Washington (CNN) - Rep. Jesse Jackson Jr. has checked out of the Mayo Clinic, where he was being treated for bipolar depression, and is now back in Washington with his family, his chief of staff said Friday.
The 47-year-old Jackson had not been on Capitol Hill since late May.FULL STORY
(CNN)–Republican congressional leaders Wednesday rejected President Barack Obama's call to include tax revenues as part of a deal to raise the debt ceiling.
Obama said at a White House press conference Wednesday that he's already made concessions to significantly cut spending for government programs. In return, he said, Republicans should now accept proposals to end corporate tax subsidies, such as those given to oil and gas companies or tax breaks for hedge fund managers.
(CNN) - It's election day in a once little-talked-about contest to fill a vacant congressional seat in upstate New York, that is now firmly in the national political spotlight.
And over the past month, the race in New York's 26th congressional district between Republican state Assemblywoman Jane Corwin, Democrat Kathleen Hochul, the Erie County clerk, and Jack Davis, a once-conservative Democrat who is running as a so-called tea party candidate, has to a degree turned into a proxy battle on House Republican plans to alter Medicare.
Washington (CNN) - A day before House Republican leaders head to a lunch with President Obama at the White House, House Majority Leader Eric Cantor said that the GOP will move next week to try to block funding for one of the President's biggest priorities – health care reform.
Asked at his weekly session with reporters whether the government funding bill the House is preparing to vote on will include money to pay for the new health care law, Cantor said, "I expect to see one way or the other the product coming out of the House to speak to that and to preclude any funding to be used for that."
Washington (CNN) - Thirty-one House Democrats, most of whom face tough re-election bids this fall, have signed a letter to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer urging them to extend expiring tax breaks for all income levels, including the wealthy.
Republicans also say the tax cuts, introduced by President George W. Bush in 2001, should be kept in place for everyone.
Pelosi and other House Democratic leaders have made it clear they support President Obama's proposal to vote on a bill that only renews tax breaks for those making $250,000 and under.
With the midterm elections less than two months away, leaders have not yet decided whether they will schedule a vote on the legislation before voters go to the polls.
Washington (CNN) - President Obama has invited bipartisan bicameral congressional leaders, key committee chairs, and ranking Republicans to come to a meeting on Afghanistan next Tuesday afternoon, according to several congressional aides.
[cnn-photo-caption image= http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2009/images/07/20/art.pelosi0720.gi.jpg caption="House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said Monday that she is considering a major adjustment to House Democrats' health care bill."]WASHINGTON (CNN) - An aide to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi confirms to CNN that, in attempt to quell a revolt among conservative Democrats, she is considering changing House Democrats' health care bill so that it only taxes families making $1 million or more.
"The Speaker has said several times she would like to squeeze more savings out of the system, and if we can do that we can reduce the number of people affected by the surcharge," said Brendan Daly, a spokesman for the Speaker.
To raise revenue to pay for reform, the House Democrats health care bill would impose a surcharge on individuals making $280,000 or more and families making $350,000 or more.
Pelosi is now suggesting starting that surtax at individuals making $500,000 and families making $1 million.
[cnn-photo-caption image= http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2009/images/07/16/art.baucus0716.gi.jpg caption=" Sen. Max Baucus said Thursday 'the president is not helping us.'"]WASHINGTON (CNN) - President Barack Obama's opposition to taxing employer-provided health benefits has slowed progress on passing a health care reform bill, the chairman of the Senate Finance Committee complained Thursday.
"Basically, the president is not helping us," said Sen. Max Baucus, D-Montana, after emerging from closed talks on the bill.
Baucus' criticism came on the same day the head of the non-partisan Congressional Budget Office said the health reform bills moving through Congress won't reduce long-term health care costs - in part because the bills don't include taxes on health benefits.
The comments by CBO Director Douglas Elmendorf provided ammunition for Republican opponents of the two Democratic-sponsored measures made public so far - one passed Wednesday by the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions (HELP) Committee and one proposed this week by House Democrats.
"I don't see any Republicans that have any interest in voting to ration care for their constituents, raise costs to their constituents, and put the federal government in charge of the best health care system in the world," said House Minority Leader John Boehner of Ohio.
One of Pelosi's closest allies in the House, Connecticut Democrat John Larson, acknowledged to CNN that the Speaker's news conference last week could have been better, but insisted there hasn't been any fallout among Democrats.
"Perhaps it wasn't one of her best press conferences. But certainly everyone in this caucus stands behind her to be the lead in our caucus. I don't know if it could have been done better or not, but our caucus is entirely behind her, " Larson said.
Several Democratic sources tell CNN that privately, some congressional Democrats are baffled by Pelosi's decision to escalate the controversy last week by going after the CIA.
But Larson, who chairs the House Democratic Caucus, also said he's spoken to members over the weekend and that they are "solidly behind the Speaker."
WASHINGTON (CNN) - Sen. Sam Brownback of Kansas told CNN he is "stunned" by the news that Arlen Specter is switching parties.
Walking into emergency meeting of GOP Senators, Brownback stopped to read his BlackBerry and his mouth dropped.
"Arlen's his own man, but it's not good," he said.
"I'm just stunned, just heard about it here," Brownback said, motioning to his BlackBerry. "I'm very surprised. I had no idea it was coming."