In this Sept. 4, 2012, file photo, Newark, N.J., Mayor Cory Booker addresses the Democratic National Convention in Charlotte, N.C. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite, File) by Katie ZezimaAssociated Press Writer WASHINGTON (AP) — When the U.S. Senate passed a bill to ban job discrimination against gay and transgender people, its newest member’s first impulse was to yell with joy. Then he remembered where he was. Instead, Cory Booker reached into his pocket for his phone.
by Donna Brazile (CNN) — As Senate negotiators, led by Majority Leader Harry Reid and Minority Leader Mitch McConnell huddle for another day to avoid the nation’s default this week, we’ll know in a few days if Congress — more accurately, House Republicans — will choose to plunge this nation into a second recession, possibly triggering a global financial meltdown, or agree to compromise.
Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, center, accompanied by Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla., left, and Sen. Mike Lee, R-Utah, right, express their frustration after the Senate passed a bill to fund the government, but stripped it of the defund “Obamacare” language as crafted by House Republicans, Friday, Sept. 27, 2013, on Capitol Hill in Washington. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite) (CNN) — Our Congress sucks. This is truly one of the few things we agree on. In fact, a new CNN poll released earlier this week found that Congress has only a 10% approval rating. When you think that 10% of Americans believe Congress is doing a good job, you have to ask yourself one question: Who are these people?! (Imagine this asked with true Jerry Seinfeld-esque exasperation.)
A National Park Service employee posts a sign reading “Because of the Federal Government SHUTDOWN All National Parks are Closed” on a barricade closing access to the Lincoln Memorial in Washington, Tuesday, Oct. 1, 2013. (AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster) by David Espo and Donna CassataAssociated Press Writers WASHINGTON (AP) — First slowed, then stalled by political gridlock, the vast machinery of government clanged into partial shutdown mode on Tuesday and President Barack Obama warned the longer it goes “the more families will be hurt.” Republicans said it was his fault, not theirs. Ominously, there were suggestions from leaders in both parties that the shutdown, heading for its second day, could last for weeks and grow to encompass a possible default by the Treasury if Congress fails to raise the nation’s debt ceiling. “This is now all together,” said Sen. Dick Durbin, D-Ill..
President Barack Obama speaks about the Affordable Care Act, Thursday, Sept. 26, 2013, at Prince George’s Community College in Largo, Md. The president is promoting the benefits of his health care law before new insurance exchanges open for business next week. (AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais) by Jim KuhnhennAssociated Press Writer WASHINGTON (AP) — This time, President Barack Obama says, he’s not budging. This is the confrontational Obama, the “Make my day” president, betting Republicans blink to avoid a government shutdown or a first-ever default of the nation’s debts. It’s a proposition not without risk and one with a history of last-minute accommodations on both sides. Brinkmanship between Obama and congressional Republicans has often stopped at the precipice’s edge.
In this Sept. 5, 2012 file photo, President Barack Obama, accompanied by former President Bill Clinton are seen at the Democratic National Convention in Charlotte,…