(CNN) - If it's a honeymoon period, they might order separate rooms.
"One thing that is pretty clear from the president's speech yesterday: the era of liberalism is back," Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell said of President Barack Obama's inaugural address, which he called "unabashedly, far left of center."
(CNN) – Groups opposing President Barack Obama's pick for defense secretary, former Sen. Chuck Hagel, released new television ads Tuesday with dire warnings of what they think could happen should Hagel be confirmed.
The first spot, from Americans for a Strong Defense, uses themes that mimic a movie trailer for a spy/action thriller. The 30-second spot says "we live in a dangerous world" and points to threats from Iran, North Korea, and "even Russia."
Washington (CNN) – More than four years after suspending her 2008 presidential bid, now-Secretary of State Hillary Clinton has finally paid off her campaign debt.
Clinton's presidential organization spent the final day of 2012 paying down the remaining debt, according to documents filed with the Federal Election Commission late Tuesday.
Washington (CNN) – House Speaker John Boehner announced Tuesday that he supports a plan to balance the federal budget in 10 years, a goal that could require massive cuts to spending or major reforms to entitlement programs.
Boehner made the announcement to members of his Republican conference in a closed-door meeting before describing his plan to reporters.
(CNN) - Sen. Frank Lautenberg of New Jersey, who has announced no plans to retire, suggested that a fellow Democrat was out of line for asserting interest in Lautenberg's seat.
And on Tuesday, he suggested he knew just how to deal with Newark Mayor Cory Booker.
(CNN) - Republican members of Congress plan a host of questions for Secretary of State Hillary Clinton during her long-awaited testimony on Wednesday about the deadly attack on the U.S. diplomatic compound in Benghazi, Libya.
Questions are expected to range from a security vacuum in Northern Africa to new cables suggesting that Ambassador Christopher Stevens, who was killed in the September 11 assault, once proposed moving the compound to a more secure location adjacent the CIA Annex, sources tell CNN.
Washington (CNN) - Pop star Beyoncé opted to use a "pre-recording" of her rendition of the National Anthem during inaugural ceremonies in Washington Monday, a spokeswoman for the U.S. Marine Band told CNN Tuesday.
U.S. Marine Band spokeswoman Kristen DuBois said early Tuesday that "we know why the decision was made," adding that the pop star "did not actually sing," but instead lip-synched her own voice.
CNN's GUT CHECK | for January 22, 2013 | 5 p.m.
– n. a pause to assess the state, progress or condition of the political news cycle
DEVELOPING: WHITE HOUSE ‘WOULD NOT OPPOSE’ HOUSE REPUBLICANS DEBT LIMIT PROPOSAL… OFFICIAL STATEMENT: “The administration supports a long-term increase in the debt limit that would increase certainty and economic stability. Although H.R. 325 is a short-term measure and introduces unnecessary complications, needlessly perpetuating uncertainty in the nation's fiscal system, the administration is encouraged that H.R. 325 lifts the immediate threat of default and indicates that congressional Republicans have backed off an insistence on holding the nation's economy hostage to extract drastic cuts in Medicare, education, and other programs that middle-class families depend on. For these reasons, the Administration would not oppose a short-term solution to the debt limit and looks forward to continuing to work with both the House and the Senate to increase certainty and stability for the economy.”
WHAT CLINTON SHOULD EXPECT: STATE DEPARTMENT ANTICIPATES POINTED QUESTIONING ON CAPITOL HILL… The presence on the House Foreign Relations Committee of several new members and on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee of at least two possible GOP presidential hopefuls – Marco Rubio of Florida and Rand Paul of Kentucky – has some State Department officials anticipating some aggressive questions to Secretary of State Hillary Clinton on Wednesday about whether recent events involving Islamic extremists in Mali and Algeria are in any way related to decisions by the Obama administration to keep U.S. combat troops - “boots on the ground” - out of Libya. Most of the questioning is expected to re-visit well-worn lines of inquiry about why requests by officials on the ground in Libya for additional security personnel were not heeded, and faulty talking points about whether an anti-Islam video played a role in the September 11, 2012, attack. But sources tell CNN that congressional staffers have also been shown new State Department e-mails and cables indicating that in November 2011, Ambassador Stevens, concerned about the safety of the compound in Benghazi, proposed two options to the State Department: in one, the compound would be moved back into a hotel. In the other, the compound would be moved to an unoccupied villa adjacent the CIA Annex. CIA officials agreed with U.S. diplomatic personnel on the ground that the latter option would be safer – not to mention less expensive than the compound. But Foggy Bottom rejected the idea. – Jake Tapper
Washington (CNN) - As he ran through the inaugural parade Monday shaking hands and hugging bystanders, Vice President Joe Biden looked just like a candidate on the stump. Will he be one come 2016? Biden told CNN Chief Political Analyst Gloria Borger "I haven't made that decision. And I don't have to make that decision for a while."
Biden has been pretty active politically these last few days around the inauguration: attending an Iowa ball Saturday evening (where he first accidentally said in his remarks he was proud to be president and then corrected the flub), inviting New Hampshire's governor to his official swearing-in on Sunday and hosted some Democratic National Committee members Tuesday for a reception.