Political news

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The NPR Politics team and reporters across the newsroom live-annotated the news conference with President-elect Donald Trump on Wednesday. The full transcript is below:

The NPR Politics team and reporters across the newsroom live-annotated President Obama's farewell address in Chicago on Tuesday night. See the transcript below:


Chas Sisk / WPLN

Nashville Republican Beth Harwell won a fourth term as speaker of the Tennessee House of Representatives, and Oak Ridge Sen. Randy McNally was elected speaker of the state Senate in a start to the 110th General Assembly that went as expected.

Harwell unanimously won re-election, as Republicans and Democrats aligned behind her. That's even though her previous term had been rocky. Harwell had opposed Republican Gov. Bill Haslam's proposal to expand Medicaid, known as Insure Tennessee, and she'd been criticized for her handling of sexual harassment complaints against Franklin Republican Jeremy Durham. Durham was eventually ousted in September.

Harwell was asked immediately afterward about her next race — including the possibility that she'll run for governor in 2018. She says she's not ready to make that decision.

Copyright 2017 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.


Today, the first of President-elect Trump's Cabinet choices goes before a Senate committee, and it's one of the most important jobs - attorney general of the United States.


Stephen Jerkins / WPLN (File photo)

The question is not whether a legislator in Tennessee identifies as a Christian. It's what kind of Christian they are.

Nearly one-third of lawmakers identify their religious affiliation as Baptist, and the rest say they're from another Protestant denomination or they're Catholic. Only one mentions another faith: Nashville Rep. John Ray Clemmons, who says in his official bio that his family is a mix of Christian and Jewish.

That's not completely out of line with Tennesseans as a whole. Four of five of the state's adults say they're Christians.

Stephen Jerkins / WPLN (File photo)

 After an eventful election season, the Tennessee state legislature is back.


The General Assembly opens its two-year session this week.


There aren’t a lot of new people in the hallways, but our statehouse correspondent, Chas Sisk, is here to tell us why this will be one of most unpredictable sessions in years.

Maryland Office of the Governor

They're the basics of American history and government.

So we went out to the State Capitol to see if Tennesseans actually know them.

Name the U.S. war between the North and the South.

Ethan Millsap was ready.

Republican National Committee / YouTube

A Congressional panel has completed its yearlong investigation into donations of fetal tissue.

Tennessee Congressman Marsha Blackburn led the committee, which released its final report Wednesday. Another Tennessee representative, Diane Black, was also on the panel.

Tennessee Supreme Court building
Tony Gonzalez / WPLN

Malpractice cases can be costly.

There's the insurance, which can run $100,000 or more. There are the awards when juries find doctors have done wrong.

And then there are all the tests that doctors perform simply to stave off litigation. Opponents of the current malpractice system say these "defensive medicine" practices add 20 percent to the cost of health care.

"So if we could make a dent in that, without impacting the quality of care that people are receiving, we think that's a good thing," says Jeff Segal, a neurosurgeon and the head of a group called Medical Justice.

Chas Sisk / WPLN

A wave of hate has engulfed David French and his family for most of the past year.

Threats intruded deep into his family's lives.

"We had a weird incident where somebody literally broke into a phone call my wife was on with her father and began yelling profanities supporting Trump," he recalls.