP’s path to victory in the midterm elections. In the final week before an August recess, Republicans have shown a remarkable capacity to complicate their path to victory.

In a Democrat-heavy state, even Andrew Cuomo’s terrible year likely won’t prevent his reelection

The collapse of the Moreland Commission isn’t a death knell -- yet.

Do feds have a problem with ‘runaway’ document classification?

Do feds have a problem with ‘runaway’ document classification?

Reps. Bennie Thompson (D-Miss.) and Ron Wyden (D-Ore.) have introduced a bill to slow the proliferation of document classification and security clearances.

Federal patent employees had no work, so they surfed the Internet, probe reveals

Federal patent employees had no work, so they surfed the Internet, probe reveals

Patent office paralegals were idle for almost four years but got paid, and even received bonuses, probe finds.

Hundreds of big donors are ‘Ready for Hillary’

Hundreds of big donors are ‘Ready for Hillary’

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The GCC’s national employment challenge

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The ‘do-nothing’ Congress isn’t even good at doing nothing anymore

The ‘do-nothing’ Congress isn’t even good at doing nothing anymore

Congress isn’t even naming post offices at the rate it used to.

What word has Reid used more than any other member of Congress?

What word has Reid used more than any other member of Congress?

Majority Leader Harry Reid loves to repeat this one word (threat?) on the Senate floor.

A candidate who received one vote is suing California over its election laws

A candidate who received one vote is suing California over its election laws

Theo Milonopoulos has filed suit because the state doesn’t allow write-in candidates in its general election.

AG Holder taps his deputy chief of staff to be acting chief of civil rights division

AG Holder taps his deputy chief of staff to be acting chief of civil rights division

Although the nomination of Debo Adegbile to head Justice’s civil rights division is still on the Senate calendar, his confirmation is almost surely not going to happen.

Ted Cruz doesn’t care if John Boehner hates him. He likes it.

Ted Cruz doesn’t care if John Boehner hates him. He likes it.

The Texas senator wants to be the outsider’s outsider in 2016.

The lobbying industry is back! But don’t expect more action on Capitol Hill.

More lobbying doesn’t mean more legislation -- just more spending.

Poverty consolidated and spread to the suburbs during the 2000’s, report finds

Poverty consolidated and spread to the suburbs during the 2000’s, report finds

A larger share of the poor live in high-poverty neighborhoods, imposing a “double burden” on the poor.

BACKGROUND CHECK: Interior Secretary Sally Jewell

BACKGROUND CHECK: Interior Secretary Sally Jewell

Meet President Obama’s Interior Department head: a lover of all things outdoors -- and puzzles.

The 2014 ‘Sammies’ finalists: Meet Jill Boezwinkle

The 2014 ‘Sammies’ finalists: Meet Jill Boezwinkle

The first in the Washington Post’s annual series of reports profiling finalists for the Samuel J. Heyman Service to America awards, which honor federal workers who made an impact.

Attention rich people: You still can’t buy elected office (for yourself).

Attention rich people: You still can’t buy elected office (for yourself).

Being your own top fundraiser rarely reaps rewards.

Massachusetts set to tighten gun laws

The legislature is racing to meet today’s deadline to pass new laws.