(CNN) – The partial government shutdown ended three days ago, but America's veterans may continue to feel its effects for some time.
Throughout the 16-day shutdown, efforts to clear the Department of Veterans Affairs' backlog of veterans' disabilities claims stalled, according to a department official. This delay has created concern about Secretary Eric Shinseki's ability to keep his pledge to end all backlogged claims–those older than 125 days–by 2015, the official said.
Programing note: CNN's State of the Union with Candy Crowley will have an exclusive interview with Sen. Ted Cruz, this Sunday at 9 a.m. and 12 p.m. ET.
(CNN) – Sen. Ted Cruz returned to Texas following a whirlwind week in Washington that saw an end to the partial government shutdown that he helped ensure - and for which he made no apologies.
Instead, Cruz blasted his fellow Senate Republicans, saying they are most to blame for the failure of the push to defund or delay Obamacare.
FALLS CHURCH, Virginia (CNN) – For the first time since the 2008 presidential race, Hillary Clinton made a foray back into the thorny world of campaign politics on Saturday, appearing at a rally for Terry McAuliffe, the longtime Clinton confidant now running for governor of Virginia.
About 600 people showed up to the historic State Theatre in Falls Church, a suburb of Washington, D.C. to witness Clinton's smiling re-emergence on the political scene, showering her with applause when she made even the slightest allusion to running for office again.
Failed Republican Senate candidate Christine O'Donnell reached out to supporters on Saturday with an impassioned plea as she decides whether to accept a settlement in a Federal Election Commission investigation into her use of campaign funds.
"I'm going to be straight forward and candid in this email - probably more candid and vulnerable than my political advisers would like!" O'Donnell said in a message to the supporters of her political action committee ChristinePAC. "I am facing a major decision and you play a large part in this decision."
President Obama used his weekly address on Saturday to once again address Americans' frustration with policymakers in Washington, saying, not for the first time, that "there were no winners" in the protracted conflicts over the debt ceiling and the partial government shutdown.
"At a time when our economy needs more growth and more jobs, the manufactured crises of these last few weeks actually harmed jobs and growth," the president said. "And it's understandable that your frustration with what goes on in Washington has never been higher."
Ken Cuccinelli, the Republican candidate in Virginia's 2013 gubernatorial race, gave the GOP weekly address on Saturday and used the opportunity to speak out against the Affordable Care Act.
"Obamacare represents one of the largest and most reckless expansions of government in the more than 200-year history of our nations," Cuccinelli said. "I believe that Obamacare is unconstitutional."