Washington (CNN) – Unlike most issues these days that divide along party lines, the immediate fate of President Obama's new gun proposals will depend not as much on Republicans, as his fellow Democrats in the Senate.
Senate Democratic leadership sources admit to CNN that passing any new legislation will be extremely difficult, because more than a dozen vulnerable Democrats from conservative states will likely resist much of what the president is pushing.
Washington (CNN) - Sen. Chuck Schumer, a key Democrat and Jewish lawmaker, said a Monday meeting with Secretary of Defense nominee Chuck Hagel helped him overcome his reservations about some of the nominee's past comments. Hagel has been received skeptically by some on both sides of the aisle because of positions he has taken on Israel, Iran, and his 2007 statement that a "Jewish lobby intimidated lawmakers."
Schumer, the third-ranking Democrat in the Senate, becomes the second prominent Democrat in the last day to back the former two-term Republican senator from Nebraska.
Some conservative activists have called on the House to oust Boehner following the passage of a deal to avoid the fiscal cliff. The deal raised tax rates for American households earning more than $450,000 per year. While Boehner made a last-minute effort to include spending cuts in the deal, the measure passed without them.
Washington (CNN) – Sen. Tom Harkin, a veteran Democrat and a leading liberal voice, told CNN Monday that he and other Democrats may try to block the fiscal cliff deal that's being furiously negotiated ahead of the year-end deadline.
"They think Republicans may object? We may object," Harkin told CNN.
(CNN) - Congressional Democrats trying to negotiate a deal to avoid the fiscal cliff have increased the income threshold for tax increases to $450,000, a Democratic source told CNN. President Barack Obama campaigned on a promise to raise rates on households making more than $250,000 a year.
Sen. Dick Durbin, D-Illinois, explained further on Monday that Republicans offered a $450,000 income threshold for individuals and $550,000 for couples - and that Democrats countered with a $360,000 threshold for individuals and $450,000 for couples.
Sources in both parties say talks proceeded through the night between Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell and Vice President Joe Biden. Don Stewart, a spokesman for McConnell, said the two men "will continue to work toward a solution."
Washington (CNN) - A Democratic source familiar with the talks tells CNN they have hit a “major setback” because Republicans are now insisting that any fiscal cliff deal include “chained CPI," which Democrats consider a “poison pill.”
The Democratic source says they understand the president offered this in talks with House Speaker John Boehner, but Democrats say that was in the context of a larger deal - in exchange for changes to the way the debt ceiling is approached - which is not in the plan anymore.
(CNN) - Two sources on Capitol Hill say President Barack Obama told Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell he would send Congress a scaled back fiscal cliff measure on Thursday.
Two senior White House officials, however, later said the president will not send Congress a proposal.
Washington (CNN) – Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, in conjunction with the White House, is working to see if the scaled back fiscal cliff package President Barack Obama laid out last week can get through Congress before December 31st.
Reid has made clear in private conversations he does not want to bring any bill to the Senate floor unless he is sure it will pass both the Democratic-led Senate and the Republican-held House.
(CNN) - Secretary of State Hillary Clinton will testify in January before the House Foreign Affairs Committee, chairwoman Ileana Ros-Lehtinen told CNN on Wednesday.
Clinton was slated to testify on the attack on the US consulate in Benghazi, Libya before the panel on Thursday, but canceled her scheduled Capitol Hill appearances after her office acknowledged on Saturday she had recently suffered a concussion and would be working from home this week.