(CNN) - Lawmakers are weighing the benefit of accessibility with the necessity of security in the aftermath of a shooting at a political meet-and-greet outside an Arizona supermarket.
Democratic Rep. Gabrielle Giffords remained in critical condition Sunday after being shot in the head at the event Saturday. The gunman killed six people, including a federal judge and a 9-year-old girl, and wounded 14 others, authorities said. The suspected shooter is in custody.FULL STORY
Washington (CNN) - Before Wednesday's Delaware Senate debate, the bulk of what people knew about Republican candidate Christine O'Donnell came from clips from a talk show from the 1990s.
In the month since O'Donnell rocked the political world with her upset win over Rep. Mike Castle in the Republican primary, she's dominated headlines despite avoiding the national media.
Wednesday's debate, co-moderated by CNN's Wolf Blitzer and longtime Delaware news anchor Nancy Karibjanian, could prove to be make or break for O'Donnell's Senate bid. She and Democrat Chris Coons are vying to fill the seat held for nearly four decades by now-Vice President Joe Biden.
[cnn-photo-caption image= http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2010/images/03/29/art.hc.gi.jpg caption="The heated debate over health care reform shows no sign of cooling down."](CNN) - President Obama is expected to sign the final health care legislation into law this week, but while the action wraps up on Capitol Hill, the heated debate over reform shows no sign of cooling down.
With lawmakers back in their districts for the spring work period, the conversation just moves to a different platform.
For Democrats, the two-week recess is an opportunity to highlight the immediate benefits of a law the public is not yet sold on. Democrats say the health care law provides all Americans with the opportunity to receive health care and prevents insurance companies from denying coverage to those who need it most.
[cnn-photo-caption image=http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2009/POLITICS/09/30/public.option/art.jpg caption="Sen. Max Baucus says he likes the idea of a public option, but he doesn't think he can get the votes with it."]
(CNN) - As lawmakers huddled this summer to put together the framework for health care legislation, it quickly became evident that the battle over President Obama's top priority would be neither quick nor easy.
After months of debate and missed deadlines, the public option has emerged as the main sticking point.
From the beginning, some Democrats said they wouldn't pass a bill without a government-sponsored, public option, while other Democrats and most Republicans said they'd say no to any plan that included one.
[cnn-photo-caption image= http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2009/POLITICS/04/16/obama.weapons/art.weapons.gi.jpg caption="Mexican federal police officers this week display an arsenal seized near the U.S. border."](CNN) - President Obama visits Mexico with many issues on the table, but reinstating the ban on assault weapons in the U.S. isn't likely to be one on which the two countries can reach agreement.
Mexican officials say criminals use assault weapons from the U.S. in the violent border region.
Mexican President Felipe Calderon and Arturo Sarukhan, Mexico's ambassador to the U.S., say reinstating the ban would stop the deadly flow of weapons across the border.
Under the Clinton administration in 1994, Congress banned possession of 19 military-style assault weapons. The ban was allowed to expire 10 years later during the Bush administration.
Earlier this year, U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder said that Obama would like to reinstitute the ban on the sale of assault weapons, noting, "I think that will have a positive impact in Mexico at a minimum." Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said last month that as a senator, she supported a measure to reinstate it.
(CNN) - Word that President Obama might pile comprehensive immigration reform onto his already-full plate reignited calls from some for an urgent overhaul and brought cries from others that the timing couldn't be worse.
"It's more important than ever to address immigration reform right now," said Ian Haney Lopez, a professor of law at the University of California-Berkeley.
The financial and cultural dynamics of the economy make reform so urgent, he said.
"I worry that in the context of an economic downturn, the cultural response of that economic downturn will be to search for someone to blame, and that someone usually turns out to be a foreigner or someone perceived as foreigner," he said.
As a financial dynamic, he said, the economy also calls for immigration reform: "It's a mistake to understand immigrants as a drain on the economy. Immigrants in fact are the engine of development in this country and always have been," he said.
[cnn-photo-caption image= http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2009/POLITICS/04/02/budget.bipartisanship/art.capitol2.cnn.jpg caption="The "reconciliation" tactic would help President Obama move swiftly on his agenda but at a cost, an analyst says."](CNN) - A congressional tactic described as a "freight train" to run over the minority party could derail any hopes of bipartisanship with the Obama administration, some Republicans warn.
"Reconciliation" is a procedure that could put some of President Obama's major initiatives, such as overhauling health care, on the fast track to becoming law if lawmakers adopt it in their budget resolution.
The process would allow senators to cut off debate on some legislation with 51 votes - a simple majority - instead of the 60 usually required.
Senate Republicans said they worry the process effectively could silence any voice they have in negotiations since Democrats would not need their votes to move ahead with Obama's agenda. (The Democrats have 58 votes, including two independents, and Republicans have 41.)
[cnn-photo-caption image= http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2008/images/10/19/art.mccainkeck.ap.jpg caption="McCain said Sunday he likes being the underdog."](CNN) - Sen. John McCain on Sunday said he's "very happy" with the way his campaign is going, despite his "underdog" status.
"We're going to be in a tight race and we're going to be up late on election night. That's just - I'm confident of that. I've been in too many campaigns, my friend, not to - not to sense that things are headed our way," McCain said Sunday on "Fox News."
Sen. Barack Obama leads McCain by 6 points, according to CNN's latest average of national polls.
"I love being the underdog. You know every time that I've gotten ahead, somehow I've messed it up," the Republican candidate said.
Asked if Gov. Sarah Palin has become a drag on his ticket, McCain said, "I could not be more pleased."
"She has excited and energized our base. She is a direct counterpoint to the liberal feminist agenda for America. She has a wonderful family. She's a reformer. She's a conservative. She's the best thing that could have happened to my campaign and to America," he said.
In response to a question from Fox's Chris Wallace, McCain said he has considered the possibility that he could lose, but added, "I don't dwell on it."
"I've had a wonderful life. I have to go back and live in Arizona, and be in the United States Senate representing them, and with a wonderful family, and daughters and sons that I'm so proud of, and a - and a life that's been blessed," he said. "I'm the luckiest guy you have ever interviewed and will ever interview. I'm the most fortunate man on earth, and I thank God for it every single day."
McCain said if things don't turn out his way on November 4, "Don't feel sorry for John McCain, and John McCain will be concentrating on not feeling sorry for himself."