(CNN) - Mary Cheney, the younger daughter of Vice President Dick Cheney, is starting her own political consulting firm, a Cheney spokesperson confirms to CNN
The new firm will focus on "strategic consulting," said Lucy Tutwiler, a spokeswoman for the former vice president.
No word on whether Cheney's famous father, or her increasingly vocal older sister, Liz, will play a role in the firm.
WASHINGTON (CNN) - The Senate Finance Committee will vote on its long-awaited health care bill next Tuesday, Majority Leader Harry Reid announced on the Senate floor Thursday.
On Wednesday, the non-partisan Congressional Budget Office estimated that the amended version of the legislation would cost $829 billion over the next 10 years.
It would also reduce the deficit by over $80 billion, the office concluded.
The Finance Committee is the last of five congressional panels to consider health care legislation before debate begins in the full House and Senate. Committee members were waiting for the budget office's cost analysis before voting on their version of the bill.
NEW YORK (CNNMoney.com) - As thousands of jobless Americans lose their weekly unemployment checks every day, Congress is still debating who should qualify for a benefits extension.
The House passed a bill last month lengthening benefits by 13 weeks for those in high-unemployment states. While Senate leaders said at the time they would act soon, the proposal has languished as Democrats argue over the terms.
Meanwhile, 400,000 people ran out of benefits in September and another 208,000 are set to lose them this month, according to the National Employment Law Project.
Sen. Max Baucus, D-Mont., is pushing legislation that would lengthen benefits for the jobless nationwide by four weeks. Those in states with unemployment rates greater than 8.5% would receive a total of 17 additional weeks.
WASHINGTON (CNN) - Joe Biden heads across the Potomac River Thursday to help out a fellow Democrat.
The Vice President teams up with Creigh Deeds, the Democratic candidate for governor of Virginia, at a fundraiser in Alexandria. Recent polls suggest that Deeds, a state senator, trails the Republican candidate, former Virginia Attorney General Bob McDonnell, from 4 to 9 points. Virginia's current governor, Democratic National Committee Chairman Tim Kaine, is term limited and can't seek a second term.
Biden was in New Jersey Wednesday, the only other state holding a gubernatorial contest this November. The vice president teamed up at two events with Democratic Gov. Jon Corzine, who's fighting for re-election. Recent surveys indicate that Corzine has now pulled even with Republican challenger Chris Christie, the former federal prosecutor in New Jersey.
Biden, who joined Corzine in June when the governor formally kicked off his re-election campaign, said he and President Barack Obama are committed to helping Corzine win a second term.
"It's critically important he be re-elected," said Biden.
(CNN) - Could a little-known freshman Democrat from a conservative-leaning Florida district be just what the doctor ordered for liberals wary of what they view as a timid president too ready to compromise on overhauling health care?
A little more than a week ago, few Americans had heard of Rep. Alan Grayson, who represents the Orlando area, and more than a handful of his congressional colleagues may not have been able to pick the 6-foot-4, 51-year-old out of a lineup.
But that was before the combative Bronx-born congressman and Harvard-educated lawyer took to the floor of the House of Representatives last week, shocking the few Republicans within earshot when he dramatically declared the GOP health care plan is "Don't get sick, and if you do get sick, die quickly."
(CNN) - Bill Frist and Trent Lott were once close – "close" being a relative term in politics – but that bond was broken in the cold days of December 2002 when Lott was forced step aside and allow Frist to become majority leader. Remember Lott's comments at Sen. Strom Thurmond's birthday party?
In his 2005 autobiography "Herding Cats," Lott recounted the struggle to keep his leadership post and described Frist's decision to seek it as"a personal betrayal."
Four years later, it's Frist's turn.
Trent Lott, Kid Rock, and even the late liberal lion of Massachusetts all make an appearance in former Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist's new book, which is chock full of nuggets that political insiders will feast upon - including his hindsight view of the Terri Schiavo case, one of the defining moments of his political career.
I am not going to detail all the highs and lows of "A Heart To Serve," but if you are a fan of political intrigue – specifically Senate intrigue – then read on....
(CNN) - In the days after Joe Wilson shouted "You lie!" at President Obama during his address to Congress last month, the South Carolina congressman reached out to several of his longtime confidantes.
A graduate of Washington and Lee University, a school with a strict honor code, and a veteran of the Army Reserves, Wilson was worried he had disappointed those close to him by showing a lack of civility.
"Joe has always operated as a gentleman, and I think for anyone to question if he was continuing to do that is something that concerned him," his friend Ed McMullen said.
But the people close to Wilson assured him that beyond apologizing for the outburst, he did not need to be ashamed for questioning the president's sincerity in the health care debate. Wilson made the outburst after Obama denied his health care plan would cover illegal immigrants, then apologized to the White House later that night.
The students coming to the White House tonight will be met by the 'Inflatable Dome,' a virtual universe that displays a realistic virtual show of the galaxies. (Photo Credit: Erika Dimmler/CNN)
WASHINGTON (CNN) - One hundred and forty lucky middle school aged students are headed to the South Lawn at the White House this evening for a night of star gazing with President Obama – but this time, the proceedings have nothing to do with Hollywood royalty.
Tonight's festivities will target a very specific age group, one that typically succumbs to peer pressure and tends to move away from science and technology. According to former astronaut Dr. Sally Ride, who was on the South Lawn for a preview and will be there this evening, 'this reminds them that science is cool, and tonight's event might let them hold onto that interest' going into high school and college.
The students from local middle schools in Washington, DC and Virginia who are coming to the White House tonight will be met by the 'Inflatable Dome,' a virtual universe that displays a realistic virtual show of the galaxies, as well as roughly twenty telescopes scattered about the lawn and pointed toward the heavens. Max Mutchler, a Hubble scientist, will be manning the Odyssey 8 telescope. Beyond the stars and the Earth's own moon, according to Mutchler, the big draw this evening will be Jupiter and its moons, specifically the four brightest orbs - the same moons that Galileo first saw over 400 years ago - and the cloud structures that surround them.
As for Dr. Ride and her fondest memories of her time in space, she told CNN that "launch is something absolutely spectacular, no astronaut ever forgets it. And the view back at earth. It's an absolutely spectacular view, and it gave me a different appreciation for the planet, the fragility of the planet and the importance of protecting it. And the appreciation that we live someplace that is unique."
The hope for tonight is that some students will realize it too.
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: Obama has McChrystal's troop request - what now?
President Obama's national security team will begin discussing the number of troops needed in Afghanistan as early as Friday, according to a White House spokesman.
New York Times: Afghan War Debate Now Leans to Focus on Al Qaeda
President Obama’s national security team is moving to reframe its war strategy by emphasizing the campaign against Al Qaeda in Pakistan while arguing that the Taliban in Afghanistan do not pose a direct threat to the United States, officials said Wednesday.
Washington Post: Civilian, Military Officials at Odds Over Resources Needed for Afghan Mission
In early March, after weeks of debate across a conference table in the Eisenhower Executive Office Building, the participants in President Obama's strategic review of the war in Afghanistan figured that the most contentious part of their discussions was behind them. Everyone, save Vice President Biden's national security adviser, agreed that the United States needed to mount a comprehensive counterinsurgency mission to defeat the Taliban.
CNN: Agency predicts health care bill will cost $829 billion
A compromise health care proposal widely seen as having the best chance to win Democratic and Republican support would cost $829 billion over the next 10 years, nonpartisan budget analysts concluded Wednesday.
CNN: Senate Republicans demand 3-day wait before health care vote
Conservative Senate Republicans added another firecracker to the politically explosive health debate Wednesday, introducing a resolution requiring all bills to be made public at least 72 hours before being brought to a vote.
CNN: Borger: Republicans don't really want to work with Obama
In my next life, I'd like to be an opposition party leader. What fun to go to work every day knowing you will always be right, largely because your ideas will remain untested.
CNN: Health care policy a hot-button issue for seniors
For three months, Phyllis Ross watched her husband waste away in his hospital bed and succumb to pancreatic cancer.
New York Times: Dole, Daschle Endorse a Health Care Overhaul
Bob Dole, the one-time Republican leader in the Senate, and Tom Daschle, the one-time Democratic leader, issued a joint statement today in which they said they supported the Democrats’ attempt to overhaul the health-care system.