Washington (CNN) – Former members of Congress and foreign policy professionals are coming to the defense of former Republican Sen. Chuck Hagel, who’s expected to be tapped as the nominee for Defense Secretary.
Known as the Bipartisan Group, they have letters published in several publications defending Hagel, who has come under harsh criticism from some members of Congress and conservative activists over past positions not supporting sanctions against Iran and what some of them consider a dovish defense point of view. Also some pro-Israel lobbyists believe he has not been supportive enough of the Jewish state. Hagel also opposed the surge of troops in Iraq pushed by the Bush administration.
(CNN) - A new poll shows neither Republicans nor Democrats in Congress weathered the fiscal cliff showdown well, and Americans' views on the agreement are sharply divided along political lines.
The Gallup survey found only 34% of Americans approved of congressional Democrats' handling of the cliff negotiations. Congressional Republicans scored even lower, with 25% approval. Two thirds - 67% - disapproved of Capitol Hill Republicans' handling of the negotiations and 55% disapproved of how Democrats handled the talks.
Washington (CNN) – President Obama is expected to nominate former Republican Sen. Chuck Hagel as the next Defense Secretary, sources familiar with the matter told CNN. The nomination is likely to occur early next week, other sources told CNN.
The White House told some senior members of Congress to expect the tapping of Hagel, according to a knowledgeable source. Another source with knowledge of the nomination called it "locked down."
CNN's GUT CHECK | for January 4, 2013 | 5 p.m.
– n. a pause to assess the state, progress or condition of the political news cycle
BREAKING: CNN Chief Political Analyst Gloria Borger reports: The White House has told some senior members of Congress to expect the nomination of Chuck Hagel as Secretary of Defense, according to a knowledgeable source. Another source with knowledge of the nomination called it “locked down.” The timing is uncertain, but other sources have told CNN it could come early next week. The White House has previously said that the president has made no final decisions. One source told CNN yesterday that the president was “mulling” over appointments in Hawaii this week. The source with knowledge of the nominations adds that Jack Lew is likely to be nominated as Treasury Secretary, perhaps as early as next week. This source says that while Lew is expected to be confirmed, there is some consternation in the business community about Lew, who is known as a “numbers guy” but has “little or no market and business experience.” The administration is believed to be searching for a person with business expertise to run the Commerce Department, but there seems to be no first-in-line name circulating at this point. Gene Sperling is expected to stay as Director of the National Economic Council. Former Washington Gov. Christine Gregoire, former Ohio Gov. Ted Strickland and former Michigan Gov. Jennifer Granholm are also being considered for cabinet posts.
DEVELOPING: CONGRESS APPROVES SCALED-BACK SANDY AID BILL… Congress approved a $9.7 billion Superstorm Sandy aid package on Friday following delays over fiscal cliff bickering, warnings of dwindling federal funds and swirling controversy over millions of dollars for unrelated projects. The measure passed the House, 354-67. The Senate did so unanimously and without debate. It was the first legislative action of the new Congress, which picked up the Sandy package after the previous session on Tuesday shelved a vote on a much larger assistance plan for storm victims, infuriating New York and New Jersey politicians.
(CNN) – While it sometimes seems like Joe Biden is already the star of his own show, a new petition to the White House wants the vice president to take part in a TV program that spotlights his "daily activities."
"Vice President Joe Biden has a demonstrated ability to bring people together, whether at the negotiating table or at the neighborhood diner," the petition states. It goes on to pitch the production of a "recurring C-SPAN television program featuring the daily activities and interactions" of Biden with other elected officials.
(CNN) – The U.S. Senate gave final congressional approval on Friday to a scaled-back, $9.7 billion aid package for victims of Superstorm Sandy. A larger assistance plan will be considered later this month.
(CNN) - President Barack Obama has officially won re-election.
Vice President Joe Biden, in his capacity as president of the Senate, made the unsurprising announcement after a bit of official pomp and circumstance in Congress on Friday. The House and Senate convened a 23-minute joint legislative session Friday to perform the official task of receiving and counting the Electoral College votes.
(CNN) - It's a historical photo which shows the 61 Democratic Congresswomen who were sworn in on Thursday.
Except it never (fully) happened.
(CNN) - Congress approved a $9.7 billion Superstorm Sandy aid package on Friday following delays over fiscal cliff bickering, warnings of dwindling federal funds and swirling controversy over millions of dollars for unrelated projects.
The measure passed the House, 354-67. The Senate did so unanimously and without debate.