In an exclusive interview Tuesday on CNN’s John King, USA, Gov. Jan Brewer, R-Arizona, said until the borders are secure, she has no interest in working with President Obama on passing a comprehensive federal immigration bill that includes a path to citizenship for the millions of undocumented immigrants in the country.
“I would tell him: Secure our borders,” Brewer told CNN Chief National Correspondent John King after King asked how the Arizona Republican would respond if Obama asked for her help with an immigration bill after this November’s midterm elections. “You know, everything's off the table, I believe, in Arizona until we get our borders secure. That's our number one priority. It's unfortunate it has to be that way. But the people of Arizona, the people of America, have been promised that our borders would be secured for years and years and years, with it not happening.”
When it comes to immigration, Brewer added that she thought the public – in Arizona and throughout the country – was not interested in discussing anything other than securing the borders.
“Let's take care of this issue of illegal immigration [by securing the borders]. Then we can sit down and be open and have good dialogue to discuss what it is that [Obama] would like to accomplish,” Brewer also told King.
In a prior appearance nearly two months ago on CNN’s John King, USA, Brewer defiantly said she would see Obama’s Justice Department in court when asked about the possibility that the federal government might challenge her state’s immigration law.
Washington (CNN) - Veteran Democratic Rep. Charles Rangel of New York confirmed Tuesday that his lawyers are discussing a possible settlement with lawyers for the House Ethics Committee that would avoid a public hearing this week on ethics allegations against him.
"Negotiations are much like the arc of legislative conferences, and that is until everything is agreed upon, there's absolutely nothing agreed upon," Rangel said while leaving the House floor after several votes.
He declined to talk about any details of the negotiations handled by his legal team, saying he was not participating in the talks himself.
Washington (CNN) - The House of Representatives on Tuesday gave final approval to a nearly $59 billion emergency spending bill, the bulk of which would go toward the U.S. troop buildup in Afghanistan.
Specifically, the bill includes almost $33 billion for Afghanistan, along with over $5 billion for the Federal Emergency Management Agency, almost $3 billion for Haiti relief programs and $68 million for the oil disaster response in the Gulf of Mexico.
It now goes to the president for his signature.
Updated: 6:52 p.m.
Washington (CNN) - Eighteen states and the District of Columbia were selected as finalists to receive more than $3 billion in the second round of funding for the Race to the Top Program, Education Secretary Arne Duncan announced Tuesday.
Duncan, speaking at the National Press Club in Washington, said that peer reviewers selected the states for having bold education reform plans aimed at improving teaching methods, using data systems to aid student development and turning around underperforming schools, to name a few.
The finalists chosen were: Arizona, California, Colorado, the District of Columbia, Florida, Georgia, Hawaii, Illinois, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island and South Carolina.
Washington (CNN) - Former Republican House Speaker Dennis Hastert has some advice for Democrats if they want to remain in the majority: stop the squabbling.
Hastert was on Capitol Hill Tuesday meeting with former colleagues when he told CNN that the Democrats' agenda and leadership style are adversely affecting their prospects in the November midterm elections.
"I had a philosophy of leadership," the former high school wrestling coach said. "If the coach is in the headlines every day, the team is in trouble. If the team is in the headline everyday, then you're doing alright."
The recent tussle between House Democrats and White House press secretary Robert Gibbs over the likelihood of losing big in November and the renewed press coverage of Rep. Charlie Rangel's problems with the House Ethics Committee have taken their toll on the Democrats coordinated messaging efforts, making top House Dems focus on issues they would rather not have to discuss.
But Hastert had kind words for his Democratic successor, Speaker Nancy Pelosi, saying "she's got a lot of talent," while also blaming her for creating a leadership structure that is top heavy. "All the decisions are coming from one point. They're not bubbling up."
(CNN) - The Tea Party group that helped Sharron Angle win Nevada's Republican Senate primary, but that was also kicked out of a national Tea Party federation, is jumping into the Delaware GOP Senate battle.
The Tea Party Express announced Tuesday that they are endorsing Christine O'Donnell, who is battling Rep. Mike Castle for the GOP Senate nomination.
"Christine O'Donnell has established a reputation as a strong voice for conservative constitutionalist principles consistent with the ideals of the tea party movement," said Tea Party Express Chairman Amy Kremer.
The group also criticized Castle, a popular nine term congressman and former two term governor who's considered much more moderate than O'Donnell, a conservative commentator and marketing consultant who ran unsuccessfully for the Senate in 2006 and 2008.
Washington (CNN) - Senate Republicans narrowly blocked Democratic campaign finance disclosure legislation in the Senate Tuesday after raising concerns the bill would curb freedom of speech and tilt campaign spending in favor of the Democrats.
A 57-41 vote fell short of the 60 votes needed for the Senate to cut off debate on the measure. Republicans unanimously opposed the measure while Democrats solidly backed it.
Democrats said the legislation - known as the DISCLOSE Act - would bring greater transparency to campaign contributions from corporations, labor unions, and other special interests, which were able to ramp up political spending in the wake of the Supreme Court's controversial ruling in Citizens United vs. Federal Election Commission earlier this year.
The bill would require organizations paying for political advertising to disclose the names of their top donors in the ads, similar to what now is required of political candidates for federal office.
Republicans accused Democrats of trying to preserve their majorities in the House and Senate by skewing the rules in the favor of labor unions, trial lawyers, and other Democratic-leaning groups. Democrats denied that was their motive, and made certain changes to the bill last week aimed at satisfying GOP critics.
The Republicans were not mollified.
Updated: 5:06 p.m.
(CNN) - The New Hampshire Attorney General's office is investigating whether Democratic Senate hopeful Paul Hodes ran "push polls" intended to cast a potential rival, Republican candidate Kelly Ayotte, in a negative light.
The phone calls in question hit New Hampshire households last week and raised questions about Ayotte's handling, when she was Attorney General, of a mortgage firm at the center of a Ponzi scheme that defrauded investors. The Hodes campaign had previously run television ads attacking Ayotte on the topic.
But according to state law, polling calls "which state, imply or convey information about the candidate's character, status or political stance or record" are considered push polls and punishable by fines or jail time.
(CNN) - President Obama will lend a hand to Ohio Gov. Ted Strickland's re-election campaign next month.
Strickland's campaign spokeswoman Lis Smith confirmed the visit Tuesday after it was reported in the Columbus Dispatch.
Obama plans to deliver a speech on the economy in Columbus on August 18, followed by a fundraiser for Strickland and the Ohio Democratic Party.
Vice President Biden has already traveled to Ohio to help Strickland, who is facing Republican John Kasich in a closely contested campaign.
(CNN) - The Portland Police Bureau interviewed former Vice President Al Gore last week in connection with a re-opened investigation into charges he attempted to sexually assault a massage therapist, CNN affiliate KATU reports.
Citing a law enforcement source, KATU reports the former vice president sat down with investigators while he was in San Francisco last Thursday to answer questions about the charges.
In a statement to CNN, Gore spokeswoman Kalee Krieder said, "Our office has no comment as the process is ongoing."
A spokesperson for the Portland Police Bureau did not return CNN's request for comment