Washington (CNN) – Rep. Buck McKeon, the longtime California Republican and House Armed Services Commitee chairman, told CNN's Wolf Blitzer Wednesday that only a very small number of Americans have enrolled in new health care law exchanges that opened for business on October 1.
Washington (CNN) – A Senior House GOP source concedes to CNN that to get the White House on board with a debt ceiling deal, House Republicans would likely have to agree to a clean short term debt ceiling increase. In exchange, Republicans would need to get clear and specific parameters from the White House for discussions and negotiations on ways to reduce the debt and deficit.
This source believes that at the end of the day, enough people in the GOP caucus could be OK with this because the economic implication of breaching the debt limit "scares people." This source also acknowledged that under this scenario, House GOP leaders may have to agree to pass a debt ceiling bill without all Republicans on board, and with Democratic support.
Washington (CNN) – The Pentagon will announce Wednesday it is entering into a contract with the Fisher House to ensure families of the fallen are paid the death benefits they are due but have not received because of the government shutdown, a senior Defense Department official told CNN.
The Fisher House, a group that offers assistance to families of troops in need, has agreed to cover the expenses for all families of the fallen and the government will reimburse the organization once the shutdown is over, the official said.
(CNN) - The U.S. House of Representatives has voted to fund payments of death benefits to survivors of fallen military personnel - benefits that were halted because of the partial government shutdown.
Washington (CNN) - Amid new Republican offers to reopen the government and raise the debt limit in exchange for discussing cutting entitlements like Medicare and Social Security, President Barack Obama thanked the House Democratic caucus in a meeting at the White House, praising his legislative backers for holding firm against GOP demands to piecemeal funding for the government.
In a statement characterizing the meeting, the White House said Obama and House Democrats "reaffirmed their shared belief that we cannot let one faction of the Republicans in the House demand a ransom for doing its job and paying the bills we have already incurred."
The White House read out of the meeting portrayed a president solely focused on "fighting for working families" and gave no indication that Obama intends to cave to Republican demands, which have now evolved from "defunding" the president's signature health care law to slashing, in their minds, the true drivers of America's swelling debt.
Up to speed
Obamacare out, entitlements in: Republicans seem to be shifting the shutdown/debt ceiling battle line from an argument over Obamacare to one over entitlements.
After spending the first week of the shutdown trying to tie anything that would fund the government and end the impasse to President Barack Obama's signature health care law, the word "Obamacare" hasn't come up as much in recent days.
(CNN) - A conservative Super PAC is questioning Michael Bloomberg's new TV spot that supports New Jersey Senate hopeful Cory Booker and touts the Newark mayor's education achievements.
The American Commitment Action Fund says it's spending $130,000 to run an ad that will air across the Garden State, accusing Booker of failing Newark's schools despite a $100 million donation from Facebook founder Mark Zuckerburg to help improve the schools.
(CNN) – President Barack Obama was disturbed to learn that death benefits were not being paid to survivors of fallen military service members as a result of the shutdown and has directed the Pentagon, the Office of Management and Budget and the White House lawyers to figure out a way to address the problem, White House spokesman Jay Carney said Wednesday.
The president expects the problem “to be fixed today,” Carney added.
(CNN) - The federal shutdown has found its angry prophet.
Senate Chaplain Barry Black is usually a calm, pastoral presence on Capitol Hill, doling out spiritual wisdom and moral counsel to his high-powered flock.
But the Seventh-Day Adventist and former Navy rear admiral is mad as hell about the shutdown - and he's letting the Senate, and the Lord, know about it.FULL STORY
Washington (CNN) - Rep. Bill Young of Florida, the longest-serving Republican member of the House, will not run for re-election in 2014, Harry Glenn, Young's chief of staff, told CNN.
The Tampa Bay Times was the first to report Young's retirement after the longtime congressman told his local paper that his family, the job and his health were all factors in his retirement.
(CNN) – Just one week ago Republicans were united, railing against the man-made evil known as Obamacare. They hated it so much, they said, they would tie the funding of the government to the de-funding of the dread program. Sure, they had tried more than forty times to get rid of the plan before, but they had never done this: Attach the plan to kill it to a must-pass piece of legislation.
It was an idea borne of necessity, some now tell me. Republicans in the House had been hit over the head in their districts by ads run by conservative political action committees (paging Senator Ted Cruz, who appeared in some). The rap against them: They had not worked hard enough to slay the evil dragon. The charge, having been plastered all over TV, was levelled against them at town hall meetings over the summer. They came back to Washington very angry at Cruz and Company. And in survival mode.FULL STORY