Washington (CNN) – White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs announced Friday morning that President Barack Obama will delay leaving for his Asia trip until Sunday March 21, three days later than previously announced.
"The President will delay leaving for Indonesia and Australia – will now leave Sunday – the First Lady and the girls will not be on the trip," Gibbs said on his Twitter account. Obama had previously expressed a willingness to delay the trip in order to work on health care, according to a senior administration official.
Washington (CNN) – Democrats have set a date to begin what they hope is the final phase of health care debate in Congress.
A Democratic leadership source told CNN Radio that the legislative push begins Monday when the House Budget Committee is expected to vote on a key procedural piece of the health care package.
That measure will not contain new policy language, but it ignites the process, known as reconciliation, that Democrats are using to pass and change the Senate health care bill.
The reconciliation vote would open the door to a possible final-passage vote on the Senate health care bill next week.
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CNN: House GOP adopts yearlong earmark ban
House Republicans agreed Thursday to adopt a ban on congressional earmarks in spending bills for next year, upping the ante with Democrats in the political battle over fiscal responsibility and pork barrel spending.
CNN: Senate Democrats weigh adding student loans to health care bill
Senate Democrats huddled in the Capitol Thursday afternoon to hash out the issue of whether to include changes to student loan policies in the same reconciliation bill that will include fixes to health care reform.
CNN: Democrats' legislative push for health care reform begins Monday
Democrats have set a date to begin what they hope is the final phase of health care debate in Congress. A Democratic leadership source told CNN Radio that the legislative push begins Monday when the House Budget Committee is expected to vote on a key procedural piece of the health care package. That measure will not contain new policy language, but it ignites the process, known as reconciliation, that Democrats are using to pass and change the Senate health care bill.
CNNMoney: Financial reform bill coming from Democrats
Senate Democrats on banking panel plan to release and start working on a financial overhaul bill next week, without Republican support. Senate Banking Chairman Chris Dodd, D-Conn., said Thursday he planned to release a draft bill on Monday, even though a "few outstanding issues remain," including consumer protection.
Philadelphia Inquirer: GOP lawmaker wants White House answers on Sestak
The top Republican on the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee wants the White House to spell out all its official contacts with Rep. Joe Sestak (D., Pa.), saying it may have broken the law if it offered Sestak a federal job to sway him from challenging Sen. Arlen Specter in the Democratic primary.
CNN: Independent counsel named in investigations of New York governor
New York Attorney General Andrew Cuomo has appointed a former chief judge of the State Appellate Court to oversee two investigations of Gov. David Paterson.Cuomo is widely rumored to be planning a run for governor and drew criticism recently from some quarters for investigating the current governor.
Los Angeles Times: Whitman's funds could pose conflicts
Billionaire GOP gubernatorial candidate Meg Whitman has invested her vast wealth in firms that sought to profit from the country's credit crisis, in venture capital and hedge funds open only to the wealthy, and in oil, gas, healthcare and other concerns seeking to influence state policy. The first public glimpse into the financial portfolio of the former EBay chief came Thursday, when she filed an economic-interest disclosure required of candidates. The holdings present potential conflicts of interest for a governor. Whitman spokeswoman Sarah Pompei said the candidate would "likely" move her holdings into a blind trust if she is victorious "and will scrupulously avoid any conflicts of interest."