Washington (CNN) - As the rare open debate over the House Republicans' $60 billion spending cut plan unfolded on the House floor, some of those proposed cuts got personal. Two in particular were clearly aimed at projects near and dear to Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi's heart.
Early Thursday morning, when few House members were on the floor, Kentucky Republican Ed Whitfield pushed an amendment to cut $1.5 million from the so-called "Greening the Capitol" initiative. Pelosi launched the program in 2007 when she became speaker. She frequently touted the investments in energy efficient lighting and environmentally friendly efforts to reduce water use and the "carbon footprint" of the House of Representatives and its office buildings. Republicans raised questions about how much money the effort saved, and some called it a waste of taxpayer money. Whitfield's amendment was adopted by voice vote.
Washington (CNN) - NBA basketball player Ron Artest came to Washington Thursday to help raise awareness for mental health initiatives and to discuss the issue with members of Congress.
Mr. Artest participated in a panel that featured mental health advocates and Rep. Grace Napolitano, D-California. The congresswoman introduced the Mental Health in Schools Act, which would provide funding to public schools to have a mental health services on-site.
New York (CNNMoney) – Want to avoid raising the county's debt ceiling? It could be harder than anyone thinks.
The country would need to cut spending or raise taxes by as much as $738 billion over just 6 months, according to a report from the Congressional Research Service. That's how much it would otherwise need to borrow to pay all its bills for the rest of the year.
Washington (CNN) - Two Senate Democrats said Thursday that if a standoff over government spending leads to a government shutdown, politicians should "feel the pain" too.
"We have to take steps to make sure that elected officials here are living by the same rules as everyone else," Sen. Bob Casey, D-Pennsylvania, said during a news conference on Thursday.
Washington (CNN) - As potential presidential candidate Donald Trump touts his conservative credentials, a fresh analysis shows that the real estate mogul has donated money to Republicans – and Democrats.
On Thursday, the nonpartisan Center for Responsive Politics released figures from its analysis of Trump's political contributions since the 1990 political cycle.
(CNN) – Sixteen Wisconsin state senators - 14 of them Democrats - did not appear at the capitol Thursday for a scheduled vote on a bill that would strip teachers and other public employees of most of their collective bargaining rights and increase their contributions for benefits, lawmakers told CNN.
The bill cleared the Joint Finance Committee Wednesday night on a 12-4 vote and was intended move onto the state Senate Thursday for a vote, but the absence of so many senators left that vote schedule in question.
Washington (CNN) - House Speaker John Boehner ratcheted up a looming showdown with Senate Democrats and the President over government funding Thursday that Democrats warn could lead to a government shutdown two weeks from now.
At issue: a spending measure currently funding the government expires on March 4th. Republicans are debating a bill that would cut government spending by over $60 billion, but Senate Democrats call those cuts far too deep. Assuming the two sides can't reach agreement in the next two weeks, a short term measure to keep the government running would need to pass.
Washington (CNN) - Florida House Speaker Dean Cannon said Thursday he sees little chance that his state will move its 2012 presidential primary date to later in the year to comply with rules approved by the two national political parties.
"I think we belong at the beginning of the national conversation about who the next president is, and so I favor keeping it early," Cannon told CNN during a visit to Washington. "I am aware of the risks, and people say it should be moved later, but I definitely favor keeping it early rather than moving it back like the parties are asking."
Washington (CNN) - President Barack Obama signed legislation Thursday naming a new federal courthouse in Yuma, Arizona, after slain federal Judge John M. Roll.
The 63-year old judge was gunned down in Tucson, Arizona, along with five others last month while he attended an event hosted by his friend U.S. Rep. Gabrielle Giffords, who was critically wounded in the attack. She is undergoing rehabilitation in Houston, Texas.
Washington (CNN) - Indiana's Republican Gov. Mitch Daniels, who is considering a possible bid for the White House in 2012, underwent outpatient surgery on his shoulder Thursday.
A statement from the governor's office said he had a successful operation to repair a torn rotator cuff in his right shoulder.