Apr 2, 2017

Donnelly becomes third Senate Dem to back Gorsuch

AJ Mast / AP

Make that three moderate Democrats backing Neil Gorsuch for the Supreme Court. Joe Donnelly's announcement today comes after Joe Manchin and Heidi Heitkamp said last week they'd be voting for Gorsuch.

What Donnelly said: "I believe he is a qualified jurist who will base his decisions on his understanding of the law and is well respected by his peers."

Where that leaves us: Republicans are still five votes short of the 60 needed to break a Democratic filibuster, so we're still waiting to hear from fellow moderates like Jon Tester of Montana. But it weakens Chuck Schumer's hand every time a member of his caucus breaks ranks.

Go deeper

America's dwindling executions

The Trump administration wants to reboot federal executions, pointing to a 16-year lapse, but Pew Research reports the government has only executed three people since 1963.

The big picture: Nearly all executions in the U.S. are done by states. Even those have been steadily dropping for two decades, per the Bureau of Justice Statistics (BJS) — marking a downward trend for all executions in the country.

Top NSC official may be moved after "Anonymous" rumor fallout

President Trump at the Daytona 500. (Photo: Chris Graythen/Getty Images)

Top Trump administration officials are in discussions to reassign deputy national security adviser Victoria Coates to the Department of Energy from the National Security Council, per two sources familiar with the planning.

Why it matters: Coates' working relationship with National Security Adviser Robert O'Brien, who elevated her to the deputy role only months ago, has strained amid an effort by some people inside the administration to tag her as "Anonymous" — a charge she has vehemently denied to colleagues.

Jeff Bezos commits $10 billion for climate change research

Bezos at Amazon Smbhav in New Delhi on Jan. 15. Photo: Sajjad Hussain/AFP via Getty Images

Amazon founder Jeff Bezos announced the launch of his "Earth Fund" on Monday via Instagram to fund climate change research and awareness.

What he's saying: Bezos says he's initially committing $10 billion to fund "scientists, activists, and NGOS" that are working on environmental preservation and protection efforts.