WASHINGTON (CNN) - Former professional football player Jay Riemersma announced Monday that he is running for Congress in Michigan in 2010.
The GOP candidate is running for the seat being vacated by Rep. Peter Hoekstra, a Republican vying to become the next governor of Michigan. Riemersma set up an exploratory committee in June, but made it official on Monday with a speech in Holland, Michigan.
Comparing Congress to the National Football League, the former Buffalo Bills tight end promised to "never vote to raise your taxes."
"I'm announcing my candidacy today because we need a Republican renaissance – a return to our conservative principles of governance – and I'm ready to help lead this movement," Riemersma said, in remarks released by his campaign.
WASHINGTON (CNN) - The historic Senate Caucus Room was renamed the Kennedy Caucus Room on Monday in honor of the three Kennedy brothers who served in the chamber, according to a statement by Sens. Chris Dodd and John Kerry.
A resolution introduced by Dodd, D-Connecticut, and Kerry, D-Massachusetts, was unanimously passed by the Senate to make the change, the statement said.
Both John F. and Robert Kennedy announced their presidential campaigns in the room, the statement said.
WASHINGTON (CNN) – House Republican Leader John Boehner, R-Ohio, said Monday he would vote against any resolution admonishing Rep. Joe Wilson for his outburst during the president's address to Congress on health care last Wednesday.
"Rep. Wilson has apologized to the president, and the president accepted his apology. Last Thursday, Speaker (Nancy) Pelosi said that she believed it was time to move on and discuss health care. I couldn't agree more, and that's why I plan to vote 'no' on this resolution," Boehner said in a written statement.
"Instead of pursuing this type of petty partisanship, we should be working together to lower costs and expand access to affordable, high-quality health coverage on behalf of the American people."
House Democratic leaders pledged to move a resolution of disapproval if Wilson failed to apologize on the House floor for breaking rules governing appropriate conduct on the House floor.
While no solid connection between mobile communications devices and human cancer has been established, studies indicating the likelihood of such a link call for a precautionary approach, medical experts testified at the hearing chaired by Democratic Sen. Tom Harkin of Iowa.
Recommendations included using such devices less, keeping them away from the body, and limiting their use by children.
"Children have a configuration of their skull that does allow penetration of cell-phone radiation," noted Dr. John Bucher, associate director of the National Toxicology Program at the National Institutes of Health.
However, Bucher stopped short of declaring a causal link between cell-phone use and human cancer.
(CNN) - Former White House press secretary Jody Powell has died, a spokesman for the Carter Center said Monday.
Powell, 65, died Monday of an apparent heart attack, Carter Center spokesman Tony Clark told CNN.
"I was deeply saddened to hear about the passing of Jody Powell," said Robert Gibbs, press secretary to President Barak Obama, in a written statement. "As press secretary to President Carter, Jody served his country during a difficult time, and he always did the job with grace and good humor.
WASHINGTON (CNN) - The National Rifle Association endorsed Republican Bob McDonnell in the Virginia governor's race on Monday - an about-face for the gun rights group, which backed Democrat Creigh Deeds over McDonnell when the two men last faced off in a statewide race four years ago.
Deeds, who had interviewed for the NRA endorsement along with McDonnell, quickly countered by announcing that he had earned the backing of the Virginia Firefighters Association, which represents roughly 6,500 paramedics and firefighters throughout the commonwealth.
But the NRA endorsement is likely the headline-grabber of the day, due to the state's evolving relationship with firearms and the NRA's change-of-heart about the candidate it once supported.
Deeds, a state Senator from rural Bath County and a longtime supporter of gun rights, won the NRA's backing in 2005 when the two men were running for Attorney General. McDonnell won that race by just 323 votes, the narrowest margin of victory ever in a Virginia statewide race.
(CNN) – Sarah Palin's speech to investors in China later this month will be closed to the media, organizers of the event confirmed to CNN Monday.
The former Alaska governor is set to address the annual CLSA Investors' Forum September 23, though the group is also declining to reveal the topic of the former GOP vice presidential candidate's closed-door speech.
"We are not disclosing the topic of Sarah Palin's presentation at this point," said Simone Wheeler, head of communications for CLSA.
Wheeler said much of the four-day forum, which includes more than 200 presentations, is closed to the media except for a handful of keynote addresses where the speakers have specifically allowed members of the press to be invited.
WASHINGTON (CNN) – President Barack Obama is taking his health care message back on the road this week.
The White House says that the president will hold a rally on health care Thursday at the University of Maryland. The school is located in College Park, Maryland, about ten miles from the White House.
The president headlined a similar rally at the Target Center in Minneapolis, Minnesota Saturday, and discussed health care reform in an interview that aired Sunday night on "60 Minutes" on CBS, part of a push by the White House to build momentum out of Obama's health care address last Wednesday night to a joint-session of Congress.
The president is also likely to raise the issue when he travels to Pittsburgh and speaks in front of the AFL-CIO annual convention Tuesday.
–CNN White House Producer Erika Dimmler contributed to this report
WASHINGTON (CNN) - In the wake of President Barack Obama's nationally televised speech to Congress last week, a new national poll indicates that the president's approval rating is on the rise. But the CNN/Opinion Corporation survey (pdf) released Monday also suggests that the president's personal popularity has not translated into widespread support for his health care reform proposals.
Fifty-eight percent of people questioned in the poll approve of how Obama's handling his duties in the White House. That's up 5 points from late August. Forty-percent of those questioned disapprove of how Obama's doing his job, down five points since last month.
The survey was conducted Friday through Sunday, after the president addressed a joint session of Congress. The health care reform speech occurred at 8 pm ET, prime time across much of the nation.
The poll also indicates that Americans remain split on the president's plans on health care reform, with 51 percent favoring Obama's proposals and 46 percent opposed. Late last month, 48 percent of people questioned in a CNN survey backed the president's health care proposals, and 51 percent oppose them.
(CNN) - Former Democratic Rep. James Traficant, who only days ago was released from a federal prison after serving seven years on a bribery and racketeering conviction, told CNN Monday he may make a bid to return to Congress.
"I'm not sure at this point," Traficant told CNN's John Roberts on American Morning when asked if he wanted to seek a return to the body that, in a near unanimous vote, voted to expel him more than seven years ago.
"Both parties would not want to see me in Washington, believe me… I was very controversial down there," he said. "I'm the guy that changed the burden of proof in a civil tax case and had a bill moving forward that would finally, with the fair justice act, allow these people in the Justice Department to be charged and investigated and prosecuted for crimes."
Traficant also brushed aside recent criticisms from the mayor of Youngstown, Ohio - his hometown - that the former congressman is no longer representative of Ohio voters.
"I think I did a few things around Youngstown that helped Youngstown and improved Youngstown," said Traficant. "So I'm going to have a lot of…opposition if I do run, but quite frankly, I don't give a damn.
"You know, beam me up, I'm ready if I decide to run," Traficant also said, using his trademark closing like from Star Trek.