[cnn-photo-caption image= http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2009/images/06/08/art.landrieusign0608.ml.jpg caption=" Sen. Mary Landrieu, D-Louisiana, signed the nominee's cast during her meeting with Sotomayor."]
WASHINGTON (CNN) - It's one down, 99 more to go for Supreme Court nominee Sonia Sotomayor.
That's not votes in favor of her nomination. Rather, that's senatorial signatures on the fresh cast she received Monday after breaking her ankle. The judge was traveling from New York City back to Capitol Hill to resume meeting with members of the Senate in advance of her confirmation hearings.
Sen. Mary Landrieu, D-Louisiana, tells CNN that she signed the hobbling nominee's cast during her meeting with Sotomayor Monday afternoon.
Asked by CNN if she placed her "John Hancock" on the cast, Landrieu replied that she'd placed her "Jane Hancock" on Sotomayor's injured leg.
If confirmed by the Senate, Sotomayor would become the third woman to serve on the nation's highest court and the Supreme Court's first Hispanic justice.
[cnn-photo-caption image= http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2009/POLITICS/06/08/clinton.security.review/art.state.department.cnn.jpg caption="Ex-State Department employee Kendall Myers and his wife were arrested last week, suspected of spying for Cuba."]
WASHINGTON (CNN) - Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said Monday she has ordered a review of security and vetting procedures that let a State Department employee suspected of spying for Cuba slip through the cracks.
Clinton told reporters she directed State Department security personnel to review "every possible security program we have, every form of vetting and clearance that we employ in the State Department, to determine what more we can do to guard against this kind of outrageous violation of the oaths that people take to serve our country here in the State Department."
Walter Kendall Myers, a 72-year-old former State Department employee, and his 71-year-old wife, Gwendolyn, were arrested Thursday and charged with illegally aiding the government of Cuba for almost 30 years, the Justice Department said.
The Myerses were charged with conspiracy to act as illegal agents of the Cuban government, providing classified information to that government and wire fraud, according to court documents unsealed in Washington on Friday.
"We are concerned by the announcement of the arrests and the charges against these two individuals, one of whom, as you know, was a former State Department employee, along with his wife," Clinton said.
WASHINGTON (CNN) – Monday evening’s high-profile Republican fundraising dinner yielded approximately $14 million, according to a joint statement released by congressional Republican leaders.
The event, which featured former House Speaker Newt Gingrich as the headliner, raised about $7.25 million for Senate Republicans and $7.2 million for House GOP candidates.
“As we look forward to the 2010 election cycle, we understand what’s at stake and the principles that we are fighting for on behalf of voters across the country,” said Texas Sen. John Cornyn, chairman of the National Republican Senatorial Committee.
The annual joint fundraising dinner occupied political headlines in the run-up to Monday evening, because of a continuing controversy over whether Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin would attend the event after she declined earlier this year to be the main speaker. Palin was expected to be in the audience.
“Tonight’s success is a testament to how well Republicans’ message of fiscal responsibility and smaller government is resonating,” said Texas Rep. Pete Sessions, chairman of the National Republican Congressional Committee.
[cnn-photo-caption image= http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2009/images/06/08/art.spalin4.0608.gi.jpg caption="Although the governor had a standing invitation to attend as a guest, Republicans didn't have a clue if Palin would show up, with just hours left until the event was set to begin."]
WASHINGTON (CNN)–A Republican official involved in the planning for Monday night's major GOP fundraising dinner tells CNN that the Alaska governor is "expected to attend" the event "and will be sitting with Sen. John Cornyn and his wife at their table."
The source, who spoke on the condition of anonymity because of internal GOP politics, said Palin is not expected to make formal remarks but will be recognized during the program.
A Palin spokeswoman refused to confirm whether the governor planned to attend the event.
The report is the latest headline-grabber out of what was intended to be a low-key trip to the East Coast, out of the glare of the national media. Instead, the Alaska governor has found herself in the political hot seat once again.
[cnn-photo-caption image= http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2009/images/06/08/art.caphill0608.gi.jpg caption=" A suspicious package discovered Monday in the entrance of the Capitol Visitor Center."]
WASHINGTON (CNN) - A suspicious package discovered Monday in the entrance of the Capitol Visitor Center caused authorities to evacuate the facility and destroy the package.
The rest of the Capitol Building complex and congressional offices were unaffected by the security scare, according to CNN journalists on the scene. More than 10 emergency vehicles, including two designed for handling hazardous materials, converged on the area.
At one point, a Capitol Police advisory sent by e-mail to House staff members alerted them to an emergency situation.
"The U.S. Capitol Police is in the process of disrupting the suspicious package located at the CVC entrance," said the e-mail obtained by CNN. "You may hear a loud bang or pop. There is no need for you to take any additional
A few minutes later, security personnel destroyed the package with a loud single bang that startled onlookers gathered outside the visitors' center, which opened last December. No injuries were reported in the incident that jammed pedestrian and vehicle traffic in the immediate vicinity.
[cnn-photo-caption image= http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2009/images/02/27/art.getty.laura.bush.closeu.jpg caption="Former first lady Laura Bush said she knew why Cheney is speaking out - and why her husband isn't."]WASHINGTON (CNN) - Former first lady Laura Bush said Monday she knows why former Vice President Dick Cheney feels the need to attack President Obama's policies, and publicly defend his own administration's legacy.
But she explained why her husband, former President George Bush, has not given any public interviews or commented critically on the new administration since leaving office in January.
"I think that's [Cheney's] right as a citizen of the U.S., and I think he also feels obligated, and so I understand why he wants to speak out," Laura Bush said in an interview on ABC's Good Morning America broadcast Monday. "On the other hand, George feels like as a former president that he owes President Obama his silence on issues, and that there's no reason to second guess any decisions that he makes."
[cnn-photo-caption image= http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2009/images/06/08/art.cars.0608.gi.jpg caption="The Supreme Court has delayed the imminent sale of most of Chrysler's assets to a group led by Italian automaker Fiat."]
WASHINGTON (CNN) - The Supreme Court has delayed the imminent sale of
most of Chrysler's assets to a group led by Italian automaker Fiat.
The justices issued a brief order Monday, just before a temporary stay issued by a lower court was to expire.
Three Indiana state funds - representing police officers and teachers - filed an emergency appeal late Saturday asking the high court to intervene. Those lenders seek greater compensation for their share of Chrysler's nearly $7 billion in secured debt.
The financially troubled domestic automaker is expected to emerge soon from bankruptcy, and the company is pinning its future on the restructuring plan pushed by the White House.
WASHINGTON (CNN) - Supreme Court nominee Sonia Sotomayor broke her ankle Monday morning on her way to Washington for another round of meetings on Capitol Hill with senators weighing her nomination, according to the White House.
"This morning, on the way to Washington, D.C., Judge Sotomayor tripped at LaGuardia Airport," said White House spokesman Ben LaBolt in a statement. "After an x-ray at Medical Faculty Associates, it was determined that Judge Sotomayor has a small fracture in her right ankle. She has been treated and released, and is looking forward to keeping her full schedule of meetings on Capitol Hill this afternoon."
[cnn-photo-caption image= http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2009/images/06/08/art.royblunt0608.gi.jpg caption="Missouri Republican Rep. Roy Blunt spoke out Monday against the public health insurance option that Democrats are advocating for as part of their health care reform proposal."]
WASHINGTON (CNN) - Missouri GOP Rep. Roy Blunt, who is heading up health care efforts in the House, said today he has made it clear to Democratic leaders that pushing for a public option in health care legislation is a non-starter for House Republicans. "That is a problem that is virtually insurmountable because we just don't think that it leads to real competition," Blunt said Monday.
President Obama sent a letter to Republican leaders last week responding to their plea that the GOP be included as a healthcare bill is developed. Blunt noted that the letter doesn't disclose any details, but makes it clear the president wants a bill passed by the House by August 1.
Blunt called that date an "artificial deadline" and said "we can't be part of the discussion if you won't let us in the room." House Republicans plan to unveil their own alternative healthcare legislation in the coming weeks and Blunt pledged that it will cost substantially less than the Democratic proposals.
[cnn-photo-caption image= http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2009/images/06/08/spalin0608.gi.jpg caption="The Alaska governor has found herself in the political hot seat once again."]
(Updated after the jump with GOP official saying Palin expected to attend dinner)
WASHINGTON (CNN) - Even though Sarah Palin's trip to the East Coast was intended to be low-key and out of the glare of the national media, the Alaska governor has found herself in the political hot seat once again.
With Palin in Washington on Monday attending to state business, Republicans on Capitol Hill are left wondering if she will make an appearance at a major fundraising dinner on Monday night after a late attempt to have her speak at the event fell through.
Although the governor still has a standing invitation to attend as a guest, Republicans don't have a clue if Palin will show up, with just hours left until the event is set to begin.
Sen. John Cornyn, the chairman of the National Republican Senatorial Committee, has personally reached out to Palin to offer her a seat at his table tonight, according to an aide. But as of this afternoon, he has not heard back.