MIAMI (CNN) - The standoff between the United States and Russia over Ukraine is not preventing President Barack Obama from pursuing his domestic agenda – and his vacation.
The foreign policy crisis has occupied the bulk of Obama's attention this past week although he’s also carved out time to press issues opposed by Republicans: his budget proposal, a hike in the minimum wage, and encouraging Latinos to sign up for Obamacare.
One day after cutting off his Democratic counterpart's microphone, House Oversight and Government Reform Committee Chairman Darrell Issa telephoned ranking member Elijah Cummings and apologized.
Issa tweeted Thursday evening, "I just wanted to clear the air with @RepCummings." The tweet included a link to a U-T San Diego article in which Issa says he had personally apologized to Cummings.
"I could have offered to reopen the hearing and allowed (Cummings) to make a second statement," Issa told the California paper. "As chairman, I should have been much more sensitive to the mood of what was going on, and I take responsibility."
(CNN) - A fierce congressional critic of the Obama administration's foreign policy gave the President credit Thursday for recent actions he's taken in the ongoing situation in Ukraine.
Sen. Lindsey Graham said on CNN's "Crossfire" that Obama had done “a very good job” in the last 24 hours. The South Carolina Republican added “I appreciate what he did today. Thank God he’s upping his game.”
(CNN) – A federal investigator tried contacting a former top deputy to Gov. Chris Christie as well as members of her family as part of its investigation into a political scandal roiling his administration, court papers showed on Thursday.
It is the second time this week that U.S. Attorney Paul Fishman's office has been shown to be on the ground actively probing suggestions that top Christie appointees orchestrated traffic jams near the George Washington Bridge in Fort Lee last year to politically punish that town's mayor for not endorsing the governor for reelection.
CNN's GUT CHECK | for March 6, 2014 | 5 p.m.
- n. a pause to assess the state, progress or condition of the political news cycle
DEVELOPING …. PRESIDENT OBAMA SAYS REFERENDUM IN CRIMEA WOULD VIOLATE INTERNATIONAL LAW: “The proposed referendum on the future of Crimea would violate the Ukrainian constitution and violate international law. Any discussion about the future of Ukraine must include the legitimate government of Ukraine. In 2014 we are well beyond the days when borders can be redrawn over the heads over the heads of democratic leaders.”
MEANWHILE … REPUBLICANS RALLY, TESTING MESSAGES FOR 2014… On day one of the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC), GOP rising stars and presidential hopefuls took to the stage at a convention center at National Harbor, Maryland.
(CNN) – Conservative heavyweights, some of whom might launch White House campaigns, contend a weak foreign policy under President Barack Obama emboldened Russia to intervene militarily in Ukraine.
The European crisis wasn't at the top of the agenda at the annual Conservative Political Action Conference, but a number of speakers put it at the top of theirs.
National Harbor, Maryland (CNN) – Filling the basement of a convention center in National Harbor, where Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) is underway, are dozens of booths, set up to hand out fliers, candy and other knick-knacks to woo conference attendees. One booth, however, is not handing out goodies.
Instead, it's offering stress relief in the form of brick-shaped sponges that people can use to whack pictures of politicians.
National Harbor, Maryland (CNN) – Potential Republican presidential candidates take the stage, hoping to generate a buzz. But the annual Conservative Political Action Conference, known as CPAC, has a lot more happening outside the massive, big-screened adorned ballroom where conservatives take the stage.
It's a conference where thousands of young Republicans from colleges across the country come to network and possibly meet Mr. or Ms. Right. It's a marketing bonanza for authors and organizations. It's a place to wear your favorite American flag underwear. This is CPAC - CPAC beyond the headline-making political speeches.
(CNN) - The U.S. Senate on Thursday defeated an impassioned legislative push to reduce the growing problem of sex assault in the armed forces by overhauling the way the military prosecutes serious crimes.
By a vote of 55 to 45, a bill championed by Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand failed to get the 60 votes needed for passage.
Updated 2:53 p.m. ET, 3/6/2014
National Harbor, Maryland (CNN) - New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, receiving a warm reception from a large conservative audience Thursday, said the GOP needs to change the way it shares its message with voters in order to defeat Democrats in future elections.
"We've got to start talking about what we're for and not what we're against," the Republican governor said. "Our ideas are better than their ideas, and that's what we have to stand up for."