WASHINGTON (CNN) - The Senate Finance Committee voted Tuesday morning to send the nomination of Kansas Gov. Kathleen Sebelius to be secretary of health and human services to the full Senate.
Senators voted 15-8 to report her nomination to the Senate.
(CNN) - The Democratic Senate and congressional campaign committees will not accept cash from political action organizations or lobbyists during a fundraiser to be headlined by President Obama, a Democratic source confirms to CNN.
The White House stipulated the condition for the major June 18 fundraising event, expected to raise millions for 2010 Senate and congressional candidates.
Obama banned PAC and lobbyist donations during the presidential campaign to square with his pledge to limit the influence of special interests in Washington. He instituted a similar rule at the Democratic National Committee after winning the White House.
But both the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee and the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee - which along with their GOP counterparts have historically relied on PAC and lobbyist contributions - will return to accepting such funds after the Obama fundraiser.
WASHINGTON (CNN) –Former vice president Dick Cheney is slamming President Obama’s efforts to set a new tone for relations with the U.S. on the world stage.
“I guess I’ve been concerned the way that we’ve been presented overseas,” Cheney told Fox News host Sean Hannity Monday night. Cheney said he found it “disturbing” that the new president had gone overseas and seemingly apologized for past actions of the United States. “I think you have to be very careful. The world outside there - both our friends and our foes –will be quick to advantage of a situation if they think they’re dealing with a weak president or one who’s not going to stand up and aggressively defend America’s interests.
“The United States provides much of the leadership in the world. We have for a long time. I don’t think we’ve got much to apologize for.”
Just days after Obama shook hands and received a gift from Venezuelan president Hugo Chavez, Cheney called the images of the encounter “not helpful.” “I think it sets the wrong standard,” Cheney added.
Listen: Cheney's comments draw attention
WASHINGTON (CNN) – A prominent Democrat is joining the fray as many of the nation's newspapers slash staffs, file for bankruptcy, end their print editions, or cease publishing altogether.
Sen. John Kerry of Massachusetts announced Monday that he will chair a subcommittee hearing on the future of journalism.
"An independent news media is vital to our democracy," Kerry, the chairman of the Senate Commerce Subcommittee on Communications, Technology, and the Internet, said in a statement Monday evening. "The history of our Republic is inextricably linked to the narrative of our free and independent press, yet today, America's newspapers are struggling just to stay afloat. I called this hearing to directly address a problem that for too long has had us turning the other way. Whatever the model for the future, we must do all we can to ensure a diverse and independent news media endures."
The hearing is set for May 6. It is the subcommittee's first hearing since Kerry became the chair. It "will address the economic recession's impact on media," the statement said.
(CNN) – National Democrats will release a new Web video Tuesday criticizing two House Republican leaders who have disparaged President Obama’s budget plan.
The Democratic National Committee accuses House Minority Leader John Boehner, R-Ohio, and House Minority Whip Eric Cantor, R-Virginia, of being hypocrites for voting for former President Bush’s budgets, but now publicly opposing Obama’s proposal.
“Over eight years, Republicans nearly doubled the national debt,” reads text that flashes across the screen of the 30-second video. “John Boehner and Eric Cantor were with Bush every step of the way. Now, Washington Republicans want you to forget what they did.”
The video – "Party Of Hypocrites" – uses short sound bites from Boehner and Cantor knocking the Democratic president’s budget and then notes that Boehner voted for nearly $10 trillion in budget spending, and Cantor supported slightly more than $12 trillion during the Bush years.
House Minority Leader John Boehner's spokeswoman and House Minority Whip Eric Cantor's spokesman respond to the DNC video.
"We missed the part of the video where they defend the President’s massive, fiscally-irresponsible budget that will double the debt in five years and triple it in 10. When the President’s Budget Director concedes they are raising the deficit to unsustainable levels, I guess they have to blame everyone else."
- Antonia Ferrier, spokeswoman for House Minority Leader John Boehner
"As we close in on President Obama's first 100 days, I would ask Virginia's Governor Tim Kaine if his partisan attack ads and disinformation campaigns are a calculated rejection of the President's attempts to change Washington.”
- Brad Dayspring, spokesman for House Minority Whip Eric Cantor
WASHINGTON (CNNMoney.com) – The top cop tracking the government's $700 billion bailout program said Tuesday that he has opened 20 criminal investigations and six audits into whether tax dollars are being pilfered or wasted.
Neil Barofsky, the special inspector general overseeing the Troubled Asset Relief Program, released a 250-page report detailing a long list of concerns about government efforts to prop up hundreds of banks, Wall Street firms and auto companies.
Barofsky, whose investigations could lead to criminal charges, told CNNMoney.com in an interview that he wants taxpayers to understand where their money is going. At the same time, he wants to alert officials to weaknesses in TARP that could invite corruption or fraud.
"Our recommendations are forward looking and there are no vulnerabilities that can't be addressed," Barofsky said. "The balance of what we're trying to do is to inform, bring transparency and make appropriate recommendations."
The CNN Washington Bureau’s morning speed read of the top stories making news from around the country and the world.
For the latest political news: www.CNNPolitics.com.
CNN: In CIA visit, Obama defends interrogation memo release
President Obama, visiting CIA headquarters Monday, defended his decision to release Bush-era memos on interrogation tactics, saying the country will ultimately be stronger as a result.
CNN: Preference for Hill over Zinni remains a mystery
Chris Hill is slowly overcoming GOP opposition that has delayed his nomination as U.S. ambassador to Iraq, but it's still unclear why the Obama administration revoked the offer they gave to someone else first — General Anthony Zinni.
CNN Poll: Americans still back Democrats, but not as much
As Congress comes back after a two-week recess, a national poll indicates the honeymoon may be over for congressional Democrats, although they maintain a decided advantage over the GOP.
CNN: Cheney: 'I don't think we've got much to apologize for'
The former vice president Dick Cheney is slamming President Obama’s efforts to set a new tone for relations with the U.S. on the world stage.
WSJ: Computer Spies Breach Fighter-Jet Project
Computer spies have broken into the Pentagon's $300 billion Joint Strike Fighter project - the Defense Department's costliest weapons program ever - according to current and former government officials familiar with the attacks.
NYT: Lawmaker Is Said to Have Agreed to Aid Lobbyists
One of the leading House Democrats on intelligence matters was overheard on telephone calls intercepted by the National Security Agency agreeing to seek lenient treatment from the Bush administration for two pro-Israel lobbyists who were under investigation for espionage, current and former government officials say.