WASHINGTON (CNN) - The son of Vice President-elect Joe Biden has returned from Iraq to the United States to attend the inauguration of his father and President-elect Barack Obama, a military spokesman said.
Beau Biden, who deployed to Iraq as a captain in the National Guard, is in the United States on temporary duty, said Lt. Col. Leonard Gratteri, a spokesman for the Delaware National Guard.
Biden plans to take several days of leave to attend inaugural events, he said.
The president-elect and vice president-elect are scheduled to take their oaths of office in Washington on Tuesday.
Updated: 1:35 p.m.
BEDFORD HEIGHTS, Ohio (CNN) - President-elect Barack Obama hit the road to promote his economic stimulus plan Friday, saying that although the country is starting the new year "in the midst of a crisis unlike any that we've seen in our lifetime ... it is not too late to change course - but only if we take dramatic action as soon as possible."
"The way I see it, the first job of my administration is to put people back to work and get our economy working again," he said.
But even if his stimulus plan wins approval, Obama warned, "recovery won't happen overnight. It's likely that, even with these measures, things will get worse before they get better."
He quickly ticked through the basics of his plan, saying that it would "save or create 3 to 4 million jobs in businesses large and small across a wide range of industries - and 90 percent of these jobs will be in the private sector."
(CNN) - Fiscal conservative Democrats in the House are already lobbying President-elect Obama to stop the practice of using emergency supplemental bills to pay for operations in Iraq and Afghanistan, and to start including costs in annual budget.
(A letter from the congressional Blue Dog coalition sent to the president-elect yesterday after the jump)
WASHINGTON (CNN) - Hate crimes experts and law enforcement officials are closely watching white supremacists across the country as Barack Obama prepares next week to be sworn in as the first black president of the
So far, there is no known organized effort to express opposition to Obama's rise to the presidency other than a call by the National Knights of the Ku Klux Klan for its members to wear black armbands as well as fly the U.S. flag upside down on Inauguration Day and Obama's first full day in office.
As Tuesday approaches, when Obama stands outside the Capitol to take the oath of office, experts expect anger about the new president to spike. But they don't expect it to go away.
WASHINGTON (CNN) - The government's financial bailout for troubled banks has not worked so far, a majority of respondents to a national poll say, and six in 10 don't want Washington to spend more money on the rescue.
Sixty-one percent of those questioned in a CNN/Opinion Research Corporation survey released Friday oppose providing more government money in the financial bailout. There are some supporters, however - 38 percent said the government should provide more assistance to ailing banks and other financial institutions.
Most of the 1,245 adult Americans who were questioned for the poll were surveyed before Thursday's Senate vote to release the remaining $350 billion in the financial bailout program.
"One reason for the opposition to more money being spent may be that more than eight in 10 said that the first $350 billion of taxpayer money for the bailout didn't work," said CNN Polling Director Keating Holland. "Only 14 percent say that the money accomplished what it was supposed to do."
Regardless of the apparent public opposition to the bailout, the Senate voted 52 to 42 to release the remaining funds.
(CNN) - Democrat Alex Sink said Friday that she would skip the state’s 2010 Senate contest.
“Over the past several weeks, I have given serious and careful thought to my own future and, more importantly, to the future of our state,” Sink, Florida’s chief financial officer, said in a statement. “And I am extremely grateful for the support and advice so many friends and fellow Floridians have shared. I believe my skills and abilities are of greatest use here in Florida, where I am honored to serve as Chief Financial Officer. And I will run for re-election as Chief Financial Officer to continue being a fiscal watchdog on behalf of the people of Florida.”
Likely frontrunners in both parties have now taken themselves out of the race to succeed retiring Florida Sen. Mel Martinez: Last week, Republicans looking to keep the seat in GOP hands were disappointed when Jeb Bush, the state’s popular former governor, said he would not be a candidate in 2010.
If Sink had entered the race, she would have been a heavy primary favorite and a formidable fall candidate.
Democratic State Sen. Dan Gelber said Friday that with Sink out of the running, “I expect to officially enter the race in the coming weeks.” Rep. Kendrick Meek, a fellow Democrat, is the only candidate in any party to have officially announced his candidacy.
WASHINGTON (CNN) - Attorney General-designate Eric Holder was harshly criticized Friday for "playing Russian roulette" with the safety of Americans by making an "egregious recommendation" in 1999 of clemency for 16 members of a Puerto Rican nationalist group convicted on conspiracy and bomb-making charges.
Joseph Connor, the son of a victim of a 1975 New York City restaurant bombing by the FALN - or Armed Forces of National Liberation - testified during the second day of confirmation hearings for Holder that the former federal judge and prosecutor was "soft on terror" and, as a result, should be "disqualified" for the position of attorney general.
"These terrorists took away my dad's life," Connor said. "Did he actually believe in their cause? Did he not know what they did?" Holder stated during his confirmation hearing Thursday that President Clinton's decision to grant clemency to the 16 FALN members "was reasonable."
(CNN) - Seven states and two organizations have sued the Bush administration in an attempt to block a federal regulation that would protect health-care workers who refuse to perform abortions or other medical procedures because of religious or moral reasons.
Connecticut Attorney General Richard Blumenthal filed a lawsuit Thursday on behalf of California, Illinois, Massachusetts, New Jersey, Oregon and Rhode Island.
Blumenthal said the regulation would put women's health care at risk and would undercut state contraception laws.
"On its way out, the Bush administration has left a ticking legal time bomb set to explode literally the day of the inaugural and blow apart vital constitutional rights and women's health care," Blumenthal said in a written statement. "Women's health may be endangered - needlessly and unlawfully - if this rule is allowed to stand."
The Planned Parenthood Federation of America and the American Civil Liberties Union, which was acting on behalf of the National Family Planning & Reproductive Health Association, also filed separate suits Thursday.
WASHINGTON (CNN) - Former FBI Director Louis Freeh said Friday that Attorney General-designate Eric Holder allowed himself "to be used" by the Clinton White House in the pardon process for then-fugitive financier Marc Rich in January 2001, but that Holder was nevertheless a man of "tremendous integrity" who "will never allow himself again to be put in that position."
"The pardon of Marc Rich was a corrupt act," Freeh said, but was not Holder's responsibility. Freeh asserted that President Clinton's White staff kept the FBI and Justice Department "in the dark" and "actively conspired" to ensure that nobody knew what pardons were being considered shortly before Clinton left office.
Holder, Freeh said, had a proven track record of "political independence" and an ability "to say no" to the White House when necessary.
Freeh was the opening witness in the second day of Holder's confirmation hearing.