WASHINGTON (CNN) – It's unlikely President Obama will get his Father's Day present wish by Sunday – but that didn't stop him from asking.
The president hosted his yearly Fatherhood event Friday at the White House followed by a backyard barbecue on the South Lawn of the White House.
During the barbecue portion of Friday's events, Obama was asked what he wanted for Father's Day. His response? "A health care bill."
WASHINGTON (CNN) — U.S. Supreme Court justice nominee Sonia Sotomayor has quit her membership in a women’s club.
The 54-year-old Latina jurist announced her decision to withdraw from the Belizean Grove, effective Friday, in a letter to Sen. Patrick J. Leahy, chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee, and Sen. Jeff Sessions, the committee’s ranking member.
“I believe that the Belizean Grove does not practice invidious discrimination and my membership did not violate the Judicial Code of Ethics, but I do not want questions about this to distract anyone from my qualifications and record,” she wrote.
(CNN) - As Supreme Court nominee Sonia Sotomayor continues to make the rounds on Capitol Hill, at least one senator is refusing to meet with her.
Sen. James Inhofe, the Oklahoma Republican who previously voted against Sotomayor's current post as a federal appeals court judge, told the Tulsa World Thursday it is a "foregone conclusion" that he would not support Obama's pick for the high court.
"If you voted against anyone on the circuit [court], I have never been able to see how you turn around when the bar is actually higher and support it at a higher level," Inhofe also said.
So when it came time for Sotomayor to meet with Inhofe to discuss her judicial philosophy, the Oklahoman declined.
"The reason is he already knows how he is going to vote and it's probably best not to take up her time, she's very busy," Inhofe communications director Jared Young told CNN.
Meanwhile, fellow Oklahoma Sen. Tom Coburn, also a Republican, met with Sotomayor Thursday, having what he described as a "philosophical discussion" with the high court nominee.
"It was more a philosophical discussion [about] life, problems in our country, difficulties we face," Coburn said.
Inhofe isn't the first Republican to explicitly proclaim his opposition to Sotomayor. Kansas Sen. Pat Roberts - who also voted against Sotomayor's nomination to the appeals court 11 years ago - said late last month he would again oppose her. A spokeswoman for Roberts did not know if the Kansas Republican has plans to meet with the nominee.
Sotomayor has met with more than 70 senators since Obama tapped her for the Supreme Court late last month.
NEW YORK (CNNMoney.com) – There's a lot of talking going on about health care reform and urgent warnings of what will happen if it doesn't pass. But for all the talk, there's very little clarity for the public about what kind of reform has a serious chance of passing and how lawmakers intend to pay for it.
The reason: Legitimate disagreement about how the country should overhaul the health care system. And it's not just between Democrats and Republicans. It's within the parties as well.
Vigorous debate is inevitable and necessary. After all, health care reform would be the biggest and most complex undertaking that lawmakers have dealt with in decades, and it would have consequences for every American.
But President Obama has set a tight deadline. He wants both the House and Senate to pass their health reform bills by Aug. 1.
WASHINGTON (CNN) - The U.S. House of Representatives and the Senate overwhelmingly approved resolutions Friday that support "all Iranians who embrace the values of freedom, human rights, civil liberties and the rule of law."
The Senate approved the measure by unanimous consent, while in the House the resolution was approved by 405 lawmakers, with one congressman - Rep. Ron Paul, R-Texas - voting against it. Two other lawmakers, Reps. Brad Ellsworth, D-Indiana, and Dave Loebsack, D-Iowa, voted "present."
The Senate also approved a resolution sponsored by Sens. Ted Kaufman, D-Delaware, and Jon Kyl, R-Arizona, supporting freedom of speech and freedom of the press in Iran.
In a statement on his Web site, Paul said he voted against the House measure because he is "always very cautious about 'condemning' the actions of governments overseas."
"I have always hesitated when my colleagues rush to pronounce final judgment on events thousands of miles away about which we know very little," said Paul, who attracted attention last year during his unsuccessful bid for the Republican presidential nomination. "And we know very little beyond limited press reports about what is happening in Iran."
LOS ANGELES, California (CNN) - Although several prominent conservatives such as former House Speaker Newt Gingrich and talk show host Rush Limbaugh have been sharply critical of Sonia Sotomayor and her nomination to the Supreme Court, President Obama's first high court pick has won the support of at least one high-profile conservative legal figure: Kenneth Starr, the former federal judge who led the investigation that ultimately lead to the impeachment and trial of President Bill Clinton.
"I'm very much an admirer of her, and I'm supporting the nomination," Starr said Thursday at a law and journalism conference at Loyola Law School in Los Angeles. "I think that's a very wise and sound nomination of our president."
Starr, the former independent counsel for the Whitewater and Monica Lewinsky investigations of the 1990s, told reporters after the event that he has voiced his support to at least two U.S. senators, whom he declined to name, but has not been asked to write an official letter of endorsement.
He also addressed comments that Sotomayor made in a 2001 speech at the University of California at Berkeley, in which she said, "I would hope that a wise Latina woman with the richness of her experiences would more often than not reach a better conclusion than a white male who hasn't lived that life."
WASHINGTON (CNN) - Secretary of State Hillary Clinton is expected to make a full recovery following surgery to repair her fractured right elbow, her doctors said Friday.
Clinton was at home recovering. She fractured her elbow Wednesday in a fall, a State Department spokeswoman said.
"At 7:30 a.m. this morning, Secretary Clinton underwent a two-hour surgery to successfully repair her fractured right elbow," said attorney and Chief-of-Staff Cheryl Mills.
"Her doctors at the George Washington University Hospital have advised her that they expect her to make a full recovery without lasting damage to her arm," Mills said in a statement.
WASHINGTON (CNN) – Several senior Democratic advisers to the White House are urging President Obama to further step up his personal involvement in the health care debate, as administration allies privately warn that the president's push for a major reform bill is hitting major roadblocks at a critical juncture on Capitol Hill.
One of the Democratic advisers told CNN there is fear within the party that the president's signature issue is "on the rocks" because of dramatically high cost estimates for separate bills being drafted by Sens. Edward Kennedy (D-Massachusetts) and Max Baucus (D-Montana). The Congressional Budget Office's estimate for the Kennedy bill - that it will cost $1 trillion and yet leave millions of Americans without health insurance - has given Republicans strong political ammunition to charge reform may be too expensive at a time of massive federal deficits.
CNN Radio: Ed Henry reports on the status of the president's plan
"We're going to need the White House to step it up a little bit and get more engaged," said a second Democratic adviser, who acknowledged concerns that Republicans are gaining steam in the message battle. "We've got some time to sort this out, but decision time is just around the corner."
(CNN) - MoveOn.org is targeting a Democratic senator Friday over her apparent opposition to the health care proposal President Obama has proposed.
In a radio ad airing in the New Orleans market, the liberal political action committee criticizes Louisiana Sen. Mary Landrieu for expressing opposition to legislation that would provide Americans with a choice of public health care.
"Why is Mary Landrieu opposing the president's plan to provide health care choices for all Americans, including the option to join a high quality public health insurance plan?" the ad's narrator says, noting the senator has received "$1.6 million in campaign contributions from the health care industry - the same industry that's now spending millions to stop the president's plan."
After initially signaling she would be in favor of a public option last year, Landrieu told reporters last week she was against any health care reform package that offered such a policy.
"I'm not open to a public option," she said. "However, I will remain open to a compromise, a full compromise. [A] public option is not something that I support. I don't think it's the right way to go."