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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

Email: leary@tampabay.com

Blog: The Buzz

Twitter: @LearyReports

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  1. Charlie Crist top freshman fundraiser

    Blog

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

    CQ Roll Call found that Crist is tops with $1.9 million.

    Fundraising leaders
  2. Rubio to headline Seminole County GOP dinner

    Blog

    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
  3. Jeb Bush: Anthony Scaramucci will help Trump

    Blog

    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
  4. Rubio confident GOP will pass health care bill

    Blog

    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.

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

    Blog

    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
  6. Disabled Tampa man takes his story to center of health care debate

    National

    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....

    Sen. Marco Rubio has shunned town hall gatherings.
  7. Trump again seeking foreign workers for Mar-a-Lago

    Blog

    President Donald Trump’s Florida businesses are again in search of inexpensive foreign workers, raising questions during a week the White House has themed “Made in America.”

    U.S. Department of Labor records posted Thursday show Mar-a-Lago is seeking 35 waiters and waitresses, 20 cooks and 15 housekeepers, with work to begin in October and run through the middle of 2018....

    Mar-a-Lago
  8. A new 'Dream Act' lacks a prominent backer: Marco Rubio

    Blog

    WASHINGTON – A bipartisan plan to protect Dreamers from deportation was released Thursday but lacks an influential supporter: Sen. Marco Rubio.

    “I’m not prepared to sign on to that legislation right now because I think there might be a better approach,” Rubio told the Tampa Bay Times.

    The revised Dream Act released today by Sens. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., and Dick Durbin, D-Ill., would protect some 800,000 immigrants brought to the country illegally by their parents. It would provide a path to citizenship....

  9. Florida prayers for 'American hero' John McCain

    Blog

    Tributes and prayers for John McCain:

    ...

    John McCain, right, in Pensacola
  10. Rubio gets security detail

    Blog

    WASHINGTON - Sen. Marco Rubio was seen today with a security detail, though the reason is unknown.

    Rubio's office referred questions to the Capitol Police. A police spokeswoman said, "We do not comment on how we carry out our protective responsibilities for Congress."

    The detail was noticed by an Associated Press reporter.

  11. Trump pressures Republican senators on health bill

    Blog

    WASHINGTON - President Donald Trump scolded Republicans today for failing to pass health care and implored them to try again.

    The president, who yesterday said Obamacare should be left to "fail," said the Senate should remain in session during the planned August break to repeal and replace the law.

    "We can repeal it. But the best is repeal and replace, and let’s get going," Trump said....

    President Trump greets Sen. Marco Rubio at the White House on Wednesday
  12. Rubio: Health care failure not Trump's fault

    Blog

    WASHINGTON - Sen. Marco Rubio acknowledged defeat but said the war over Obamacare is not over.

    "We are going to repeal and replace Obamacare," he told reporters this morning. "Maybe not happen this week or next week but it's going to happen."

    Rubio also defended President Trump against criticism he did not do enough.

    “I just want to be fair to the president. He was told by numerous people: Let the Senate work it out and then you can come in at the end and help us close it, and he followed that advice and it didn’t work out. So I wouldn’t put that on him. I would put that on the fact that we have four, five, six people for different reasons are not prepared to support the proposals that are before us, and it’s disappointing. Republicans achieved a majority on this promise. …...

    Sen. Marco Rubio addresses the Congressional Hispanic Leadership Institute
  13. Bill Nelson: time to work on bipartisan fixes to Obamacare

    Blog

    WASHINGTON - With the Senate health care bill in tatters, Sen. Bill Nelson said Tuesday it's time to work on bipartisan fixes to the Affordable Care Act, and floated an idea he contends could reduce premiums in Florida by13 percent.

    "I'm working with Susan Collins right now," the Democrat told reporters. "In the case of the insurance company that has a catastrophic loss, you create a reinsurance find. You insure the insurance company against the catastrophe. Same thing we did in Florida on hurricanes."...

    Sen. Bill Nelson talks with reporters on Tuesday
  14. Endangered dept: Carlos Curbelo raising $54,000 per week

    Blog

    Issue One, a nonprofit political reform group, breaks down second quarter fundraising with some vivid results: A typical House member in a competitive race raised roughly $27,000 per week.

    At the top of the list is Rep. Carlos Curbelo, R-Miami: $54,000 per week, or nearly $7,800 per day. 

    Rep. Stephanie Murphy, D-Winter Park, raised more than $31,000 per week, or $4,500 daily....

    2nd quarter fundraising
  15. Declaring 'Obamacare is broken,' Rubio says he supports simple repeal

    Blog

    WASHINGTON - Sen. Marco Rubio said Tuesday he’ll support a simple repeal of Obamacare, if such a vote comes to pass now that the Senate bill has imploded.

    “I believe Obamacare is broken. I believe it’s bad for our country,” the Florida Republican said in his daily Facebook Live talk from his office.

    But it’s doubtful a simple repeal without a replacement could gain enough support to pass....