[cnn-photo-caption image= http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2009/images/01/15/art.cnnlive.cnn.jpg caption=" The Senate Foriegn Relations Committee endorsed Hillary Clinton's nomination to be Secretary of State Wednesday."] WASHINGTON (CNN) - The Senate Foreign Relations Committee voted Thursday morning to send the nomination of Sen. Hillary Clinton to be secretary of the state to the full Senate.
Senators voted 16 to 1 to report her nomination to the Senate.
Republican committee members suggested during her confirmation hearing earlier in the week that Clinton had not done enough to deal with potential conflicts of interest arising from various fundraising activities tied to her husband, former President Bill Clinton.
The Clinton nomination will not reach the Senate floor until after President-elect Barack Obama takes office on Tuesday.
[cnn-photo-caption image= http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2009/images/01/15/art.bushpurse0115.gi.jpg caption="Pres. Bush will make a prime-time address to the nation on Thursday night."]
WASHINGTON (CNN) - George W. Bush will make his last public appearance as president Thursday in a prime-time television speech, his spokeswoman said.
Related video: Watch Bush's final press conference
The president's address, slated to run between 10 and 15 minutes, will be delivered at 8 p.m. in front of an invited audience with "stories to tell," according to White House spokeswoman Dana Perino.
The presidential farewell address is a tradition dating back to George Washington's departure from office in 1797. Presidents Eisenhower, Reagan, Carter and Clinton - among others - all delivered farewell speeches.
Bush leaves office with about one in four Americans approving of the job he is doing. A CNN/Opinion Research Corporation poll taken Dec. 19-21 found 27 percent approved of his performance, while 72 percent disapproved. Just over one in four rated him the worst president ever. Another 40 percent rated him "poor," while 31 percent rated him a "good" president. The survey has a margin of error of plus or minus three points.
WASHINGTON (CNN) - Mitt Romney. Meg Whitman.
Sounds like a flashback to the 2008 presidential campaign. But I'm not living in the past. I'm talking about the present day.
Both Romney and Whitman are scheduled to speak today at a hearing focusing on economic recovery solutions that's being held by House Republicans. The hearing was organized by House Republican Party Whip Eric Cantor of Virginia.
Romney, the former Massachusetts governor and GOP presidential candidate, will offer Congressional Republicans his prescriptions to jumpstart the economy, as will Whitman, the former eBay CEO who served as a senior economic adviser and surrogate for Romney during the Republican primaries. She served in the same capacity for McCain during the general election.
Both could have future political aspirations. There's the possibility Romney may make another run for the Republican presidential nomination in 2012 and Whitman is considering a run for California Governor in 2010.
[cnn-photo-caption image= http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2009/POLITICS/01/07/rnc.transition/art.michael.steele.gi.jpg caption="Former Maryland Lt. Gov. Michael Steele is among six vying for the RNC chairmanship."]WASHINGTON (CNN) – Former Maryland Lt. Gov. Michael Steele will announce Thursday that a dozen Republican National Committee members are whipping votes on his behalf to be the next leader of the national party, Steele political advisors tell CNN.
Wisconsin Republican Party Chair Reince Priebus will unveil Steele's whip operation in a memo to supporters - though in a copy of the document provided to CNN, he stops short of naming other RNC members who have vowed to vote for the former lieutenant governor when the national party meets at the end of the month.
WASHINGTON (CNN) – U.S. military aircraft are practicing for worst case scenarios in the skies over the Washington, DC area in an effort to secure the skies on Inauguration Day.
On Wednesday, Air Force fighter jets and Coast Guard helicopters practiced chasing wayward planes that may fly into restricted areas around Washington.
The rehearsal is dubbed "Falcon Virgo" by the military.
CNN: Senate to vote Thursday on rest of bailout, Reid says
The Senate will vote Thursday on whether the second half of the $700 billion financial rescue package is released, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid said late Wednesday.
CNN: SEC nominee to be grilled on Madoff
President-elect Barack Obama's choice to head the Securities and Exchange Commission is expected to face questions at her confirmation hearing Thursday about Bernard Madoff - the alleged mastermind of the largest Ponzi scheme in history.
CNN: Court orders White House to preserve e-mails
A federal judge has ordered the Bush White House to preserve its e-mails, just days before a new administration takes over.
CNN: House passes expansion of children's health program
Congressional Democrats flexed their new political muscle Wednesday as the House of Representatives passed legislation expanding the State Children's Health Insurance Program by more than $32 billion over five years.
CNN: Palin's media battle raises eyebrows
Her bid for the vice presidency ended more than two months ago, but Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin appears determined not to become a mere afterthought.
CNN: Obama 'confident' treasury pick will be confirmed
President-elect Barack Obama defended his Treasury Secretary-designate Tim Geithner on Wednesday amid reports that Geithner failed to pay the correct amount on his taxes for a time and employed a housekeeper whose work authorization had expired.
[cnn-photo-caption image= http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2009/POLITICS/01/15/holder.hearings/art.holder.gi.jpg caption="Attorney general designate Eric Holder will likely face tough questions Thursday in his confirmation hearing."]
WASHINGTON (CNN) - The first taste of the rough and tumble partisanship in the new Congress could be on public display Thursday when the Senate Judiciary Committee considers Attorney General designate Eric Holder's nomination.
Democratic Chairman Sen. Patrick Leahy, who controls the committee, appears highly likely to have the votes to approve Holder's nomination, but Republicans could make it a bruising and divisive confirmation fight for Holder.
Sen. Arlen Specter has vowed to scrutinize the record of the former Deputy Attorney General.
"There are questions that have to be inquired," he said.
A chief concern of Specter and fellow Republicans is Holder's handling of the controversial last-minute pardon of fugitive Marc Rich as President Clinton left office. Holder's willingness as Deputy Attorney General to go along with the pardon over the objections of U.S. Justice Department career prosecutors continues to haunt Holder, who admits he mishandled the case.
Critics also blame Holder for backing pardons for convicted FALN Puerto Rican prisoners who had committed acts of violence.
"We need to be sure the Attorney General does not bend his views in any way that is partisan or political," Specter said.