(CNN) - Congress will start the new year with an old fight: whether to extend jobless benefits for 1.3 million long-term unemployed.
They expired last week when lawmakers failed to continue a 2008 recession-era federal law providing nearly a year of benefits, paid for by U.S. taxpayers, that kicked in when state jobless benefits ran out.FULL STORY
Washington (CNN) – When Texas Gov. Rick Perry signed some of the country's toughest abortion restrictions into law on Thursday, his state joined a growing number of those strategically pushing the limits of federal abortion rights that have been in place for 40 years.
"In signing House Bill 2 today, we ... cement the culture of life, which Texas is built upon," Perry said during the signing ceremony. "Children do deserve the respect of simple recognition before their lives are cut tragically short."FULL STORY
Washington (CNN) - Following the U.S. Supreme Court decision striking down a key portion of the landmark Voting Rights Act, activists and those in states with a history of disenfranchisement at the polls are pinning their hopes on congressional action.
But those hopes may be long deferred.FULL STORY
Washington (CNN) – Several Republican senators are calling for an investigation into whether the head of Health and Human Services violated appropriations and ethics rules when she reportedly tried to raise funds for a group that is working to help put Obamacare in place.
"Major news outlets in recent weeks have reported that U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) Secretary Kathleen Sebelius is raising money from the private sector-including from health care executives-for use by a private entity, Enroll America, that is helping to implement the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act," the Republicans, who are the ranking members on several key committees, wrote the HHS inspector general on Thursday.
Washington (CNN) - He is best known as the Viper car alarm voice that instructs would-be thieves to "Please step away from the vehicle."
But in political circles, Rep. Darrell Issa, chairman of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee, is a man who, after years of sounding the alarm about perceived Obama administration misdeeds, has struck a chord that is shaking up Washington.FULL STORY
Washington (CNN) – Opponents of a bipartisan Senate effort to reform the nation's immigration policies calculate that dragging out debate by offering so-called "poison pill" amendments designed to tank support and stoking conservative ire on the airwaves will derail the proposal.
It is a strategy that stymied the immigration overhaul efforts of 2007.FULL STORY
Washington (CNN) - When gunmen riddled bullets through Newtown, Chicago, Aurora and an alphabet soup of cities and towns across the country, the nation sent up collective wails of grief at the death of the innocents.
America swore this time was different.FULL STORY
Washington (CNN) – Former British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher and former President Ronald Reagan were, in the words of one close aide, "political soul mates."
Reagan, who was elected a year after Thatcher assumed office in 1979, found in her a fresh, conservative voice who he could align with on many international issues. And in nearly a decade of working together, she found in him a personal friend and an equal on the global stage.FULL STORY
Washington (CNN) - Depending on whom you ask, Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid's decision to scuttle a controversial assault weapons ban proposal from a broader Democrat-backed gun control package is either shrewd strategy or political cowardice.
There's a little bit of truth in both perspectives, gun policy advocates say.FULL STORY
Washington (CNN) – Former Nebraska Sen. Chuck Hagel's rocky and inauspicious path to the Pentagon could haunt him if he doesn't watch his step.
"If people feel Hagel makes a mistake in the future, they will come after him even harder than if this ugly process of recent weeks hadn't happened," said Michael O'Hanlon, a senior fellow at the Brookings Institution and a co-author of "Bending History: Barack Obama's Foreign Policy."FULL STORY