Washington (CNN) – The Chamber of Commerce and AFL-CIO reached an agreement Thursday over a visa program aimed at lesser-skilled workers, a flashpoint in the ongoing debate over immigration reform.
The announcement follows weeks of meetings between Tom Donohue, president and CEO of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka over the issue, left out of the immigration plan unveiled by the White House.
(CNN) - Fifteen of Chuck Hagel’s harshest Republican critics in the Senate are calling on President Obama to withdraw his nomination, arguing “it would be unprecedented for a Secretary of Defense to take office without the broad base of bipartisan support and confidence needed to serve effectively in this critical position.”
In a letter Thursday to the president, the senators didn’t raise any new substantive concerns about Hagel but reiterated long-held complaints about his stances on key issues. In particular, they said his “ambivalence about whether containment or prevention is the best approach” to dealing with a possibly nuclear-armed Iran means “the military option will have near zero credibility” if he were in charge of the Pentagon.
(CNN) – A leading right wing group unveiled their rankings of the most conservative members of Congress Thursday, and some prominent Republicans - including Sens. Marco Rubio and Rand Paul - both came out at the top of the list.
The American Conservative Union's list for 2012 also singled out the least conservative members of Congress, including some moderate Republicans who scored among Democrats.
Washington (CNN) - Four months after becoming a flashpoint in the presidential campaign, Big Bird is back in the political spotlight.
The White House announced Thursday that the longtime character from public television's "Sesame Street" teamed up with First Lady Michelle Obama to film two public service announcements that encourage kids to eat healthy and get active. The White House said the PSAs will help mark the third anniversary of the first lady's push "to ensure that all our children grow up healthy and reach their full potential."
(CNN) – Former first lady Laura Bush, who is one of three prominent Republicans featured in a new ad supporting same-sex marriage, has asked the spot's creator to remove a clip of her espousing support for equal marriage rights.
"Mrs. Bush did not approve of her inclusion in this advertisement nor is she associated in any way with the group that made the ad," Anne MacDonald, a spokeswoman for the former first lady, wrote in a statement Thursday. "When she became aware of the advertisement Tuesday night, we requested that the group remove her from it."
(CNN) – The nation's 39th president has no relationship with its 44th.
That's how Jimmy Carter described his interaction with President Barack Obama in an interview with CNN's "Piers Morgan Tonight" last January. Carter will sit down with Morgan again for an interview set to air Thursday.
Watch for how Carter describes his relationship with Obama at 9 p.m. ET only on CNN.
(CNN) – The allegations of misconduct swirling around Sen. Robert Menendez – which he has vehemently denied – appear to have eroded the New Jersey Democrat's approval rating, according to a survey released Thursday.
The Quinnipiac University poll indicated that 41% of New Jersey voters disapproved of the job Menendez is doing as senator, compared to 36% who approve. That's a 15-point drop from a poll taken toward the end of January, when 51% approved of Menendez's job performance. Quinnipiac said it's his lowest approval rating since August 2011.
(CNN) – Sen. Rand Paul cut another six-figure check to the United States Treasury Wednesday, taking the money he said he didn't need from his office's budget to make a tiny dent in the nation's massive federal debt.
"We watch every purchase," Paul, a Republican from Kentucky, said at an event next to an oversized check for $600,000. "We watch what computers we buy, what paper we buy, the ink cartridges. We treat the money like it's our money, or your money, and we look at every expenditure."
Washington (CNNMoney) - Millions of American families are bracing for the forced budget cuts that could kick in on March 1.
Some of the hardest hit would be 2.1 million federal workers who could be spending up to 22 business days at home without pay on a furlough.FULL STORY
Austin, Texas (CNN) - By the time Republican Sen. Ted Cruz arrived for an event at a gun manufacturing business outside Austin, there was a healthy-sized, cheering crowd to greet him. One constituent even held a handmade sign saying, "Ted Cruz Rocks."
The scene had the look and feel of a campaign event. Except that the freshman senator isn't up for re-election for six years.FULL STORY