Pyongyang, North Korea (CNN) - It's Saturday morning in Pyongyang and we're getting ready for another intense day. The situation here is very fluid right now and a lot of nerves are being frayed because of the tensions between North and South Korea. New Mexico governor Bill Richardson is getting ready for important talks in the next few hours with Kim Gye Gwan, North Korea's chief nuclear negotiator, the man who invited him to Pyongyang.
Richardson is urging restraint everywhere he goes. He's really worried that this situation is, in his words, a "tinderbox" where one miscalculation could lead to all-out war. He says he's never seen the situation so tense in all his visits to North Korea over the years; he agrees it's the most serious crisis since the 1953 Armistice which ended the Korean War.
Washington (CNN) - Both the Senate and the House of Representatives on Friday passed a short-term spending bill that would fund the government through Tuesday night.
President Barack Obama is expected to sign it soon.
(CNN) - Not being in the picture at a Presidential bill signing is a move that may well speak a thousand words.
Standing alongside President Obama as he signed the bill extending the Bush-era tax cuts into law on Friday were several members of Congress including Senate Majority Whip Dick Durbin, D-Illinois, and Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Kentucky, among others.
Washington (CNN) – President Barack Obama signed an $858 billion tax bill into law Friday, saying, "this is progress, and that's what (the American people) sent us here to achieve."
"We are here with good news for the American people this holiday season," he said. "By a wide margin, both houses of Congress passed a package of tax relief that will protect the middle class, that will grow our economy and will create jobs for the American people."
Washington (CNN) - Wisconsin GOP Chairman Reince Priebus announced the support of three more Republican National Committee members Friday as he seeks to continue his early momentum in the race to chair the party organization.
Priebus informed the RNC's 168 members in an email that he has picked up three more backers: North Dakota Committewoman Sandy Boehler, Mississippi GOP Chairman Brad White and Mississippi Committeewoman Jeanne Luckey.
Washington (CNN) - A sweeping food safety bill that passed the House and Senate earlier this year before stalling because of a legislative technicality now will likely die because Republicans object to giving it quick approval in the waning days of the congressional session, Senate leadership aides on both sides of the aisle said Friday.
The bill, designed to increase government inspections of the food supply in the wake of recent deadly food borne disease outbreaks, originally passed with wide support in the both chambers. However, it needs approval again because it violated a Constitutional requirement that bills that raise revenue initiate in the House.
Washington (CNN) – House members aren't happy that they'll have to return next week, booing when House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer announced Friday they would have to return on Tuesday to continue their work.
Congress is still working through a number of issues, particularly that of funding the federal government after its current money runs out at 11:59 p.m. Saturday. The current plan is to pass a continuing resolution (CR) to pay for government operations for another five days - forcing the House to return on Tuesday and take whatever next step is agreed upon with the Senate.
Washington (CNN) - Former Republican National Committee Chairman Mike Duncan decided Friday that he will not attempt to get his old job back - but not without taking a parting shot at the current chairman, Michael Steele.
Duncan, a Kentucky native who ran the RNC from 2007 until 2009, when he lost his re-election bid to Steele in a multi-ballot election, told the committee's 168 members in an email that "changes in my family, business and outside responsibilities make it impossible for me to devote the time needed to effectively lead the RNC over the next two years."
Washington (CNN) – The late night House vote to pass Bush-era tax cuts was a big victory for President Obama, but it was greeted with muted celebration.
White House spokesman Robert Gibbs said he wasn’t awake at the time. “I think some of us were…certainly asleep,” he said. “Asleep?” a stunned reporter asked. “Yes,” Gibbs responded.
(CNN) - Former Arkansas Republican Gov. Mike Huckabee weighed into the fight on Capitol Hill over whether members will work through the Christmas holiday with a verbal swing at the members themselves.
The former minister said Christians in fact work a "little harder" during the holiday season.