March 18th, 2010
11:15 PM ET
4 years ago

Gay soldier arrested in protest outside White House


Washington (CNN) - U.S. Park Police arrested a gay soldier and another man Thursday after they handcuffed themselves to the fence surrounding the White House in protest of the military's policy preventing gay and lesbian service members from serving openly.

The two men were charged with failure to obey a lawful order after they were warned to remove the handcuffs or face arrest, said Park Police Sgt. David Schlosser.

Schlosser would not name the pair because they had not yet been processed, but video showed that one was Lt. Dan Choi, a 2003 West Point graduate who is fluent in Arabic. Choi admitted his sexual orientation publicly for the first time last year on MSNBC's "The Rachel Maddow Show," prompting the Army to initiate proceedings to discharge him.

Choi chose to appeal his case rather than accept a discharge. The case is still pending.
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Filed under: Don't Ask Don't Tell • Extra • Popular Posts • White House
March 18th, 2010
11:14 PM ET
March 18th, 2010
07:55 PM ET
4 years ago

Aides: Obama plans low-key Sunday

Washington (CNN) –Top White House aides say that even if the House passes health care reform on Sunday, President Barack Obama is not planning to a big public signing ceremony because the Senate will still have to pass the reconciliation fixes in the legislation.

Instead, White House aides say, the president is likely to deliver relatively low-key public remarks on Sunday congratulating the House if it passes the legislation that day as Obama advisers now expect.

On Sunday, Obama will also sign the portion of the legislation that deals with the original Senate bill if that plan is confirmed by the Senate parliamentarian after all of this weekend's final machinations in the House.

But since the Senate will still have to pass the reconciliation fixes, aides say the president does not want to have a major pep rally on Sunday.
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Filed under: Health care • President Obama
March 18th, 2010
07:38 PM ET
4 years ago

Update: Conrad asks for bank carve-out to be removed

Washington (CNN) - Sen. Kent Conrad issued a statement Thursday announcing that he has asked for the removal from the House bill of an exemption for the state-owned Bank of North Dakota that would have allowed the bank to continue making federally backed student loans.

Related: Conrad wins carve-out for North Dakota bank

Related on CNNMoney.com: Student loan reform shares health care fate

(Read Conrad's full statement after the jump)

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Filed under: Health care • Kent Conrad • North Dakota
March 18th, 2010
07:35 PM ET
4 years ago

Health reform: Where the money will come from

The new health care plan could reduce the deficit by $138 billion over the first 10 years.
The new health care plan could reduce the deficit by $138 billion over the first 10 years.

New York (CNNMoney.com) - Democrats pushing for health care reform are closer to the finish line than ever, but it's not over yet. And the question of cost will remain a central issue in coming days.

On Thursday, the Congressional Budget Office weighed in with a key - if still very preliminary - cost estimate.

The latest bill is a mix of provisions from a bill the Senate passed last December and proposals made by President Obama last month.

Like the Senate version, the so-called reconciliation bill would provide government subsidies to low- and middle-income families buying health insurance on their own, expand eligibility rules for Medicaid and provide coverage for a majority of uninsured Americans.

It would also establish a number of insurance reforms.

Full Story on CNNMoney.com

March 18th, 2010
07:20 PM ET
4 years ago

Student loan reform shares health care fate

Washington (CNNMoney.com) – When the House votes on a health care package this weekend, it will also consider a proposal to make federal government the one-stop-shop to get cheap student loans.

However, a review by Congress' budget arm found the revised proposal will have less in new overall savings on student loans over 10 years - $61 billion vs. the original $87 billion - primarily because so many schools have already adopted the program.

Full story on CNNMoney.com


Filed under: Education • Health care
March 18th, 2010
07:11 PM ET
4 years ago

Sanford settles ethics charges

South Carolina Gov. Mark Sanford acknowledged Thursday that he violated state ethics rules on campaign spending and government travel.
South Carolina Gov. Mark Sanford acknowledged Thursday that he violated state ethics rules on campaign spending and government travel.

Washington (CNN) – South Carolina Gov. Mark Sanford, whose political career flamed out after he admitted a year-long affair last year with an Argentine woman he called his "soulmate," acknowledged Thursday that he violated state ethics rules on campaign spending and government travel.

Sanford did not go quietly. He said in a statement that he still believed "in the innocence of my actions" and boasted of his record for fiscal responsibility while in office. Sanford said his administration has spent 63 percent less on travel than his predecessor did.

"[I]t's time to move on," Sanford said. "While I believe I would be vindicated on all these matters if there were ever a full airing, the people of South Carolina have moved on from all that unfolded last summer and this administration has moved on as well."
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Filed under: Mark Sanford • South Carolina
March 18th, 2010
07:09 PM ET
4 years ago

One jobs bill down ... what happens next?

New York (CNNMoney.com) - Now that it's taken its first baby step towards creating jobs, Congress is looking at more measures to spur employment.

Don't expect any blockbuster bills with inventive hiring initiatives. With partisan politics dominating Capitol Hill, lawmakers are concentrating on bite-sized bills that are easier to pass. Most of the measures merely extend or expand existing laws.

Here's where things stand in both chambers:

Full Story on CNNMoney.com


Filed under: Economy • Jobs
March 18th, 2010
06:01 PM ET
4 years ago

Steele on health care bill cost estimate: 'That's a lie'

Washington (CNN) – The chairman of the Republican National Committee accused the White House Thursday of pushing and punishing the Congressional Budget Office into calculating an estimate for the health care bill that's favorable to Democrats.

In an interview with CNN's Rick Sanchez, Michael Steele mentioned the $940 billion figure, estimated for the next 10 years, and said, "That's a lie."

March 18th, 2010
05:26 PM ET
4 years ago

Conrad wins carve-out for North Dakota bank

Conrad, a North Dakota Democrat, said his state's bank deserves to stay in the student loan business because it both originates and services low-interest student loans.
Conrad, a North Dakota Democrat, said his state's bank deserves to stay in the student loan business because it both originates and services low-interest student loans.

Washington (CNN) - Sen. Kent Conrad said Thursday he won an exemption for the state-owned Bank of North Dakota to continue making federally backed student loans under legislation that would alter the loan process.

Later: Conrad asks for bank carve-out to be removed

He said the special treatment for the bank will be included in the budget reconciliation bill, which contains both fixes to health care legislation and changes to the way federally secured student loans are made.

Conrad, a North Dakota Democrat, said his state's bank deserves to stay in the student loan business because it both originates and services low-interest student loans.

"They are not like these other institutions that have created these problems," he said.

Democrats have criticized private banks for earning profits by making federally backed loans, while also pocketing a subsidy from taxpayers. Under the bill, the federal government would make the loans directly and keep any earned profits from the loans.
FULL POST


Filed under: Health care • Kent Conrad • North Dakota
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