Washington (CNN) - Former Vice President Dick Cheney suffered a mild heart attack Monday when he complained of chest pains and was hospitalized, his office said Tuesday.
"Lab testing revealed evidence of a mild heart attack," the statement said. "He underwent a stress test and a heart catheterization. He is feeling good and is expected to be discharged in the next day or two."
During the catheterization, which took place at George Washington University Hospital, doctors examined blood flow to the heart and tested how well the heart was pumping.
In the procedure, a doctor inserts a catheter, a thin plastic tube, into an artery or vein in the arm or leg and threads it into the chambers of the heart or into the coronary arteries. The test can measure blood pressure within the heart and how much oxygen the blood contains.
Washington (CNN) - The Senate could vote on the jobs bill as soon as Tuesday, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid said.
"I'm hopeful and confident we can work out a reasonable time to vote on this," the Nevada Democrat said Tuesday. "Otherwise, we'll have to do it really late tonight or very early in the morning."
Jennifer Duffy, senior editor of the Cook Political Report, said that both parties and both chambers have "incentive to get something done" soon.
Peter Beinart, a scholar at the non-partisan New America Foundation, added that it's nearly impossible for Republicans to vote against a bill helping Americans save or pick up jobs.
"It's kinda extraordinary that you have this permanent filibuster against everything – even stuff like jobs, which should be less controversial than health care," he said.
On Monday, the Senate passed a key procedural vote to push the $15 billion jobs bill to a vote. Five Republicans - including newly minted Sen. Scott Brown of Massachusetts - aligned with Democrats to pass the bill 62-30. Sen. Ben Nelson, a Democrat from Nebraska, was the sole Democrat to vote against it.
Washington (CNN) - President Barack Obama strongly supports a repeal of the antitrust exemption currently granted to health insurance companies, White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs said Tuesday.
Liberal Democrats in particular have pushed for a repeal of the exemption - which has been in place since the end of World War II - in order to inject new competition into the health care industry while lowering consumer costs.
The announcement came as the White House sought to rally key Democrats around Obama's new compromise reform plan before a high stakes televised health care summit with congressional Republicans on Thursday.
"At its core, health reform is all about ensuring that American families and businesses have more choices, benefit from more competition and have greater control over their own health care," Gibbs said.
"Repealing this exemption is an important part of that effort. Today there are no rules outlawing bid rigging, price fixing, and other insurance company practices that will drive up health care costs and often drive up their own profits as well."
Gibbs said the president is not seeking repeal of the exemption in lieu of broader changes to the insurance market. "This is a complementary step along the way," he told reporters.
Washington (CNN) - One GOP senator attending the president's health care summit Thursday has more history with Barack Obama than any other Republican who will be there. That senator is John McCain, Obama's rival for the presidency in 2008.
McCain was asked by Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell to join Senate Republicans at the open-for-cameras health care meeting.
"He looks forward to sitting down in a bipartisan fashion and starting over," said McCain spokeswoman Brooke Buchanan. McCain is a member of the Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions ("HELP") Committee.
McConnell's office Tuesday announced the list of Republican senators who will be attending Thursday's summit. In making the announcement, McConnell once again criticized many aspects of Democrats' health care reform proposals.
"Americans don't know how else to say it: they're not interested in a reform that starts with the bills they've already rejected, bills that slash a half-trillion dollars from seniors' Medicare, raise a half-trillion in new taxes, and don't lower costs or premiums," McConnell said in a statement released Tuesday. "Republicans will attend this summit in good faith, and will continue to offer the types of ideas and step-by-step approach that Americans are actually calling for: legislation that brings down costs and increases access for Americans."
Washington (CNN) - Sen. Daniel Inouye, the chairman of the powerful Senate Appropriations Committee, is the latest signatory to a letter calling on Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid to pass a health care public option using reconciliation, his office confirmed to CNN.
The letter, penned by Sen. Michael Bennet, D-Colorado and co-signed by Sens. Kirsten Gillibrand, Jeff Merkley, and Sherrod Brown, was released last Tuesday. It now has 23 signatories, all of whom are Democrats. The letter is chiefly promoted by the Progressive Change Campaign Committee.
Michigan Sen. Debbie Stabenow also signed the letter on Monday, according to her office. Stabenow has long supported a public option and is a member of the Senate Finance Committee. Three other Finance Committee members have signed the letter.
The White House unveiled a health care proposal Monday that does not include a public option.
Washington (CNN) - A independent Republican group planning to spend $20 million during the 2010 election cycle will bombard Blue Dog Democrats with three days of radio ads beginning Wednesday.
The National Republican Trust PAC, which spent $7 million during the 2008 presidential race and was the third largest independent expenditure campaign that year, will air 50 radio ads on Washington talk radio station WMAL over the next three days urging moderate and conservative Democrats not to side with House Speaker Nancy Pelosi as the midterms approach.
The ads were timed to coincide with President Obama's televised health care summit with congressional leaders on Thursday.
"Hey, Blue Dog Democrat," a female narrator says in the ad. "You've been fibbing to the people who voted you into office, telling them you represent their interests while you consistently vote for Nancy Pelosi's far left San Francisco agenda of reckless spending, big government control and catastrophic deficits."
Scott Wheeler, the NRT PAC's executive director, told CNN that conservative Democrats are out of touch with the mood of the country and should be held accountable in November if they voted in favor of health care reform or cap-and-trade legislation. Wheeler said certain lawmakers will be targeted with ads in their specific districts as Election Day approaches.
"The whole idea is to point out that these people claim they are an independent voice even when they aren't," Wheeler said. "They cling to that Blue Dog label that show how independent they are."
UPDATE: Kristen Hawn, a spokeswoman for the Blue Dog coalition, called the PAC "just another Washington-based special interest playing politics as usual."
"For 15 years the Blue Dogs have consistently worked on both sides of the aisle to advance commonsense policies on behalf of their constituents and the country," Hawn told CNN in an e-mail. "In fact, they have consistently worked to reduce the deficit under both Republican and Democratic administrations. This is nothing more than a false attack meant for political gain.”
Read the full script of the ad after the jump:
Washington (CNN) - South Carolina Sen. Jim DeMint's office is downplaying a visit to the Palmetto State by Florida Senate contender Marco Rubio, dismissing the suggestion that the rising GOP star is eyeing an early foothold in a key presidential nominating state.
DeMint and Rubio, close political allies, have launched a new Web site – DeMintRubio.com - and are teaming up for a three-city tour of the state on March 15 to "promote common sense ideas and new conservative leadership."
Wesley Denton, communications director for DeMint, said the trip was added to shore up Rubio's campaign war chest against Florida Gov. Charlie Crist, who still holds a significant fundraising advantage over his GOP primary opponent.
"Rubio is surging in the polls but Gov. Crist still has a big fundraising advantage," Denton told CNN in an e-mail. "Rubio wasn't the choice of the Washington establishment so he must continue building grassroots support.
"Senator DeMint is committed to helping Marco raise the resources needed to get his message out, which is why the Senator sponsored an online money bomb for Rubio this month and is planning the events in South Carolina in March," Denton said.
DeMint and Rubio will visit Charleston, Columbia and Greenville during the day-long trip, which is being promoted through "Friends of DeMint and Rubio," a joint fundraising committee established on behalf of DeMint's 2010 re-election bid and Rubio's campaign.
(CNN) - Indiana Democratic Rep. Baron Hill told CNN Tuesday he's talking to Democratic state officials about a possible campaign to replace outgoing Sen. Evan Bayh.
Hill acknowledged his House colleague Brad Ellsworth, who announced last week he was running for Bayh's seat, has some support, but said he has received encouragement as well.
"A lot of people are undecided on the state committee. Some are favoring me. Some are favoring Brad," Hill told CNN.
The conservative Blue Dog Democrat was in Afghanistan when Bayh made his surprise announcement last week that he would retire in November. Hill indicated a decision on his own political plans will come in the next few days.
"I think I have to make it sooner rather than later. I think I need to make it this week," Hill said.
The Indiana Democratic Party's Central Committee will select the party's senate candidate, since no candidate filed the needed signatures to qualify for the primary ballot. The committee must wait until after the May 4 primary to select their candidate.
(CNN) - Bristol Palin, the 19-year old daughter of Sarah Palin, is making her debut on the small screen.
ABC announced Tuesday Palin will play herself on the ABC Family show "The Secret Life of the American Teenager," set to air this summer. According to the network, Palin will play a friend of the show's main character, Amy. The show has recently focused on how Amy reacts to an unexpected pregnancy.
"I am thrilled to be on this show and to be part of a program that educates teens and young adults about the consequences of teen pregnancy," Palin said in a statement provided by ABC.
Then 18 years old, Palin gave birth to her son Tripp in December 2008. The pregnancy was announced shortly after Sarah Palin, who was Alaska governor at the time, joined the Republican presidential ticket as Sen. John McCain's running mate. The younger Palin was once engaged to Tripp's father, Levi Johnston, but the two of have since parted ways and are currently involved in a legal battle over child support payments.
"We're thrilled to have [Bristol] join us, and I think she will bring additional attention to the issues facing teen parents that we've been exploring for a couple seasons now," Brenda Hampton, the show's executive producer, said in a statement.
(CNN) - As House Democrats worry about complaints from the left over President Obama's health care plan, Michigan Democrat Bart Stupak is sternly reminding the White House and Speaker Nancy Pelosi that abortion remains an unresolved, red hot issue on the right.
"Unfortunately, the president's proposal encompasses the Senate language allowing public funding of abortion," Stupak wrote in a statement released Tuesday morning.
He was unequivocal in the next line, saying, "The Senate language is a significant departure from current law and is unacceptable."
The House narrowly adopted its health care bill only after including Stupak's more conservative language on abortion funding. Some 64 Democrats voted for the Stupak amendment in a separate vote.
Stupak would block health care subsidies not only from directly funding abortions but also from supporting an individual to buy an insurance plan that covers abortion. The Senate and the president would also ban direct funding of abortions but would require insurers to wall off or separate the costs of abortions so that subsidized patients must pay for those with their own personal funds.
There is extensive debate over which measure best complies with current law limiting federal abortion funding and whether the Senate version does or does not allow public funding of abortion.
Follow Lisa Desjardins on Twitter: @LisaDCNN