Washington (CNN) - Congressional budget talks have entered a pivotal phase with some lawmakers working to lower expectations. But the two top negotiators and their staff have outlined how a possible deal, if they agree on one, could get through the House and Senate.
House Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan, R-Wisconsin, and Senate Budget Committee Chairman Patty Murray, D-Washington, are leading a conference committee convened to work out differences between House and Senate budget resolutions.
The marquee issue is more forced spending cuts, or sequester, set to take effect in mid-January.
(CNN) – Americans 18 to 29 are the least familiar with the Affordable Care Act, a new Gallup poll has found.
The latest numbers come just as the enrollment site, HealthCare.gov, saw a surge in visitors on Monday following a two-month scramble to fix it after a disastrous October launch.
The success of the Affordable Care Act, also known as Obamacare, depends on younger, healthier consumers to sign up for coverage.
CNN's GUT CHECK | for December 2, 2013 | 5 p.m.
– n. a pause to assess the state, progress or condition of the political news cycle
BREAKING … METRO NORTH TRAIN WAS TRAVELING AT 82 MPH WHEN IT DERAILED: The commuter train involved in a deadly weekend derailment in the Bronx was doing 82 mph as it entered the 30-mph curve where it jumped the tracks, federal safety officials said Monday.
The NTSB is not currently aware of any problems or anomalies with the breaks on the Metro North train that derailed Sunday, according to board member Earl Weener.
SEN. CHUCK SCHUMER, D- NEW YORK: “When I heard about the speed, I gulped. It sort of takes your breath away.”
Washington (CNN) - The Obama administration isn’t always truthful with the American people, a top Republican senator charged Monday.
“I think the current administration has taken lying to a new level,” Sen. John Cornyn of Texas said bluntly as he tied the administration’s flawed explanations about the deadly incident at the U.S. consulate in Benghazi, Libya to its faulty promises about the new healthcare reform law.
“Since the terrible tragedy that took four American lives in Benghazi, we’ve had difficulty, to put it mildly, trying to get to the bottom of this,” the second-ranking Senate Republican said during a Google Hangout session he held while the Senate is on recess. “Now the goal is to talk to the Benghazi survivors – people who were actually there who could tell the truth and expose what happened and hold the people responsible accountable. This has been a cover up from the very beginning.”
Cornyn, a frequent administration critic who is running for re-election, said that same lack of accountability is resurfacing as the White House tries to explain the problems with Obamacare.
“To me, that’s the one thing I find most aggravating about what’s happening in Washington these days, particularly about this administration. Which is a lack of accountability and the willingness to mislead people or provide them just demonstrably false information and expect to be able to move on,” he said. “We’ve seen this most recently in the health care debate over ‘if you like what you have you can keep it,’ something that we can go back to 2010 and demonstrate that the Department of Health and Human Services knew was false.”
Cornyn said Republicans are trying to get to the bottom of Benghazi and the health law promises but are struggling to do so “when the administration decides to cover this up and mislead and to change the subject as they seem to be very good at doing.”
Washington (CNN) - The mayor of the nation's capital says he's going to run for re-election next year, ending one of the biggest guessing games in the city's local politics.
Mayor Vincent Gray visited the D.C. Board of Elections on Monday to pick up nominating petitions.
He has one month to collect 2,000 signatures to get his name on the 2014 ballot. And in a new website, VinceGray2014.org, Gray says "I'm in.”
(CNN) - Republican Gov. Chris Christie of New Jersey hit back at claims Monday that he flip-flopped on his position involving a big immigration issue in the Garden State.
After the New Jersey Star-Ledger ripped Christie for going back on his support for a bill that would grant in-state tuition for undocumented immigrants, Christie said he did no such thing.
Washington (CNN) – On the 25th anniversary week of World AIDS Day, President Barack Obama issued a new pledge Monday along with a challenge to global AIDS advocates.
At a White House meeting, he announced that the U.S. government would contribute one dollar for every two dollars pledged for the Global Fund over the next three years.
Washington (CNN) – By declaring the Obamacare website now works as originally planned, with most users able to navigate it smoothly, the administration effectively painted a big target on it.
Detractors led by conservative Republicans now will look for any anecdotal evidence of continued problems with HealthCare.gov in their efforts to depict President Barack Obama's signature domestic accomplishment as the ultimate example of government overreach and mismanagement.
(CNN) - "Christmas" is returning to Rhode Island's capitol building.
Rhode Island Gov. Lincoln Chafee put out a statement Monday announcing that the tree at the State House will be called a "Christmas tree," ending a two-year long controversy.
In 2011, in his first year as governor, Chafee's calling of a "holiday tree" sparked protests, including a competing Christmas tree lighting ceremony. A state lawmaker even called the governor a "Grinch."
Updated 2:09 p.m. ET, 12/2/2013
(CNN) - A Republican congressional candidate in New York released a new ad Monday that lumps President Barack Obama and incumbent Democratic Rep. Tim Bishop in the same category as Rob Ford, the embroiled mayor of Toronto who admitted to using crack cocaine.
"Tired of politicians?" the ad's narrators asks, as the screen features side-by-side images of Bishop, Obama and Ford.