Washington (CNN) - A House ethics investigative panel has charged a high-ranking Democratic congresswoman with violating House rules by seeking federal financial assistance for a bank with ties to her husband.
According to the House ethics committee, California Rep. Maxine Waters helped arrange a meeting in September 2008 between a bank she and her husband had ties to financially and Treasury Department officials.
The bank was seeking federal assistance. Waters is a senior member of the House Financial Services committee.
Read the full report here [pdf]
Waters insists she did nothing wrong.
"I have not violated any House rules," she said in a statement released Monday. "I simply will not be forced to admit to something I did not do and instead have chosen to respond to charges made by the [ethics committee] in a public hearing. ... The case against me has no merit."
Updated: 3:34 p.m.
Washington (CNN) – With eight days to go before a Connecticut primary in which voters will select nominees to compete for the seat of veteran Democratic Sen. Chris Dodd, one contender for the GOP nomination is up with a new ad, and has scored another newspaper endorsement.
Rob Simmons, who at one point suspended his campaign, is up with a new 30-second spot that touts his military service. Titled "Lest We Forget" the ad features images of Simmons in a military uniform. Before running for public office, Simmons served as an Army officer and more recently worked at the CIA.
"Lest we forget, service is what we ask of our leaders," the ad's narrator says. "And service is the yardstick by which we measure them."
The status of the Simmons' campaign had been a mystery since May, when he suspended his campaign and released most of his staff after finishing second at the Connecticut GOP convention. But Simmons did remain on the primary ballot.
Washington (CNNMoney.com) - The financial industry has spent $251 million on lobbying so far this year as lawmakers hammered out new rules of the road for Wall Street, according to the latest lobbying reports compiled by a watchdog group.
The financial sector spent more than any other special interest group from April through the end of June - a whopping $126 million, according to the Center for Responsive Politics' latest estimates. Wall Street banks, as well as insurance and real estate firms, hiked the amount they spent on lobbying by 12% in the second quarter compared to the same period last year.
In the first half of 2010, Goldman Sachs spent $2.7 million, just $100,000 shy of the total the firm spent on lobbying in all of 2009. The firm's reports to the federal government said it lobbied Treasury, White House and the Commodity Futures Trading Commission, as well as Congress.
Other banks also flexed their muscle on Capitol Hill this year. Citigroup Inc. spent $3 million and Bank of America Corp. spent $2.1 million on lobbying during the first half of this year, the Center for Responsive Politics reports.
(CNN) - The wedding reception revelry for Chelsea Clinton and Marc Mezvinsky stretched well into the early hours of Sunday morning with guests offered a 2 A.M. snack of grilled cheese sandwiches, brownies and popcorn for the ride home, according to an invited guest.
The source says the former President Clinton and Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton gave a welcoming address to the attendees. And the dinner reception included a choice of beef or arctic char (fish), risotto and salad.
The former first daughter and her longtime beau married in a much discussed but highly secretive wedding in Rhinebeck, N.Y. on Saturday.
Related: Chelsea Clinton ties the knot
House Minority Leader John Boehner and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi have high expectations for their parties. (PHOTO CREDIT: Getty Images)
(CNN) - Republicans are predicting big wins in the November midterms. Across the aisle, Democrats are saying the same thing about their chances at the polls. But both can't be right.
Republicans speculate that they will take back the House - and possibly the Senate - as voters express their frustration at where Democrats and President Obama are taking the country.
"I think it's pretty clear that the American people are tired of the job-killing agenda in Washington, D.C. They want the spending spree to stop," House Minority Leader John Boehner said on "Fox News Sunday."
"I think we're having a good year, but we've got a lot of work to do before the Election Day on November 2," he said.
Atlanta, Georgia (CNN) - The Obama administration's planned withdrawal of U.S. troops from Iraq is proceeding "as promised" and should lead to an end of America's combat mission there by the end of August, President Barack Obama said Monday.
Plans to reduce the number of U.S. troops in Iraq to 50,000 by the end of this month are on schedule, Obama told the national convention of Disabled American Veterans. At that point, the U.S. mission will shift to the training and support of Iraqi security forces.
But there is still danger for U.S. troops on the ground, the president warned.
"The hard truth is we have not seen the end of American sacrifice in Iraq," Obama said. "But make no mistake, our commitment in Iraq is changing - from a military effort led by our troops to a civilian effort led by our diplomats."
(CNN) - Upon arriving in Georgia Monday, President Obama was greeted by the state's Republican governor Sonny Perdue. But the Democrat who hopes to succeed the term-limited Perdue will not be attending a party fundraiser in Atlanta headlined by the president.
The Democratic National Committee fundraiser is scheduled to be held Monday afternoon at the Hyatt Regency Hotel in downtown Atlanta. A party source tells CNN that some 200 local supporters are expected to attend, with tickets starting at $1,000. The event is expected to raise around $500,000 for the party.
Former Gov. Roy Barnes, the Democratic gubernatorial nominee, will not attend the fundraiser. Barnes, who easily captured last month's primary, is scheduled to campaign Monday in middle and south Georgia, according to his spokesman.
The Atlanta Journal Constitution reports that Democratic Attorney General nominee Ken Hodges, who will be in Albany, Georgia working on a case for his law firm, won't attend the fundraiser. The newspaper also reports that Democratic congressmen Jim Marshall, John Barrow, and Hank Johnson are not attending for various reasons.
New York (CNNMoney.com) - Federal Reserve chairman Ben Bernanke said Monday the U.S. economy has stabilized, but that the nation has a long and bumpy ride ahead to a complete economic recovery.
Speaking to politicians attending the annual meeting of the Southern Legislative Conference in Charleston, S.C., Bernanke said the nation's economy is growing at a "moderate" pace, but has a "considerable way to go to achieve a full recovery."
The Fed chief also focused on the way that the downturn has taken a severe toll on state and local budgets, forcing them to make significant cuts that are in part to blame for the sluggishness of the national recovery.
Washington (CNN) - The nation's first mom wants kids to eat healthier – and she wants Congress to help put the healthy food in front of them.
In an op-ed published in the Washington Post Monday, first lady Michelle Obama asks Congress to pass legislation that will boost the nutritional value of school meals by using more fruits and vegetables and by eliminating junk food.
"The Child Nutrition Bill working its way through Congress has support from both Democrats and Republicans," Obama writes. "This groundbreaking legislation will bring fundamental change to schools and improve the food options available to our children."
"We owe it to the children who aren't reaching their potential because they're not getting the nutrition they need during the day," the first lady writes. "We owe it to the parents who are working to keep their families healthy and looking for a little support along the way. We owe it to the schools that are trying to make progress but don't have the resources they need. And we owe it to our country - because our prosperity depends on the health and vitality of the next generation."
Editor's Note: The following story appeared on the CNN Political Ticker on August 2, 2007.
WASHINGTON (CNN) - A few hours after Sen. Barack Obama unveiled his plan to combat terrorism worldwide on Wednesday, Sen. Joe Biden's campaign criticized him for saying too little, too late.
“We find it a little disingenuous that Sen. Obama is hailing this as a new bold initiative when he has neglected to join his colleagues in the Senate when the opportunities have been there to redirect our forces into Afghanistan,” Biden's campaign manager, Luis Navarro, said in a statement. “It’s good to see Sen. Obama has finally arrived at the right position, but this can hardly be considered bold leadership.”
In a press release, Biden's campaign called Obama's speech a "Johnny-come-lately position." The release stated that Biden has "already initiated or accomplished" most of the propositions listed in Obama's speech. Biden’s campaign also said Obama didn't ask tough enough questions during a Senate Foreign Relations hearing on the troop surge in Iraq.
"While we respect Senator Biden’s very long career in Washington, it’s no surprise that Obama’s bold, new vision to take on terrorists has shaken up the status quo in our nation’s capitol," Obama spokesman Bill Burton said.
–CNN Associate Producer Lauren Kornreich