Washington (CNN) - The Republican-led House Oversight Committee voted 21-12 Thursday to charge former IRS official Lois Lerner with contempt of Congress for refusing to answer questions about the agency's targeting of conservative and other groups. The vote sets up a full debate on the House floor, followed by possible court battle over the Fifth Amendment and a potential standoff with the Justice Department.
"This is not something that I take lightly,” said Oversight Chairman Darrell Issa of California. “We cannot tell the American people we have done all we can do to get to the truth in this investigation if we give a pass to a critical witness like Ms. Lerner.”
(CNN) - Former President Jimmy Carter took a jab at President Barack Obama and former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton over their handling of Middle East peace negotiations in an interview published Thursday.
Heralding the nation's current top diplomat, John Kerry, the former Democratic President told TIME Magazine he has "great admiration" for Kerry and the two stay in touch frequently through email.
(CNN) - Mark Pryor is considered one of the most endangered Democratic senators running for re-election this year, but a new poll has some good news for the two-term Arkansas lawmaker.
According to a non-partisan, live operator survey by the Little Rock-based Opinion Research Associates, Pryor has a 48%-38% lead over Rep. Tom Cotton, his Republican challenger, among registered voters statewide.
(CNN) - The Democratic National Committee is challenging MSNBC's decision to allow one of its hosts, Joe Scarborough, speak at a New Hampshire state GOP event.
In a letter to MSNBC president Phil Griffin on Thursday, the committee's communications director, Mo Elleithee, accused the liberal-leaning cable news channel of having a "pretty big double standard" when it comes to host participation at partisan events.
Obama to honor LBJ’s civil rights legacy: President Barack Obama on Thursday will commemorate the 50th anniversary of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 at the LBJ Presidential Library in Austin, Texas. A lot of people have compared Obama with Lyndon B. Johnson recently. The LBJ people want to rescue his legacy from Vietnam. In a piece in the National Journal, George Condon argues Obama staffers don’t want their guy’s star put up next to the coarse-mouthed Texan. But you can’t argue that Johnson didn’t get a lot done in his first few years in office. Civil rights legislation, the Great Society programs and Medicare and Medicaid - these are legacy items with a more lasting imprint on American culture and society than most presidents can claim.
David Jackson puts it well in USA Today: “There was a time - a long time - when Democratic presidential candidates would not even utter the name Lyndon Baines Johnson. This week, the three Democrats elected president since Johnson traveled to Texas to honor the memory of LBJ - a president once reviled for the Vietnam War, now revered for a domestic record that includes landmark civil rights laws.”
Jackson’s piece points out that when Bill Clinton visited the LBJ library during a 1992 campaign stop, he didn’t once utter the late president’s name.
(CNN) - Former Sen. Scott Brown of Massachusetts will tout his Granite State roots Thursday as he formally launches a Republican bid for the Senate in neighboring New Hampshire.
And the Republican will criticize the federal health care law and criticize Jeanne Shaheen, the incumbent Democratic senator he hopes to oust in November, saying "I am running to hold Senator Shaheen accountable."
Hours before Brown officially kicks off his campaign, Shaheen's campaign touted its expanding cash war chest.
(CNN) - Ready for Hillary, a pro-Clinton super PAC urging the former secretary of state to run for president, raised $1.75 million in the first quarter of this year, according to the group's spokesman.
The super PAC is part of a cadre of groups urging Clinton to run for president in 2016 and raising money to accomplish that goal.
(CNN) –President Barack Obama didn't mince words about Congress and the opposition during a speech at a Houston dinner Wednesday evening.
"This has become the least productive Congress in modern history, recent memory," Obama said at the Texas dinner, according to media pool reports. The event was closed to cameras.
Obama spoke to about 60 people at a Democratic fundraiser at the home of John Eddie and Sheridan Williams.