[cnn-photo-caption image= http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2010/images/06/10/art.boehner.gi.jpg caption ="House minority leader John Boehner is stepping up criticism of his Democratic colleagues."]
(Updates with Democratic response)
(CNN) – House Minority Leader John Boehner is stepping up criticism of his Democratic colleagues, telling the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review that "they're snuffing out the America that I grew up in."
Boehner's comments are the latest indication the Ohio Republican is aggressively setting his sights on the November elections as it appears increasingly possible his party could take control of the House.
"Right now, we've got more Americans engaged in their government than at any time in our history," he told the paper in comments published Tuesday. "There's a political rebellion brewing, and I don't think we've seen anything like it since 1776."
Washington (CNN) - The House of Representatives failed Tuesday to pass a bill that would extend long-term unemployment benefits through the end of November.
The legislation would have made the benefits effective retroactively, allowing those who may have been cut off from unemployment insurance at the end of May to collect those federal payments.
The House last month approved an extension of unemployment benefits in a larger package that also included an extension of health care insurance for the unemployed and some popular tax breaks, but that package is stalled in the Senate.
"We believe that passing unemployment insurance is critical for individuals, for families, for communities, for the country and for the economy," House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer, D-Maryland, said at his weekly session with reporters.
[cnn-photo-caption image= http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2010/images/06/29/art.kirk.file.gi.jpg caption="Senate hopeful Mark Kirk apologized Tuesday for mischaracterizing his military record."]Washington (CNN) – Rep. Mark Kirk, the Illinois Republican hoping to capture President Obama's old Senate seat in November, apologized Tuesday for mischaracterizing his military record.
"I've made mistakes when characterizing certain aspects of my accomplishments and experiences. I apologize for my mistakes and I pledge to correct any errors. I am not perfect, and I was careless. I will do better and make sure this never happens again," Kirk said.
The initial controversy began weeks ago, after his Democratic opponent, Alexi Giannoulias, raised questions about a naval award Kirk claimed to have received. The Kirk campaign and the candidate himself falsely claimed he was awarded the Navy Intelligence Officer of the Year Award – a prestigious honor that is given to only one individual a year.
Six days after the allegations came to light, Kirk apologized to the Chicago Tribune editorial board, saying the discrepancies were the result of trying to communicate his accomplishments in "civilian-speak."
(CNN) - The Senate Armed Services Committee Tuesday approved the nomination of Gen. David Petraeus to be the top commander in Afghanistan.
The nomination now heads to the full Senate.
Washington (CNN) - The Supreme Court has affirmed a congressional ban on "soft money"– the unlimited contributions to political parties for so-called "party-building" activities.
The justices in a brief order rejected an appeal from the Republican Party, urging the court to quickly step in and decide whether the soft money ban was unconstitutional. This after the Supreme Court in January eased long-standing restrictions on "independent spending" by corporations and unions in political campaigns.
The conservative majority ruling gave big business, unions and non-profits more power to spend freely in federal elections, threatening a century of government efforts to regulate the power of corporations to bankroll American politics.
[cnn-photo-caption image= http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2010/images/06/29/art.billclinton.gi.jpg caption="'I never had any money until I got out of the White House, you know, but I've done reasonably well since then,' Clinton said during the Fortune Time CNN Global Forum in Cape Town, South Africa."]
Washington (CNN) - Former president Bill Clinton stepped up the pace of his paid speaking engagements in 2009, bringing his total haul from these speeches to $65 million since leaving office in 2001.
According to Secretary of State Hillary Clinton's annual financial disclosure report released Monday, the former president earned $7.5 million from 36 paid speeches last year, up from the $5.7 million he earned for 25 speeches in 2008. Almost half of his speech earnings last year, $3.2 million, came from 13 speeches delivered in nine other countries, ranging in distance from Canada and Mexico to Turkey, Slovenia, and the United Arab Emirates. The remainder was earned in 23 speeches delivered in seven states and the District of Columbia.
Washington (CNNMoney.com) - An increasingly troubled Wall Street reform bill may not make the Democrats' July 4 deadline for final passage.
In fact, lawmakers are considering re-opening the conference committee created to meld the two different versions of Wall Street reform to address a revolt by Republicans who don't like a provision that taxes the largest banks and hedge funds.
Also, a planned Thursday memorial for Sen. Robert Byrd, the West Virginia Democrat who died Monday, means that if the Senate doesn't finish work passing the bill by Wedneday, they could run out of time this week.
(CNN) - Sources with knowledge of the plans tell CNN President Obama is set to deliver a speech on the need for immigration reform on Thursday.
The speech is scheduled for 10:30 a.m. ET at American University in Washington, D.C..
[cnn-photo-caption image= http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2010/images/06/29/art.capitolbldg4.gi.jpg caption="The body of Sen. Robert Byrd will lie in repose Thursday in the Senate chamber."]Washington (CNN) - The body of Sen. Robert Byrd, D-West Virginia, will lie in repose in the U.S. Senate chamber on Thursday, two Senate aides familiar with the plans told CNN.
Byrd, the longest-serving member of the U.S. Congress, died Monday. He was 92. Byrd served for six years in the House before moving to the Senate, where he served nine terms.
Byrd will lie in repose in a closed casket from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. ET, a senior Senate aide said. Senators and others will be asked to be in the chamber at 10:30 a.m., when Senate chaplain Barry Black will give a prayer.
[cnn-photo-caption image= http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2010/images/06/29/art.kagan.gi.jpg caption =" Kagan said Tuesday she did break down during one part of the confirmation process."](CNN) – Supreme Court nominee Elena Kagan has largely remained stoic during her appearance before the Senate Judiciary Committee, but the potential top court justice said Tuesday she did break down during one part of the confirmation process.
Committee Chairman Patrick Leahy read Kagan an op-ed from former Harvard Law graduate and Marine Captain Robert Merrill in which he praises Kagan's controversial dealings with the military when she served as dean at Harvard.
"Senator Leahy that was... this has been a sort of long process, this process and sometimes an arduous one," said Kagan. "I've only cried once during this process and I cried when I woke up one morning and I read that op-ed from Captain Merrill. It meant just an enormous amount to me. He is a magnificent man doing great things for our country and his praise meant more to me than anybody's."