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.
WASHINGTON (CNN) – Police found five guns and a sword in a car during a traffic stop near the U.S. Capitol on Tuesday.
Capitol Hill officers became suspicious as they questioned a man driving a white Pontiac, a spokeswoman said. The officers, based on their conversation, grew concerned about the possibility that he had hazardous materials in his car, she said.
The driver, who was alone at the time, was taken into custody and a hazardous materials team was dispatched to the scene. While no such materials were found, the team discovered the firearms and the sword, Sgt. Kimberly Schneider noted.
Charges were pending Tuesday evening, she added.
WASHINGTON (CNN) - Washington souvenirs worth $100,000 - including images of the Capitol dome and printings of the U.S. Constitution - are locked in storage, blocked from sale in the new U.S. Capitol Visitors Center because the items are made in China.
Rep. Bob Brady, D-Pennsylvania, chairman of the House Administration Committee, told CNN Radio that he warned operators of the visitors center not
to purchase merchandise made outside the United States, but they did it anyway.
Although the center has the goods in hand, Brady said, "I'm not allowing them to sell those products."
(CNN) – They call him “Rahmbo.” In the latest installment of CNN=Politics Daily, Rahm Emanuel is known for his tough tactics as a power on Capitol Hill, but sources close to him say there is more to the man than meets the eye. CNN’s Alina Cho takes a closer look at the pit bull politician, Barack Obama’s new chief of staff.
Plus: Barack Obama promised healthcare reform before the economy crumbled. Can the president-elect still keep his word? CNN’s Dr. Sanjay Gupta has the latest “Memo to the President.”
Also: Hillary Clinton, Bill Richardson, Joe Biden - it seems that those who ran against the president-elect get a place in his cabinet. CNN’s Frank Sesno takes a look at Obama’s team of rivals.
Finally: Congress may be in love with its new half-billion dollar Capitol Hill visitor’s center, but there is no love for the lawmakers. CNN’s Jim Acosta reports.
Click here to subscribe to CNN=Politics Daily.
NEW YORK (CNNMoney.com) - Spend tens if not hundreds of billions to boost the economy. Pass a law giving homeowners more leverage over lenders. Do more to address the growing ranks of unemployed workers.
There's a new day for economic policy in Washington.
The Democrats not only took back the White House - they gained a stronger hand in both chambers of Congress. As a result, in the 10 weeks before President-elect Barack Obama takes office and the months that follow, legislative leaders will likely revive a series of measures that failed to gain traction in the past year.
At the top of the agenda: stimulating the flagging economy.
WASHINGTON (CNN) - Key Republicans on Capitol Hill Wednesday blasted the Treasury Department and the Federal Reserve for orchestrating an $85 billion bailout of insurance giant American International Group.
The criticism came a day after lawmakers were surprised by the news that taxpayers would again be called on to shore up a member of the struggling financial sector.
"Once again the Fed has put the taxpayers on the hook for billions of dollars to bail out an institution that put greed ahead of responsibility and used their good name to take risky bets that did not pay off," said Sen. Jim Bunning, R-Kentucky, a member of the banking committee.
A spokesman for Sen. Richard Shelby of Alabama, the top Republican on the banking committee, said the senator "profoundly disagrees with the decision to use taxpayer dollars to bail out a private company" and is upset the government has sent an inconsistent message to the markets by bailing out AIG after it just refused to save investment bank Lehman Brothers from bankruptcy.
NEW YORK (CNNMoney.com) - It's the $64,000 question on Capitol Hill this week: what is responsible for the record escalation on oil prices?
Speculators have taken much of the blame. But on Wednesday, one of the nation's leading energy analysts said that it's more complicated than that and the cause is multi-faceted.
"In such circumstances as these, there is a tendency to seek a single explanation," said Daniel Yergin, in testimony before the Joint Economic Committee. "History, however, demonstrates that changes of this scale and significance result not from a single cause, but rather from a confluence of factors.
(CNN) - Indiana voters elected the second Muslim congressman in U.S. history Tuesday.
Andre Carson, the grandson of the late U.S. Rep. Julia Carson and a Muslim convert, was elected in a special election, with 54 percent of the popular vote to Republican opponent Jon Elrod's 44 percent.
Julia Carson represented Indiana's 7th district for 10 years. Her grandson, a member of the Indianapolis City Council since August, will serve out the remainder of her term. In a primary in May, he will seek to be the Democratic nominee for a full two-year term.
In Carson's victory speech Tuesday, he said one of his biggest concerns was bringing U.S. troops home from Iraq.
The first and only other Muslim member of the U.S. Congress is first-term Minnesota Rep. Keith Ellison.
–CNN's Emily Sherman