(CNN) – Sarah Palin's favorability rating among Republicans continues to slide as the former vice presidential nominee mulls a White House bid, according to a new survey.
A Washington Post/ABC News poll released Wednesday indicates 58 percent of Republicans and Republican-leaning independents give Palin high marks, a 30-point drop from her favorability rating among the same group in the weeks leading up to the 2008 presidential election. It also marks a 12-point drop from a Washington Post/ABC News poll last fall when the former Alaska governor traveled the country on behalf of a string of congressional candidates.
The CNN Washington Bureau’s morning speed read of the top stories making news from around the country and the world. Click on the headlines for more.
For the latest political news: www.CNNPolitics.com
CNN: Energy secretary defends U.S. nuclear industry
Energy Secretary Steven Chu sought to reassure Congress on Tuesday that America's nuclear power plants are sufficiently protected against the kind of disaster now facing Japan. He also insisted that, contrary to assertions of many skeptics within the environmental movement and elsewhere, nuclear power needs to play a key role in the development of a more balanced U.S. energy policy. Chu said federal authorities responsible for overseeing U.S. nuclear plants have accounted for combined earthquake and tsunami scenarios similar to what led to the crisis in Japan.
CNN: House passes three-week government spending extension
A three-week extension of government funding won approval Tuesday from the U.S. House, with Democratic support overcoming opposition by some conservative Republicans. The 271-158 vote sends the measure to the Senate for consideration before the current government spending authorization expires Friday. Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Kentucky, said Tuesday that he expected it to win approval this week to avert a government shutdown. McConnell also said that negotiations have started between House Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio, and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nevada, on a compromise agreement to fund the government for the rest of the current fiscal year, which ends September 30.