Political News from Yahoo

Dems Strike Back on Hobby Lobby Case With 'Not My Boss's Business Act'

Democratic Sens. Patty Murray and Mark Udall fought back today against the Supreme Court’s Hobby Lobby ruling with plans for legislation intended to restore the contraceptive coverage requirement under the Affordable Care Act. Joined by fellow Democrats from both chambers of Congress and women’s rights...

Obama raises money for absent Colo. senator

WASHINGTON (AP) — In a tough race for re-election, Colorado Democratic Sen. Mark Udall chose the benefit of President Barack Obama's fundraising prowess Wednesday over the pleasure of his company.

Udall stays away as Obama raises cash for campaign

DENVER (AP) — President Barack Obama urged Colorado Democrats to throw their support and their money behind the state's Sen. Mark Udall, who is locked in a tight re-election bid. But the senator himself was nowhere to be seen, having decided at the last minute to stay in Washington rather than appear alongside the president.

Joni Ernst: Boehner should pursue Obama impeachment if he has evidence

Republican Iowa U.S. Senate candidate Joni Ernst waded back into controversial waters in June when during a conversation with a conservative radio host she again discussed impeaching President Barack Obama. Ernst in January had suggested that “impeachment” should be on the table if the Supreme Court decided against Obama on the question of recess appointments, which it then did. But Ernst walked back her comments on Tuesday after they were reported by Yahoo News and other media outlets, saying she herself was not calling for the second-term president to be removed from office over his power struggle with the Republican-controlled House of Representatives. Now it turns out that impeachment is something Ernst also discussed on a June 27 episode of the Simon Conway Show, a conservative talk radio program taped in Des Moines, in an appearance that showcases the tightrope Republican candidates can be forced walk on conservative programs directed at base voters. Issues seen as far outside the political mainstream, such as impeachment, can quickly become the hot topics of the day in highly charged partisan environments, opening candidates up to awkward and potentially problematic lines of questioning.

Top Senate Democrat blocks votes on gun proposals

WASHINGTON (AP) — Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid blocked a parade of campaign-season votes on gun rights on Wednesday that could have been a political thorn for Democrats seeking to retain control of the chamber in this fall's elections.

GOP lawmakers try to ease new curbs on ivory sales

WASHINGTON (AP) — Republicans in the House want to hold up new federal rules intended to crack down on ivory sales because it is becoming more difficult for owners of musical instruments, antiques and guns made with ivory to trade in such items.

Utah to appeal gay marriage ruling to U.S. Supreme Court

Utah will appeal directly to the U.S. Supreme Court over last month's ruling by a regional appeals court that found in favor of gay marriage in the conservative state, the attorney general's office said on Wednesday. A challenge by Utah was widely expected after the June 25 ruling by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 10th Circuit, which said the state could not stop same-sex couples from marrying. Utah Attorney General Sean Reyes' office said he would petition the U.S. Supreme Court in the coming week. "Utah's Constitutional Amendment ... (prohibiting gay marriage) is presumed to be constitutional unless the highest courts deem otherwise," it said in a statement.

Obama raises money for Senate Democrat Udall - without Udall

By Steve Holland DENVER (Reuters) - What if President Barack Obama came to your fund-raising event and you did not attend? His non-attendance raised questions as to whether he did not want to appear personally with Obama as he tries to fight off a tough challenge from Republican U.S. Representative Cory Gardner. Udall's seat could be key in the Republican drive to capture control of the U.S. Senate. "Due to last-minute votes and legislative activity, Mark will be unable to make the trip back to Colorado on Wednesday," Udall's campaign said.

Obama request for border money gets wary reception

By Jeff Mason and David Lawder WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Congressional Republicans on Wednesday cast a skeptical eye on a White House request for $3.7 billion to address an influx of child migrants at the U.S. border while President Barack Obama headed to Texas to meet a top critic, Texas Governor Rick Perry. Obama is battling increasing political pressure from supporters and opponents alike to halt a growing humanitarian crisis along the Texas border with Mexico. The money, however, must be approved by the Democrat-controlled Senate and Republican-led House of Representatives. Republicans, who have pressed the White House to do more to tackle the crisis, gave a wary reception to the proposal.

Former New Orleans Mayor Nagin gets 10 years in corruption case

By Kathy Finn NEW ORLEANS (Reuters) - Former New Orleans Mayor Ray Nagin was sentenced on Wednesday to 10 years in federal prison for corruption during the critical years of rebuilding after Hurricane Katrina devastated the city in 2005. Nagin, 58, stirred national controversy with his erratic behavior after Katrina breached floodwalls and inundated New Orleans in 2005, killing at least 1,500 people and leaving tens of thousands homeless. Citing Nagin's devotion to family and commitment to helping New Orleans, U.S. District Judge Helen Ginger Berrigan said a shorter prison term than that recommended under federal sentencing guidelines was warranted. Berrigan also ordered Nagin, who prosecutors say accepted bribes valued at over $500,000, to pay about $84,000 in restitution to the Internal Revenue Service.

Why Today's Obama-Rick Perry Meeting Will Be Awkward

Amid a growing humanitarian crisis on the U.S.-Mexico border, where a surge of unaccompanied minors from Central America have attempted to cross into the country illegally, President Obama flies to Texas today. Despite mounting political pressure, the president has no plans to visit the border...

VA's Newest Scandal: Whistleblower Retaliation

The Veterans Affairs scandal is taking a new turn as a special counsel is receiving a growing number of complaints from employees that the agency retaliated against them for attempting to expose problems. Carolyn Lerner, special counsel with the U.S. Office of Special Counsel, told...

Udall skipping Obama fundraiser for his campaign

DENVER (AP) — President Barack Obama on Wednesday will headline his first fundraiser for a Senate Democrat in danger of losing this fall — but the candidate, Colorado Sen. Mark Udall, won't be by his side.

Obama 'The Bear' Lets Loose in Denver

A bear was on the loose in Denver Tuesday … a presidential bear, that is. Just as the White House cautioned, President Obama, “The Bear,” went “loose” in Denver, breaking the “bubble” to meet with average Americans. Shortly after arriving in the Mile-High...

Udall cancels appearance at fundraiser with Obama

WASHINGTON (AP) — Colorado Sen. Mark Udall, who was to appear with President Barack Obama in Denver at a Democratic fundraiser Wednesday, says he's too busy with legislative business in Washington to attend.

Geese caused deadly US military chopper crash in Britain

A flock of geese caused the deaths of four US airmen whose military helicopter crashed over a nature reserve in eastern England, investigators said Wednesday. The US Air Force HH-60 Pave Hawk, based at Lakenheath airbase, came down in Norfolk on January 7 while on a training mission. As the helicopters approached, a flock of geese flew off from the reserve in Cley-next-the-Sea, probably startled by the noise, the military investigators' report said. At least three birds crashed through the windscreen into the cockpit, knocking the pilot, co-pilot and aerial gunner unconscious, said a statement from the Accident Investigation Board, issued by US Air Forces in Europe and Air Forces Africa.

Bahrain police interrogate opposition chiefs

Ali Salman, a cleric who heads Al-Wefaq, was called in on Tuesday along with his political assistant, ex-MP Khalil Marzooq, by Bahrain's Public Security. The interior ministry said they were questioned separately about meeting with visiting US Assistant Secretary of State for Democracy, Human Rights and Labour, Tom Malinowski. It said the meeting at the US embassy violated a rule stipulating that contacts between political associations and foreign parties "should be coordinated with the foreign ministry and in the presence" of its representative. The questioning came after Bahrain declared Malinowski, "unwelcome" after he met Salman and other opposition leaders, and demanded his immediate departure.

Germany probing new spy case after alleged US double agent

German authorities said Wednesday they were investigating an alleged foreign spy as reports said the suspect was the second within days believed to be working for US intelligence. If confirmed, the latest case would further strain transatlantic relations, which have taken a bruising since last year with the NSA surveillance scandal sparked by revelations of fugitive US intelligence contractor Edward Snowden. "Federal police officers have since this morning searched the residential and office premises of an accused in the Berlin area due to preliminary suspicion of intelligence activities. The case was considered "more serious" than that of a German intelligence operative and alleged double agent who was arrested last week on charges of spying for the CIA, said reports by the daily Sueddeutsche Zeitung and two public broadcasters.