WASHINGTON (CNN) – The U.S. Senate passed a measure Wednesday that would prevent detainees at the U.S. military prison at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, from being transferred to the United States for now.
The measure passed with overwhelming bipartisan support in a 90-6 vote. A similar amendment has already passed the House. It was attached to a supplemental war funding bill.
Following in the steps of House Democrats, Senate Democrats rejected on Tuesday the administration's request for $80 million to close the Guantanamo facility. They instead asked that President Barack Obama first submit a plan spelling out what the administration will do with the prisoners when it closes the prison.
The moves by the Democratic-controlled Congress are considered a sharp rebuke to Obama, who is slated to give a speech Thursday on the future of Guantanamo Bay.
WASHINGTON (CNN) – The president retains the power to hold indefinitely and without charges some accused terrorists at the Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, military detention camp, a federal judge has ruled.
The decision by District Judge John Bates said those prisoners the United States deems responsible for the 9/11 attacks, or those who are or were al Qaeda or Taliban members can be detained. But he limited the Obama administration's power to imprison those who it says "support" terror or enemy forces.
The decision comes as the White House and Congress face a showdown over what to do with hundreds of Guantanamo prisoners when the facility at the U.S. naval base in Cuba is closed, a move Obama has promised will occur before February. Many lawmakers opposed housing the prisoners in the United States.
(CNN) - Eager to keep Dick Cheney in the spotlight, the Democratic National Committee released a Web video Wednesday highlighting recent GOP praise for the former vice president's series of television appearances.
Set to Caleb Delamont's Let Me Know That You Love Me, the video shows clips of House Minority Leader John Boehner and Republican National Committee Chairman Michael Steele praising Cheney's newfound media visibility, even as officials in the Republican party have sought to spotlight a new generation of leadership.
"The Republican Party [hearts] Dick Cheney," the video declares.
(CNN) - FBI Director Robert Mueller told members of the House Wednesday that it is a crime to lie to Congress, but said the bureau is not investigating the charge by House Speaker Nancy Pelosi that the CIA misled her.
In response to questions from California Rep. Darrell Issa, ranking Republican on the Oversight and Government Reform Committee, Mueller said procedures require Congress to refer requests for an investigation to the Justice Department. If it is determined by Justice officials that a basis exists for an investigation, the FBI would then be asked to look into the matter. When Issa said he has standing to ask for such an investigation, Mueller said he would pass the request on to the Justice Department.
(CNN) - Bristol Palin's abstinence tour continues this week on the cover of People Magazine.
In an exclusive interview with the magazine, owned by CNN's parent company Time Warner, the 18-year-old Palin says teenagers like her need to think about the consequences before they choose to have sex.
"Girls need to imagine and picture their life with a screaming newborn baby, and then think before they have sex," the daughter of former vice presidential candidate Sarah Palin said.
"If girls realized the consequences of sex, nobody would be having sex," Palin added. "Trust me. Nobody."
The comments come one day after Meghan McCain, the daughter of Arizona Sen. John McCain, criticized Palin's abstinence tour as "not realistic for this generation."
"I think we need to have sex education with condoms, birth control and etc., etc.," McCain said on Comedy Central's The Colbert Report. "I think that if the Republican Party says abstinence only is the only way to be, then we're going to lose a lot of young voters. And I think I wouldn't want to practice anything I didn't preach."
Read full Palin interview on People.com
(CNN) – New Hampshire may move closer Wednesday to joining five other states in the nation where same-sex marriages are legal.
The state's legislature, which has already passed a measure allowing gay and lesbian couples to tie the knot, is expected to revisit the issue to provide greater protections for churches and other religious institutions.
Gov. John Lynch, a three-term Democrat, said last week he would sign a same-sex marriage bill only if it provides "the strongest and clearest protections for religious institutions and associations, and for the individuals working with such institutions."
Lynch said any such measure needs to "make clear that (clergy and other religious officials) cannot be forced to act in ways that violate their deeply held religious principles."
The legislature is expected to vote on language suggested by Lynch stating that religious organizations can decline to take part in any marriage ceremony without incurring fines or risking lawsuits.
(CNN) - California's governor said he would meet with state leaders Wednesday after voters panned a handful of ballot measures designed to pull the state out of a deepening budget crisis.
Californians voted down five of the six propositions in a special election Tuesday. More than 60 percent of voters shot down each measure, according to final tallies Wednesday.
Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger had said that, if the propositions failed, he would have to make drastic cuts to education and health care, and would probably free many inmates from the state prison system.
With all six measures defeated, the deficit would surge to $21.3 billion, Schwarzenegger's office said last week. Even if all the measures passed, the deficit would hit $15.4 billion at the start of the new fiscal year in July.
Schwarzenegger spoke about the apparent defeat late Tuesday.
WASHINGTON (CNN) - Florida Gov. Charlie Crist endorsed John McCain the weekend before McCain won the state's pivotal Republican primary last year, a victory that may very well have sealed the GOP nomination for the Arizona senator.
On Wednesday, John McCain returned the favor.
"Today I am pleased to endorse Charlie Crist for the United States Senate," McCain said in a statement released by Crist's campaign.
"Now more than ever, we need leaders who are committed to lower taxes, limiting government spending, and fighting for the people are needed in Washington," he said.
McCain is the latest top Republican to endorse Crist's Senate bid as party leaders in Washington look to avoid a difficult primary battle in Florida. Crist is facing an intra-party challenge from former state House speaker Marco Rubio, but according to a new Mason-Dixon poll, Crist leads Rubio by 35 points.
Full statement after the jump
OXON HILL, Maryland (CNN) – Newt Gingrich might want Nancy Pelosi to be replaced as Speaker of the House, but the Republican party chairman in Pelosi’s home state of California wants her stick around for just a little while longer.
“She helps me raise so much money on the phone and mail,” California GOP chairman Ron Nehring said Tuesday at a gathering of the Republican National Committee. “We love her.”
“We don’t like Harry Reid because nobody knows who he is,” he chuckled. “But we love Nancy Pelosi, because when you’re one of these Democrat leaders and your negatives are almost twice what your positives are, that’s just wonderful, wonderful news. It’s a great gift for us.”
According to a CNN poll released Monday, nearly half of all Americans - 48 percent - disapprove of how the California Democrat she is handling her job as Speaker of the House, while 39 percent approve of her performance.
Nehring said Pelosi should hang around until the next election.
“She should remain Speaker for every single day in 2010,” he said.
(CNN) – One week after Florida Governor Charlie Crist announced he would campaign for the Senate next year rather than run for re-election, a new poll indicates he comfortably leads his primary and general challengers.
The popular first term governor announced last week that he would forgo re-election in 2010 and instead run for the seat being vacated by retiring Senator Mel Martinez, a fellow Republican. Crist was immediately backed by some top Republicans in Washington.
A new Mason-Dixon poll, the first survey to question Florida voters since that announcement, indicates that if the Republican primary for the Senate seat were held today, Crist would easily top former Florida House Speaker Marco Rubio 53 percent to 18 percent, who is considered more conservative than Crist.
The poll also suggests Crist would beat Democrat Kendrick Meek, a Congressman from south Florida, by 31 points and would defeat state senator Dan Gelber by 35 points in hypothetical general election matchups.
"Crist seems to be popular throughout Florida, but he also benefits in early polling from being the only Senate candidate who has been on a statewide ballot," says CNN Polling Director Keating Holland. "The challenge for the challengers is to boost their name ID in parts of the state where they have never run before. If one or more of them do that, the election results in 2010 may look nothing like today's poll."
The Mason Dixon poll was conducted May 14-18, with 625 Florida voters questioned by telephone. The survey's sampling error is plus or minus four percentage points.