Kentucky: McConnell on healthcare hot-seat. US Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell is facing one of his greatest tests in trying to forge a healthcare repeal-and-replace bill that will pass the Senate. If he fails, he may engender the anger of President Trump, who “can be impatient,” former House Speaker and Trump confidant New Gingrich told the Washington Post ……. Tennessee: Black in middle of budget battle. US Rep. Diane Black (R), chairwoman of the House Budget Committee, is caught between fiscal conservatives – such as herself – and pro-defense representatives. She wants to pare down Pentagon spending, as well as cut spending for programs like food stamps, but other GOPers won’t go along. If Black can’t get a budget passed, says Politico, it may harm her gubernatorial prospects back home in the Volunteer State ……. Texas: State Supreme Court nixes same-sex benefits. The Texas Supreme Court overruled a lower court decision that said same-sex married couples are entitled to the same government benefits as traditional couples. The court said that while the US Supreme Court legalized same-sex marriage, it did not rule on the details of benefits that states and local governments might grant …….