Washington (CNN) - President Barack Obama said Tuesday that "everything has to be on the table" when it comes to the issue of controlling the skyrocketing federal budget deficit. He refused, however, to say exactly which programs may be cut in the name of fiscal responsibility.
The president's remarks came as an 18-member bipartisan debt commission - the National Commission on Fiscal Responsibility and Reform - held its first meeting.
The commission is co-chaired by former Sen. Alan Simpson, R-Wyoming, and Erskine Bowles, who served as President Bill Clinton's chief of staff.
Washington (CNN) - Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nevada, has said that the Senate will vote again Tuesday afternoon on whether to cut off debate on a financial regulatory overhaul bill. Reid said the new vote will be held at 4:30 p.m. ET.
Democrats failed Monday to win the 60 votes necessary to end debate on the measure.
- CNN's Ted Barrett contributed to this report
(CNN) - President Obama will deliver the eulogy for civil rights leader Dorothy Height later this week, White House spokesman Josh Earnest said Tuesday.
The funeral will be held at the Washington National Cathedral at 10 a.m. ET on Thursday.
Height, a leading civil rights pioneer of the 1960s, died last Tuesday at age 98.
She had served as chair and president emerita of the National Council of Negro Women and worked alongside civil rights pioneers in the 1960s, including the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr., future U.S. Rep. John Lewis and A. Philip Randolph. Height was on the platform when King delivered his "I Have a Dream" speech at the 1963 March on Washington.
Washington (CNN) – Facebook is defending its privacy policies Tuesday, ahead of a Senate Democratic press conference taking aim at the popular social networking website.
Democratic Sens. Charles Schumer of New York, Michael Bennet of Colorado, Mark Begich of Alaska, and Al Franken of Minnesota sent a letter to Facebook founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg earlier Tuesday to voice their concerns over the site's recent changes with regards to third-party sharing of user's information.
In a letter to the senators, Elliot Schrage, the vice president of global communications for Facebook, said the new changes allow for enhanced personalization and social activity while providing users with the ability to limit who is able to view their information.
The senators have asked the Federal Trade Commission to look into the privacy disclosures to ensure users are fully aware of the information they are making available to others.
New York (CNNMoney.com) - Policymakers must put in place a credible plan to bring federal spending in line with revenue sooner rather than later to close the "unsustainable fiscal gap" that threatens the economy, Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke said Tuesday.
Bernanke delivered his message to President Obama's 18-member bipartisan debt commission, which is holding its first of many meetings that will take place over seven months.
"The path forward contains many difficult tradeoffs and choices, but postponing those choices and failing to put the nation's finances on a sustainable long-run trajectory would ultimately do great damage to our economy," Bernanke said.
Obama echoed that sentiment in comments made at the White House before the meeting began. The present fiscal situation, he noted, "will require that we put politics aside - that we think more about the next generation than the next election. There is no other way."
Washington (CNN) - It's the state that launched him towards the White House. On Tuesday, President Barack Obama returns to Iowa for the third time since his inauguration as president - and the second time in the past month - to talk about the economy as part of his "White House to Main Street" tour.
The president's scheduled to tour the Siemens Wind Turbine Blade Manufacturing plant in Fort Madison, in the southeastern part of the state, and then speak to workers at the plant about the economy and job creation. Obama then heads about 35 miles north to Mt. Pleasant, Iowa to tour a local business. Later the president holds a town hall at the Indian Hills Community College in Ottumwa.
At each stop, Obama will meet with workers, farmers, small-business owners, and local leaders "to share ideas for continuing to grow the economy and to put Americans back to work," the White House said in a statement.
NEW YORK (CNNMoney.com) - Goldman Sachs CEO Lloyd Blankfein will testify Tuesday that his firm didn't mislead investors and didn't bet against the housing market, according to his opening remarks released Monday.
"We didn't have a massive short against the housing market and we certainly did not bet against our clients," Blankfein said in remarks prepared for Tuesday's testimony, which he will give before the Permanent Senate Subcommittee on Investigations.
Goldman Sachs (GS, Fortune 500) is accused by the Securities and Exchange Commission of failing to tell investors that hedge fund Paulson & Co. helped select securities for a portfolio that it was also betting against.
(CNN) - The initial stages of the next race for the White House won't gear up for months, but Democrats are already taking aim at one of the Republican Party's most likely presidential hopefuls.
As Senate Democrats are struggling to attract Republican support for their version of a financial reform bill, a new Democratic National Committee web video portrays former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney as a longtime defender and beneficiary of Wall Street practices.
Romney does not have an official role in the current financial reform debate, but he has been one of the measure's most vocal critics among those considering a presidential bid.
The nearly 90-second video - titled "Mitt Romney: Wall Street's Best Friend" - highlights several past remarks from Romney defending Wall Street practices and chastising President Obama for comments critical of the banking industry.
Washington (CNN) - National Security Adviser Gen. James Jones (Ret.) apologized Monday for a two-minute joke he told before a pro-Israel think tank last week.
"I wish that I had not made this off the cuff joke at the top of my remarks, and I apologize to anyone who was offended by it," Jones said in a statement. "It also distracted from the larger message I carried that day: that the United States commitment to Israel's security is sacrosanct."
The joke, which Jones told in front of the Washington Institute for Near East Policy, involved a Taliban fighter who was lost in the desert in Afghanistan and stumbled upon a small store owned by a "Jewish merchant."
The CNN Washington Bureau’s morning speed read of the top stories making news from around the country and the world.
For the latest political news: www.CNNPolitics.com
CNNMoney: Senate delayed on Wall Street reform
Senate Democrats failed to muster enough votes Monday to take up Wall Street reform, with a key Democrat voting with Republicans against the push to get the debate started. Sen. Ben Nelson, D-Neb., voted against a proposal to officially start debating the Wall Street reform legislation before other lawmakers on a Senate Banking panel negotiate a deal. That move made it impossible for Democrats to get 60 votes to push the legislation forward. The official vote was 57-41 in favor of moving forward.
CNN: Durbin hits GOP, says 'filibusters have to end'
Just hours after Senate Republicans succeeded in blocking debate on a Wall Street reform bill Monday, Democratic Sen. Dick Durbin slammed the GOP for refusing to act, saying "the filibusters have to end." But even at this late hour, the Illinois Democrat said he is still open to Republican input.
CNN: DeMint defends GOP opposition to current Wall St. bill
A Republican who sits on the Senate Banking Committee defended his party’s lockstep opposition to the current version of the financial regulatory reform bill but said he thinks the GOP and Democrats can ultimately reach agreement on how best to oversee Wall Street. All 41 Senate Republicans voted against a motion Monday that would have started debate on the financial regulatory reform bill.
Investors Business Daily: Election Concerns Spur Dem Leaders To Revamp Agenda
With polls giving Democrats a dire prognosis for their efforts to save their congressional majority, the leadership has responded by performing emergency surgery on the legislative agenda. Democrats are hopeful that the moves will please their base and help individual members reverse their slide in the polls. But the last-minute changes also dim the odds that Congress will get much else done this year. The danger of this approach became apparent Monday. Sen. Ben Nelson, D-Neb., joined Republicans in filibustering the Democrats' financial reform bill, blocking movement on the legislation, at least temporarily.
CQ Politics: GOP Treads Lightly in Efforts to Clear Fields
In the past, both parties have had mixed success in their efforts to covertly, or not so covertly, clear crowded primaries for their best prospects in some of the most competitive House races. But with the anti-establishment sentiment among voters inflamed this cycle, both local and national GOP leaders are being forced to tiptoe — if at all — to show some candidates the exit for fear of triggering a backlash from local activists.
Los Angeles Times: Obama to talk recovery efforts in Midwest tour
In a two-day swing through Illinois, Missouri and Iowa that begins Tuesday, President Obama will visit communities hit hard by the recession and tour two biofuel plants as he rolls out a special version of his election-year pitch aimed at rural America. In tow will be Cabinet members and advisors from the Midwest, all armed with a new White House report that touts success in many of the president's initiatives to help the rural economy and that points to the potential effect of proposals still in the works. As part of his so-called White House to Main Street tour, Obama will talk about the security and national economic interests at stake in his efforts to promote the use of biofuels — and about how they would help agricultural areas.