Yesterday, Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood criticized a Washington lobbying firm that was drumming up opposition to his distracted driving campaign. The Seward Square Group created the DRIVE coalition to promote driver education as an alternative to LaHood's proposal, which would lead to poor sales for mobile devices (they even went after Oprah).
The Obama administration has filed suit in federal court, challenging the constitutionality of Arizona’s tough, controversial new immigration law. SB1070 requires state and local police to question and possibly arrest those who exhibit reasonable suspicion of being in the country illegally. The justice department says that this is a federal job, which should not be handled by lcal law enforcement.
The Obama Administration has filed suit against Arizona's controversial new immigration law, seeking to block the law from taking effect next month. Justice Department officials filed the suit in Federal District Court in Phoenix Tuesday afternoon. The bottom line from U.S. Attorneys is that immigration is a national concern and that Arizona's law is unconstitutional because the state doesn't have the right to enforce immigration laws by itself. "The United States Constitution forbids Arizona from supplanting the federal government’s immigration regime with its own state-specific immigration policy," the lawsuit states.
Harry Reid and his staff are desperately trying to figure out how to get the 60 votes needed to pass a climate bill in the Senate, which President Obama promised on his campaign trail. According to The Takeaway's Washington correspondent, Todd Zwillich, it's looking highly unlikley right now that the Democrats will get those 60 votes.
Members of Congress are heading back to their districts for a summer recess with little to stand on as unemployment numbers remain high. Takeaway Washington correspondent Todd Zwillich looks at the week's news agenda, along with Chrystia Freeland, global editor-in-chief of Reuters.
At a Republican fundraiser in Connecticut this weekend, Michael Steele was caught by a handheld camera saying the conflict in Afghanistan is "a war of Obama's choosing." Those words have many Republicans criticizing the RNC chairman, and calling for his resignation, including Sens. John McCain (R-Ariz.) and Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.). Takeaway Washington correspondent Todd Zwillich explains Steele's history of gaffes and whether this one will bring him down.
House Democrats worked late into the night to push ahead legislation to add $37 billion to war funding in Afghanistan and Iraq. The bill also boosts domestic spending for teachers, student loans and U.S.-Mexico border security. Washington correspondent, Todd Zwillich, has the details on the bill. He says that it's becoming clear that the war in Afghanistan is getting harder to support, and that last night's voting reflected that.
In honor of Sen. Robert Byrd, flags at the White House will be flown at half-staff. Today, his body will lie in the Senate chamber before being flown to West Virginia for a memorial service. Friday, there will be a public viewing at a memorial attended by Congressional leaders and President Obama and then the body will return to Washington D.C. for a burial where he will be laid to rest next to his wife, Emma.
Elena Kagan's confirmation as a Supreme Court justice is all but certain, however, that didn't stop Senator John Cornyn from having a testy exchange with the nominee. Takeaway Washington correspondent Todd Zwillich says Cornyn took "a swipe" at Kagan with his characterization of the military recruitment ban at Harvard as "separate but equal." That story, and this morning's headlines.
In her first day of questioning before the Senate Judiciary Committee, Supreme Court nominee Elena Kagan got off to a rocky start in a nearly 20-minute back-and-forth debate with ranking Republican Senator Jeff Sessions. In the sparring session, Sen. Sessions maintained that Kagan had circumvented the law and was disrespectful to the military when she limited military recruiters' access to campus as dean of Harvard Law School. Kagan repeatedly said Harvard was always in compliance with the law.
This morning we're continuing our coverage of Elena Kagan's Supreme Court confirmation hearings with our Washington correspondent, Todd Zwillich. He's been watching the hearings closely, and we ask him what the toughest question Kagan has gotten so far; this morning's headlines.
"I will work hard, and I will do my best to consider every case, impartially, modestly, with commitment to principle, and in accordance with law," pledged Solicitor General Elena Kagan during her opening statement at her Supreme Court Confirmation hearing yesterday. Kagan's hearing began with few surprises, except for one—the specter of Justice Thurgood Marshall, her former boss.
Senate confirmation hearings for Supreme Court nominee Elena Kagan begin today. But this news was overshadowed by the death this morning of Sen. Robert Byrd.
Takeaway Washington correspondent, Todd Zwillich looks at the record of Sen. Byrd and previews the Kagan hearings, along with Jamal Greene, associate professor of law at Columbia Law School and former law clerk for Justice Stevens.
Sen. Robert C. Byrd served in Congress longer than anyone in the nation's history. The senator's office announced that he passed away at 3 a.m. Monday morning at a suburban Washington hospital. The West Virginia Democrat was 92, and was serving in an unprecedented ninth term in the U.S. Senate.
Robert C. Byrd, the longest-serving legislator in the history of the United States Senate, died Monday at age 92. Byrd came to the Senate from West Virginia in January, 1959, after serving three terms in the U.S. House of Representatives. Over a Senate career that spanned nine terms, he attained an unparalleled reputation as a master of Senate procedure, the body’s unofficial historian, and the unchallenged keeper of the Senate’s institutions and traditions.
You may not have heard much in the last week about Solicitor General Elena Kagan’s Supreme Court confirmation hearings. They start Monday, and usually a Senate Judiciary Committee grilling of a prospective new Justice generates a lot more "pre-trial" buzz than this one has.
For that, thank the lawmakers who worked nearly 24 hours straight to wrap up a high-profile and hard-lobbied deal on Wall St. regulations on Thursday. Thank Gen. Stanley McChrystal, who owned the news cycle for 48 hours after running his mouth then losing his job. Thank BP.
White House political advisor David Axelrod knew it when he briefed reporters by phone Friday. “Because things have been rather dull in Washington, we’ve scheduled these Supreme Court hearings, just to liven the festivities,” he joked.
Then Axelrod got serious. “We also live in an extraordinarily polarized political climate and therefore we are preparing to make a vigorous case” in Kagan’s defense, he said. That defense, of course, is against Republicans on the committee and their supporters outside the Hart 216 hearing room. They will be trying a few different plays to gain traction against a nominee who has largely avoided close scrutiny from the general public so far.
Earlier, we told you about the deal reached in Congress this morning on legislation that will result in the most dramatic regulatory shakeup on Wall Street since the Great Depression. "All Americans have a stake in this bill," said Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner. "It will offer families the protections they deserve, help safeguard their financial security and give the businesses of America access to the credit they need to expand and innovate."
From the Volcker rule to derivative regulaton to Consumer Financial Protection Bureau—a lot of new terms are about to enter the lexicon once President Obama signs the bill, which he expects to do by July 4th. But what do they all mean? If all Americans have a stake in the bill, as Secretary Geithner said, how will its expected passage impact your life?
It's an historic morning in America, as the House and Senate reached a deal on a bill that will be the most ambitious change in financial regulation in nearly eighty years. Congress is expected to pass the bill next week and will send it to President Obama to sign by July 4th.
The most sweeping overhaul of Wall Street rules since the Great Depression didn't come to fruition easily. A conference committee of House and Senate members were holed up for 20 hours while lawmakers hammered out an agreement on the bill, finally coming to a consensus at 5:39 this morning. Senate Banking Committee Chairman Christopher Dodd hailed the bill as a great success. "We found a way to end too big to fail bailouts," the Connecticut Democrat said in a statement, "ensuring that no financial institution will ever be capable of bringing down the economy."
Todd talks with Rep. Dan Lungren (R-Calif) about the DISCLOSE Act - a campaign finance bill just passed by the House ... and why Lungren feels it should go no further.
Less than 48 hours after Rolling Stone’s profile of General Stanley McChrystal went viral on the Internet, President Obama relieved the four-star general of his job as the top U.S. commander in Afghanistan. General David Petraeus will now take over the post, leaving behind an opening at the Central Command in Iraq. Takeaway Washington correspondent, Todd Zwillich, was in the Rose Garden yesterday for Obama’s announcement. He explains the political implications of the president's decision and the response it is getting in Washington. Even though the president tried to drive home the point that strategy was not going to change, this personnel upset has reopened the strategy debate in Washington.