(CNN) - Philadelphia high school junior Brandon Ford will be sitting in first lady Michelle Obama's box tonight for the State of the Union address after being a key member of the only high school team in a fuel efficiency challenge in 2009. But it was a fortuitous slip of the adolescent mind that got him the seat in the gallery.
West Philly Hybrid X finished 21st out of more than 100 teams from around the world who competed in the Progressive Insurance Automotive X Prize contest – impressive enough to earn them an invite and all-access White House tour back in September.
(CNN) - Ahead of the Republican responses to the State of the Union Tuesday night, Rep. Paul Ryan, R-Wisconsin, who's delivering the official GOP response and Rep. Michele Bachmann, R-Minnesota, who's responding to the president from the Tea Party Express headquarters, released excerpts from their prepared remarks.
From Rep. Ryan:
New York (CNNMoney) – Rep. Paul Ryan, the Republican Party's resident budget wonk, is expected to take the Obama administration to task Tuesday night for its handling of the economy and budget.
Ryan, a 40-year-old Wisconsin native, will deliver the Republican response to President Obama's State of the Union address.
Washington (CNN) - The Bush administration used a White House political office as a "boiler room" to support Republican congressional candidates in violation of federal law, a report released Monday by an independent government watchdog agency concludes.
The findings of the report by the Office of Special Counsel echo those of a 2008 House Oversight Committee investigation, which concluded that the activities of the Office of Political Affairs during the administration of President George W. Bush represented a "gross abuse of the public trust."
TOPICS: Budget deficit, cuts in spending on Social Secuirity, Medicare, Medicaid, veterans benefits, educatin, transportation, defense spending, welfare, foreign aid
Full results (pdf)
Washington (CNN) - When it comes to cutting the nation's budget deficit and putting a dent in the country's massive debt, a new poll suggests Americans have a split personality.
A CNN/Opinion Research Corporation survey released Tuesday indicates that while the public overwhelmingly favors a smaller federal government, they also overwhelming oppose making cuts to the big targets - the federal programs that account for much of the government's spending.
Washington (CNN) - Echoing comments from Rep. Michele Bachmann, the head of the Tea Party Express insists that the Minnesota Republican's response to the State of the Union is not meant to compete with the official Republican response from Rep. Paul Ryan of Wisconsin.
But Express Chairman Amy Kremer also emphatically told CNN on Tuesday that "the peoples' voices" need to be heard - and that the Tea Party "is not a wing of the Republican Party!"
Washington (CNN) - A Republican-backed bill to halt public financing of presidential campaigns and conventions is coming under fire from the White House.
In a strongly worded statement, the Office of Management and Budget said the House bill, known as H.R. 359, would "expand the power of corporations and special interests in the nation's elections," and that it would "force candidates into an endless cycle of fundraising at the expense of engagement with voters on the issues."
Washington (CNN) - Six Supreme Court justices will attend the State of the Union address, according to a court spokesperson. This follows a yearlong controversy over the traditional presence of members of the high court, following direct criticism of the bench by President Barack Obama at the 2010 address.
Among those not attending is Justice Samuel Alito, who has a previously scheduled speaking engagement in Hawaii.
(CNN) - Members of Congress have been asked to wear black and white ribbons at the State of the Union address Tuesday in honor of the victims from the Arizona shooting, including Arizona Democratic Rep. Gabrielle Giffords.
In a letter, Representatives Debbie Wasserman Schultz, D-Florida, and Michael McCaul, R-Texas, encouraged members to wear the ribbons, which they said will be distributed by House pages to each Congressional office ahead of the address.