WASHINGTON (CNN) - Al Franken's headed to Iowa, and a good steak may be one of the reasons.
The junior senator from Minnesota is the headliner Sunday at Sen. Tom Harkin's 32nd annual Steak Fry in Indianola, Iowa.
"Tom is a good friend. I admire him a lot," Franken, best known from his years as a comedian on "Saturday Night Live," told the Des Moines Register. "But also, I like steak."
The Harkin Steak Fry is one of the Iowa Democratic Party's biggest events, and in years when the party's presidential nomination is up for grabs, it's a draw for Democratic White House hopefuls. Barack Obama's appearance at the 2006 steak fry was a signal that the then-senator from Illinois was seriously considering a bid for the 2008 Democratic presidential nomination.
WASHINGTON (CNN)–House Democratic leaders plan to bring a resolution to the House floor next week to admonish South Carolina Republican Joe Wilson if he does not apologize on the House floor for his outburst during President Obama's joint address to Congress, according to several House Democratic leadership aides.
"He's violated the rules of the House with inappropriate conduct and he's subject to reprimand," said Kristie Greco, spokeswoman for House Democratic Whip Jim Clyburn, D-South Carolina.
Earlier, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi had said that Wilson violated House rules - but also said that it was "time for us to talk about health care and not Mr. Wilson."
Immediately after the President's speech Wednesday night, Wilson issued a statement saying, "This evening I let my emotions get the best of me when listening to the President's remarks regarding the coverage of illegal immigrants in the health care bill. While I disagree with the President's statement, my comments were inappropriate and regrettable. I extend sincere apologies to the President for this lack of civility." He also called the White House and apologized to White House Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel.
MINNEAPOLIS, Minnesota (CNN) - Former Minnesota Sen. Norm Coleman, widely considered a potential candidate for governor next year, confirmed to CNN Friday that he has been diagnosed with Bell's palsy, a generally temporary condition that affects the nerves of the muscles on one side of a person's face.
"[I was] heading back to the Twin Cities, I'm getting on a plane taking a little sip of water, and realize I'm dribbling out of the left side of my mouth," Coleman told CNN in a phone interview from his home in St. Paul. "I'm smiling, but only half of my face is smiling, so I realize I think we have a problem here."
Coleman said when the symptoms first came on last week on the plane he wasn't sure if it was a stroke or something else, but after seeing his doctor the next day, he had his answer.
"Bell's palsy, paralysis on the left side of my face," Coleman said. "The good news is that...I had a little movement, and by having a little movement it says the prognosis recovery is really pretty good."
WASHINGTON (CNN) - As Democrats met Friday in hope of achieving consensus on one of the biggest sticking points in the health-care battle, the House majority leader predicted final legislation will include a "public option."
The question, Rep. Steny Hoyer told CNN, is what form it will be in. "We'll have to see how that legislative process goes. The public option is a priority for us, it's our objective, and we think that in some form, a public option will be available," he said on CNN's "American Morning."
In recent days, the White House has been speaking with moderate Republican Sen. Olympia Snowe of Maine, one of the Finance Committee
negotiators, about her idea for a "trigger mechanism" that would bring a public option in the future if health-care legislation fails to meet thresholds for expanding coverage and reducing costs, Snowe told CNN on Wednesday.
Moderate Democrats who are uneasy with a public option, such as Sen. Ben Nelson of Nebraska, have said they could support a trigger mechanism. Such support could help a health-care bill gain the 60 Senate votes that would be necessary to overcome any filibuster attempt by Republicans.
U.S. Rep. Charles Boustany, R-Louisana, said in his response to President Barack Obama's address that he "read the bill Democrats passed through committee in July" and it "creates 53 new government bureaucracies."
(CNN) - Less than a day after Rep. Joe Wilson formally apologized to President Obama over his "you lie" outburst, a campaign aide confirms to CNN the South Carolina Republican has raised "more than $200,000" in the wake of the now-infamous moment.
News of that cash haul comes after Wilson directly asked in a Web video for campaign cash to fend off attacks from political opponents and said he's standing by his opposition to Democratic efforts at health care reform.
"On these issues, I will not be muzzled, I will speak up and speak loudly against this risky plan," Wilson said in a YouTube video released Thursday evening. "The supporters of the government takeover of health care and the liberals who want to give health care to illegals are using my opposition as an excuse to distract from the critical questions being raised about this poorly conceived plan."
The congressman disbursed the video via Twitter and asked his followers to "please watch and pass on."
"[Democrats] want to silence anyone who speaks out against it," Wilson also says in the video. "They made it clear they want to defeat me and pass the plan. I need your help now... contribute to my effort to defeat the proponents of government-run health care."
WASHINGTON (CNNMoney.com) - As President Obama turns up the heat on health care reform, one new and surprising detail to emerge is his pledge to tackle medical malpractice.
"I don't believe malpractice reform is a silver bullet, but I have talked to enough doctors to know that defensive medicine may be contributing to unnecessary costs," Obama said Wednesday night.
Obama's decision to wade into the issue has some insiders scratching their heads, because cutting down on medical malpractice lawsuits is a
But the president's idea of reducing health care costs by cutting down on lawsuits isn't the same as Republicans, who want to cap lawsuit damage awards. Instead, Obama plans to run with an idea left over from his predecessor's administration and fund pilot projects in states that trumpet patient safety.
(CNN) - President Barack Obama laid a wreath of white flowers Friday at the Pentagon, where 184 people lost their lives on September 11, 2001, when a hijacked jet smashed into the military icon outside the nation's capital.
"No words can ease the ache of your hearts," Obama told a crowd of relatives and friends standing under umbrellas in a steady rain. The plane, American Airlines Flight 77, struck the Pentagon's west wall. Earlier in the day, the president and first lady Michelle Obama held a
moment of silence outside the White House to mark the eighth anniversary of the al Qaeda attacks that killed 2,752 people.
At the Pentagon, Obama was introduced by Defense Secretary Robert Gates, who spoke of the "great pinnacle of sacrifice" shown that day.
"Eight Septembers have come and gone," Obama said. "Nearly 3,000 days have passed, almost one for each one who has been taken from us."
(CNN) - Former President Bush released a statement Friday marking the eight-year anniversary of the September 11, 2001 attacks.
Eight years ago, our Nation and our freedom came under attack. On this solemn anniversary, Laura and I hold the victims and their families in our thoughts and prayers. We honor those who volunteer to keep us safe and extend the reach of freedom – including members of the armed forces, law enforcement officers, and intelligence and homeland security professionals. Their courage, service, and sacrifice is a fitting tribute to all those who gave their lives on September 11, 2001. On this day, let us renew our determination to prevent evil from returning to our shores.
(CNN) – A day after heckling President Obama during his address to a joint session of Congress, Rep. Joe Wilson, R-South Carolina, said Thursday that he regretted the outburst, but stood by his belief that Obama had misrepresented elements of the health care bills.
"I truly had to speak out," Wilson said of his decision to shout out: "You lie!" during Obama's speech after the president proclaimed that illegal immigrants would not be covered under Democratic health care reform proposals.
"I didn't snap either, because if I'd snapped I would have kept on objecting," the congressman said. "But I didn't."
Asked if he regretted his comment, Wilson said, "Oh, yeah I wouldn't do that – I wouldn't have planned it or done it again."
Wilson said the proper way to respond to Obama's remarks would have been to hold a news conference after the address.
"People know that I am respectful of the president. I'm respectful of the office of the presidency. But I am just very passionate about the issues that I believe in and I know what was stated was inaccurate."