WASHINGTON (CNN) –– The White House has declined to comment on a "Deport Justin Bieber and revoke his green card" petition, saying the "We the People" Whitehouse.gov petition system allows the Executive Office to dodge comments "to avoid the appearance of improper influence."
Although the official response did not address the petition's position directly, the White House did drop a few Bieber references, while making its case for the President's immigration plan.
CNN's GUT CHECK | for April 18, 2014 | 5 p.m.
– n. a pause to assess the state, progress or condition of the political news cycle
OBAMA ADMINISTRATION PUNTS KEYSTONE DECISION … The Obama administration indefinitely suspended a decision on the Keystone XL pipeline Friday, telling multiple leaders in Congress it is extending the comment period on the matter until the conclusion of a Nebraska lawsuit on the issue… An earlier State Department report on the pipeline found that it would have no significant environmental impact. That report was initially due to be finalized after a public comment period ended in early May, but the Obama administration is now holding that period open.– Lisa Desjardins
Keystone advocates immediately blasted the decision. House Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio, called the extension, “shameful” and “egregious.” Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Kentucky, joked: “I guess (the president) wasn’t serious about having a pen and a phone.” Sens. Heidi Heitkamp, D-North Dakota, and Mary Landrieu, D-Louisiana, called the delay “ridiculous” and “unacceptable.”
Environmental groups were pleased. “The State Department is taking the most prudent course of action possible,” the National Resources Defense Council said in a statement. “The newly extended comment period will show what we already know: the more Americans learn about this project, the more they see that the Keystone XL tar sands pipeline is not in the national interest.’’ FULL POST
(CNN) – In a blunt exchange that hit on a major American divide, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, a Democrat from Nevada, stood by his comments that militia groups involved in a ranch standoff are “domestic terrorists,” while the state’s Republican senator, Dean Heller, replied that he considers them “patriots.”
The two men appeared Friday afternoon on KSNV’s “What’s Your Point?” question-and-answer show.
Washington (CNN) – The White House is not going far enough in sending aid to Ukraine, say top Republicans and Democrats on the House Armed Services Committee in a letter to President Obama that was obtained by CNN.
Committee Chairman Buck McKeon, ranking Democrat Adam Smith and 10 other key House Armed Services members wrote the President late Thursday night after the White House announced another round of non-lethal aid to Ukraine.
(CNN) – The leading Republican on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee today called for the Obama administration to provide lethal weapons to the Ukrainian military and stop "holding their coat."
"It's time for us to consider anti-tank weaponry, anti-aircraft weaponry," Corker said in an interview with CNN's "The Lead with Jake Tapper."
Washington (CNN) - The Obama administration announced Friday that it is extending the comment period on the State Department’s Keystone XL pipeline report – a move that could delay a final decision on the project indefinitely.
The State Department’s report found that the pipeline would not have a significant environmental impact. It was due to be finalized after a 90-day comment period ended in early May. FULL POST
(CNN) - The William J. Clinton Presidential Library released a fourth batch of confidential memos, notes and other papers from the Clinton White House on Friday.
Collectively, the documents open a window into the Clinton years and cover a variety of topics, including the office of former first lady Hillary Clinton, who's now considered the overwhelming favorite for the Democratic presidential nomination in 2016 if she decides to run.
Washington (CNN) - When the Bureau of Land Management retreated from a standoff with Cliven Bundy, a few hundred people traveled to his Nevada ranch to protest what they see as an overreach of the federal government.
One protester from neighboring Utah, Stephen L. Dean, 45, called the Bureau of Land Management's actions "tyranny in government." And a banner at the protest site blared: "Has the West been won? Or has the fight just begun!"
Updated 10:14 a.m. ET, 4/18/2014
(CNN) - Amy Kremer, the Tea Party Express chairman who's played a major role in elections for the past five years, is resigning.
"This has been a really difficult decision for me, but the time has come for me to leave Tea Party Express," Kremer said Friday.