Updated 3:07 p.m. ET, 2/7/2014
East Lansing, Michigan (CNN) - As he signed the nearly $1 trillion farm bill into law here Friday, President Barack Obama touted a new program designed to bolster rural American businesses – marching forward in his bid to advance his agenda without Congress.
The massive farm bill, approved by Congress Tuesday after years of haggling between lawmakers, sets agriculture policy for the next five years. The legislation also cuts monthly food stamp payments for low-income Americans and ends direct subsidies to farmers.
(CNN) - Actress Glenn Close joined lawmakers on Capitol Hill Wednesday to lobby for legislation expanding access and quality of mental health treatment.
Along with Sens. Roy Blunt, R-Missouri, and Debbie Stabenow, D-Michigan, at a press conference at the Capitol, Close said her sister's diagnosis of bipolar disorder late in life prompted her to take action.
(CNN) - The Democratic frontrunner to replace the retiring Sen. Carl Levin of Michigan on Thursday picked up the support of Levin and the state's other Democratic senator, Debbie Stabenow.
Rep. Gary Peters, a three-term Democrat whose district includes parts of Detroit, got a boost after Democratic activist Debbie Dingell, wife of a veteran congressman, and former two-term Gov. Jennifer Granholm each announced they would sit out the race.
(CNN) - Republican and Democratic lawmakers were split Sunday over the trajectory of last-minute efforts to avoid the fiscal cliff, a series of major tax hikes and spending cuts set to kick in just after the start of the new year.
While President Barack Obama has called on the Senate to pass legislation that would extend tax cuts for middle-class Americans, Republican Sen. John Barrasso of Wyoming said such action fails to solve the country's deficit problem.
(CNN) - Democratic Sen. Claire McCaskill of Missouri now has the Republican challenger she'd hoped for, but the first term senator still faces a serious fight to keep her seat in November.
It appears to be a different story in Michigan, where Democratic Sen. Debbie Stabenow's re-election prospects after Tuesday's primary continue to look strong against GOP attempts to defeat her in the general election.
(CNN) - It seems national Republicans have found a high profile candidate to take on Sen. Debbie Stabenow of Michigan as she fights for re-election next year.
Former Rep. Pete Hoekstra announced Wednesday that he's filing paperwork to run for the U.S. Senate in Michigan.
Washington (CNN) – Still swaggering after its recent electoral successes, the Tea Party movement appears to be growing more emboldened as it tries to blaze a path to power.
One new bold move: An activist group is publicly parading a list of lawmakers the group is determined to oust from office.
Washington (CNN) - Sen. Daniel Inouye, the chairman of the powerful Senate Appropriations Committee, is the latest signatory to a letter calling on Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid to pass a health care public option using reconciliation, his office confirmed to CNN.
The letter, penned by Sen. Michael Bennet, D-Colorado and co-signed by Sens. Kirsten Gillibrand, Jeff Merkley, and Sherrod Brown, was released last Tuesday. It now has 23 signatories, all of whom are Democrats. The letter is chiefly promoted by the Progressive Change Campaign Committee.
Michigan Sen. Debbie Stabenow also signed the letter on Monday, according to her office. Stabenow has long supported a public option and is a member of the Senate Finance Committee. Three other Finance Committee members have signed the letter.
The White House unveiled a health care proposal Monday that does not include a public option.
WASHINGTON (CNN) – A moderate Pennsylvania Democrat came out strongly Sunday against the possibility of imposing a cap on medical malpractice damages as part of comprehensive health care reform legislation currently under consideration in Congress.
“I don’t think the way to go is to limit the rights of Americans who are injured by negligent or intentional conduct,” Pennsylvania Sen. Bob Casey who is a member of the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee said Sunday on CNN’s State of the Union.
“A $250,000 cap on damages, in my humble opinion, is insulting to our system of justice,” Casey also told CNN Chief National Correspondent John King, “That is not justice as we have come to understand it.”
In an interview that aired earlier on State of the Union, Arizona Republican Sen. John McCain suggested that medical malpractice reform was one area where the GOP should begin to crystallize its own positive health care reform agenda now that Congress is about to begin to process of melding together several health care bills in both chambers.
In a speech before a gathering of the Human Rights Campaign, President Obama reaffirmed his campaign pledge to repeal the “don’t ask, don’t tell” policy regarding gays in the military. But, to the disappointment of some gay rights activists, President Obama failed to specify a timeframe for doing so.
Sunday, on CNN’s State of the Union, Democratic Sens. Bob Casey of Pennsylvania and Debbie Stabenow of Michigan both said they supported the president’s plans regarding gays in the military and hate crimes legislation pending in Congress that would protect gays and lesbians.
“The president is putting the priorities in the right place,” Stabenow told CNN Chief National Correspondent John King about Mr. Obama’s support for domestic partnership benefits for all couples, the hate crimes bill, and repealing “don’t ask, don’t tell.”
But both Democrats said they could not support same-sex marriage, an important part of the civil rights agenda for many gays and lesbians.