Capitol Hill (CNN) - Top Republicans and Democrats are spending most of the day criticizing or supporting the President, questioning or applauding the Libya mission and attacking or undermining each other when it comes to a possible government shutdown.
Don't let the heated air distract you from the actual work, the real votes happening in Congress today.
Here are two votes that will hit the House floor Tuesday that many others will miss:
Washington (CNN) - As coalition planes cleared ground threats to support a no fly zone over Libya, the Obama administration briefed a bipartisan group of congressional aides Tuesday on the mission.
According to one official who attended the briefing in the Capitol Visitors Center Auditorium, the panel (recently removed Ambassador to Libya, two military, two intelligence and one treasury official) made clear that the U.S. is "not at war" with Libya.
Capitol Hill (CNN) – In the past two years, the deficit has risen to become the near center of the political universe. It lies underneath every congressional debate and has soared up public opinion polls. (In a December CNN poll, 93 percent of those surveyed said the deficit is a concern, 68 percent saying it worries them "a lot".)
But why, exactly, does the deficit matter? We lay it out in this week's American Sauce podcast.
And this Mardi Gras week, we take listeners to an old mansion in New Orleans, to hear how the city's recovery is unfolding for residents of Big Easy.
Washington (CNN) - The last American veteran of World War I to die should lie in honor in the U.S. Capitol, his daughter said after lawmakers appeared to block the suggestion.
"While Papa was still living, it was suggested that he lie in honor in the Rotunda of the U.S. Capitol as a final, formal tribute to all the veterans of World War I. Papa consented to this because he understood that, as the last living World War I veteran, he was expected to represent all of the World War I veterans," Frank Buckles' daughter Susannah Buckles Flanagan said in a statement.FULL STORY
Washington (CNN) - Hollywood celebrity Ben Affleck is bringing his star power to Capitol Hill Tuesday, where he will testify about the "devastating humanitarian crisis in eastern Congo," according to a statement by the actor.
He will be appearing on behalf of the Eastern Congo Initiative, a non-profit organization that he founded in 2010. Affleck is expected to appear before the House Africa, Global Health and Human Rights Subcommittee at a panel held by Republican Congressman Chris Smith of New Jersey.
Capitol Hill (CNN) – Congress has 110 new members and one new ruling party in the House. And then, not so new, are the 12,000+ registered lobbyists in Washington. (See the Center for Responsive Politics' database here.) This week, American Sauce asks whether change in Congress will force any change in the lobbyist ring of power.
And we clear up some numbers in the Health Care Wars. Does the new law save or cost the government? Does it add or kill jobs?
Listen to the podcast here:
Or continue reading.
Washington (CNN) - Lobbyist and former Congressional aide Ashley Turton, wife of a top White House staffer, was killed Monday in an early morning fire in her garage, according to sources familiar with the still-unfolding investigation.
D.C. Fire Department spokesman Pete Piringer would not confirm the identity of the victim but said the first emergency calls came in around 5 a.m. ET. He said "the main theory now is that this was a crash event and then a fire" in the garage adjacent to Turton's home on Capitol Hill.
Washington (CNN) - Some knew Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords, others just wanted an outlet for emotions they felt in the wake of the Arizona shooting rampage. In all, more than 50 marchers gathered on Capitol Hill Saturday night to honor the victims.
The group braved sub-freezing temperatures and gusty winds, marching to the Capitol and up the west steps to hold the vigil.