Miami (CNN) – At a fundraiser in Florida on Wednesday, President Barack Obama praised the U.S. Senate on its success moving forward to a debate on comprehensive immigration reform legislation, telling donors the procedural move is a great step towards passing a bipartisan bill.
“I’m pleased to see that we got a good vote this week so far on immigration,” the president said, citing it as a rare example of bipartisanship in today’s politics. “That immigration bill is on the floor, and I think we have an enormous opportunity to get a bipartisan immigration bill done. And that will be not just an enormous political achievement, but an important economic foundation for us to continue to attract the best and the brightest from all around the world.”
Updated 10:15 p.m. ET, Wednesday, 6/12
(CNN) – The National Rifle Association is running a political ad against one of its own.
Sen. Joe Manchin, an avowed gun enthusiast and life member of the NRA, is now being hit with an ad from the organization in his home state of West Virginia.
Washington (CNN) – Procedural maneuvering bogged down action in the Senate Wednesday on the first full day of debate on the immigration reform bill. Senators discussed key amendments but battled over whether and how to cast votes so early in the debate.
At one point, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid pushed for a series of quick votes on Republican amendments, including two significant measures to tighten border security requirements in the bill. But Republicans objected to Democrats' demand that a supermajority of 60 votes be required for passage.
(CNN) – Republican Sen. Jeff Flake of Arizona apologized Wednesday for his son's use of racial epithets, homophobic slurs and anti-Semitic remarks in social media.
"I'm very disappointed in my teenage son's words, and I sincerely apologize for the insensitivity," the first-term senator, who was elected last year, said in a statement. "This language is unacceptable, anywhere. Needless to say, I've already spoken with him about this, he has apologized, and I apologize as well."
(CNN) - Rep. Trent Franks, R-Arizona, said he was taken out of context Wednesday and tried to clarify his controversial comment from a committee markup earlier in the day, when he said the "incidents of rape resulting in pregnancy are very low."
Franks intended to say that the number of abortions due to rape after the start of the sixth month of gestation would be low, not the number of rapes resulting in pregnancy.
Washington (CNN) – House Speaker John Boehner told CNN his meeting with the family members of those killed in the Sandy Hook school shootings was "very good."
Several relatives of those who died in the shooting in Newtown, Connecticut last December returned to Capitol Hill six months after the tragedy. The massacre left twenty school children and six educators at Sandy Hook elementary school dead. The group sat down with Boehner and House Majority Leader Eric Cantor at the Capitol on Wednesday afternoon to discuss their efforts to push for legislation aimed at reducing gun violence.
CNN's GUT CHECK | for June 12, 2013 | 5 p.m.
– n. a pause to assess the state, progress or condition of the political news cycle
MORE TO COME: 'I AM HERE TO REVEAL CRIMINALITY,' NSA LEAKER TELLS HONG KONG NEWSPAPER… The former NSA contractor who disappeared after he acknowledged leaking details about secret American surveillance programs will fight any effort to bring him back to the United States for prosecution, a Hong Kong newspaper reported Wednesday. – Jethro Mullen and Michael Pearson
THE DEFENSE: NSA SAYS DATA MINING HELPED THWART TERROR… Phone records obtained by the government through a secret surveillance program disclosed last week helped prevent "dozens" of terrorist events, the director of the National Security Agency told a Senate hearing Wednesday. – Tom Cohen
THE BUZZ: BUSH 41 TURNS 89. What brought Mitt Romney, Nancy Pelosi and the Republican National Committee together? Honoring George H.W. Bush’s birthday by donning colorful socks. The former president even sported some Superman socks in honor of his birthday.
Washington (CNN) - Phone records obtained by the government through a secret surveillance program disclosed last week helped prevent "dozens" of terrorist events, the director of the National Security Agency told a Senate hearing Wednesday.
Army Gen. Keith Alexander said in response to questions from Sen. Patrick Leahy, a Vermont Democrat, that he believed the program, under Section 215 of the Patriot Act, was "critical" to helping the intelligence community corroborate information on possible threats.FULL STORY
(CNN) – Traveling to Boston Wednesday to help reinforce Rep. Ed Markey's bid for U.S. Senate, President Barack Obama said the longtime Democratic congressman would join a slate of Massachusetts senators known for achieving big things.
"Here in Massachusetts you have a long history of sending smart, though, hardworking leaders to the Senate who roll up their sleeves and fight the great battles on behalf of middle class families and everyone who's trying to get into the middle class," Obama told an enthusiastic crowd, adding later: "I need Ed Markey in the U.S. Senate."