(CNN) - Republican Sen. Marco Rubio said Tuesday he hopes immigration rights for same-sex couples "doesn't become a central issue" in the ongoing debate, referring to it as a "landmine" that could thwart attempts to pass a comprehensive immigration reform package.
In a wide-ranging interview with BuzzFeed that streamed live online, the junior senator from Florida also raised questions about climate change and whether the government should play a role in combating it.
Washington (CNN) - Rep. Raul Labrador, a member of a bipartisan group of House members discussing immigration reform proposals, told reporters on Tuesday that he doesn't believe many of the nation’s 11.5 million undocumented immigrants want to become American citizens.
"They're not clamoring for it. It's only the activists here in Washington D.C. who keep clamoring for it," Labrador said off the House floor.
(CNN) – A new poll shows more than seven in 10 Americans support policies that would pave a path toward citizenship or residency for undocumented immigrants.
Seventy-two percent say they favor allowing those here illegally to become legal residents or citizens if they meet certain requirements, according to the Gallup survey released Thursday.
Washington (CNN) - CNN has learned there are now at least five Republican senators who would oppose a filibuster of former Sen. Chuck Hagel to be secretary of defense, all but ensuring the embattled nominee will be confirmed in the coming days.
According to a CNN survey of senators, the five are Thad Cochran of Mississippi and Mike Johanns of Nebraska -who both support Hagel taking over the top post at the Pentagon – and John McCain of Arizona, Richard Burr of North Carolina, and Tom Coburn of Oklahoma – who all oppose Hagel's nomination but also disagree with blocking it by filibuster.
CNN's GUT CHECK | for February 5, 2013 | 5 p.m.
– n. a pause to assess the state, progress or condition of the political news cycle
BREAKING: PENTAGON TO EXTEND SOME BENEFITS TO SAME SEX SPOUSES… CNN’s Barbara Starr reports that “Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta is expected to announce this week that same sex spouses of service members will be granted some benefits that they had been blocked from up until now, according to an administration official. Sources in the gay activist community have been given indications as well, that the announcement could come this week. … Among the benefits gay rights groups say can be legally extended are housing on military bases, military ID cards to access on-base activities and programs, access to commissaries and consideration of a same-sex spouse and family in duty assignments. Panetta’s likely replacement, Chuck Hagel, said he supports extending the benefits." Stay tuned to CNN.com/SecurityClearance for more.
COMING THIS SPRING: OBAMA TO MAKE FIRST TRIP TO ISRAEL AS PRESIDENT... President Barack Obama recently discussed an upcoming spring visit to Israel with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, according to the White House. In the planned overseas trip, Obama will visit the West Bank and Jordan "to continue his close work with Palestinian Authority officials and Jordanian officials," Carney added. The trip to Israel would mark Obama's first visit as president. While Obama traveled to the country in 2008 during his presidential campaign, he did not visit Israel during his first term.
(CNN) - Business leaders at the White House meeting on immigration Tuesday were encouraged by the "general principles" for immigration reform that have emerged from the White House and Senate, Goldman Sachs Chairman and CEO Lloyd Blankfein said.
"We're crazy if we don't take advantage of this great asset which is the draw of the American dream," he said in an interview on CNN's "The Situation Room with Wolf Blitzer."
He pointed to the benefits of handling the 11 million undocumented immigrants currently estimated to be in the U.S., saying, "Getting them done, getting them to pay back taxes, getting them to stay in line, legalizing the position that they're already occupying is a good thing for them, but it's a good thing for the country and the economy."
Washington (CNN) - It should come as no surprise that prominent union leaders are among the first group President Barack Obama courts as he seeks support for overhauling immigration policy.
It was organized labor that helped ensure defeat of a bipartisan effort to reform the nation's immigration laws five years ago.
Washington (CNN) - Some Republicans see Karl Rove as a political genius, masterminding winning campaigns at every level on the ballot, including the White House. Others call him a "fake conservative" and a symbol of what's wrong with the party.
A Rove-affiliated super PAC's efforts to push what it believes will be more electable congressional candidates - and the backlash it has created - is symbolic of the battle for the soul of the GOP.
Washington (CNN) - Potential 2016 presidential candidate Chris Christie may be able to take the punch lines about his waistline. The popular New Jersey governor made light of his weight in an appearance on "The Late Show with David Letterman" Monday night.
"I'm basically the healthiest fat guy you've ever seen in your life," Christie joked.
But one medical expert on presidential health cautioned Christie's obesity is no laughing matter.