Updated 7:57 PM ET
(CBS/AP) WASHINGTON - U.S. Capitol Police are investigating a reported threat against Rep. Todd Akin, the Missouri congressman who has been criticized for comments he made recently about rape.
Lt. Kimberly Schneider of the U.S. Capitol Police issued a statement: "The U.S. Capitol Police are currently working with the FBI on a reported threat against Congressman Akin. This is an active, open investigation. Of course, we don't discuss the security of Members of Congress--this includes our security operations & procedures."Continue »
Updated at 2:55 p.m. ET
(CBS News) Republican Rep. Todd Akin has been strongly rebuked by members of his own party for his controversial remarks on rape and abortion, but that didn't stop Republican Rep. Steve King of Iowa from defending Akin on Monday.
According to a report by Sioux City, Iowa CBS affiliate KMEG, King said he hasn't heard of instances in which young victims of statutory rape or incest become pregnant.
"Well I just haven't heard of that being a circumstance that's been brought to me in any personal way, and I'd be open to discussion about that subject matter," King said.
King released a statement Tuesday suggesting his comments were taken out of context.
"I never said, nor do I believe, a woman, including minors, cannot get pregnant from rape, statutory rape or incest. Suggesting otherwise is ridiculous, shameful, disgusting and nothing but an attempt to falsely define who I am," he said. "I have never heard of and categorically reject the so-called medical theory that launched this controversy."
In its report, KMEG noted that King -- like Akin -- supports the "No Taxpayer Funding for Abortion Act," which would ban federal funding of abortion except in certain instances, such as in the case of rape. Republicans initially limited the funding to cases of "forcible rape," which is the term the FBI uses to distinguish between statutory rape and other kinds of rape.Continue »
Updated at 3:30 p.m ET
(CBS News) Republican Rep. Todd Akin on Monday apologized for the controversial remarks he made over the weekend about abortion and rape, but he said he has no plans to drop out of the Missouri Senate race despite building pressure from within the GOP.
"What I said was ill-conceived, and it was wrong," Akin said on former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee's radio show Monday. "I really just want to apologize to those that I've hurt."
Akin's apology came as President Obama suggested the Republican's remarks illustrated the broad differences between Democrats and Republicans on issues like health care and reproductive rights.
"Rape is rape," Mr. Obama told reporters at the daily White House briefing Monday. "And the idea that we should be parsing and qualifying and slicing what types of rape we're talking about doesn't make sense to the American people and certainly doesn't make sense to me."
Mr. Obama added that Akin's remarks underscore "why we shouldn't have a bunch of politicians, a majority of whom are men, making health care decisions on behalf of women."Continue »
Updated at 12:01 p.m. ET with clarification on the FBI investigation.
(CBS News) Shortly after the contentious debt ceiling debate last year, nearly one in five congressmen took off for week-long informational trips during their summer recess, most of which were paid for by a pro-Israel lobbying group. The relief from escaping the toxic air of Washington, D.C., last summer may have been overwhelming for some of the lawmakers.
Politico reported that a late-night dip in the Sea of Galilee near the Israeli city of Tiberias by several GOP freshmen lawmakers and top leadership staff during that trip led to an FBI probe after reports of drinking and even a bit of nudity surfaced. Federal officials told CBS News that there is an FBI investigation into public corruption, but the skinny-dipping incident cited in the report is ancillary to the larger probe. Those officials also said that Rep. Kevin Yoder, R-Kan., - who was named in the Politico report - is not the subject of the federal investigation.
Yoder took off his clothes for the swim, Politico reports, and some of the other lawmakers partially disrobed, even though families - including one congressman's daughter - were also apparently swimming at the same time. Sources told Politico more than 20 people in total took part in the late-night swim.Continue »
(CBS News) Rep. Paul Ryan, Mitt Romney's new running mate, amended two years' worth of congressional financial disclosure reports in June to include an income-producing trust worth between $1 million and $5 million, USA Today reports.
The trust, which Ryan's wife Janna Ryan inherited in 2010 after her mother's death, was previously left off Ryan's financial disclosure reports. In documents filed with the Clerk of the House, Ryan said they were left off his 2010 and 2011 reports as an "inadvertent omission," according to USA Today. He reported that the trust produced at least $15,000 in income in 2010 and between $100,001 and $1 million in 2011.
Members of Congress every year are required to report their wealth and liabilities in broad ranges, so it's impossible to determine their exact net worth. USA Today notes that members of Congress often amend their financial disclosure reports as Ryan has and that there's nothing to suggest Ryan's omission wasn't inadvertent.Continue »
(CBS News) The partisan gridlock in this year's Congress is no joke: The 112th session -- which includes 2011 and 2012 -- is on pace to be the least productive congressional session since World War II, USA Today reports.
So far, Congress has passed into law just 151 bills during this session -- 90 in 2011 and 61 in 2012. The only other year since 1947 in which Congress failed to pass at least 125 bills was 1995, USA Today reports after reviewing congressional records. This Congress is even set to beat the notorious "do nothing" Congress of 1948.
The gridlock may be disappointing, but it is not surprising. It was largely predicted after Republicans took control of the House in the 2010 election with the Tea Party directive to halt the Democratic agenda. With Republicans in control of the House and Democrats still in charge of the Senate -- and compromise out of fashion -- the prospect of getting much done was bleak.Continue »
"It's been disturbing for a lot of people to learn that the state's welfare department undertook an unprecedented voter registration drive at the behest of Elizabeth Warren's daughter and the organization she represents," said Brown Friday in a statement. "Professor Warren has more than $13 million dollars in her campaign account, and if she wants to mail every welfare recipient a voter registration form, she should do so at her own expense, not taxpayers'. She should immediately reimburse the state for the cost of this mailing and stop playing politics with the taxpayers' money."Continue »
Updated at 3:45 p.m. ET
(CBS News) An aide for Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid this week revealed some details about the source who allegedly told Reid that Mitt Romney avoided paying taxes for 10 years, only to quickly retract those details.
In a radio interview Wednesday, Reid aide Jose Parra said that Reid's source in Bain Capital, the private equity firm that Romney founded, was a Republican with "direct knowledge" on the subject.
"This person is an investor in Bain Capital, a Republican also, and somebody who has been dealing with Romney's company for a long, long time and he has direct knowledge of this," he said, the Huffington Post reported.
However, Parra later told the Huffington Post that he was retracting his remarks: "I do not know the party affiliation of the source, how long he invested with Bain, or his relationship to Romney beyond the fact that he was an investor with Bain Capital, as Senator Reid has previously stated," he said.Continue »
Updated: 12:31 p.m.
(CBS News) In one of the nation's most closely-watched Senate races, Missouri voters will head to the polls Tuesday to determine the state's GOP Senate nominee. Their choice could have significant bearing on Democratic incumbent Claire McCaskill's re-election prospects -- and by extension, the balance of the Senate at large.
McCaskill is widely considered one of the most vulnerable Democrats in the Senate: In a state that has become increasingly conservative since she was elected by a razor-thin margin six years ago, the Democrat has been targeted for her support of President Obama's health care and stimulus bill, as well as a general association with the president, who is not expected to win the state. She also bore the bunt of much criticism when it was revealed that she had charged taxpayers for flights around Missouri in a private plane she co-owns.
According to a recent survey by the St. Louis Post-Dispatch/News 4 poll, McCaskill is currently trailing all three of her competitors in head-to-head match-ups.
McCaskill, more Democrats opt to skip convention
Four things to watch in the 2012 Senate races Continue »
(CBS News) Sen. Mark Kirk, R-Ill., released a new video updating his recovery from a January stroke Friday, highlighting the junior senator's rehabilitation and the work he has been able to do from his home.
The video, posted on the senator's YouTube account, features Kirk talking about the progress he has made as well as video of his improved mobility. One accomplishment Kirk specifically pointed out was when he climbed every story of the Rehabilitation Institute of Chicago building.
"The progress I have made has been very encouraging, learning to walk again and improving my speaking skills."
"I want to thank the people of Illinois for their patience with this patient." Kirk says in the video. He notes that he has been able to do congressional work at home, and has even had fellow congress members come visit him to discuss issues.
Kirk had not posted a video update of his progress since May 8, and "wanted to make sure that we could update the people of Illinois on my progress against the stoke, and provide regular updates."
The video highlights that on July 12 Kirk was able to walk without a cane or harness, on July 16 his arm mobility was improving and on July 26 his walking speed was improving. Kirk is seen drinking from a coffee cup with no problem in the video.
Kirk shot the video in his library and said it is "very good to be at home, out of an institution."
This is Kirk's second video update, the first coming in May in which he talked about his rehab to that point and said he "can't wait to get back to work."
(CBS News) Though currently receiving treatment at the Mayo Clinic for having become "completely debilitated by depression," Rep. Jesse Jackson, Jr., D-Ill., has every intention to return to work, maybe before September's Democratic National Convention, according to his wife, Chicago Ald. Sandi Jackson.
Responding to rumors that Jackson, who collapsed at the couple's Washington, D.C., home on June 10, had attempted suicide or was fighting alcohol and drug addiction, Mrs. Jackson told the Chicago Sun-Times, "No, no, none of that is true." She said her husband's depression, "which has not yet been diagnosed as a bipolar disorder," could be a result of his 2004 weight-loss surgery.
"His body was just worn out. I never really wanted him to have the gastric surgery in the first place," Mrs. Jackson said. "He called and told me not to worry, but it was obvious he was suffering from a form of depression."
Mrs. Jackson, commuting frequently between Chicago and the clinic in Minnesota, said their children speak with her husband "first thing in the morning and the last thing at night." She said the congressman has good and bad days, and is "now gaining weight and eating and feeling better in that sense, but he is still very depressed."Continue »
(CBS News) President Obama on Friday called the latest jobs report a sign of progress but said the marginal pace of economic growth should be a catalyst for Congress to act quickly to ensure middle-class Americans won't see their taxes go up next year.
Without mentioning that the unemployment rate rose from 8.2 percent in June to 8.3 percent in July, Mr. Obama noted that 172,000 private sector jobs were added to the economy last month (9,000 government jobs were lost, meaning there was a net gain of 163,000 jobs). He said that amounts to 4.5 million jobs created in the last 29 months and 1.1 million so far this year.
However, Mr. Obama said, "We've still got too many folks out there who are looking for work." In addition to creating more jobs, the president said the nation needs to "reclaim the kind of financial security too many Americans felt was slipping away from them for too long."Continue »
The House proposal, which passed last night with the support of 19 Democrats and all but one Republican, would extend all Bush-era tax cuts for one year, but would end cuts passed in 2009 aiding approximately 25 million middle-class households. A Democratic plan, meanwhile, which would not have extended those cuts for incomes above $250,000, failed in the House.
"Yesterday you saw on the floor a proposal that for one year would give a tax cut of $160,000 -- $160,000 -- to people making over a million dollars a year," said Pelosi, D-Calif., in a press conference. "That would be on average. And at the same time, that same bill for one year would on average increase taxes on the middle class by around $1,000."Obama sets stage for new tax cut debate
House votes to renew Bush-era tax cuts Continue »
(CBS News) With less than 100 days to go until the November elections, all eyes are on Mitt Romney and President Obama as they battle it out for the presidency in a tight and increasingly contentious race. But a handful of competitive Senate races across the country could also have significant bearing on the nation's political future - and not just because control of the Senate is up for grabs. Here are four things to watch out for this fall:
A Tea Party resurgence?
For all its grassroots rabble-rousing in 2010, the Tea Party, in the 2012 election cycle, seemed to be losing some steam. Unable - or unwilling - to unify behind a single presidential candidate in the Republican nominating process, skeptics questioned the group's ability to have a meaningful impact this time around.
On the heels of a handful of recent Senate primary victories, Tea Party leaders are combating that assertion.Continue »
Updated at 3 p.m. ET
(CBS News) Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid and House Speaker John Boehner on Tuesday afternoon announced they have reached a deal to keep funding federal operations past September 30 and avert a government shutdown.
"This agreement reached between the Senate, the House and the White House provides stability for the coming months, when we will have to resolve critical issues that directly affect middle class families," Reid said in a statement.
In the absence of a new budget agreement for the next fiscal year, the deal will extend spending for another six months after the 2012 fiscal year closes at the end of September. Leaders have agreed to cap spending levels at $1.047 trillion, as agreed to in the debt deal Congress reached last August.
Members of congress will work with their staff to write the legislation over their August recess, Boehner said in a statement, so that the House and Senate can pass it in September.
Reid said in his statement that he hopes Congress "can face the challenges ahead in the same spirit of compromise."Continue »