It's a symbol of our democracy and a masterpiece of American ingenuity. But the dome on the Capitol building is falling apart. CNN's Dana Bash gets rare access inside and outside the rotunda as architects prepare to cover it for renovations.
(CNN) - Rep. Peter King said fellow Republican Sen. Rand Paul owes the nation’s top intelligence official an apology after saying he should resign for “lying” to a Senate committee about a controversial surveillance program.
The New York congressman also said that Paul's comparison of National Intelligence Director James Clapper to NSA leaker Edward Snowden is "absolutely disgraceful."
(CNN) - Senators were bracing once again Thursday for an overnight session as an ugly standoff over presidential nominations continued between the parties.
If it happens, it would be the third all-nighter in the last two weeks, a reflection of the lack of cooperation in the chamber since the majority Democrats forced through new rules limiting filibusters over the objections of minority Republicans.FULL STORY
Updated 5:57p.m. ET, 12/20/2013
(CNN) - More than 1 million people have purchased new private health insurance on Obamacare exchanges at the state and federal level since the program launched in October, President Barack Obama said on Friday.
Obama told a news conference that more than 500,000 people selected plans through the federally run HealthCare.gov website in the first three weeks of December.
The remaining signed up over the nearly three-month period through online and other programs offered by 14 states.
CNN's GUT CHECK | for DAY, DATE, YEAR | 5 p.m.
– n. a pause to assess the state, progress or condition of the political news cycle
SCHWEITZER TAKES AIM AT HILLARY CLINTON'S IRAQ VOTE … Former Montana Gov. Brian Schweitzer, a potential Democratic presidential contender for 2016, drew a bright line between himself and presumed frontrunner Hillary Clinton on Wednesday … In a speech to Iowa Democrats in the Des Moines suburb of Altoona, and in remarks to CNN’s Peter Hamby, Schweitzer repeatedly chided Senate Democrats who voted in 2002 to green light military action in Iraq.
SCHWEITZER IN AN INTERVIEW WITH CNN: “Anybody who runs in this cycle, whether they are Democrats or Republicans, if they were in the United States Senate and they voted with George Bush to go to Iraq when I would say about 98 percent of America knows that it was a folly, that it was a waste of treasure and blood…there will be questions for them on the left and from the right.”
Peter Hamby (@PeterHambyCNN)
(The) only cameras at Schweitzer event in Iowa last night: CNN and @America_Rising
NEW MEXICO BECOMES 17TH STATE TO LEGALIZE SAME-SEX MARRIAGE … The New Mexico Supreme Court has ruled the state may not deny same-sex couples the freedom to marry, concluding current laws are unconstitutional. The unanimous ruling ordered county clerks to begin issuing marriage licenses to qualified same-sex couples.
Former New Mexico Gov. Gary Johnson (@GovGaryJohnson) Tweets: Just announced: New Mexico Supreme Court upholds #marriageequality. Great news in my home state!
Updated 6:54 p.m., 12/19/2013
(CNN) –– U.S. Rep. Trey Radel, who pleaded guilty to cocaine possession, left a rehab facility in Florida on Thursday, expressed remorse and said he planned to return to Washington to continue serving in Congress.
"I love what I do and I'm going to return to what I do, what you sent me to do in Washington, D.C., which is working for you and your family while I relish mine," Radel said at a news conference in Cape Coral, Florida.
(CNN) - New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie on Thursday touted an agreement he struck earlier in the day with state Democratic lawmakers that will give in-state tuition for Garden State students who are living in the country illegally.
The Republican Governor and likely 2016 GOP presidential contender also pushed back against claims two top Christie aides closed access lanes to the George Washington Bridge to retaliate against the Mayor of Fort Lee, New Jersey, who didn't endorse his re-election bid.
Washington (CNN) - President Barack Obama stands at a significant crossroad.
On Wednesday, he received a set of recommendations from a panel he appointed to review the government's surveillance programs - a decision he made after Edward Snowden's blockbuster leaks about National Security Agency spying triggered outrage.
(CNN) - Two Senators are expected on Thursday to introduce bipartisan legislation authorizing new sanctions on Iran to apply further pressure on Tehran to curb its nuclear program.
The proposal by Foreign Relations Committee Chairman Robert Menendez, a New Jersey Democrat, and Mark Kirk, an Illinois Republican, considers the diplomatic effort underway to address the nuclear issue, giving it more time to succeed before additional sanctions would take hold.FULL STORY
Updated 7:13 p.m., 12/19/2013
(CNN) - A cousin of Massachusetts Gov. Deval Patrick was one of eight people whose long prison sentences for cocaine offenses were commuted on Thursday by President Barack Obama.
Reynolds Allen Wintersmith, said to be a first cousin of Patrick, was convicted in 1994 for possession and intent to distribute cocaine, and was sentenced to life in prison.