February 12th, 2010
06:55 AM ET
5 years ago

Senate confirms 27 high-level Obama nominees

The Senate on Thursday confirmed 27 of President Obama's high-level nominees.
The Senate on Thursday confirmed 27 of President Obama's high-level nominees.

Washington (CNN) - President Barack Obama called Thursday for the Senate to continue acting on his nominations for high-level federal positions that have been stalled by politics.

In a White House statement, Obama said the Senate confirmed 27 nominees on Thursday, "many of whom had been awaiting a vote for months."

"At the beginning of the week, a staggering 63 nominees had been stalled in the Senate because one or more senators placed a hold on their nomination," Obama's statement said.

Noting the nominees had received "broad, bipartisan support" in committee consideration, Obama's statement said "many holds were motivated by a desire to leverage projects for a senator's state or simply to frustrate progress."

"It is precisely these kinds of tactics that enrage the American people," Obama's statement said.

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Filed under: President Obama • Senate
February 12th, 2010
04:45 AM ET
5 years ago

Senate GOP leader weeps during floor speech on departing aide

Senator Mitch McConnell's longtime aide is leaving to spend more time with his family.
Senator Mitch McConnell's longtime aide is leaving to spend more time with his family.

Washington (CNN) – Sen. Mitch McConnell is known for bare-knuckled politics, but the Kentucky Republican showed his personal side Thursday when he broke down in tears on the Senate floor while speaking of his departing chief of staff.

Kyle Simmons, a longtime aide to the Senate minority leader, is leaving to spend more time with his family, McConnell said.

The senator repeatedly choked back sobs and used a handkerchief to wipe away tears as he paid tribute to Simmons.

Describing Simmons as a tough but gracious competitor who always remembered the human side of politics, McConnell needed an emotional pause when saying: "Now that he's leaving, I'm just as confident that our office will carry on just as it always has because he leaves a fantastic team behind."

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Filed under: Mitch McConnell
February 12th, 2010
04:43 AM ET
5 years ago

POLITICAL HOT TOPICS: February 12, 2010

ALT TEXT

The CNN Washington Bureau’s morning speed read of the top stories making news from around the country and the world.

WASHINGTON/POLITICAL
For the latest political news: www.CNNPolitics.com

CNNMoney: Jobs bill advances ... or does it?
The Senate's slow-moving effort to spur job creation was thrown into turmoil Thursday. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., said Democrats will offer a slimmed down jobs bill. Only hours earlier, a key Republican and key Democratic issued a more comprehensive measure that they said had bipartisan support.

CNN: Democrats move to counter campaign finance ruling
Top congressional Democrats unveiled legislation Thursday that would ban foreign-controlled companies receiving either government contracts or federal bailout funds from spending money on U.S. elections.

Los Angeles Times: Drug industry lobbyist Billy Tauzin to resign
Billy Tauzin, the chief lobbyist for the pharmaceutical industry who forged a private deal with the Obama administration to push the healthcare overhaul forward, will announce his resignation Friday, further complicating the outlook for passage of comprehensive legislation this year.

Washington Post: Obama will help select location of Khalid Sheik Mohammed terrorism trial
President Obama is planning to insert himself into the debate about where to try the accused mastermind of the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks, three administration officials said Thursday, signaling a recognition that the administration had mishandled the process and triggered a political backlash.

Washington Post: New senator Scott Brown was a quiet presence in Massachusetts
For Democrats and Republicans eager for clues to the ideological influence Brown might have on Washington - whether he will align firmly with congressional Republicans or fulfill his campaign promise to be an independent voice - his political past offers intriguing but incomplete evidence.

Boston Globe: Brown may win seat on key panel
Republican Senator Scott P. Brown has a strong chance of winning a coveted seat on at least one committee with jurisdiction over national security spending, according to Senate aides, which could give him a boost as he tries to fill the late Edward M. Kennedy’s role as leading procurer of federal contracts for Massachusetts’ defense industry.

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Filed under: Political Hot Topics
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