(CNN) - The field in the race for New Hampshire's open Senate seat is growing.
Conservative activist Ovide Lamontagne, a 52-year-old Manchester attorney and 1996 GOP gubernatorial nominee, will officially become a candidate Monday for the U.S. Senate seat being vacated by fellow Republican Judd Gregg, who is not running for re-election next year.
Lamontagne is filing a statement of his candidacy with the Federal Election Commission. His campaign also unveiled a new Web site, Ovide2010.com, which highlights his anti-establishment and anti-Washington bid for for the Senate.
"I am running for Senate because I am ready to fight for New Hampshire taxpayers, families and businesses," says Lamontagne in a statement on his website. "I am not the establishment candidate, but, as the independent minded conservative, I am ready to lead the effort to bring fiscal sanity and fundamental reform to Washington once and for all."
Lamontagne becomes the fourth official candidate in the race for the GOP nomination, joining former state attorney general Kelly Ayotte, businessmen James Bender of Hollis and William Binnie of Rye. Rep. Paul Hodes, who represents New Hampshire's 2nd district, is the only Democrat in the race.
WASHINGTON (CNN) – Vice President Joe Biden heads to Michigan Monday to lend a helping hand to two freshman House Democrats who could face tough re-election bids next year. Will their votes on health care reform makes those bids even more difficult?
Biden headlines a fundraising event in Detroit for Michigan Democratic Party. Co-hosting the event are Congressmen Mark Schauer and Gary Peters. Both representatives voted in favor the health care reform bill that passed 220-215 in the House Saturday night.
The National Republican Campaign Committee is targeting the health care votes by Schauer and Peters.
"While Vice President Biden throws a lavish fundraiser to reward Mark Schauer and Gary Peters for their votes on the trillion dollar government takeover of healthcare, more than fifteen percent of Michiganders are out on the street looking for work," says NRCC spokesman Tom Erickson in a Monday morning statement. "If we're going to put Michigan back to work, voters will need to elect new leadership and fire Schauer and Peters, who have continually backed the reckless policies of Nancy Pelosi that create more government at the expense of the jobs that Michigan needs."
(CNN) - Dick Armey, the former House majority leader whose leadership of FreedomWorks has proved vital to organizing opposition to Democrats' health care reform efforts, told CNN Monday the recently-passed House health care bill could cripple the entire pharmaceutical industry.
"You go right back to Shakespeare, who first said, 'If it can't be sold for a profit, it's not worth writing,' or take Thomas Edison's reiteration of it, 'If it can't be sold for a profit, it's not worth inventing,'" Armey told CNN's John Roberts on American Morning. "If the government is going to control what it is, whether it can be distributed, what it is, what price it can be sold, you will disincentive the whole process of research. We've seen it before and we'll see it again."
The Texas Republican also said the government should not force health insurance companies to insure individuals who have not been responsible with their own health.
"Now [the government] comes along and says, 'Irrespective of the fact they've gone 20, 30, 40 years of their adult life without ever having bought insurance prior to getting a liver inflammation due to their excessive drinking habits or diabetes because they eat like a pig, you must now insure them,'" Armey said.
Washington (CNN) - Rep. Anh "Joseph" Cao was the only Republican to vote in favor of the Democratic health care bill that passed the House late Saturday, a vote that came after President Obama called to personally to ask for his support, Cao told CNN.
The president dialed the freshman congressman from Louisiana around noon on Saturday, hours before a vote on an amendment offered by anti-abortion Democrats that banned most abortion coverage from the public option and other insurance providers in the insurance "exchange" the legislation would create. That measure passed later in the evening.
Cao said he explained to the president he could not support the health care bill without the amendment, but said he would support the bill if the abortion measure passed. It was a sentiment he also expressed to House GOP leadership ahead of the vote, he said.
Earlier: I put needs of my district first, Cao says
The final vote came after several discussions about the bill with White House officials.
Cao, who hails from one of the most Democratic districts in the country, also asked the president for assurances that the administration would do more to help with ongoing disaster relief efforts in his New Orleans district, specifically by forgiving millions in disaster loans to the region.
Washington (CNN) – As the American public and the global community await the completion of the Obama administration’s extensive review of U.S. military involvement in Afghanistan, Mikhail Gorbachev, the former president of the Soviet Union, said Sunday that, instead of sending more troops, Obama should begin to the lay the groundwork to withdraw from Afghanistan.
“I think that what’s needed is not additional forces,” the former Soviet leader said through a translator, “this is something that we discussed, too, years ago but we decided not to do it. And I think our experience deserves attention.”
WATCH: The entire Gorbachev interview
Instead of more troops, Gorbachev said the Soviets decided to emphasize domestic development in Afghanistan and promoting national reconciliation between the various clans in the country. In deciding how to proceed in Afghanistan, Gorbachev said the Soviet Union also consulted with other countries including the United States, Iran, Pakistan, and India.
Soviet troops occupied Afghanistan in 1979. They withdrew a decade later after facing stiff resistance from Afghan fighters, who were backed by the United States and Pakistan. The conflict killed 13,000 Soviet soldiers and more than a million Afghan civilians.
But the former world leader added that Afghanistan’s history as a staging ground for international terrorism could not be ignored.
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: King Monday Memo: Remembering a defining moment of the 20th century
It is a week to remember a defining moment of the 20th century - the fall of the Berlin Wall. And a week to remember the victims of an Army post massacre, a horrific rampage that has Army leaders openly worrying about discrimination against Muslims in their ranks.
CNN: Obama: Health care baton now passes to Senate
President Obama on Sunday praised the "historic" House vote to pass a bill overhauling the nation's ailing health care system, and said now it is time for the Senate to "take the baton" and complete its work.
CNN: Casey: I'm 'concerned' about backlash against Muslim soldiers
The Army Chief of Staff hesitated Sunday to get into any details of the investigation into Thursday’s shootings at Fort Hood. At the same time, Gen. George Casey said he was ‘concerned’ that the incident could result in a potential backlash against Muslim soldiers.
CNN: House passes amendment prohibiting abortion funding
The House of Representatives on Saturday night passed an amendment to pending health care legislation that prohibits federal funds for abortion services in the public option and in the insurance "exchange" the bill would create.
CNN: Obama, Netanyahu to meet Monday, White House says
President Obama will meet with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu at the White House on Monday evening after a rough stretch in U.S. efforts to settle the decades-old Israeli-Palestinian conflict.
New York Times: Iran Is Said to Ignore Effort to Salvage a Nuclear Deal
The Obama administration, attempting to salvage a faltering nuclear deal with Iran, has told Iran’s leaders in back-channel messages that it is willing to allow the country to send its stockpile of enriched uranium to any of several nations, including Turkey, for temporary safekeeping, according to administration officials and diplomats involved in the exchanges.