July 17th, 2009
11:08 AM ET
5 years ago

Lugar becomes first Republican to back Sotomayor

Lugar is backing Sotomayor.
Lugar is backing Sotomayor.

(CNN) – Indiana Republican Dick Lugar Friday announced he intends to vote for Sonia Sotomayor's confirmation to the Supreme Court, becoming the first senator in his party to formally state support for President Obama's pick to the high court.

"I have listened to the testimony of Judge Sonia Sotomayor before the Senate Judiciary Committee, carefully reviewed her public service record, and reviewed recommendations from Indiana constituents and colleagues here in the Senate," Lugar said in a statement.

"Judge Sotomayor is clearly qualified to serve on the Supreme Court and she has demonstrated a judicial temperament during her week-long nomination hearing. Judge Sotomayor has had a distinguished career of public service," he also said. "She is well regarded in the legal community and by her peers. I will vote to confirm Judge Sonia Sotomayor's nomination to serve as an Associate Justice of the Supreme Court of the United States."

While Sotomayor's confirmation appears all but certain, it remains unclear exactly how many Republicans will support the current appeals court judge when her nomination comes up for a vote on the floor.

In the Judiciary Committee, where Sotomayor will face the first vote on her nomination, at least two Republicans have suggested they will support her - Lindsey Graham of South Carolina and Orrin Hatch of Utah. That vote could come as early as next week.

– CNN's Evan Glass contributed to this report


Filed under: Dick Lugar • Sonia Sotomayor • Supreme Court
July 17th, 2009
11:02 AM ET
5 years ago

King: GOP sees fertile ground in taxes, pocketbook issues

 CNN's John King says Republicans think they'll gain more ground on pocketbook issues than on Sonia Sotomayor.
CNN's John King says Republicans think they'll gain more ground on pocketbook issues than on Sonia Sotomayor.

WASHINGTON (CNN) - What the country could easily see this week was a major success story for the Obama White House: A confirmation drama featuring Judge Sonia Sotomayor that left even Republican critics predicting an easy path to confirmation.

But just as Sotomayor was making major advances, a bigger initiative from President Obama, health care reform, was dealt a bruising body blow.

Douglas Elmendorf, chief of the Congressional Budget Office, said this of the leading Democratic health care proposals in the House and Senate: "In the legislation that has been reported, we do not see the sort of fundamental changes that would be necessary to reduce the trajectory of federal health spending by a significant amount and, on the contrary, the legislation significantly expands the federal responsibility for health care costs."

Translation: The bills, as they stand, do not meet the president's promise to reduce the long-term drain of health care spending on the federal budget.

Full story


Filed under: Health care • Sonia Sotomayor • Supreme Court • Taxes
July 17th, 2009
10:39 AM ET
5 years ago

Obama releases statement on Indonesia attacks

(CNN) - President Obama has released a statement on the recent bombings in Jakarta, Indonesia:

Statement by the President on the bombings in Indonesia

I strongly condemn the attacks that occurred this morning in Jakarta, and extend my deepest condolences to all of the victims and their loved ones.

The American people stand by the Indonesian people in this difficult time, and the U.S. government stands ready to help the Indonesian government respond to and recover from these outrageous attacks as a friend and partner.

Indonesia has been steadfast in combating violent extremism, and has successfully curbed terrorist activity within its borders. However, these attacks make it clear that extremists
remain committed to murdering innocent men, women and children of any faith in all countries.

We will continue to partner with Indonesia to eliminate the threat from these violent extremists, and we will be unwavering in supporting a future of security and opportunity for the Indonesian people.


Filed under: President Obama
July 17th, 2009
10:11 AM ET
5 years ago

Reid endorses Gillibrand

Gillibrand has won the backing of Harry Reid.
Gillibrand has won the backing of Harry Reid.

WASHINGTON (CNN) - Calling her a "rising star in the Democratic caucus," Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid announced Friday that he's backing Kirsten Gillibrand's bid to retain her Senate seat in 2010.

“I am endorsing Senator Gillibrand’s campaign because she is a rising star in our caucus,” Reid said in a statement. “As a working mother with two young children, Kirsten brings unique perspective to the challenging issues we are debating in Congress. In just six month, Kirsten has introduced a number of new and innovative legislative approaches to the problems many families face.”

Reid picked Gillibrand over Rep. Carolyn Maloney, a New York lawmaker who plans to challenge the sitting senator in next year's Democratic primary. Gillibrand, a former congresswoman, was appointed to the Senate in January to succeed Hillary Clinton.


Filed under: Kirsten Gillibrand
July 17th, 2009
08:28 AM ET
July 17th, 2009
08:26 AM ET
5 years ago

House panel passes health care bill after marathon session

The House Ways and Means committee passed the House Democrats health care bill out of committee early Friday.
The House Ways and Means committee passed the House Democrats health care bill out of committee early Friday.

WASHINGTON (CNN) - The House Ways and Means committee passed the House Democrats health care bill out of committee early Friday morning after a marathon markup that started Thursday morning.

The vote on the so-called "tri-committee bill" was 23-18, with three Democrats voting with all of the committee's Republicans against the bill. The three Democrats voting against the bill were: Ron Kind of Wisconsin, Earl Pomeroy of North Dakota, and John Tanner of Tennessee. Pomeroy and Tanner are blue dogs and Kind is a leader of another group of moderate Democrats, the "New Democrats."

Two other House committees are still marking up the bill. The Education Labor Committee is expected to vote Friday. But a key challenge will come next week at the Energy and Commerce
Committee where a group of blue dogs who oppose the bill could block it.

Rep Mike Ross, D-Arkansas, said Thursday the group is drafting several amendments to make major changes to the bill. He also said right now leaders do not have enough votes to pass the bill on the House floor.


Filed under: Congress
July 17th, 2009
05:46 AM ET
5 years ago

POLITICAL HOT TOPICS: July 17, 2009

ALT TEXT

The CNN Washington Bureau’s morning speed read of the top stories making news from around the country and the world.

WASHINGTON/POLITICAL
For the latest political news: www.CNNPolitics.com.

CNN: King: GOP sees fertile ground in taxes, pocketbook issues
What the country could easily see this week was a major success story for the Obama White House: A confirmation drama featuring Judge Sonia Sotomayor that left even Republican critics predicting an easy path to confirmation.

CNN: Real battle over health care reform about to begin
As President Obama presses the House and Senate to finalize their own versions of health care reform, the real battle over the issue is just heating up - and it's about to get very personal.

CNN: Pelosi: Health care surtax could be lowered, not eliminated
Speaker Nancy Pelosi said Thursday she would willing to lower the amount of a new surtax on wealthy Americans to pay for health care legislation if more savings from proposed reforms can cover the cost of the bill.

CNN: Senate Dem criticizes Obama opposition to taxing health benefits
President Barack Obama's opposition to taxing employer-provided health benefits has slowed progress on passing a health care reform bill, the chairman of the Senate Finance Committee complained Thursday.

CNN: Clinton: 'I broke my elbow, not my larynx'
The cast on her elbow is finally off, and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton wasted no time Thursday swinging back at media reports that she is being sidelined by the White House in shaping U.S. foreign policy.

CNN: Obama to NAACP: Progress made but much still to accomplish
President Obama commended the progress of African-Americans in a speech on the 100th anniversary of the NAACP, but said there was still much work to be done.

CNN: Tracking Michelle Obama's slave roots
In many places across the South you can walk in the footsteps of slaves, and if you understand the history, it is not a happy journey. The same is true at Friendfield Plantation outside Georgetown, South Carolina.

FULL POST


Filed under: Political Hot Topics
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