WASHINGTON (CNN) - House Minority Leader John Boehner commented Thursday on Speaker Pelosi and the CIA's interrogation techniques.
Related video: Pelosi denies torture briefing
Health care reform won’t come cheap, and that’s why lawmakers are considering higher taxes on everything from alcohol and cigarettes to junk food and soda as a way to pay for it. The Senate Finance Committee is looking into how to pay for this massive overhaul, which could cost $1.5 trillion over 10 years.
Several experts are suggesting taxes on bad behavior, including a $2 dollar tax on a pack of cigarettes and a higher excise tax on alcohol.
Politico reports that the ranking Republican on the committee, Senator Chuck Grassley is nixing the idea of taxing soda and sugary drinks. But it’s easy to see why so-called sin taxes are appealing — taxing cigarettes, junk foods and alcohol could raise $600 billion over 10 years.
A recent poll found support among Americans for imposing such taxes to help pay for health care reform. The Kaiser Family Foundation survey shows 61 percent of those polled say they would be in favor of raising taxes on items that are thought to be unhealthy — like cigarettes, alcohol, junk food and soda. 37 percent are opposed.
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WASHINGTON (CNN) – The new chairman of the Republican Party of Virginia is sounding a little bit like the old one.
Pat Mullins was elected to lead the party earlier this month by the state GOP central committee after the former chairman, Jeff Frederick, was ousted after a series of embarrassing missteps. Frederick garnered national attention during last year's presidential race for drawing a comparison between Barack Obama and Osama bin Laden.
Mullins, the new party head, said something similar while speaking to the Virginia Beach city committee meeting on Monday. An audio recording of the event was provided to CNN by a Democratic party operative.
"I'm particularly excited I'm not a Democrat," Mullins told the audience. "Since I'm not a Democrat, I don't have to defend a president who goes overseas and bows to dictators that would like to destroy this country. I'm delighted I don't have to defend him."
Mullins was referring to video shot during April's G-20 Summit in London that showed Obama lowering his head while greeting King Abdullah of Saudi Arabia. The White House said that Obama was not bowing, and that he shook hands with the King, who is shorter than Obama.
(CNN) - National Republican Senatorial Committee Chairman John Cornyn said Thursday he expects fellow Texas Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison will resign her seat "this fall sometime" to focus on a run for governor, according to the Houston Chronicle.
That would set up a special election in the spring of 2010 that could prove to be a headache for Republicans as they struggle to keep Democrats from getting a filibuster-proof 60 votes in the Senate.
"We certainly can't afford to lose that [Hutchison] seat," he said.
Hutchison has yet to formally announce she will challenge Gov. Rick Perry for the GOP gubernatorial nomination. But the third-term senator announced an exploratory committee in December, and already has a Web site and staff in place, ready for a primary campaign.
Several Texas Democrats are already gearing up for a hypothetical special election to replace Hutchinson. That list includes Houston Mayor Bill White, who has raised more than $2 million for the race.
(CNN) - The always-outspoken Roberta McCain - mother of Sen. John McCain - took a swipe at Rush Limbaugh Wednesday, saying the popular conservative radio host "does not represent the Republican Party that I belong to".
"I belong to the Republican Party," McCain, 97, said during an appearance on The Tonight Show With Jay Leno. "What he represents of the Republican Party has nothing to do with my side of it. I don't know what the man means, I don't know what he's talking about."
McCain also praised Republican National Committee Chairman Michael Steele for labeling Limbaugh an "entertainer" earlier this year during an interview on CNN.
"I think [Steele] was exactly right when he defined this man as an entertainer," she said. "To my horror, the Republican Party made him back up on it."
Limbaugh has long been a critic of John McCain, publicly urging listeners to vote against him during the Republican presidential primaries last year. Most recently, Limbaugh said McCain and his outspoken daughter, Meghan, should follow Pennsylvania Sen. Arlen Specter out of the GOP.
In her appearance on Leno Wednesday, the elder McCain also had some harsh words for liberal television host Keith Olbermann.
"I, myself, can't figure out that type of person who really more or less gets joy out of denigrating people. I'm just not that type of person, I don't have friends like that, and thank God I am not around people like him."
WASHINGTON (CNN) - The House on Thursday passed a $6.4 billion school modernization bill that would commit funds for the construction and update of more energy-efficient school buildings.
The measure passed 275-155 in a largely party-line vote, and will now move to the Senate for further review.
Among other things, the bill allocates substantial funds for improvements along the Gulf Coast, where many school districts are still struggling to repair buildings damaged by hurricanes Katrina and Rita.
(CNN) – House Speaker Nancy Pelosi accused CIA officials Thursday of misleading her in 2002 about the use of "enhanced interrogation techniques" such as waterboarding, which simulates drowning and has been described by critics as torture.
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi says she was misled about the use of "enhanced interrogation techniques.”
Pelosi reiterated an earlier claim that she was briefed on such techniques only once - in September 2002 - and that she was told at the time that the techniques were not being used.
A recently released Justice Department memo says that the CIA used waterboarding at least 83 times in August 2002 in the interrogation of Abu Zubaydah, a suspected al Qaeda leader imprisoned at U.S. facilities in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba.
What did Pelosi know, and when? CNN Radio reports.
Pelosi said that one month later, she was told only that the Justice Department had concluded that such techniques were legal, not that they were being used.
"That's the only mention, that they were not using it. And we now know that earlier, they were," Pelosi said at her weekly news conference.
(CNN) – Bill Clinton is happy he can still dabble in the world of politics, even if Hillary Clinton can't.
Clinton said as much while campaigning in Norfolk on Thursday for his friend Terry McAuliffe, who is seeking the Virginia governorship.
"All of you know that we're very close friends," Clinton said of McAuliffe before the Virginia crowd. "All of you know that he did a great deal for me and our family."
"Hillary and I love him," Clinton continued. "And now that President Obama has given her a job that requires that she not ever participate in politics as long as she's Secretary of State, I'm the only one that can say that we love him."
WASHINGTON (CNN) – Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin came to the defense of Miss California Carrie Prejean on Wednesday, calling attacks against her "despicable" and saying that she can relate to her as a "liberal target."
Prejean has been in the spotlight since famously declaring her opposition to same-sex marriage during the Miss USA beauty pageant. Palin tied Prejean to President Obama and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton by saying all three believe that "marriage is between a man and a woman."
"I can relate as a liberal target myself," Palin said in the statement. "What I find so remarkable is that these politically-motivated attacks fail to show that what Carrie and I believe is also what President Obama and Secretary Clinton believe – marriage is between a man and a woman."
Palin confirmed that she spoke to Prejean "soon after the attacks started." The former vice presidential candidate, once a beauty pageant constestant herself, said she respected Prejean for "standing strong and staying true to herself.
"The liberal onslaught of malicious attacks against Carrie Prejean for expressing her opinion is despicable," Palin said. She added, "Our Constitution protects us all – not just those who agree with the far left."