Vermont route of derailed Amtrak train exempt from safety mandate

Politics / Political News /

WASHINGTON -- Amtrak's Vermonter derailed Monday on along a stretch of track that will be exempt from a Dec. 31 congressional deadline to install a system to prevent trains from colliding.

The Vermonter is among half a dozen Amtrak trains that operate over a group of smaller freight carriers that federal regulators will not require to implement...Read more

Cotton blocks nominees after Secret Service Chaffetz probe

Politics / Political News /

WASHINGTON -- Sen. Tom Cotton, R-Ark., announced Monday he would place a hold on three ambassadorial nominations until there are consequences -- and a criminal investigation -- for Secret Service agents who allegedly accessed a congressman's private records.

Cotton took to the Senate floor Monday afternoon to chastise the agency for, in his ...Read more

Obama announces new measures to crack down on illegal fishing

Politics / Political News /

WASHINGTON -- The Obama administration on Monday announced plans to further crack down on illegal fishing, a global problem that can hurt both fishing communities in impoverished nations and the seafood industry in the United States.

As part of a package of initiatives announced in a video message to participants at a major oceans conference in...Read more

The insider Pacific trade deal is a tough sell in an outsider year

Politics / Political News /

WASHINGTON -- In a political year distinguished by voter hunger for "outsiders," the new Pacific trade agreement -- the ultimate in insider deals -- is shaping up to be a tough sell.

For presidential candidates in both parties, as well as members of Congress who may be asked to vote on the Trans-Pacific Partnership sometime next year, the deal ...Read more

U.S. and Russia can't agree on definition of 'terrorist'

Politics / Political News /

WASHINGTON -- While they confer about "de-conflicting" their bombing raids in Syria, U.S. and Russian military officials also might want to discuss what the word "terrorist" means.

That would be an easier discussion for the Russians, who began airstrikes Wednesday, than the Americans, who have been bombing Syria for more than a year.

For ...Read more

Senate control up for grabs next year

Politics / Political News /

Ward Baker has a tough act to follow: his own. As the National Republican Senatorial Committee's political director for the 2014 elections, he helped orchestrate a stunning nine-seat Republican gain, seizing Senate control for the first time since 2006.

Baker's reward was a promotion to executive director -- and a 2016 election map so ...Read more

Biden's 2012 gay-marriage 'gaffe' now looks like an asset

Politics / Political News /

WASHINGTON -- As Vice President Joe Biden decides whether to run for president, one factor pushing him toward another run is the view that the political climate could be more favorable than ever before in his career of more than 40 years.

The vice president's advisers sees a yearning in the electorate for a candidate of authenticity and blunt ...Read more

Ted Cruz, the other Cuban American running for president

Politics / Political News /

MIAMI--Ted Cruz could have been a Miami cubanito.

His father, Rafael Bienvenido Cruz, desperate to flee Cuba after his youthful guerrilla activities landed him in jail, applied to the University of Texas, Louisiana State University -- and the University of Miami. He chose Texas only because it was the first school to respond.

"If the ...Read more

Supreme Court faces tough choices, familiar problems in new term

Politics / Political News /

WASHINGTON -- Supreme Court justices will face tough choices and political potshots from both left and right when they reclaim their seats Monday.

Over the next nine months, they could restrict affirmative action, alter congressional districts and weaken public service unions. And though Republican presidential candidates have been lashing the ...Read more

Teachers Union endorses Clinton, but makes her work for support

Politics / Political News /

Hillary Rodham Clinton made an unplanned trip to the headquarters of the nation's largest teachers union Saturday morning to lock down its endorsement and calm union leaders under pressure from members to withhold support.

National Education Association leaders said Clinton came to the board meeting at their request, as the endorsement vote ...Read more

Jeb Bush turns sights on Marco Rubio, who seeks to stay above the fray

Politics / Political News /

WASHINGTON -- Republican presidential candidate Jeb Bush opened a new front in the nomination fight this week by suggesting Marco Rubio, a former Florida colleague 18 years his junior, doesn't have enough experience to hold the Oval Office.

For now, Rubio isn't taking the bait. He brushed off Bush's barbs Friday during a swing through Iowa, ...Read more

Bill Clinton returns to the campaign trail

Politics / Political News /

CHARLESTON, W.Va. -- The Big Dog is back, though he said Friday that he worries he's become an "old horse."

"I told somebody the other day, I'm not sure I'm very good at this anymore," former President Bill Clinton said Friday at the start of a 45-minute speech to the West Virginia Democratic Party's Jefferson Jackson Dinner in Charleston that ...Read more

Why Trevor Noah thinks Donald Trump could be 'America's first African president'

Politics / Political News /

Trevor Noah capped off his first week as host of "The Daily Show" Thursday night with a segment comparing GOP presidential candidate Donald Trump to a variety of disreputable African leaders and dictators.

It was the clearest glimpse yet of what the Noah-era "Daily Show" might look like, a piece that used the by-now-familiar "Daily Show" tools ...Read more

Sanders, Carson show fundraising prowess

Politics / Political News /

WASHINGTON -- Bernie Sanders and Ben Carson appear to be gaining the most from the fall fundraising derby, showing important momentum in the crucial months before voters head to the polls.

Hillary Clinton also showed fundraising strength, as candidates began reporting totals for the third quarter, which ended Wednesday. Other candidates have ...Read more

Debt limit must be raised by Nov. 5 or US risks default, Lew says

Politics / Political News /

WASHINGTON -- Congress must raise the nation's debt limit by Nov. 5 or the federal government risks running out of money to pay all its bills, Treasury Secretary Jacob J. Lew warned lawmakers Thursday.

The new deadline, more specific than earlier estimates, sets up a potential showdown between congressional Republicans and the White House amid ...Read more

Angry and frustrated, Obama condemns latest mass shooting in US

Politics / Political News /

WASHINGTON--With frustration, disbelief and frequent anger, President Barack Obama grieved the deaths in the mass shooting at a community college in Oregon on Thursday but demanded a change in culture as he diagnosed gun violence as a uniquely American problem--and lamented Americans' numbness to it.

"We are the only advanced country on Earth ...Read more

Senate isolation now fuels Ted Cruz's presidential bid

Politics / Political News /

WASHINGTON -- Ted Cruz has never been more isolated in the Senate. And that isolation is fueling the Texan's "outsider" campaign for the presidency.

The latest indication came Monday night, when the tea party Republican sought a vote on scuttling Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell's effort to fund the federal government with Planned ...Read more

Congress avoids shutdown, but more budget troubles are ahead

Politics / Political News /

WASHINGTON -- Congress has avoided one shutdown crisis but potentially set the stage for another.

Now that lawmakers in the House of Representatives and the Senate have approved a continuing resolution to keep the government flush with cash until Dec. 11, the Obama administration and Republican and Democratic congressional leaders have launched...Read more

Panel on Benghazi called into question

Politics / Political News /

WASHINGTON -- Republican Rep. Kevin McCarthy of California has yet to win the gavel as House speaker, but he's speaking enough to step into some political minefields.

On Tuesday evening, McCarthy, the No. 2 Republican in the House and the favorite to become the top leader in Congress this month, gave an interview to Fox News in which he seemed ...Read more

Georgia's Rep. Price hoping to win role as majority leader

Politics / Political News /

WASHINGTON -- Republican U.S. Rep. Tom Price of Georgia is betting the same unrest that helped force out Speaker John Boehner will vault him into the No. 2 position in the House, leaping over the caucus' leaders.

Though he is chairman of the Budget Committee, Price does not hold a spot in elected leadership. That puts him at a disadvantage in ...Read more