CNN's GUT CHECK | for April 9, 2013 | 5 p.m.
– n. a pause to assess the state, progress or condition of the political news cycle
GUNS LIKELY TO GET A VOTE: Reid to force a vote Thursday on debating gun proposals… The U.S. Senate plans to vote on Thursday on whether to open debate on gun control legislation that some Republicans have pledged to filibuster, Democratic Majority Leader Harry Reid of Nevada said Tuesday. Republican Sen. Mark Kirk of Illinois tells CNN that he thinks there are enough votes in the Senate – from both Republicans and Democrats – to overcome a filibuster.
ANY DAY NOW: U.S. believes North Korea could test fire missiles at any time… Recent intelligence shows it is likely North Korea has completed preparations for test firing mobile ballistic missiles, a U.S. official said. Based on that intelligence, the Obama administration now calculates it is likely North Korea may test fire mobile ballistic missiles at any time. The official cautioned most of the information is coming from satellite imagery so it's impossible to reach a definitive conclusion because the U.S. has no means to gather information on the ground. – Barbara Starr
FEELING THE CUTS? A CNN/ORC International survey released Tuesday indicates that the cuts, known inside the Beltway as the sequester, appear to be mostly affecting lower-income Americans.
Washington (CNN) - It looks like the effects of the forced spending cuts are starting to kick in with Americans, according to a new national poll.
(CNN) – Republicans threatening a filibuster on new gun laws are woefully stuck in another era, Vice President Joe Biden told an audience of law enforcement officers Tuesday.
"I am so convinced that those folks who are trying to stop any action are in a time warp," he said, adding the issue of bolstering background checks on gun sales "has moved beyond where it was five, ten, even three years ago."
(CNN) - Democratic Sen. Carl Levin is retiring at the end of his term, freeing up a Senate seat in Rep. Mike Rogers's home state of Michigan. Rogers is contemplating a run.
"It's a tough decision," said Rogers. Rogers is the chairman of the House Intelligence Committee, which he says comes with a huge responsibility, and important work that has an impact.FULL STORY
Washington (CNN) - The Senate's top Democrat said Tuesday that he will force a vote on Thursday on whether to open debate on tougher gun laws, increasing pressure on legislators from both parties negotiating a possible compromise on a package that some Republicans have threatened to filibuster.
A GOP filibuster would mean Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid needs 60 votes to begin Senate consideration of the package based on proposals by President Barack Obama in the aftermath of the Newtown school massacre in December that killed 20 first-graders and six educators.FULL STORY
Tucson, Arizona (CNN) - What is most shocking about Gabby Giffords now is how much she looks like her old self. Her golden locks are back, so is the sparkle in her eyes and her broad smile. Gone is the short hair and thin frame we saw at the beginning of her recovery.
Yet she knows she will never be the same.FULL STORY
(CNN) - The Republican Party appears split over whether to block gun legislation in the Senate.
While more than a dozen GOP senators have stated they plan to block the proposed bill from proceeding, a number of Republicans are saying the public deserves to hear debate over the legislation. Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell has also vowed to oppose the bill as it now stands.
(CNN) - With less than a month to go until a high profile special election to fill a vacant congressional seat in South Carolina, things are heating up.
Democratic nominee Elizabeth Colbert Busch, the sister of satirist and Comedy Central host Stephen Colbert, Tuesday released her first ad of the general election campaign. Her Republican opponent, former Gov. Mark Sanford, whose political career was sidetracked back in 2009 thanks to a well-publicized affair, was quick to respond and criticize Colbert Busch, and he also accepted invitations to four debates between now and the May 7 contest.
(CNN) - Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell's re-election campaign is "working with the FBI" on how Mother Jones, a liberal magazine, obtained a recording of political aides meeting with McConnell and discussing opposition research on Ashley Judd, McConnell campaign manager Jesse Benton told CNN Tuesday.
In the recordings, political operatives huddling at the senator's campaign headquarters in Kentucky, are heard discussing potentially attacking Judd's mental health, as well as her left-leaning politics, if she had decided to make a bid against McConnell, who's running for a sixth term in office next year.
(CNN) - The National Rifle Association is famous for its scorecard that gives lawmakers a letter grade based on their votes against gun restrictions.
Now, Mayors Against Illegal Guns–a group battling the NRA in the recent gun control debate–is using their opponent's tactic against them, creating their own grading system for lawmakers, some of them facing re-election next year.