(CNN) - Susan Rice, the U.S. ambassador to the United Nations who drew heavy criticism from Republicans over her statements after the September attacks on a U.S. diplomatic mission, withdrew her name from consideration for secretary of state on Thursday.
In a letter to President Barack Obama, she said "the confirmation process would be lengthy, disruptive, and costly - to you and to our most pressing national and international priorities. That trade-off is simply not worth it to our country."
Washington (CNN) - President Barack Obama and House Speaker John Boehner met at the White House shortly after 5 p.m. ET Thursday amid negotiations to avert the so-called fiscal cliff.
The meeting was the two men's first face-to-face meeting since Sunday, though they spoke as recently as Tuesday by telephone.
(CNN) - Former President George H.W. Bush remained in a Texas hospital Thursday, but the hospital said his condition was improving and he was expected to be home by Christmas.
"Given his current pace of progress, doctors expect that President Bush will be able to celebrate Christmas at home with his family - though no release date has been set at this time," a statement from Methodist Hospital in Houston read.
(CNN) - With President Barack Obama and House Speaker John Boehner giving no signs that a solution to avert the so-called fiscal cliff is imminent, legislators are being warned to stick around Washington.
They may even be asked to do something drastic: work through the weekend.
(CNN) – As Congress and the White House fight over every billion in revenue and spending cuts, there is some $200 billion in savings on the table that many economists insist is a no-brainer.
The idea is to simply change how the US calculates inflation from the current Consumer Price Index measures to one that is arguably more accurate, the chained CPI.
Washington (CNN) - Facing a looming deadline to avoid the fiscal cliff, President Barack Obama and House Speaker John Boehner met Thursday for their first face-to-face talk in four days.
Boehner arrived for the previously unscheduled meeting just after 5 p.m. ET, a few hours after claiming Obama had failed to offer a serious compromise to prevent the fiscal cliff's automatic tax hikes and spending cuts set to take effect in less than three weeks. He spent about 50 minutes in the White House, before returning to his office.
Washington (CNN) - What a difference a few months - and a presidential re-election victory - makes.
A new CNN Poll of Polls indicates that President Barack Obama's approval rating stands at 52%, with 43% of Americans saying they disapprove of the job the president's doing in the White House.
New York (CNNMoney) - They hate the idea of higher taxes, but some small business owners say they can handle paying a little more.
That's how they feel about President Obama's plan to raise tax rates on income above $200,000, which would mean a higher tax bill for some businesses, including the Uptown Cheapskate retail franchise started by Chelsea Sloan.
New York (CNNMoney) - First-time claims for unemployment benefits fell last week, and are now back to pre-hurricane levels.
About 343,000 people filed initial jobless claims last week, 29,000 fewer than those who sought help in the previous week, the Labor Department reported Thursday.
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.
CNN: By the numbers: Fiscal cliff
Time is running out for congressional Republicans and President Barack Obama to strike a deal to avert the fiscal cliff. If the two parties can't come to an agreement before the end of the year, a combination of broad tax hikes and deep government spending cuts take effect . Experts warn of a new recession if Washington goes over the fiscal cliff. Here's a by-the-numbers look at the fiscal cliff and its impact:
CNN: Poll: More negative view of GOP, Romney post-election
An NBC/Wall Street Journal poll conducted one month after Election Day and released Wednesday indicates the GOP's favorable rating slipping with 30% percent of respondents viewing the party favorably, down from 36% before the election. Forty-five percent now view the party unfavorably, up from 43% before the election. Before the election, Romney's favorable rating was at 43%. The number has since dropped to 35%. His unfavorable rating has remained at 44% from before November 6.