December 14th, 2009
08:37 PM ET
9 months ago

Murtha hospitalized with gallbladder problem

Rep. Murtha rested in a hospital Monday after being admitted the previous night.
Rep. Murtha rested in a hospital Monday after being admitted the previous night.

Washington (CNN) - U.S. Rep. John Murtha rested in a hospital Monday after being admitted the previous night due to abdominal pains caused by a gallbladder issue, his spokesman said.

"He's currently resting and doing well," said Matt Mazonkey, spokesman for the Pennsylvania Democrat.

Murtha is chairman of the House appropriations subcommittee on defense, and a strong critic of President Barack Obama's recent decision to deploy an additional 30,000 U.S. troops to Afghanistan.

He was scheduled to chair a subcommittee hearing Tuesday addressed by Defense Secretary Robert Gates and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton. Due to Murtha's illness, the hearing has been canceled.


Filed under: Extra • John Murtha • Popular Posts
December 14th, 2009
08:36 PM ET
9 months ago

Senate Democrats moving towards dropping Medicare buy-in

Washington (CNN) – Two senior Democratic sources tell CNN senate Democrats are headed towards dropping the compromise idea to allow 55 to 64 year-olds to buy into Medicare because of opposition from Independent Sen. Joe Lieberman.

"It’s what the White House wants and there aren’t many other options that allow us to finish by Christmas," said one source.

Senate Democrats had an emergency meeting Monday night to discuss this issue, which threatens to derail health care.
FULL POST


Filed under: Democrats • Health care • Senate
December 14th, 2009
06:30 PM ET
9 months ago

Updated: WH, Senate Dems: No plans to use 'reconciliation' for health care

Updated 6:30 pm ET: Earlier today, two sources - one White House and one Senate - indicated White House chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel had suggested to Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid the possibility of using budget reconciliation to pass health care. Both sources now tell CNN that Emanuel did not make that suggestion. One of the sources said there had been some recent White House interest in using the reconciliation process. However, the source acknowledged that the idea now appears to be a non-starter. Reid has said he opposes using the legislative maneuver.

Washington (CNN) – As the White House rushes to the finish on health care reform, fissures on the best way to get there are developing between the White House and Senate Democrats.

Two sources have told CNN that White House Chief of staff Rahm Emanuel has been asking Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid to use the budget process known as reconciliation to push through health reform – and that Reid has rejected that request.

The procedure, which can only be used on budget measures, would allow Senate Democrats to bypass the 60-vote threshold required to end debate on the current bill, and pass the proposal by a simple majority – but would require major changes to the legislation.

Reid’s resistance, said the sources, stemmed from concern that adoption of the strategy would spark major political pushback from Democrats facing re-election next year.
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Filed under: Health care • Senate Democrats • White House
December 14th, 2009
06:24 PM ET
9 months ago

Millions of White House e-mails recovered

ALT TEXT

Computer technicians have recovered about 22 million Bush administration e-mails. (Photo Credit: Getty Images/File)

Washington (CNN) - Computer technicians have recovered about 22 million Bush administration e-mails that the Bush White House had said were missing, two watchdog groups that sued over the documents announced Monday.

The e-mails date from 2003 to 2005, and had been "mislabeled and effectively lost," according to the National Security Archive, a research group based at George Washington University. But Melanie Sloan, executive director of the liberal-leaning Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington (CREW), said it could be years before most of the e-mails are made public.

"The e-mails themselves are not what we're getting," Sloan said.

Full story


Filed under: Bush administration • Popular Posts • White House
December 14th, 2009
05:58 PM ET
9 months ago

Hadassah Lieberman under attack over industry ties

 Hadassah Lieberman is under attack over industry ties.
Hadassah Lieberman is under attack over industry ties.

Washington (CNN) - Sen. Joe Lieberman – whose opposition to a public insurance option has drawn outrage from liberal groups for months – is used to finding himself in progressive crosshairs.

Now it's his wife's turn.

Activists are setting their sights on Hadassah Lieberman, launching a celebrity-studded petition drive to convince the nation's largest breast cancer non-profit to end the Connecticut senator's wife role as a spokeswoman.

The move to pressure the Susan G. Komen for the Cure foundation came the same day Lieberman's husband angered Democrats by announcing that he would not support an expansion of Medicare to cover individuals under the age of 55. Organizers did not point to that decision, instead citing Hadassah Lieberman's own ties to the health care industry.

Lieberman has worked as a consultant for companies including Pfizer and ALCO.

"We are asking Ellen DeGeneres, Christie Brinkley and other high-profile celebrities who are associated with Komen to demand that no more money raised for cancer treatment be given to Hadassah Lieberman or any other ex-Pharma/Insurance strategists," said Jane Hamsher, founder of the Firedoglake blog.

(Updated after the jump with statement from the Susan G. Komen for the Cure foundation)

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Filed under: Popular Posts
December 14th, 2009
03:51 PM ET
9 months ago

Bayh urges Obama to veto spending bill

Sen. Evan Bayh is urging President Barack Obama to veto an end of the year government funding bill that fellow Democrats pushed through the Senate this past weekend.
Sen. Evan Bayh is urging President Barack Obama to veto an end of the year government funding bill that fellow Democrats pushed through the Senate this past weekend.

Washington (CNN) -  Sen. Evan Bayh is urging President Barack Obama to veto a huge end of the year government funding bill that fellow Democrats pushed through the Senate this past weekend.

On a mostly partisan vote of 57-35, the Senate approved the compromise omnibus spending plan worked out with the House, which passed it last week. The measure now goes to President Barack Obama to be signed into law.

The senator from Indiana was one of three Democrats, joining Russ Feingold of Wisconsin and Claire McCaskill of Missouri, to vote against the spending bill, which is needed to keep the federal government running as of next week.

"The president didn't create this mess, but Congress must be restrained," Bayh said in a statement released Monday. "We have to take the credit card away from the politicians who just want to spend, spend, spend. More than one trillion dollars of spending was just way too much. This may not win me a popularity contest in the halls of Congress, but it's the right thing to do."
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Filed under: Evan Bayh • President Obama
December 14th, 2009
03:50 PM ET
December 14th, 2009
03:49 PM ET
9 months ago

Senate Democrat fuming at Lieberman

Senate Democrat fuming at Lieberman.
Senate Democrat fuming at Lieberman.

Washington (CNN) – Senate Democrats struggled to find a way forward on health care legislation Monday in the wake of Sen. Joe Lieberman's announcement that he will oppose a leading compromise proposal Democrats saw as their best way to get the 60 votes needed to pass a bill.

Privately fuming at the Connecticut senator, Democrats wrestled with whether to meet his demand to remove an expansion of Medicare from the bill - a move that would anger liberal Democrats who believe they've already made concessions on a government insurance option.

Democrats "may have to do what Mr. Lieberman wants," liberal Sen. Tom Harkin of Iowa said to CNN.

Democratic leaders, who had hoped to file procedural motions this week to end debate and begin voting on the bill, called a special caucus meeting for 5:30 pm Monday to assess their bleak situation.

FULL POST


Filed under: Democrats • Health care • Joe Lieberman
December 14th, 2009
01:29 PM ET
December 14th, 2009
01:24 PM ET
9 months ago

Lieberman a major problem for Senate Democrats on health care

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Sen. Joe Lieberman has emerged as the main obstacle to Senate Majority Leader Reid's efforts to get a health care bill through the Senate before Christmas, if ever. (Photo Credit: Getty Images/File)

Washington (CNN) - A few weeks ago, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid said colleague Joe Lieberman was the least of his problems in passing a health care bill.

Today, Lieberman has emerged as the main obstacle to Reid's efforts to get a health care bill through the Senate before Christmas, if ever.

An independent from Connecticut who sits with the Democratic caucus, Lieberman ratcheted up his public opposition to the bill Sunday. On the CBS program "Face the Nation," Lieberman said he would join a Republican filibuster if the bill contained either a government-run public health insurance option or a proposed alternative to the controversial provision - expanding Medicare to people as young as 55.

Lieberman also called for eliminating a provision to provide long-term home health care to the disabled while adding more cost containment measures to the $848 billion Democratic bill.

Full story


Filed under: Democrats • Health care • Joe Lieberman • Senate
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