The Never-Ending Crisis at the Indian Health Service
As the chronically under-funded agency struggles, American Indians are getting sicker and dying sooner

Patients wait at an Indian Health Service clinic on the Standing Rock Reservation in North Dakota. (Will Kincaid/AP)

The health disparities between American Indians and the rest of the United States population are stark. American Indians are 50 percent more likely than others to have a substance use disorder, 60 percent more likely to commit suicide, twice as likely to smoke, twice as likely to die during childbirth, three times more likely to die from diabetes and five times more likely to die from tuberculosis. They die on average five years sooner than other Americans.

The Trump administration has pledged to make tribal health care systems more effective. During one of his confirmation hearings, new Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar told senators the administration would welcome opportunities to improve the $5 billion Indian Health Service, which provides care for 2.2 million American Indians. “It’s unacceptable for us to not be providing high-quality service,” Azar said.

Opinion: When Americans Dream, Is This What They Have in Mind?
A land of opportunity — but not always equal opportunity

A dry-land farmer and his family on the Flathead Reservation near Niarada, Montana, in 1921. (U.S. National Archives)

The “American Dream” may be a problematic concept, but everyone in this country and around the world knows exactly what it means. And truth be told, everyone wants to believe it: If you are determined and work hard enough, smart enough and long enough, you can achieve anything in this land of unlimited opportunity.

Yes, the history of this country, from its founding on, has proved that the dream is not complete. Ask Native Americans, who have a more than convincing argument to counter the oft-told story of American goodness and greatness. Ask enslaved African-Americans and their ancestors who fought and died for rights enshrined in authentically American documents. Ask the Americans whose family members toiled in factories and on farms for little more than subsistence.

A Dozen Democrats Will Skip Trump’s State of the Union Address
Cohen says president is ‘unworthy of the podium, the position and the power’

Reps. Bobby Rush, D-Ill., left, and Danny Davis, D-Ill., right, will not attend President Donald Trump's State of the Union address. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Updated Jan. 30 2:10 p.m. | Tennessee Rep. Steve Cohen on Tuesday was the 12th Democratic member of Congress to announce that he would boycott President Donald Trump’s State of the Union address.

“I’ve spent 38 years in elected public office, helping make government work and speaking out against corruption because I believe, as President John F. Kennedy believed, that politics is an honorable profession,” Cohen said in a statement. “The current President is the antithesis of that sensibility: a man who appears determined to tear government down, harm the most vulnerable, benefit the rich and destroy foundational institutions such as the Department of Justice and the FBI.”

ACLU Challenges Lawmakers Who Block People on Social Media
Reps. Gosar, Lewis among group’s targets

Rep. Paul Gosar, R-Ariz., is the defendant in a lawsuit for blocking a constituent on social media. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

The American Civil Liberties Union is challenging Democrats and Republicans for blocking constituent social media, citing constitutional free speech protections.

The group has assumed the case of a woman who filed suit against Arizona Rep. Paul Gosar last September for blocking her access to his Facebook page.

Women’s March Will Go On, Shutdown or Not
National Park Service has a contingency plan if it comes to that

Protesters march down Independence Avenue in Washington during the Women's March on Washington the day after Inauguration Day last year. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

The 2018 Women’s March in Washington will move forward as planned on Saturday despite a looming government shutdown.

An estimated 5,500 marchers will gather at the Lincoln Memorial Reflecting Pool at 11 a.m. for a series of speeches before winding their way east down Constitution Avenue and north to the White House gates to advocate for women’s inclusion in the political process.

Opinion: Forgetting What It Means to Be an American
Selective memory of president and supporters imperils the country

What President Donald Trump and his supporters choose to remember is selective and troubling, Curtis writes. (Win McNamee/Getty Images)

The 2004 romantic comedy “50 First Dates” offered a novel, though somewhat implausible, premise — and I don’t mean that Drew Barrymore would find Adam Sandler irresistible. The heroine of the tale, afflicted with short-term memory loss, woke up each morning with a clean slate, thinking it was the same day, with no recollection of anything that happened the day before.

Who knew the president of the United States, most members of a political party and White House staff would suffer from the same condition?

Poll: 44 Percent of Americans Think Trump is a Racist
Four in five Americans said they believe Trump talks without taking much time to consider his words

President Donald Trump speaks as he stops by a Conversations with the Women of America panel at the Eisenhower Executive Office Building on Tuesday. (Alex Wong/Getty Images)

Donald Trump’s rough rhetorical style was thrust under the microscope (again) last week after he called Haiti and parts of Africa “shithole countries” when complaining about their immigrants to the United States, multiple lawmakers who were at the meeting with the president confirmed.

Four in five Americans said they believe Trump talks without taking much time to consider his words, a new poll found.

More Democrats Say They’ll Skip Trump’s State of the Union
Lawmakers cite president’s ‘racist’ comments, say they’ll have ‘state of our union’ event

Rep. Frederica S. Wilson, D-Fla., will not attend President Donald Trump's State of the Union address later this month, joining four other Democrats in protest. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Add two more Democrats to the list of House members catting on President Donald Trump’s State of the Union address later this month.

Reps. Frederica S. Wilson and Pramila Jayapal announced over the weekend they will join three other lawmakers boycotting the event held in the House chamber of the U.S. Capitol.

Supreme Court Split on Ohio Voter Purge Law
Case could have consequences for this year’s midterms

Ohio Rep. Joyce Beatty, second from right, joined rallygoers outside the Supreme Court on Wednesday to protest the Buckeye State’s voter purge law. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

The Supreme Court appeared divided along familiar lines Wednesday as the justices considered how states such as Ohio can remove voters from registration rolls without violating federal laws to protect people who simply choose not to vote.

The case could affect this year’s elections and how states determine who remains on the lists of eligible voters. The justices will decide the case before their term concludes at the end of June, but did little Wednesday to foreshadow how they ultimately would rule.

Booker, Harris Add Historic Diversity to Senate Judiciary
2020 hopefuls are second and third black senators to serve on panel

New Jersey Sen. Cory Booker is the first black man to sit on the Senate Judiciary Committee. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

The addition of Democrats Cory Booker of New Jersey and Kamala Harris of California to the Senate Judiciary Committee on Tuesday gave the two potential 2020 presidential hopefuls a big platform, but also a spot in the panel’s history.

Booker becomes the first black man to sit on the committee, which oversees civil rights, voting rights, housing discrimination and other Justice Department enforcement efforts that are seen as crucial to African-Americans. Harris, who is biracial, becomes the second black woman to serve on the panel, after Carol Moseley Braun of Illinois, who left the Senate in 1999.