Updated 10/22/2013 at 1:48pm
(CNN) – Sen. Ted Cruz was greeted by a screaming crowd of supporters and cheers of "Thank you Ted!" and "Welcome Home!" Monday night in Texas.
The freshman senator said he was happy to be back home in Houston, and wasn't afraid to be honest about his feelings on Washington.
"It is terrific to be back in America," said Cruz as supporters waved homemade signs promoting "#MakeDCListen," a hashtag that was a prominent part of Cruz's 21-hour speech on the Senate floor in late September.
(CNN) – The head of a group that aims to help Americans sign up for the Affordable Care Act said she thinks people will stick with it until the technical woes are fixed.
"I don't think that anyone would sit here and deny frustration with what we've seen from HealthCare.gov," Anne Filipic, president of "Enroll America," said on CNN's "Crossfire" on Monday night.
Enroll America is a nonprofit group and says its mission is to work with organizations and health providers to help people navigate the health act and figure out what benefits are available.
CNN's GUT CHECK | for October 21, 2013 | 5 p.m.
– n. a pause to assess the state, progress or condition of the political news cycle
BREAKING: NEW CNN POLL SPELLS TROUBLE FOR GOP… Republican House members, especially Speaker John Boehner, received disturbing news Monday when a new national survey showed the party brand is badly damaged one year before the midterm elections. While there is a lot of road to cover before November 2014, several Republican strategists expressed frustration to us about how the debt ceiling and government shutdown was handled. One veteran Republican remarked, “If this isn’t rock bottom, I don’t know what is.”
• 54% of the country thinks it is “bad for the country” for the GOP to control the House.
• 75% of the country does not think most Republicans deserve re-election (54% of the country does not think most Democrats deserve re-election)
• 63% of the country thinks that Boehner should be replaced as speaker (55% of conservatives said Boehner should go as well as 69% of independents).
• 56% of the country thinks the “views of the Republican Party are too extreme” (42% of the country thinks the “views of the Democratic Party are too extreme)
Washington (CNN) - In a sign of the political hangover congressional Republicans are suffering in the wake of the government shutdown, three-quarters of Americans in a new national poll say that most GOP members of Congress don't deserve to be re-elected.
A CNN/ORC International survey released Monday also found a majority saying that the Republicans' policies are too extreme. And according to the poll, Democrats have an 8-point advantage over the Republicans in an early indicator in the battle for control of Congress. But with more than a year to go until the 2014 midterm elections, there's plenty of time for these numbers to change.
Washington (CNN) - The government-run health insurance exchanges have been open for business for 20 days. But a host of issues have plagued the highly anticipated launch, making it difficult for both consumers and insurance providers.
"There's no sugarcoating it," President Barack Obama said from the Rose Garden on Monday. "The problem has been that the website that's supposed to make it easy to apply for and purchase the insurance is not working the way it should for everybody."
Updated 2:44 p.m. ET, 10/21/2013
(CNN) - As President Barack Obama was promoting the Affordable Care Act on Monday, a woman standing with him on stage nearly passed out.
Karmel Allison, a Type 1 diabetic from San Diego, was standing almost directly behind the President as he gave his remarks in the Rose Garden. She got wobbly at one point and others standing around her began to help.
Washington (CNN) - An unscripted moment Monday summed up President Barack Obama's effort to downplay problems plaguing the government website used to sign up for required health insurance under his signature health care reforms.
As Obama argued that the law was good and the website's problems would be fixed, one of the people chosen to stand behind him in the White House Rose Garden started to teeter.
Updated 10/21/2013 at 5:37pm
Washington (CNN) – Republican gubernatorial nominee Ken Cuccinelli of Virginia joined a host of other Republicans calling for President Barack Obama to fire Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius for the rocky enrollment process for Obamacare.
"If President Obama is serious about cleaning up the mess he's created, he'll immediately fire Secretary Sebelius and call on Congress to pass legislation to delay the individual mandate," Cuccinelli said at a campaign event Monday, according to prepared remarks.
Updated 10/21/2013 at 3:54 p.m. ET
(CNN) - New Jersey Republican Gov. Chris Christie is dropping a legal challenge to a court ruling abolishing the state's ban on same-sex marriages.
"Although the Governor strongly disagrees with the Court substituting its judgment for the constitutional process of the elected branches or a vote of the people, the Court has now spoken clearly as to their view of the New Jersey Constitution and, therefore, same-sex marriage is the law," Christie's office said Monday morning in a statement.
(CNN) – Rep. Tim Griffin, R-Arkansas, announced Monday he will not seek a third term next year.
The Congressman said in a statement he wants to spend more time with his family.