(CNN) - Republican Sen. Pat Toomey of Pennsylvania blamed political polarization for the failure of last month's background check compromise he reached with Democratic Sen. Joe Manchin, saying some in his party simply voted against the measure to prevent the president from winning a legislative victory.
"In the end, it didn't pass because we're so politicized. There were some on my side who did not want to be seen helping the president do something he wanted to get done, just because the president wanted to do it," Toomey said.
(CNN) - The Justice Department filed an appeal Wednesday over a federal judge's ruling that directed the U.S. Food and Drug Administration to make emergency contraception available to females of all ages without a prescription.
The move comes one day after the FDA announced that it had approved the availability of the Plan B One-Step emergency contraception pill without a prescription for females ages 15 and older.
Washington (CNN) -- A prominent gay rights advocacy group says a key congressional Democrat will push for new rights for same-sex couples in the Senate's immigration reform bill - a move which could undermine the legislation's bipartisan support.
According to a spokesman for Immigration Equality, Vermont Democratic Sen. Patrick Leahy intends to offer an amendment later this month allowing foreign-born individuals in committed same-sex relationships with Americans to apply for green cards.
(CNN) – California Gov. Jerry Brown, a Democrat, signed legislation Wednesday that will boost funding for state efforts to confiscate firearms from those prohibited by law from owning them, the governor's office announced.
The bill gives $24 million from the Dealers' Record of Sale fund - fees paid by gun owners at the time of purchase - to the state's Department of Justice to help clear the backlog of individuals who once purchased a gun but are now barred from possessing firearms.
Washington (CNN) - Former President George H.W. Bush and his wife Barbara are giving their grandson's political ambitions a big boost by hosting a Wednesday evening fundraiser for George P. Bush, who is running as a Republican for the post of Texas Land Commissioner, CNN has learned.
The event, to be held at the former president's home in Houston, is also featuring former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush, George P.'s father, according to a source with knowledge of it. About 50 people are expected to attend with each paying $10,000.
(CNN) - The National Rifle Association is getting a new president, the organization confirmed Wednesday.
As part of its formal rotation, Alabama attorney Jim Porter will take the top spot beginning Monday, replacing current President David Keene, whose two-year term concludes this week at the NRA's annual meeting in Houston.
CNN's GUT CHECK | for May 1, 2013 | 5 p.m.
– n. a pause to assess the state, progress or condition of the political news cycle
JUST IN: CUTBACK CIVIL LIBERTIES TO FIGHT TERROR? Although worries about terrorism have edged up following the Boston Marathon bombings, only four in ten Americans say they are willing to give up some civil liberties to fight terrorism, according to a just released CNN/Time/ORC International survey. FULL POLL
LATEST FROM BOSTON: THREE MORE ARRESTS IN BOSTON ATTACK... Two classmates of Boston Marathon bomb suspect Dzhokhar Tsarnaev and a third person face federal charges in connection with the April 15 attack, federal law enforcement sources said Wednesday. They were expected to appear before a federal judge Wednesday afternoon, U.S. government sources said. For the latest, go to CNN.com.
MARKET WATCH: May begins with a nearly 1% drop in U.S. stocks as investors react to weak economic data. Dow drops 138 points.
Washington (CNN) - Calling him the "Bo Jackson of telecom" for his membership in both the cable television and wireless industries' halls of fame, President Obama announced plans Wednesday to nominate Tom Wheeler to head the Federal Communications Commission.
"For more than 30 years Tom's been at the forefront of some of the very dramatic changes that we've seen in the way we communicate and how we live our lives," Obama said.
Washington (CNN) – Although worries about terrorism have edged up following the Boston Marathon bombings, a new national poll indicates only four in ten Americans say they are willing to give up some civil liberties to fight terrorism.
And according to a CNN/Time/ORC International survey, the public is particularly concerned about the government eavesdropping on their cell phones or reading their email.
(CNN) - President Obama made two top nominations on Wednesday: Tom Wheeler, a top fund-raiser for the president's re-election campaign and a telecommunications policy expert, to head the Federal Communications Commission, and U.S. Rep. Mel Watt, D-North Carolina, to direct the Federal Housing Finance Agency.