WASHINGTON (CNN) - The Senate voted Thursday night to extend the "Cash for Clunkers" program with an infusion of $2 billion.
White House aides said earlier that President Barack Obama will quickly sign the bill into law to prevent any interruption to the popular incentive.
The Senate voted 60-37 to approve the measure already passed by the House.
WASHINGTON (CNN) - A new national poll indicates that Americans think President Barack Obama's performance on the economy deserves a grade of C.
The CNN/Opinion Research Corporation survey, released Thursday as the president approaches 200 days in the White House, asked respondents to use a grading scale of A, B, C, D, and F, where A is excellent and F is very poor.
Fourteen percent of those questioned gave Obama an A, 24 percent a B, 25 percent a C, 13 percent a D and 23 percent an F. The president's grade on the economy averaged out to a C.
The president also received a grade of C on the economy in a CNN poll taken as he approached 100 days in office.
The CNN/Opinion Research Corporation poll was conducted July 31-August 3, with 1,136 adult Americans questioned by telephone. The survey's sampling error is plus or minus 3 percentage points.
Obama administration officials and Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke say the economy is showing signs of stabilizing. Yet unemployment in many states continues to rise, and there are few indicators to restore confidence in the broader economy.
Most of CNN's analyst graded Obama some kind of B grade, with a D from conservatives Bill Bennett and Alex Castellanos.
"He stopped us from going over a cliff," said David Gergen, who added a note of caution: "…but he’s got real problems ahead." He gave Obama a B+.
You gave the Obama administration's handling of the economy a C- - down from the B grade you gave him after his first 100 days.
WASHINGTON (CNN) - Top Senate Democrats Thursday lashed out at conservative protestors for disrupting health care town hall meetings but said Democrats would not be deterred from promoting the emerging health overhaul over the August recess.
“We’re not going to be sidetracked by people trying to sabotage a civil process,” said Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-NV.
“These are nothing more than destructive efforts to interrupt a debate we should be having,” Reid said. “They’re doing this because they don’t have any better ideas.”
Top White House aides, David Axelrod and Jim Messina, huddled with Senate Democrats in the Capitol Tuesday to strategize about how best to talk to their constituents about health care when they return home. During the meeting, senators watched videos of recent town hall meetings during which protestors shouted down lawmakers.
(CNN) - Sarah Palin, who has kept a relatively low profile immediately after stepping down as Alaska governor, stepped back into the limelight with a visit to the media capital of the country.
The former Republican vice presidential candidate - in town to meet with the publisher of her upcoming book - dined Tuesday night at New York's storied media haven, Michael's Restaurant, with a group that included husband Todd and attorney Bob Barnett. The party - which arrived without a reservation, according to Michael's Manager Danny DiVella - requested a table in the front of the restaurant. A crowd gathered outside to catch a glimpse of the group through the window.
This morning, a jeans-clad Palin was spotted on 5th Avenue and 55th Street with her husband and daughter Piper, carrying her baby son Trigg. There has been no announcement of when her next public appearance may be.
Palin's first public post-resignation comments came at a National Rifle Association event in Anchorage over the weekend which did not include reporters.
WASHINGTON (CNN) - With Sonia Sotomayor soon to fulfill her long-held dream to sit on the Supreme Court, she will have the prestige of joining the highest court in the land, lifetime job security, and a public forum as the first Hispanic on that bench.
Her formal swear-in will be Saturday morning at the high court, with Chief Justice John Roberts administering the judicial oath.
The 55-year-old judge now has the opportunity to become a influential force among her new colleagues, a legal pioneer who could help shape the law and its effect on society in any number of ways. But such a legacy will not come easily and it certainly will not come quickly. The internal dynamics of a body built on tradition and stability have long discouraged swift and sweeping forces that are regularly felt in the other branches of government, and society at large.
After her Thursday confirmation by the Senate, Sotomayor will become the junior justice, someone with the least seniority but no less authority than her eight benchmates. She brings with her a bit of history, and is sure to be the focus of public attention and political scrutiny.
NEW YORK (CNNMoney.com) - President Obama ended his first 100 days in office amid hopes that both General Motors and Chrysler Group might both still avoid bankruptcy. In his second 100 days, he created a new U.S. auto industry.
The reshaping of GM and Chrysler through bankruptcy is essentially complete, and the Treasury Department holds large stakes in both companies.
There is arguably no segment of the economy where the administration has had greater impact than in the auto sector. And there's also no accomplishment that surprised experts more.
"It was a remarkable feat, and it surprised a lot of people," said Dave Cole, chairman of the Center for Automotive Research, a Michigan think tank.
Some critics aren't convinced that a speedy bankruptcy was the right thing to do. Chrysler filed for bankruptcy April 30 and was out of bankruptcy on June 10. GM filed for bankruptcy on June 1. It emerged from Chapter 11 protection on July 10.
RALEIGH, North Carolina (CNN) - A woman who had an affair with former Sen. John Edwards was seen entering the federal courthouse in here Thursday morning.
The reason for Rielle Hunter's appearance at the courthouse was not immediately clear.
Edwards has acknowledged that he is under federal investigation over payments to Hunter's production company. He has denied wrongdoing.
WASHINGTON (CNN) - With the Senate poised to pass a bill Thursday night expanding the "cash for clunkers" program with an infusion of $2 billion, White House aides say President Obama will quickly sign the bill into law by the end of the week so there's no interruption to the popular incentive this weekend.
"He's going to want to make sure the funds are in place by this weekend," one senior White House official noted because of the particularly brisk weekend business the program has sparked.
There has been concern the program is so popular it will run out of its initial $1 billion in funding if the Senate leaves for recess this week without completing a deal. Several top Republicans, including Sen. John McCain of Arizona, raised concerns about pouring more money into the program at a time when the government is deep in debt.
But Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid of Nevada and other top Democrats have been lining up votes for the expansion by making the case that the program is providing a boost to the economy by increasing weak auto sales, while also helping the environment by getting "clunkers" off the road in favor of more fuel-efficient vehicles.