The GOP House, fueled by the Tea Party, banned earmarks at the beginning of this year. However, there's a new Defense Authorization bill on the Hill that cut money from defense, but used that money to pay for special projects. Takeaway Washington correspondent Todd Zwillich says a lot people are concerned that this is "earmarks by another name." Rep. Jeff Flake (R-Ariz), an earmark opponent, says "It's like squeezing a balloon, it's gonna come out somewhere else and all we can do is try to plug every whole that we can."
The basics of "Weinergate" are well established. Congressman Anthony Weiner (D-NY), has a Twitter account. The Friday before Memorial Day weekend, a picture was posted on Yfrog and tweeted from Weiner's account to that of a 21-year-old college student in Seattle. The picture, as most of the country knows by now, was a shot from the chest down of a man in his underwear. It was immediately deleted. Rep. Weiner claimed, on twitter, that he'd been hacked. Takeaway Washington correspondent Todd Zwillich has been watching this unfold. John Abell, New York Bureau Chief for Wired.com, discusses Rep. Weiner's assertion that "I was pranked, I was hacked, I was punked" and how a person might actually prove such a thing.
Takeaway Washington correspondent, Todd Zwillich, has been following the latest scandal on Capitol Hill, where Rep. Anthony Weiner (D-NY) has been grappling with a PR nightmare after his Twitter account sent a sexually graphic photo to a young woman. Rep. Weiner says that his account was hacked, and during a press conference, Weiner got testy with reporters who wanted to know if the congressman had sent the photo himself.
New York's 26th District will hold a special election tomorrow to fill the seat vacated by Rep. Chris Lee, who resigned in January aftter he had responded to a Craigslist ad with shirtless pictures of himself. Takeaway Washington correspondent, Todd Zwillich takes a closer look at the special election and notes that this election may be the first test for Rep. Paul Ryan's (R-Wisc.) budget proposal to cut Medicare.
There are rumors that Libya's oil minister may have fled to neighboring Tunisia over the weekend, and sources in Libya say rebel fighters - aided by NATO airstrikes, which destroyed eight artillery vehicles - killed more than a dozen of Colonel Gadhafi's forces Wednesday. But it is unclear how and in what form U.S. involvement in the mission will continue. The New York Times' John Burns reports from Tripoli on the latest. In the United States, Friday, it will have been 60 days since President Obama told Congress about the campaign in Libya. According to the War Powers Act, he has until then to secure congressional support for the war.
With less than a year to go until the Iowa caucuses, and less than 18 months out from the 2012 presidential elections, the Republican pool of presidential contenders is still uncertain. Earlier this week, Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee and real estate mogul Donald Trump announced they would not seek the party's nomination. And pundits are awaiting announcements from big names like Sarah Palin, Michele Bachmann, Indiana Gov. Mitch Daniels and former U.S. Ambassador to China Jon Huntsman.
Top members of the GOP and Newt Gingrich are trading barbs after Gingrich criticized the Paul Ryan budget. After Donald Trump's announcement that he wouldn't run, Gingrich may be one of the most bankable presidential candidates for Republicans, but is he already burning bridges? Newt Gingrich said about Paul Ryan's proposal: “I think that that is too big a jump. I think what you want to have is a system where people voluntarily migrate to better outcomes, better solutions... I'm against Obamacare, which is imposing radical change, and I would be against a conservative imposing radical change.” The reaction, says Takeaway Washington correspondent, Todd Zwillich was swift and heavy, with conservatives saying Gingrich undermined House Republicans.
Will Congress come to an agreement on raising the debt limit? Takeaway Washington correspondent, Todd Zwillich says there has been some affirmative movement this week with top level meetings between the President and lawmakers. Sen. Mitch McConnell said deep cuts in spending were needed for him to agree to raising the debt limit, targeting entitlement reform and health care. However, this is at direct odds with Democrats. Elsewhere on the Capitol, the Senate Ethics committee issued a report on former senator John Ensign, who may face criminal prosecution for violating ethics laws and election laws.
In a speech in El Paso, Texas on Tuesday, President Obama urged immigration reform. The president touted his administration's efforts to meet Republicans' wishes about securing the border, but also made a stern argument for going forward with comprehensive legislation to give illegal immigrants a path towards citizenship. Hispanics are an important demographic in the 2012 elections who care about immigration reform. But it also represented one of the long-stated priorities of the Obama Administration. Today, Senator Dick Durbin (D-Ill.) will reintroduce the DREAM act in Congress.
He's got a website, an exploratory committee and a history of leadership; can Newt Gingrich become the next president? The former speaker of the house has officially entered the race. With analysis is Takeaway Washington correspondent Todd Zwillich.
President Obama appeared on CBS's "60 Minutes" Sunday night to talk about what transpired leading up to the raid of Osama bin Laden's compound and his subsequent death. Todd Zwillich, The Takeaway's Washington correspondent responds to President Obama's fascinating explanation of the "decision points" that were part of the raid.
The president travels to Ground Zero in lower Manhattan today; but back in Washington the debate over the budget and debt ceilign continues. A bipartisan group of lawmakers will meet for the first time with Vice President Joe Biden to try to find an agreement on raising the debt limit. And as can be expected, there's a lot of jockeying and lowering of expectations. Takeaway Washington Correspondent Todd Zwillich shares the latest.
The news of Osama bin Laden's death have helped boost President Obama's poll numbers. Todd Zwillich, The Takeaway's Washington correspondent explains the numbers and warns that the impact may not be as significant as one might think. Although, bin Laden's killing is good for the president, domestic issues will likely bring that boost back down before the elections.
For the latest out of Washington after Osama bin Laden's death, we turn to Todd Zwillich, The Takeaway's Washington correspondent. New details on the operation that led to bin Laden's death reveal that while American forces knew that bin Laden was living at the Abbottabad compound, they didn't know for certain that he'd be home at the time of the raid. Now, the question remains as to how Washington is planning to deal with Pakistan; did the Pakistani leadership know that bin Laden was hiding out in their country?
How did U.S. forces coordinate Osama Bin Laden's death? Takeaway Washington correspondent Todd Zwillich explains the nuts and bolts of how this happened, and reports on the reactions in Washington, D.C.
Gas prices just keep on going up, up, up, and the average American's wallet keeps getting thinner, thinner, thinner. Congress is set to return back to session next week, and try to remedy the situation. But is there anything they can really do to lower gas prices, and haven't we all seen this same movie before?
The Takeaway's Washington correspondent, Todd Zwillich, looks at the upcoming political debate over gas prices.
This morning, the White House released President Obama's U.S. birth certificate. Obama said in a statement that he hoped this would end any debate over his birthplace, and allow those questioning his country of origin to move on to more important issues. Todd Zwillich, the Takeaway's Washington correspondent, spoke about whether or not this will be the death of the birthers.
Republicans and Democrats have been fighting over the Defense of Marriage Act, a federal law denying federal benefits to same sex partners. The House had hired the law firm, King & Spalding, to defend the law in court as DOMA faces constitutional challenges from gay rights group. However, the firm has dropped the House as a client, saying they won't argue the case. The firm didn't offer a concrete reason for its move; however, Takeaway Washington correspondent Todd Zwillich explains that gay rights groups, including the Human Rights Campaign were getting ready to launch a major campaign against the firm.
Yesterday was the deadline to file taxes in the U.S. and in what has become a tradition, President Obama and Vice President Joe Biden released their tax returns to the public. The Takeaway's Washington correspondent Todd Zwillich shares his findings.
They represent what may be the last great hope for a grand compromise on the budget crisis facing America. Their success or failure could mean either a new tone in Washington or a long fight to the finish of the 2012 elections. The fight also includes everything from raised retirement age and Medicare changes to higher taxes. But who are the Gang of Six? With the help of Todd Zwillich, The Takeaway's Washington correspondent, we take a closer look at six men in whose hands the fate of a giant policy resolution may rest.