"His heart couldn't get any bigger, and yesterday, it arrested," said Rep. Jesse Jackson Jr. "I come to the floor today on behalf of a generation to thank God for letting all of us live in his generation and in his era."
WASHINGTON (CNN) – A sharply divided House of Representatives debated passage of a White House-backed climate change bill Friday as Democratic leaders made a final push among members worried about the legislation's potential economic and political fallout.
"We're getting there," House Majority Whip James Clyburn, D-South Carolina, told CNN. "We're on the eight (yard line). First and goal."
The bill would reduce nationwide greenhouse gas emissions 17 percent by 2020 and 83 percent by 2050 through a so-called "cap-and-trade" program under which companies would buy and sell emissions credits.
Among other things, the bill would also require utilities to generate an increasing amount of power from renewable sources.
NEW YORK (CNNMoney.com) - The federal government is likely to spend $835 billion this year fighting the crises in the financial system and the economy, according to a new report by the Congressional Budget Office.
That spending represents about 6% of the nation's gross domestic product.
Of that amount, $340 billion is going toward the Troubled Asset Relief Program, which is being used primarily to bail out banks, insurers and the auto industry. Another $290 billion in 2009 outlays is being used to prop up mortgage giants Fannie Mae (FNM, Fortune 500) and Freddie Mac (FRE, Fortune 500).
In addition, $187 billion is being used for economic stimulus and relief efforts such as extended unemployment insurance.
As expensive as that seems, the CBO notes that "the current recession has little effect on long-term projections of non-interest spending and revenues."
Editor's note: On CNN's "State of the Union," host and chief national correspondent John King goes outside the Beltway to report on the issues affecting communities across the country.
COLUMBUS, Ohio (CNN) – In bellwether Ohio, hopes for a new Republican beginning rest largely on two familiar faces from the GOP past.
The governor's race in this state could potentially be the most important race in the country," says the man who hopes to be the Republican candidate, former U.S. Rep. John Kasich.
The GOP's candidate for an open Senate seat, former congressman and Bush Cabinet appointee Rob Portman, has been on the ballot in midterm elections before and frames the 2010 stakes this way:
"The 2010 election is going to be about the Obama agenda and the Democratic Congress agenda and whether they are doing the right thing and people will have to judge."
(CNN) – A second South Carolina newspaper is calling for Gov. Mark Sanford to resign.
The editorial Friday morning in the Orangeburg Times and Democrat comes two days after Sanford admitted to an extramarital affair with a woman from Argentina. The governor also acknowledged Wednesday that he did not tell his staff that he was in Argentina during a five-day period over the past week.
"Sanford should exit not because of his personal problems but because in dealing with those problems, he has shown clearly that he cannot be an effective leader. The entire episode vividly illustrates irresponsibility and poor judgment. He could not have handled the situation worse," the paper says in an editorial.
COLUMBIA, South Carolina (CNN) – Embattled South Carolina Gov. Mark Sanford plans to return to work Friday, despite calls for him to resign because of a sex scandal.
"After spending Thursday with his family in Sullivan's Island, South Carolina, Governor Mark Sanford has returned to Columbia and plans on holding a Cabinet meeting on Friday," his office told CNN by e-mail Thursday, a day after he admitted having an extramarital affair with an Argentine woman.
After disappearing from the public eye for nearly a week, Sanford, 49, acknowledged Wednesday that he had not hiked the Appalachian Trail - as his staff had said earlier - but had been in Buenos Aires, Argentina.
Sanford said Thursday that he would reimburse South Carolina for the Argentina leg of a state-funded trade mission last year because he saw the woman he had an affair with on that trip, someone he described as "a dear, dear friend."
CNN's sources in Buenos Aires and in South Carolina identified the woman, whose name was also widely reported in Argentine media, as Maria Belen Chapur.
TEHRAN, Iran (CNN) - Iran's President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad on Thursday called the U.S. president inexperienced, compared him unfavorably to President George W. Bush and suggested he apologize for "interfering in Iran's affairs."
"Do you think that this kind of behavior is going to solve any of your problems? It will only make people think you are someone like Bush," the semiofficial Fars news agency quoted Ahmadinejad as saying.
"You are at the beginning of your way and you are gaining experience, and we do not wish the scandals of the Bush era to be repeated during your term of office," the Iranian leader said.
President Obama, who has been in office for five months, has been treading a careful line on Iran, which has seen two weeks of street demonstrations following a disputed presidential election there.
(CNN) - Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin is visiting Alaska National Guard troops in Kosovo, her office said Thursday.
The governor is visiting the 1st Battalion, 207th Aviation Regiment, an army aviation unit deployed to the area on a peacekeeping mission. "A part of Governor Palin's duties while she is in country is to inspect the troops and ascertain how the experience in Kosovo will better prepare these service members for missions within Alaska and future deployments overseas," her office said in a statement.
Two years ago, Palin visited Alaska National Guard troops in Kuwait and wounded soldiers on a U.S. base in Germany, as well as a border crossing on the Kuwait-Iraq border.
Palin's son Track, who serves in the Army, deployed to Iraq last year.
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: Sanford spends day with family amid calls for his resignation
South Carolina Gov. Mark Sanford spent Thursday with his family, a day after he admitted to having an extramarital affair with an Argentine woman, his office said.
CNN: South Carolina's Sanford faces uncertain future
South Carolina Gov. Mark Sanford's office is in damage-control mode Thursday, a day after the Republican governor tearfully admitted he's been having an extramarital affair.
CNN: South Carolina's first lady, scrutinized
Sharp-witted. Direct. In control. Loyal.
CNN: Sanford's wife: 'His career is not a concern of mine'
Jenny Sanford said Thursday that her husband Mark Sanford's political career is "not a concern of mine" and that she'd be just fine - regardless of whether their marriage survives.
CNN: Obama makes eleventh-hour push for energy bill
President Obama acknowledged Thursday that a climate change bill strongly backed by the White House will face an extremely close vote in the House of Representatives as early as the end of the week.
CNN: Palin hits back at 'malicious' photo
A week after a high-profile uproar with comedian David Letterman over the late-night host's joke about her daughter, Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin is again sharply responding to the appearance of her children in the public sphere.
CNN: Senators to introduce Iran legislation
Three U.S. senators said Thursday they will introduce legislation funding a package of assistance to help get around the Tehran regime's information block.