Washington (CNN) – Senior White House officials huddled Tuesday with a group of tech-savvy, hyper-connected "Generation Y" and "millennial" leaders, CNN has learned.
The day-long meeting was with 70 young entrepreneurs, entertainers, philanthropists and local leaders between the ages of 18 and 35.
"It's all about networks," said attendee Mike Del Ponte, the Founder & CEO of Sparkseed which funds college students who have ideas for start-ups intended to improve society. "Legislation can take years, but the next-gen leaders who met at the White House can move mountains with a quick phone call, or even a tweet."
(CNN) – The Democratic National Committee said Wednesday that it has transferred a total of $2.5 million to three state party arms as well as its House and Senate affiliates.
The DNC transferred $833,333 to the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee, $833,333 to the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, $100,000 to the Maryland Democratic Party, $400,000 to the Florida Democratic Party and $333,333 to the Pennsylvania Democratic Party, a DNC official told CNN.
Earlier this month, the DNC transferred its first $2 million as part of the national party committee's $50 million Vote 2010 plan.
Washington (CNN) – The National Republican Congressional Committee all but accused the Democratic National Committee of "political quackery" Wednesday, as the DNC rolled out a new campaign that seeks to tie the Republican Party to the Tea Party movement in advance of the upcoming midterm elections.
At a press conference launching the initiative, the DNC hammered home its message that the GOP and the Tea Party movement are becoming indistinguishable from one another.
Saying the conservative grassroots movement is "now the most potent force in Republican politics" and pointing out Rep. Pete Sessions, chairman of the National Republican Campaign Committee, and Rep. Mike Pence, chairman of the House Republican Conference, are both members of the new House Tea Party Caucus, DNC chairman Tim Kaine said "the Republican Party agenda has become the Tea Party agenda and vice versa."
Kaine's sentiments were echoed by DNC vice-chair Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz of Florida.
(CNN) – President Barack Obama on Wednesday challenged Senate Republicans to back a bill that would help small businesses, calling its provisions "things the Republican Party has said it supported for years."
Speaking at a New Jersey sandwich shop, Obama said the bill would help people like the shop's owners and other small-business operators by easing their tax burden and helping them get more credit.
"Surely, Democrats and Republicans ought to be able to agree on this bill," Obama said.
The president was surrounded by a group of local small-business owners, including the owners of the Tastee Sub Shop in Edison, New Jersey, where Obama bought a sandwich.
(CNN) – Arizona Sens. John McCain and Jon Kyl released a statement Monday regarding the United States District Court of Arizona's decision:
"We are deeply disappointed in the court's ruling today and disagree with the court's opinion that the Arizona's law will unduly 'burden' the enforcement of federal immigration law.
"Instead of wasting tax payer resources filing a lawsuit against Arizona and complaining that the law would be burdensome, the Obama Administration should have focused its efforts on working with Congress to provide the necessary resources to support the state in its efforts to act where the Federal government has failed to take responsibility."
"After this decision, it's even more important to implement our Ten Point Border Security plan to protect Arizonans and our country."
Read a statement from Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer after the jump.
Washington (CNN) – Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell says that the Tea Party movement is not racist, clarifying a position voiced last week in which he sidestepped the prickly issue.
Last week, when asked about the controversy on CNN's State of the Union, McConnell said "Oh my goodness, ... I'm not interested in getting into that debate."
"What we're interested in is trying to have an election this fall that will respond to what the American people are asking us to do which is to have some checks and balances here," McConnell said.
Asked by Tea Party activist and radio host Mandy Connell on Monday about his statements on CNN, McConnell clarified his position.
(CNN) - Longtime Democratic Rep. Charles Rangel of New York will be the subject of the House Ethics Committee's first corruption trial in almost a decade unless his attorneys reach an agreement to settle his charges.
The House Ethics Committee on Thursday will make public a report of Rangel's alleged violations. After a nearly two-year investigation of Rangel, the committee's report could bring a trial by a panel subcommittee in September.
A formal hearing would be a trial-like session involving formal charges with lawyers for the House acting as prosecutors and Rangel's attorneys defending him, but some experts don't foresee Rangel making it to the trial stage.
Washington (CNN) - The latest White House production finds President Obama as health care infomercial king.
Sporting a crisp lavender shirt and sitting in front of a laptop computer, (the Apple logo is replaced with a Presidential seal) the President types, clicks and talks into the camera as he walks viewers through the Healthcare.gov website.
In one example he uses his own Chicago zip code to show how, in his past life, he would have found and compared insurance options.
"We've always found this to be an effective way to communicate," said an administration official, noting that the former radio only address is now also on video and online.
Washington (CNN) - In a telephone call with White House Counsel Bob Bauer, President Obama was briefed aboard Air Force One about a federal judge's decision to block key parts of Arizona's new immigration law from going into effect as he headed to New Jersey for remarks on the economy, according to a senior administration official.
The official told CNN that while the administration views the ruling as a positive step but is stopping short of celebrations because officials are still "sorting out what it all means" as the Justice Department anticipates a quick legal appeal by the state of Arizona.
Two White House advisers added the President is likely to stay out of the fray and not comment publicly on the ruling in order to defer to the Justice Department as he talks up the economy in New Jersey and then holds two fundraisers in New York this evening.
But inside the White House there is a feeling that the administration has at least temporarily headed off a major confrontation that would have further distracted from Obama's attempt to focus the upcoming midterm elections on jobs and the economy.
(CNN) – Sen. Olympia Snowe said Wednesday she will vote to confirm Elena Kagan to the Supreme Court, making her the fourth Republican to come out in support of President Obama's nominee to the high court.
"Throughout my tenure in the Senate, I have applied a uniform standard for evaluating nominees for the United States Supreme Court, under both Republican and Democratic administrations," said Snowe in statement. "I find that Ms. Kagan has met that standard with the strong intellect, respect for the rule of law, and understanding of the important but limited role of the Supreme Court that I believe is required of any Justice.”
Sens. Lindsey Graham, R-South Carolina; Susan Collins, R-Maine; and Richard Lugar, R-Indiana, have also said they will vote for Kagan. No Democrats have expressed opposition to Kagan.
The current solicitor general and former Harvard Law School dean is expected to easily win confirmation, but likely with less Republican support than the nine GOP votes Justice Sonia Sotomayor garnered a year ago.
Full statement from Snowe, after the jump: