Washington (CNN) – President Barack Obama joins a rare collection of presidents on Monday. No, not the fraternity of 21 second-term presidents, but the even more exclusive group of seven presidents whose inaugurations have fallen on a Sunday.
By holding a private ceremony–before live television cameras but without a public audience–just before noon on Sunday and a full ceremony on Monday, Obama is following with both the tradition established by his predecessors and the legal obligations the Constitution outlines for inaugurating U.S. leaders.
Washington (CNN) – Among the 84 House freshmen who unpacked new offices last week, a handful is intimately familiar with doing the opposite - packing up and moving out of the Capitol.
Nine members of the new class are former members of Congress who left Capitol Hill either by choice or by force. Redrawn congressional districts helped some of them get back; others had a change of heart after leaving voluntarily.FULL STORY
Washington (CNN) - It was a common refrain during the House and Senate late-night votes to avert the fiscal cliff. Senator after senator, congressman after congressman lamented the fact that the legislation didn't "do more," "go bigger" or that it was "far from perfect."
Political watchers believed the fiscal cliff negotiations were the perfect time for President Barack Obama and House Speaker John Boehner to hatch a "grand bargain" - a deal that would have included both large increases in tax revenue and major cuts in government spending. At the time, both men looked better positioned to deliver a bipartisan plan. Boehner seemed to have a firmer hand on his caucus leading up to the talks, and the president was coming off a hard-fought re-election win.FULL STORY
Washington (CNN) – After House leaders decided to adjourn until Tuesday without a fiscal cliff deal, House Majority Whip Kevin McCarthy advised members to stay near the Capitol in case a vote comes up.
It's unusual that members of Congress are in Washington on New Year's Eve; the last time it happened was in 1995. Members generally spend the holiday far away from the halls of the Capitol.
So what are some House lawmakers doing in Washington on the last night of 2012? (And how close are they really staying to the office?)
Washington (CNN) – Eagerness fills the room - nearly 70 freshman congressman sit and wait to begin the process of selecting their first House office. Most of the fresh faces exchange pleasantries and glad-hand one another in anticipation of the drawing.
But Republican Congressman-elect Tom Cotton of Arkansas sits quietly, hunched over in his chair, looking at a mix of maps and papers he has assembled - all aimed to optimize the search process. Each available office is listed on a spreadsheet in front of him which is just waiting to be scrawled on.FULL STORY
(CNN) – It may not sound very powerful, but gay rights activist Debra Peevey said that a two-inch green button played a major role in convincing voters to legalize gay marriage this month in her home state of Washington.
“Another Person of Faith Approves R. 74,” said the button, which refers to the ballot initiative that wound up legalizing gay marriage in Washington.FULL STORY
Washington (CNN) - With the world facing “perilous times” and “anxiety stemming from economic challenges,” evangelical leader Franklin Graham is asking congregations to pray for President Barack Obama, even though Graham endorsed the president’s opponent in the 2012 election.
“Having just come through a divisive national election, I am urging pastors across this country to lead their congregations in praying daily for our president, Barack Obama … for wisdom, Divine guidance, and that God would accomplish His will and purposes,” Graham said in a statement. “While politics is noticeably partisan, prayer must never be partisan. Americans need to come together, and people of faith should lead the way, by praying diligently for our leaders whether or not they agree with them or their policies.”FULL STORY
Washington (CNN) - When Sen. Mark Begich looks at the next two years, he says he is not concerned about the tough votes he is bound to have to make that could have an impact on his re-election in 2014.
The moderate Democrat from Alaska even laughs a bit when he says, "Every vote we take here is tough."FULL STORY
Washington (CNN) – Mitt Romney’s defeat appears to close out a years-long “Mormon moment,” a period of national fascination with the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.
It has also provoked Mormon disappointment; Romney would have been first Latter-day Saint in the White House, culminating a decades-long process of growing Mormon acceptance and influence.FULL STORY
Washington (CNN) – Officials from Miami-Dade County say they have finished counting absentee ballots and will begin counting the county’s 2,800 provisional ballots on Thursday afternoon.
Election officials worked overnight to finish counting the outstanding ballots – votes that are largely to blame for holding up the process of declaring a presidential winner in Florida.