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Alex Leary, Times Washington Bureau Chief

Alex Leary

Alex Leary is the Washington bureau chief for the Tampa Bay Times. He previously worked in the Times' state capital bureau, and before that covered local politics, environmental issues and law enforcement. His career in journalism began at the Valley News in New Hampshire.

Phone: (202) 306-4807


Blog: The Buzz

Twitter: @LearyReports

  1. Senate Obamacare effort dies; Rubio in favor of repeal, Nelson against


    WASHINGTON - The Senate Republican effort to Obamacare failed early Friday, with John McCain providing a decisive vote.

    Sen. Marco Rubio joined the majority and Sen. Bill Nelon was with the Democrats.

    But it fell to McCain and Republican moderates Susan Collins and Lisa Murkowski to defeat the so-called skinny repeal.

    "This is clearly a disappointing moment," Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said as he reflected on a seven-year campaign promise to end Obamacare....

    The Senate vote
  2. Crist votes for measure that includes money for Trump's wall


    WASHINGTON – Rep. Charlie Crist was for it and against it.

    He was one of five Democrats to vote Thursday for a defense spending package that includes $1.6 billion for President Trump’s border wall.

    But Crist says he opposes the wall. His statement:...

  3. In Florida a year ago today, Trump asked Russia to find Clinton's emails


    A year ago today, at his golf club in Doral, Donald Trump begged Russians to find Hillary Clinton's emails.

    “I will tell you this, Russia: If you’re listening, I hope you’re able to find the 30,000 emails that are missing," Trump said. "I think you will probably be rewarded mightily by our press.”...

  4. Florida Congressmen to attend White House ceremony honoring officers who responded to baseball shooting


    WASHINGTON - Florida Reps. Dennis Ross and Ron DeSantis will be at the White House today as President Trump awards the Public Safety Medal of Valor to officers who responded to the baseball field shooting last month.

    Ross and DeSantis aremembers of the Republican team and DeSantis unknowingly crossed paths with the shooter just before he opened fire....

  5. Trump highlights Wasserman Schultz controversy


    Donald Trump has Debbie Wasserman Schultz on his mind this morning.

    The president retweeted to his millions of followers a post accusing TV networks of ignoring the controversy surrounding Wassmerman Schultz.

  6. Why did Debbie Wasserman Schultz keep paying tech expert suspected of stealing House computers?


    The following is from the Miami Herald:

    When a computer expert who worked for congressional Democrats was accused of stealing computers and data systems in February, members of Congress cut him loose within days, leaving Imran Awan with no supporters five months later.

    Except for Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz.

    The Weston Democrat has not explained why she continued to employ Awan until Tuesday, when she fired him — after he was arrested on bank-fraud charges at Dulles International Airport in Virginia attempting to board a flight to Pakistan....

  7. Ros-Lethinen: Trump wrong on transgender ban


    WASHINGTON - Florida Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen criticized President Trump's announced ban on transgender people serving in the military.

    For her, it's personal: The retiring Miami Republican is the mother of a transgender son.

    Miami Republican Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen.
  8. Rubio defends Jeff Sessions as Trump attacks


    Sen. Marco Rubio on Wednesday joined conservatives coming to the defense of Attorney General Jeff Sessions, who is under attack by President Trump.

    "Served with Jeff Sessions for 6 yrs. Always honest & transparent. When he's with you no better ally, when against you, tough adversary," Rubio wrote on Twitter.

    He said the Sessions "caricature" is created by those who don't know him. "Even when we disagreed on immigration I saw his fairness & kindness,' Rubio said....

    Jeff Sessions and Donald Trump
  9. Rubio helps GOP secure votes to proceed on health care debate


    WASHINGTON - Senate Republicans secured enough votes to proceed to debate on health care proposals, with Marco Rubio of Floirda joining in.

    Rubio's vote was never in doubt. The vote hung in the balance as Sens. Ron Johnson and John McCain were not around. They eventually showed and both voted to proceed.

    Sens. Susan Collins and Lisa Murkowski were the only Republican "no" votes.

    Despite the partisanship, both parties erupted in applause as the sight of McCain, who returned after brain surgery. Rubio and Sen. Bill Nelson both clapped along, smiling....

  10. Bob Graham says Trump appears to be pushing Jeff Sessions aside to get at Robert Mueller


    WASHINGTON - President Trump's attack on Attorney General Jeff Sessions is "unseemly" and without precedent, former Florida Sen. Bob Graham said this morning. 

    “I think that if the reason for attacking Sessions, asking him almost bluntly to resign, is in order to appoint someone who would then fire Bob Mueller as the independent prosecutor, that's going to put tremendous pressure on the congressional committees who are conducting parallel policy investigations,” said Graham, former Democratic chairman of the Senate Intelligence Committee....

    Former Sen. Bob Graham on CNN
  11. Charlie Crist a top freshman fundraiser


    WASHINGTON - Florida Rep. Charlie Crist leads all freshmen in fundraising this year, according to an analysis.

    UPDATE: Roll Call updated its story with a correction to show that Rep. Josh Gottheimer, D-N.J., is the freshmen leader, edging Crist.

    The correct number for Crist is $1.3 million while Gottheimer raised $1.6 million.

  12. Rubio to headline Seminole County GOP dinner


    Sen. Marco Rubio will headline the Seminole County GOP's Lincoln Day Dinner on Aug. 22, according to a release.

    Tickets start at $150.

    Sen. Marco Rubio to headline dinner
  13. Jeb Bush: Anthony Scaramucci will help Trump


    WASHINGTON - Before he discovered unyielding love for Donald Trump, Anthony Scaramucci, the new White House communications director, was a Jeb Bush man.

    "Jeb has the forward-looking vision and executive experience to lead our country and ensure our economy grows at its full potential,” Scaramucci said in September 2015 after joining Bush’s national finance commiteee. He had initially been with Scott Walker....

    Anthony Scaramucci, the new White House communications director
  14. Rubio confident GOP will pass health care bill


    WASHINGTON - Sen. Marco Rubio says he's confident the GOP will eventually pass a health care bill.

    "I still believe we're going to get something done. I want to get this done right but I also want to get it done in a timely fashion," he said Friday on Fox News.

  15. As Rubio avoids public settings on health care, disabled Tampa man's story gets attention


    Michael Phillips was hunting demons Monday night when the news broke: The Senate health care bill was dying.

    He ditched World of Warcraft for MSNBC and texted his mom in the next room — "Yay!"

    Phillips is severely disabled from a rare genetic disease that doctors thought would end his life before his first birthday. But the 36-year-old Tampa resident is one of the forces that upended the GOP's seven-year mission of repealing and replacing the Affordable Care Act, his story carried on TV, social media and in the Capitol itself....

    Michael Phillips at home in Tampa with his mother, Karen Clay