Politics & Government

Political news

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The Democratic Party has a new leader. Former Labor Secretary Tom Perez was elected the new chairman of the Democratic National Committee on Saturday.

(SOUNDBITE OF SPEECH)

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President Donald Trump gives his first joint address to Congress Tuesday night. We're also expecting a revised executive order on refugees later this week.

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Tuesday night, President Trump will address a joint session of Congress for the first time. After a chaotic first month, it will be a chance for Trump to reset his relationship with voters, who currently give him historically-low approval ratings.

It will also be a chance for him to reassure congressional Republicans, whose view of the new administration runs the gamut from optimism to unease.

President Donald Trump's nominee to be secretary of the Navy, Philip Bilden, withdrew from consideration Sunday.

In a statement, Bilden said he supports Trump's agenda:

"However, after an extensive review process, I have determined that I will not be able to satisfy the Office of Government Ethics requirements without undue disruption and materially adverse divestment of my family's private financial interests."

Defense Secretary James Mattis said in a statement:

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It's a fascinating thing to watch activists in both American political parties grapple with a way forward in the Trump era.

Conservatives gathered outside Washington last week at a convention, the Conservative Political Action Conference, which had been a home for libertarians in recent years. The CPAC annual presidential straw poll has been dominated by people with the last name Paul over the last decade.

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Hollywood has been speaking out this week about the current political climate. There were teach-ins and rallies at talent agencies, and events and awards shows have been peppered with political opposition. NPR's arts correspondent Mandalit del Barco reports.

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There are renewed efforts at the state level to pass so-called religious freedom bills. LGBTQ rights advocates believe that's because local lawmakers are anticipating support from the Trump administration.

In Alabama, there's a bill that allows adoption agencies that are religiously affiliated to hold true to their faith if they don't think same-sex couples should be parents. The psychiatric community has found no evidence that having same-sex parents harms children.

On Monday, the Senate will vote on Wilbur Ross' nomination as the U.S. commerce secretary. As required by the Ethics in Government Act, the billionaire businessman has reached an agreement with the Office of Government Ethics to sell off most of his holdings.

Updated Sunday, Feb. 26, 12 p.m. ET

President Trump announced Saturday afternoon that he would break from a decades-old tradition and skip the annual White House Correspondents' Association Dinner scheduled for April 29.

"I will not be attending the White House Correspondents' Association Dinner this year. Please wish everyone well and have a great evening!" Trump tweeted.

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