Scott Detrow

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There's a small chance that if Saturday Night Live hadn't been so mean to former New York Gov. David Paterson, Democrat Kirsten Gillibrand wouldn't be in the U.S. Senate.

In late 2008, Hillary Clinton was vacating her Senate seat for the State Department, and the New York governor was trying to decide who should fill it.

"It was the stereotypical Mr. Magoo, blind character who does everything wrong and in a sense is actually stupid in addition to being blind," Paterson, who is legally blind, recalls of the SNL skit.

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Updated 2:51 p.m. ET

Texas Democrat Al Green forced a House vote on the impeachment of President Trump on Wednesday, but a broad bipartisan majority voted down the effort.

Updated at 10:30 p.m. ET

Just over a week ahead of Alabama's special Senate election, President Trump and the Republican National Committee confirmed Monday they are standing behind embattled GOP nominee Roy Moore's campaign.

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For all the negative headlines that 2017 have generated, Republicans are on the cusp of accomplishing two major policy goals that have eluded them for decades, at the same time.

The Senate could soon approve oil drilling in Alaska's Arctic National Wildlife Refuge with its bill to overhaul the nation's tax code.

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The House passed a $1.4 trillion tax overhaul today. The vote came after President Trump traveled to Capitol Hill to rally House Republicans ahead of the vote.

(SOUNDBITE OF ARCHIVED RECORDING)

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Updated at 11:56 p.m. ET: NPR has obtained the full memo from a Democratic source. Read it at the bottom of this story.

What, exactly, did the Democratic National Committee and Hillary Clinton's presidential campaign agree to in 2015, before any votes had been cast in the Democratic primary?

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This week, the typically upbeat, jovial Joe Biden sounded anything but during a speech in Washington.

"President Obama and I have been very quiet and respectful, giving the [Trump] administration time," the former vice president said Thursday night. "But some of these roots are being sunk too deeply. I believe it's time to challenge some of the dangerous assumptions."

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The latest Republican push to repeal key parts of the Affordable Care Act appears to have met the fate of all previous Senate repeal efforts this year — it doesn't have the votes needed to pass the chamber.

Maine Sen. Susan Collins announced Monday that she will oppose the bill, authored by South Carolina Sen. Lindsey Graham and Louisiana Sen. Bill Cassidy. Collins' decision means three Republicans have now publicly said they are against the bill — and that is one more than the GOP could afford to lose.

There's a chance Republicans wouldn't be so close to repealing and replacing the Affordable Care Act if former GOP Sen. Rick Santorum of Pennsylvania hadn't dropped into the Capitol barbershop this spring.

"I was up on the Hill, I happened to just go by the barbershop to see if I could get a haircut, and Lindsey was in the chair," Santorum said. "And Lindsey asked me what I was doing, and I thought to myself, 'Well, let me just bounce it off Lindsey.' "

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