Walker open to sending troops to fight Islamic State group
WASHINGTON (AP) — Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker says he is open to sending U.S. troops to the Middle East to combat Islamic State fighters, but the potential Republican contender for 2016 presidential nomination isn't calling for them immediately.

Trade trip to Britain adds to Chris Christie's 2016 resume

FILE - In this Sept. 4, 2014 file photo, New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie walks off the dais after an event to sign a higher education agreement between New Jersey and Mexico, at the Secretariat of Public Education in Mexico City. On Sunday, Feb. 1, 2015, Christie is scheduled to arrive in the United Kingdom on his third recent foreign trip. His itinerary includes meetings with Prime Minister David Cameron, an Arsenal soccer match, a performance of Henry V and a visit to Cambridge. (AP Photo/Rebecca Blackwell)NEWARK, N.J. (AP) — As he considers a White House run, New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie's third trip abroad in recent months provides an opportunity to build his foreign policy resume and test whether he has the temperament for the world stage.



New Jersey Governor heads to UK for trade, politics, soccer

Governor of New Jersey Chris Christie speaks at the Freedom Summit in Des MoinesBy Megan Davies and Hilary Russ NEW YORK (Reuters) - New Jersey Governor Chris Christie, a likely 2016 Republican presidential contender, will be promoting his state's life sciences industry in a trip to the United Kingdom starting Sunday, where he is also scheduled to meet the Prime Minister and catch an Arsenal match. The UK is the third largest trading partner for New Jersey after Canada and Mexico, and the trip will focus on pursuing new opportunities for growth between UK and New Jersey in the field of life sciences, Christie told reporters on Friday in embargoed remarks. "One of the main objectives for the trip is to focus on the opportunities that exist between the UK and New Jersey and our country as a whole," said Christie.



Nevada police say investigating alleged political extortion plot
(Reuters) - Las Vegas police are investigating a possible case of extortion intended to sway a Nevada legislator to change his vote for assembly speaker, searching a property on Saturday as part of the probe, authorities said. The investigation began in December when newly elected Assemblyman Chris Edwards, a Republican, was approached about changing his vote on the question, Las Vegas Metropolitan police said in a statement. Las Vegas police said no arrests have been made and that their investigators would conduct interviews over the coming days. Edwards, who has served on active duty and on reserve in the U.S. Navy, is on the Assembly Education Committee as well as the Natural Resources, Agriculture and Mining Committee and the Ways and Means Committee, according to his legislative page.

Police probing alleged corruption in Nevada Legislature
RENO, Nev. (AP) — Las Vegas police have confirmed they are investigating allegations of corruption in the Nevada Legislature involving an extortion attempt aimed at a Republican assemblyman who has drawn criticism from more conservative lawmakers.

Romney's exit unleashes race for donors among 2016 hopefuls

FILE - In this Jan. 23, 2015 file photo, former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush speaks in San Francisco. Mitt Romney’s exit from the 2016 race for president unleashed a frenzy of fresh fundraising and has set off a new race for the backing of donors who had remained loyal to the last Republican nominee. (AP Photo/Jeff Chiu, File)DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — Mitt Romney's exit from the presidential campaign has unleashed a frenzy of fresh fundraising and set off a new race for the backing of donors who had remained loyal to the 2012 Republican nominee.



Drive to repeal medical device tax no slam dunk in Congress

FILE - In this Jan. 29, 2015 file photo, Senate Finance Committee Chairman Sen. Orrin Hatch, R-Utah leaves the Senate chamber on Capitol Hill in Washington. It flew through the Republican-run House in 2012, and a year later 79 of the Democratic-led Senate’s 100 members embraced it. With Republicans now controlling both chambers of Congress, the chances for repealing the 2.3 percent tax on medical devices are better than ever. Yet abolishing the tax won’t be easy, even though Republicans rank it a top priority and are backed by Democrats from states that rely on the industry for jobs. (AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin, File)WASHINGTON (AP) — It flew through the Republican-run House in 2012, and a year later 79 of the Democratic-led Senate's 100 members embraced it. With Republicans now controlling both chambers of Congress, the chances for repealing the 2.3 percent tax on medical devices are better than ever.



Mitt Romney bows out of 2016 race after a 3-week test run

FILE - In this Jan. 28, 2015 file photo, former GOP presidential candidate Mitt Romney speaks at Mississippi State University in Starkville, Miss. Romney, the 2012 GOP presidential nominee Mitt Romney says he will not run for president in 2016. (AP Photo/Rogelio V. Solis, File)WASHINGTON (AP) — He insists he could win, but Mitt Romney has stepped out of the 2016 presidential contest in favor of the "next generation of Republican leaders" following a three-week fact-finding effort that revealed significant resistance to a third campaign.



At a glance: Where the GOP contenders stand in the 2016 race
WASHINGTON (AP) — Technically, no big-name Republican has formally declared his candidacy for president in 2016.

Quotations in the News
"I believe that one of our next generation of Republican leaders, one who may not be as well-known as I am today, one who has not yet taken their message across the country, one who is just getting started, may well emerge as being better able to defeat the Democrat nominee." — Mitt Romney, who ended his roller-coaster return to presidential politics.

Texas Governor to declare 'Chris Kyle Day' in honor of sniper

Texas Attorney General Abbott speaks during an anti-abortion rally at the State Capitol in Austin(Reuters) - Texas Governor Greg Abbott said on Friday he would officially declare Feb. 2 "Chris Kyle Day" in the state, in honor of the late Navy Seal sharpshooter portrayed in the film "American Sniper." The movie, starring Bradley Cooper as Kyle who was killed by a disgruntled U.S. veteran on a Texas gun range in 2013, has been a box office hit as well as a flashpoint of debate between liberals and conservatives. Abbott, a Republican, made the announcement during a speech at the Texans Veterans of Foreign Affairs Mid-Winter Convention in Austin, according to a statement from the governor's office. "In honor of a Texas son, a Navy SEAL and an American hero – a man who defended his brothers and sisters in arms on and off the battlefield – I am declaring February 2nd Chris Kyle Day in Texas," Abbott said during the speech, according to the statement.



U.S. must target currency manipulation in trade deals: senator

Senator Hatch questions witnesses during testimony at the Senate Finance Committee in WashingtonThe Obama administration must insist that U.S. trading partners pledge not to manipulate currencies when negotiating trade deals, the Senate Committee on Finance chairman said on Friday. In a speech laying out his conditions for supporting trade deals, Republican Orrin Hatch said addressing currency concerns was key to winning lawmakers' support for a bill to fast-track trade agreements through Congress, and deals such as the Trans-Pacific Partnership. "The administration must engage much more effectively with Congress on this issue if they want to receive strong support for TPA (trade promotion authority) and any subsequent trade agreements." Lawmakers from both parties are pushing the U.S. administration to take a stronger stand against trading partners which seek to gain an edge with a weaker currency, which makes their exports cheaper.



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