Washington (CNN) – Vice President Joe Biden and officials on his gun violence committee held an unannounced meeting Wednesday evening with a group of 12 national faith leaders.
One theme brought up by several participants was the "moral tragedy" reflected in the gun violence the nation has seen over the past several months.
(CNN) – Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell said Wednesday during an annual address that his proposal to eliminate the commonwealth’s gas tax, increase its sales tax and enact a new fee on alternative fuel vehicles was an “innovative” plan that could shore up long-standing shortfalls in Virginia’s transportation budget.
Speaking to Virginia’s General Assembly during his State of the Commonwealth speech, McDonnell said that the plan wouldn’t suit all legislators, but it was a necessary compromise for new infrastructure to be developed.
Washington (CNN) - President Barack Obama’s campaign operation is about to be fired back up just a few months after helping him win a second term with a new mission to assist the president in promoting his top legislative goals and progressive issues.
Senior Obama campaign aides are currently working on the specifics of how to restructure Obama for America, but are considering several different options such as converting it to a 501c4 or perhaps a super PAC, a source familiar with the campaign said.
CNN's GUT CHECK | for January 9, 2013 | 5 p.m.
– n. a pause to assess the state, progress or condition of the political news cycle
BREAKING: ANOTHER (FEMALE) CABINET DEPARTURE: LABOR SECRETARY HILDA SOLIS RESIGNS… U.S. Labor Secretary Hilda Solis has submitted her resignation, CNN has learned. She said in a letter to colleagues that she discussed the matter with her family over the holidays in California has "decided to begin a new future." … AND THEN THERE WERE FOUR.
LEW NOMINATED: OBAMA TO PICK JACK LEW AS TREASURY SECRETARY… President Barack Obama will nominate his White House chief of staff, Jacob "Jack" Lew, to be the next treasury secretary, a source with knowledge of the nomination tells CNN. The nomination is expected to be announced this week. Lew, 57, has been the leading candidate for months and would be the second treasury secretary during the Obama administration. Lew has overseen budget talks in times of surplus and deficits as a former budget director for Obama and Bill Clinton. It's not clear when the Senate will begin confirmation hearings. In 2009, the Senate took nearly a month to confirm Tim Geithner to the same post. This could be just as contentious, coming right after a bruising fight over the fiscal cliff. – Jennifer Liberto and Gloria Borger
CONTENTIOUS SIGNALS: Republican Sen. Jeff Sessions of Alabama, in a statement to CNN, is already signaling his opposition to Lew’s nomination: “Jack Lew must never be secretary of treasury. His testimony before the Senate Budget Committee less than two years ago was so outrageous and false that it alone disqualifies… (him).”
BREAKING: ANOTHER (FEMALE) CABINET DEPARTURE: LABOR SECRETARY HILDA SOLIS RESIGNS… U.S. Labor Secretary Hilda Solis has submitted her resignation, CNN has learned. She said in a letter to colleagues that she discussed the matter with her family over the holidays in California has "decided to begin a new future." – Gloria Borger and Kevin Bohn… AND THEN THERE WERE FOUR.
Washington (CNN) - On his second day at the Pentagon, Defense Secretary nominee Chuck Hagel is trying to set his Iran record straight, saying he supports tough international sanctions against Iran, in an attempt to counter complained by critics who say he favored talking directly with the government in Tehran, according to defense officials with direct knowledge of the nominees conversations Wednesday.
Hagel told Pentagon staff he also believes all options in dealing with Iran’s nuclear program should be on the table, including military action, according to the officials.
Washington (CNN) – Secretary of Labor Hilda L. Solis resigned her post Wednesday, offering no specific reason but that she "enjoyed my first opportunity in years to reflect on the past and my future" over the holidays.
"Leaving the department is one of the most difficult decisions I have ever made, because I have taken our mission to heart," she wrote in a letter to colleagues obtained by CNN. "As the daughter of parents who worked in factories, paid their union dues and achieved their goal of a middle class life, and as the first Latina to head a major federal agency, it has been an incredible honor to serve."
(CNN) – Ban assault weapons. It's a call that's been trumpeted on the airwaves, in protests and in some TV ads.
But now it's coming from a high-profile governor, signaling what could be a major move in the renewed push for tighter gun laws after the Connecticut elementary school shooting last month–a massacre that capped a year marked by other high-profile shootings.
(CNN) - Connecticut Gov. Dannel Malloy choked up Wednesday when addressing the Newtown elementary school shooting that left 20 students dead, and bluntly rejected the notion of putting more guns in classrooms as protection.
"When it comes to preventing future acts of violence in our schools, let me say this: more guns are not the answer," he said in his state of the state address. "Freedom is not a handgun on the hip of every teacher and security should not mean a guard posted outside every classroom."
Washington (CNN) – The roster of top names slated to address the U.S. Conference of Mayors next week in Washington includes Vice President Joe Biden, New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg - and legendary eighties rapper MC Hammer.
Biden will speak at the opening luncheon of the mayors' group on Thursday, followed by a performance from Hammer. Other top administration officials will speak Friday, including the secretaries of transportation, labor, and health of human services. Singers John Legend and Mario are also on the schedule to perform.