Sick of Trump news? Here's what else happened in politics this week

Former President Donald Trump's indictment in connection with a New York hush-money investigation – the first criminal charges filed against an ex-president in U.S. history – has dominated headlines.

If you're sick of hearing about the Trump news, here are five things unrelated to the former president that happened this week in politics.

Former President Donald Trump watches the NCAA Wrestling Championship on March 18, 2023, in Tulsa, Okla.
Former President Donald Trump watches the NCAA Wrestling Championship on March 18, 2023, in Tulsa, Okla.

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Outlook bleak for gun reform after deadly Nashville shooting

A shooting at a small Christian school in Nashville, Tennessee on Monday left six people, including three children, dead, renewing calls in Washington for comprehensive gun control.

But with partisan gridlock on how to move forward, lawmakers expressed little hope that legislation addressing gun violence in the U.S. will make it to President Joe Biden's desk.

"We're not going to fix it," U.S. Rep. Tim Burchett, R-Tenn., told reporters Monday. "Criminals are going to be criminals."

Later in the week, at least two states moved to loosen gun laws. North Carolina's GOP-led legislature voted Wednesday to override Democratic Gov. Roy Cooper's veto of a measure that eliminates the state's longstanding permit system, and Florida lawmakers approved doing away with licensing requirements to carry a gun into most public places – but not into the Senate chamber where the bill was approved.

Read more on gun reform: 'We're not going to fix it': Why lawmakers see no chance of major gun law changes after Nashville

Major health updates on lawmakers

Sen. John Fetterman, D-Penn., said Friday he was discharged from Walter Reed National Military Medical Center after receiving care for clinical depression.

"I want everyone to know that depression is treatable, and treatment works," Fetterman said in a statement. "This isn't about politics – right now there are people who are suffering with depression in red counties and blue counties. If you need help, please get help."

Also Friday, U.S. Rep. Dan Kildee, D-Mich., said he will step away from his congressional duties for a "few weeks" after a scan found a small tumor in one of his tonsils. Following the scan, Kildee was diagnosed with squamous cell carcinoma, which is office says is "serious but curable."

Read more on Fetterman: Sen. John Fetterman discharged from Walter Reed after receiving treatment for depression

Read more on Kildee: US Rep. Dan Kildee announces 'serious but curable' cancer diagnosis

McCarthy: Biden 'on the clock' with debt ceiling talks

House Speaker Kevin McCarthy on Tuesday asked President Joe Biden to restart negotiations on raising the United States' borrowing limit as the country creeps toward a potential default.

The debt ceiling is the maximum amount the U.S. government can spend on its existing obligations, including Social Security and military salaries. Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen told Congress in January that the U.S. could default on its debt as soon as June.

Biden responded in a letter released late Tuesday that he looks forward to talking to the speaker about the nation's economic and fiscal future. "But for that conversation to be productive," he said, "we should both tell the American people what we are for."

Read more on debt ceiling negotiations: 'On the clock': McCarthy urges Biden to restart talks on debt ceiling as default looms

TikTok gains an enemy and an ally

At her second stop in early voting state New Hampshire, 2024 presidential hopeful Nikki Haley called for an all-out ban on TikTok.

"We're going to ban TikTok. Ban TikTok everywhere," the former U.N. ambassador said, also taking a jab at President Joe Biden for not banning the app.

But later in the week, TikTok gained an unlikely ally in Kentucky Republican Sen. Rand Paul, who blocked another senator's efforts to fast-track a ban on TikTok nationwide.

Missouri Sen. Josh Hawley on Wednesday tried to force a Senate vote on his "No TikTok on United States Devices Act," but was thwarted by Paul, who said banning the app would violate the First Amendment.

Read more on Haley: Nikki Haley wants to ban TikTok, not guns: Takeaways from her 2024 campaign stop in N.H.

Read more on Paul: Rand Paul blocks Josh Hawley's efforts to ban TikTok, joining one of the app's few defenders

Former VP Pence must testify in Jan. 6 probe

A federal judge on Tuesday ordered former Vice President Mike Pence to provide information to a federal grand jury as part of a Justice Department special counsel's investigation into Trump's efforts to overturn the 2020 election.

(Sorry, readers – I know this breaks the no-Trump-news rule a bit.)

Pence later called the subpoena "unprecedented" and "unconstitutional," but said that he was reviewing whether to appeal the decision.

The court also recognized Pence was shielded from answering some questions under the Constitution's speech-and-debate clause in his role as president of the Senate, about which Pence said he was "pleased."

"Let me be clear, I have nothing to hide. I have a Constitution to uphold," Pence told Greta Van Susteren on Newsmax cable network. "But the way that they sorted that out the requirements of my testimony going forward are the subject of our review."

Read more on Pence: Former VP Pence must testify about conversations with Trump before Jan. 6, federal judge says

This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: Here's what happened this week in politics, minus Trump news