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    The presidential campaign landscape in Iowa is markedly different this year compared with four years ago. In 2019, at least a dozen Democratic hopefuls eager to make their case against the Republican incumbent, Donald Trump, had either visited Iowa or had announced plans to visit soon. This year, Republicans considering a challenge to Democrat Joe Biden seem frozen by Trump’s early announcement of a 2024 campaign. With Iowa’s first-in-the-nation GOP caucuses just a year off, the field of would-be White House candidates has largely been content to steer clear of the state. Even Trump has been absent from Iowa, choosing instead to kickstart his campaign last weekend in New Hampshire and South Carolina.

      Republican National Committee Chair Ronna McDaniel has won her bid to lead the GOP for two more years. McDaniel prevailed Friday over Donald Trump attorney Harmeet Dhillon in a high-profile election that highlighted fierce internal divisions that threaten to plague the party into the next presidential season. While Donald Trump privately backed McDaniel, powerful forces from within his “Make America Great Again” movement lined up behind Dhillon. The victory makes McDaniel the longest-serving RNC chair since the Civil War, yet friends and foes alike agree that she will not be leading the RNC from a position of strength.

      Republican National Committee Chair Ronna McDaniel has won her bid to lead the GOP for two more years. McDaniel prevailed Friday over Donald Trump attorney Harmeet Dhillon in a high-profile election that highlighted fierce internal divisions that threaten to plague the party into the next presidential season. While Donald Trump privately backed McDaniel, powerful forces from within his “Make America Great Again” movement lined up behind Dhillon. The victory makes McDaniel the longest-serving RNC chair since the Civil War, yet friends and foes alike agree that she will not be leading the RNC from a position of strength.

      For the second time this month, House Republicans have advanced a measure to restrict presidential use of the nation’s emergency oil stockpile — a proposal that has already drawn a White House veto threat. A GOP bill approved Friday would require the government to offset any non-emergency withdrawals from the Strategic Petroleum Reserve with new drilling on public lands and oceans. Republicans accuse President Joe Biden of abusing the reserve for political reasons to keep gas prices low, while Biden says tapping the reserve was needed last year in response to a ban on Russian oil imports following Russia's invasion of Ukraine. The bill was approved on a near party-line vote. It now heads to the Democratic-controlled Senate, where it is expected to languish.

      Speaker Kevin McCarthy is reiterating that he will block Democratic Reps. Adam Schiff and Eric Swalwell of California from serving on the House committee that oversees national intelligence. He says the decision is not based on political payback but because “integrity matters, and they have failed in that place.” In the previous Congress, Democrats booted Reps. Marjorie Taylor Greene of Georgia and Paul Gosar of Arizona from their committee assignments for incendiary commentary that lawmakers said incited potential violence against colleagues. McCarthy insists he is putting national security over partisan politics. But the Democratic lawmakers targeted say he has “capitulated to the right wing of his caucus."

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      The Supreme Court says an eight-month investigation has failed to find who leaked a draft of the court’s opinion overturning abortion rights. That investigation included more than 120 interviews and revealed shortcomings in how sensitive documents are secured. The court says 97 employees, including the justices’ law clerks, swore under oath that they didn't disclose a draft of Justice Samuel Alito’s opinion that overturned Roe v. Wade. It's unclear whether the justices themselves were questioned about the leak. The court says its investigative team “has to date been unable to identify a person responsible by a preponderance of the evidence.”

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