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Rep. Steve King. Photo: Joshua Lott/Getty Images

The Republican Main Street Partnership PAC — which is supporting a group of 53 moderately conservative members of Congress — will endorse Rep. Steve King's GOP opponent Randy Feenstra for Iowa's deeply conservative 4th district.

Why it matters: The group, which advocates for a sizable, if shrinking part of the Republican caucus, is the first national GOP organization to publicly endorse and financially support King's primary challenger.

The backdrop: King has come under fire from both his Republican and Democratic colleagues on the Hill for racist and xenophobic comments. Some congressional leaders, like House Republican committee chair Liz Cheney (R-Wy.), have called for his resignation.

  • Last January, GOP leadership stripped King of his committee assignments after he asked in a New York Times interview how terms like "white nationalist" and "white supremacist" became offensive.
  • In August, King drew condemnation again for defending a ban on abortion with no exceptions by arguing that most of the world's population wouldn't exist without rape or incest.

The state of play: Feenstra, an Iowa state senator, is one of four Republican primary rivals trying to defeat King, who has held onto his seat more than 15 years.

  • Feenstra raised more than $721,000 in 2019. He out-raised King in at least three quarters of 2019, according to the Sioux City Journal.
  • King narrowly won his midterm race against Democrat J.D. Scholten in 2018, defeating him by just 3%. Scholten is running again this year.

What they're saying: “As a landowner in Iowa’s 4th District, it’s frustrating to know that nothing is getting done on our behalf in Congress. I know how this system works,” says Doug Ose, RMSP PAC‘s treasurer and a former congressman. “The district deserves representation."

Go deeper: Iowa newspapers urge Steve King to resign over racist remarks

Go deeper

Updated 32 mins ago - World

Pentagon: 8,500 troops on high alert for possible deployment to eastern Europe

Photo: Anna Moneymaker/Getty Images

Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin has placed 8,500 U.S. troops on "heightened preparedness to deploy" to eastern Europe in case NATO activates its rapid-response force over tensions with Russia, the Pentagon announced Monday.

Why it matters: No decisions have been made to deploy U.S. forces, but the heightened alert level will allow the military to rapidly shore up NATO's eastern flank in the event that Russia invades Ukraine. The Pentagon warned that Russia has shown "no signs of de-escalating," and continues to amass troops on Ukraine's borders.

Alabama's new congressional map rejected by federal judges

The Alabama State Capitol in Montgomery. Photo: Taylor Hill/Getty Images

Federal judges on Monday night blocked Alabama's newly drawn congressional map and ordered the Republican-led State Legislature to create a new one that includes two districts, rather than the planned one.

Why it matters: "Black voters have less opportunity than other Alabamians to elect candidates of their choice to Congress," the panel of three judges wrote in their ruling.

Australian Open organizers reverse "Where is Peng Shuai?" t-shirt ban

Chinese tennis player Peng Shuai during the 2020 Australian Open in Melbourne. Photo: Bai Xue/Xinhua via Getty Images

Australian Open organizers on Tuesday reversed a ban on t-shirts supporting Chinese tennis player Peng Shuai following widespread criticism.

Why it matters: Tennis Australia's announcement came less than 24 hours after the governing body defended the decision to ask fans last Friday to remove "Where is Peng Shuai?" t-shirts, citing ticket policy prohibiting political clothing, per the BBC.

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