(CNN) - Arizona Sen. Jon Kyl, a member of the Senate Finance Committee, has raised an objection to holding Treasury Secretary-designate Timothy Geithner's confirmation hearing Friday as planned, a spokesman for the senator tells CNN.
Kyl's objection comes a day after it was revealed Geithner had failed to pay necessary self-employment taxes while working for the IMF and continued to employ a housekeeper whose immigration status had expired.
The hearing is now scheduled for next Wednesday.
WASHINGTON (CNN) - Rob Portman announced Wednesday he's running for the soon-to-be vacant Senate seat from Ohio, three days after fellow Republican Senator George Voinovich announced he would retire rather than run for re-election when his term ends in 2010.
Portman was a southern Ohio congressman for 12 years before joining the Bush administration as U.S. Trade Representative and budget director.
"My heart is in public service,” Portman said in a widely-expected statement released by his campaign. “Just as it was an honor to serve the people of Southern Ohio in the U.S. House of Representatives for 12 years, so it would be an honor to serve all Ohioans in the U.S. Senate. At a difficult time in our state and national economy, I believe I can make a positive difference in the lives of people throughout Ohio."
Voinovich won re-election to his Senate seat by 18 points in 2004. But Democrats have since had success in Ohio, winning two statewide races in 2006. Republican Sen. Mike DeWine was ousted by Democratic congressman Sherrod Brown, and the Democrats took back the governor's office as Rep. Ted Strickland overwhelmingly defeated former GOP secretary of state Ken Blackwell. And this past November, Barack Obama won the state by 4 points over John McCain in the presidential election.
(CNN) - Former Congressman Ray LaHood's confirmation hearing to be the next secretary of transportation has been postponed because LaHood's "paperwork" isn't done yet, a Senate aide told CNN.
(CNN) – With the nation fighting two wars, the economy in recession, and signs that congressional Democrats will be asserting their institutional independence from the very beginning of his administration, President-elect Barack Obama has still found time to attend to every detail of his transition to power.
In a letter that will appear in Parade magazine this Sunday, Obama explains to his two daughters why he decided to run for president and, in the process, forever change their lives along with his.
“When I was a young man, I thought life was all about me – about how I’d make my way in the world, become successful, and get the things I want,” Obama says in the letter published on the magazine’s Web site Wednesday. But with the birth of Malia and Sasha, “suddenly, all my big plans for myself didn’t seem so important anymore.”
“I realized that my own life wouldn’t count for much unless I was able to ensure that you had every opportunity for happiness and fulfillment in yours,” he writes. “In the end, girls, that’s why I ran for President: because of what I want for you and for every child in this nation.”
MINNEAPOLIS, Minnesota (CNN) - Democrat Al Franken asked the state's Supreme Court Tuesday to order Republican Gov. Tim Pawlenty and Democrat Minnesota Secretary of State Mark Ritchie to sign the certificate of election that would validate the 225-vote lead he holds over former Republican Sen. Norm Coleman.
Pawlenty and Ritchie had each denied the request, saying Minnesota law prohibits them from signing off on the state canvassing board's final count until all election legal contests have been exhausted.
Coleman has filed suit over the canvassing board's count. No start date has been set for that trial.
(CNN) - The national archives on Wednesday released records from the 9/11 commission, the bipartisan panel established by Congress in 2002 to asses the circumstances leading up to the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks.
According to the Archives, more than 150 cubic feet of records have been released that include information on terrorists, past terrorist events, al Qaeda, and other related subjects.
The records are scheduled to be available on the Archive's Web site after 9 a.m. ET on Wednesday.
(CNN) - Sarah Palin has complained repeatedly that she was given unfair treatment by the media during her rapid political ascent last year.
But Mike Huckabee – a potential rival for Palin in 2012 should they both decide to seek the White House – apparently doesn’t agree.
In an interview in the current issue of Esquire, Huckabee speaks sympathetically of Palin, saying she had been subjected to “sexist things that would never have been asked of a male candidate.”
But he pushed back against Palin’s assertion that high-profile journalists – particularly Katie Couric of CBS – were biased in their interviews with her.
“Now I must say I did not think that either the Charlie Gibson interview or the Katie Couric interviews were unfair,” Huckabee said. “In fact, if anything, Katie Couric was extraordinarily gentle, even helpful. [Palin] just ... I don't know what happened. I can’t explain it. It was not a good interview. I’m being charitable.”
Since losing his bid for the GOP nomination last year, Mike Huckabee hasn’t been shy about criticizing some of the politicians he might face in a 2012 Republican primary battle – but Mitt Romney has remained his favorite target. In his new book, Huckabee wrote that Romney was "anything but conservative until he changed the light bulbs in his chandelier in time to run for president.”
WASHINGTON (CNN) - Seven days to Inauguration Day and counting.
And counting. And counting.
- 20+ jumbotrons.
- 5,000 port-a-potties.
- 10,000 National Guard troops.
But the statistic most people want to know is currently unknowable: How many people will show up?
(CNN) - Al Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden has apparently released a new audio message calling for a jihad, or holy war, against Israel for its Gaza campaign.
The message is "an invitation" from bin Laden to take part in "jihad to stop the aggression against Gaza."
The audio message was posted on a radical Islamist Web site known for posting statements from bin Laden.
CNN could not independently confirm the authenticity of the message, but the speaker's voice was similar to recordings that bin Laden has made in the past.
The last time bin Laden released an audio message was in mid-May, timed to coincide with Israel's 60th anniversary. That message urged his followers to liberate Palestine.
Israel launched a military offensive in Gaza on December 27 to stop rocket strikes on southern Israel. The death toll in Gaza was nearing 1,000, including more than 300 children, according to Palestinian medical sources.
The Israeli toll stood at 13, including three civilians.
(CNN) – The incoming first family will have some expert help in making their new home their own.
Michelle Obama has selected interior designer Michael Smith to help the Obamas redecorate the private residence in the East Wing of the White House.
“Laura Bush has been a wonderful steward of The White House and created a beautiful residence for her family,” Michelle Obama said in a statement issued by the Obama transition team Tuesday evening. “I look forward to adding our own touch to the East Wing and creating a living space where our family feels comfortable, happy and settled. Michael shares my vision for creating a family friendly feel to our new home and incorporating some new perspectives from some of America’s greatest artists and designers.”
Smith, a native of California, studied at the Otis College of Art and Design in Los Angeles and in London.
“I am delighted to work with the Obamas as they bring their own energy and style to the residence at The White House,” Smith said in the statement. “The family’s casual style, their interest in bringing 20th Century American artists to the forefront and utilizing affordable brands and products will serve as our guiding principles as we make the residence feel like their home.”
Smith also takes “particular pride in his family-focused clientele and approach,” according to the statement.
–CNN National Political Correspondent Jessica Yellin contributed to this report.