WASHINGTON (CNN) – The nation's capital city took a major step Friday toward legalizing same-sex marriage.
District of Columbia Mayor Adrian Fenty signed a measure recognizing such marriages as legal. The city council overwhelming passed the bill on Tuesday, following a similar vote on December 1.
Fenty signed the measure at All Souls Church, a Unitarian-Universalist house of worship in the northwest part of the District that is known for its diversity and for the welcoming of same-sex couples.
The measure now goes to Congress for a 30-day review period, but it's considered unlikely that the Democratic majority on Capitol Hill would block the bill. By law, Congress has the right to review and overturn laws created by the District of Columbia's council.
If the measure becomes law, the District would join Massachusetts, Connecticut, Vermont and Iowa in legalizing same-sex marriages. A law legalizing such marriages in New Hampshire takes affect on January 1.
Conservatives rallied in Washington Tuesday to show their opposition to Democrats' plans for health care reform. (Photo Credit: Getty Images)
Washington (CNN) - Activists opposed to the Democrats' health care reform plans rallied outside the U.S. Capitol Tuesday.
The "Code Red Rally," was organized by a long list of conservative groups, including advocacy organizations Americans for Prosperity and Patients First. Republican Sens. Tom Coburn of Oklahoma and Jim DeMint of South Carolina, Rep. Michelle Bachmann of Minnesota, and talk show host Laura Ingraham were among the featured speakers.
The event was held as Senate Democrats try to reach agreement on a health care reform plan.
Washington (CNN) - GOP leaders and thousands of Tea Party movement protesters gathered on Capitol Hill Thursday to call House Democrats' health care reform bill a full-blown government takeover of the nation' health care system.
"My colleagues and I last week were wracking our brains trying to figure out what could we do, because quite simply Republicans don't have the votes to kill this bill," Rep. Michele Bachmann of Minnesota told the crowd. "Every lever of power is controlled by one party now in DC. We tried to figure out what we could do. We knew that we were limited. But what we knew was unlimited was the voice of persuasion of the American people, and that's why you are here today with your voice of persuasion.
"....Let me assure you your efforts to stop this bill are being heard loud and clear. And I will guarantee you that we are committed to making sure that not one Republican will vote for this bill."
Actor John Ratzenberger, known partly for his role as Cliff Clavin in the 1980s sitcom "Cheers," slammed the Democratic bill as a form of socialism.
"These are Woodstock Democrats," he said at the rally. "We have to remember where their philosophy comes from. It doesn't come from America. It comes from overseas. It comes from socialism. And socialism is a philosophy of failure."
Police later arrested 12 protesters outside Pelosi's office for unlawful entry or disorderly conduct, according to Capitol Hill police spokeswoman Sgt. Kimberly Schneider.
(CNN) - As lawmakers huddled this summer to put together the framework for health care legislation, it quickly became evident that the battle over President Obama's top priority would be neither quick nor easy.
After months of debate and missed deadlines, the public option has emerged as the main sticking point.
From the beginning, some Democrats said they wouldn't pass a bill without a government-sponsored, public option, while other Democrats and most Republicans said they'd say no to any plan that included one.
(Photo credit: Peter Hamby/CNN)
WASHINGTON (CNN) – Minnesota Sen. Amy Klobuchar is joined by a cow named Maggie during a press conference on Capitol Hill on Tuesday.
Posing with the cow, Klobuchar and five other Democratic Senators called for more federal support for dairy farmers.
(CNN) – Six high school-aged Senate pages are sick with flu symptoms that could be the H1N1 swine flu, but doctors are "not overly concerned" about an outbreak of the virus on Capitol Hill, Senate Sgt. at Arms Terry Gainer told CNN Wednesday.
Two of the pages have recovered to the point that they are expected back to work Thursday, Gainer said.
Five of the pages received treatment in their rooms at the page dorm on Capitol Hill. One intern, who lives locally, was treated at home.
None was hospitalized.
WASHINGTON (CNN) - A suspicious package discovered Monday in the entrance of the Capitol Visitor Center caused authorities to evacuate the facility and destroy the package.
The rest of the Capitol Building complex and congressional offices were unaffected by the security scare, according to CNN journalists on the scene. More than 10 emergency vehicles, including two designed for handling hazardous materials, converged on the area.
At one point, a Capitol Police advisory sent by e-mail to House staff members alerted them to an emergency situation.
"The U.S. Capitol Police is in the process of disrupting the suspicious package located at the CVC entrance," said the e-mail obtained by CNN. "You may hear a loud bang or pop. There is no need for you to take any additional
A few minutes later, security personnel destroyed the package with a loud single bang that startled onlookers gathered outside the visitors' center, which opened last December. No injuries were reported in the incident that jammed pedestrian and vehicle traffic in the immediate vicinity.
WASHINGTON (CNN) - Concerns over recent Taliban gains in Pakistan and Afghanistan are taking center stage on Capitol Hill Tuesday as President Obama's point man for the region testifies before a key House committee.
Pakistani President Asif Ali Zardari and Afghan President Hamid Karzai will also be visiting key congressional leaders and policymakers in advance of meetings with Obama and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton later this week.
The visits are part of a series of tri-lateral meetings aimed at coordinating strategy in the region.
Obama's special representative to the region, veteran diplomat Richard Holbrooke, is expected tell members of the House Foreign Affairs Committee that increased military and civilian aid is urgently needed in Pakistan.
Obama said last week that Pakistan's government appears "very fragile" and noted that it doesn't "seem to have the capacity to deliver basic services." The president argued that the United States has "huge national
security interests in making sure that Pakistan is stable" and doesn't end up a "nuclear-armed militant state."
WASHINGTON (CNN) – It's not your imagination - things are getting a bit wilder in Washington.
Weeks after the National Park Service caught a raccoon who'd been stalking White House grounds, Capitol Police nabbed another furry fugitive Monday: a possibly rabid possum spotted near the Rayburn House Office Building.
As the possum took refuge in a nearby tree, officers isolated the area and called for animal control officials. Animal control caged and removed the animal from the scene so its condition could be determined.