Next year Republican senators, thrust into the majority by dominating the 2014 election, will be faced with a difficult question: How well can the caucus, split in recent years between rabble-rousers and party diehards, wield its newfound power?
"We're going to be a well-oiled machine," says Texas Sen. John Cornyn with a laugh. One of Congress' savviest operators, the 62-year-old Houston native undoubtedly knows that will be a challenge. As incoming majority whip, Cornyn — more than others — is in for a roller-coaster ride when Republicans take control of the Senate next year.
Originally published on Tue December 23, 2014 1:49 pm
Rep. Michael Grimm, the New York Republican who won re-election despite being indicted on 20 criminal counts related to a restaurant he owns, pleaded guilty to one charge of felony tax evasion Tuesday. He'll be sentenced in June; calls for him to leave Congress began Tuesday morning.
Grimm, a former FBI agent who represents Staten Island and south Brooklyn, had previously pleaded not guilty to charges that included mail fraud and perjury.
Originally published on Sun December 21, 2014 1:47 pm
In what could prove a sneak peek at the 2016 Republican presidential primaries, Florida Sen. Marco Rubio, a strong critic of President Obama's decision to open relations with Cuba, appears to be stepping up an attack on fellow Republican Sen. Rand Paul over his support of the policy shift.
Originally published on Mon December 22, 2014 11:12 am
With President Obama beginning the process of normalizing relations with Cuba this week, many may envision soon soaking up the sun on a warm Cuban beach, sipping a refreshing rum drink.
In reality, that's not likely to happen for quite a while. But just the increased opportunity for travel between the two countries has those with longtime ties to Cuba already thinking about the possibilities it will bring.
Originally published on Sat December 20, 2014 3:34 pm
North Korea, which denies that it had anything to do with a hack against Sony Pictures Entertainment, now wants to help the U.S. root out the real culprit. But true to form for Pyongyang, the dubious offer comes tinged with a threat of "serious" consequences should Washington decline.
Alabama's unemployment rate is down to 6 percent. The preliminary jobless rate announced Friday represents the state's best unemployment numbers in more than six years. But the state is still slightly above the U.S. unemployment rate of 5.8 percent.
Governor Robert Bentley's office says the November jobless rate is an improvement from October, when the rate was 6.3 percent. It's also better than the numbers a year ago.
It was an honest mistake. But when President Obama meant to talk about James Franco and instead said "James Flacco" — on a Friday marking the full-on start of the holidays, no less — the slip was eagerly received by people on Twitter and elsewhere.