Reid appoints three to deficit committee
August 9th, 2011
06:27 PM ET

Reid appoints three to deficit committee

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid announced on Tuesday the three Democratic senators he'll send to the congressional committee tasked with drafting a long-term solution to the nation's mounting federal deficits.

Sens. Patty Murray of Washington state, Max Baucus of Montana, and John Kerry of Massachusetts will serve on the panel. Reid chose Murray to co-chair the committee, Reid said in a statement.

Under the debt ceiling deal passed by Congress and signed by President Barack Obama last week, a panel of 12 legislators - six Democrats and six Republicans, equally divided between the House and Senate - will try to work out $1.5 trillion in deficit reduction after an initial round of more than $900 billion in spending cuts.

Congressional leaders have until August 16 to appoint members to the committee, which is required to complete its work by November 23. Congress then has until December 23 to vote on the proposal, with no amendments permitted.

The Republican Senate appointments to the committee, and both the Republican and Democratic House appointments, have yet to be announced.

A simple majority on the panel - seven of 12 members - is needed to approve whatever package it comes up with, meaning it will take a lone member of either party to push something through by voting with the other side. The committee's proposal would then need a simple majority in each chamber of Congress to make it to Obama's desk.

Murray is the Senate Democratic Conference secretary. Baucus is Senate Finance Committee chairman. Kerry is chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee.

Boehner to livestream opening day of new Congress on Facebook
January 4th, 2011
04:15 PM ET

Boehner to livestream opening day of new Congress on Facebook

Incoming House Speaker John Boehner wants all his friends to see him get sworn in on Wednesday - Facebook friends that is.

For the first time ever, Congress will be broadcast live on Facebook. Boehner announced that beginning at noon on Wednesday, people can go on the popular social media website for live coverage of the first day's floor proceedings and his first speech as Speaker of the House.

The incoming speaker will direct people to visit the "Pledge to America" Facebook page to view the transition to the GOP-controlled House.

"This kind of streaming and real-time interaction is not only unprecedented for the House, it's helping to set the tone for a new majority that will continue to find new ways to listen to and better represent the American people," said Nick Schaper, Boehner's director of digital media.

June 25th, 2010
09:56 AM ET

New spy agency chief held up by congressional infighting

President Barack Obama's nominee to be the nation's chief spy has been left waiting in the wings while Congress tries to complete work on a new intelligence bill that is being held up by House Speaker Nancy Pelosi.

Senate Intelligence Committee chairwoman Dianne Feinstein said she won't hold confirmation hearings for James Clapper, currently the Defense Department's chief intelligence officer, to become the next director of national intelligence until her top priority is completed - Congressional passage and the president's signature on the 2010 Intelligence Authorization Bill.

David Gompert, the acting director of national intelligence, has informed Congress he is resigning at the end of August regardless of whether the new nominee for the post is confirmed, a U.S. intelligence official told CNN.

If Gompert leaves before a new director is appointed, the No. 3 official in the agency - Gen. John Kimmons - would temporarily assume the top post.