Emily Pierce

Chris Christie Is Still a Contender, Boehner Says (Video)

Speaker John A. Boehner on Thursday said he still believes embattled New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie remains a viable GOP presidential candidate.

But the Ohio Republican said he "wasn't fortunate enough" to watch Christie's Thursday news conference in which the governor apologized for his staff's involvement in apparent political retribution against a Democratic mayor.

Heller Staff Pokes Nevada's Journalistic Tiger

Jon Ralston has had it with Sen. Dean Heller's office.

In an epic rant on his Ralston Reports website, the longtime Nevada political journalist called the Republican senator's staff "the most unprofessional I have worked with (or not!) in a quarter-century of covering politics."

Manchin Comes Out for ENDA

Sen. Joe Manchin III became the last Senate Democratic holdout to support the Employment Non-Discrimination Act Wednesday, CQ Roll Call has confirmed.

The West Virginia Democrat apparently told The New York Times that he will vote yes when the bill comes before the chamber, as soon as next week.

Pryor Will Vote for ENDA, Report Says

Sen. Mark Pryor's office has told an Arkansas blogger that the senator will support the Employment Non-Discrimination Act when it comes up for a vote in the Senate, possibly as soon as next week.

Max Brantley of the Arkansas Times reported Tuesday evening that a staffer for the Arkansas Democrat confirmed that Pryor would vote "yes" on ENDA. The bill would bar employment discrimination because of sexual orientation.

Issa Threatens to Subpoena Obamacare Website Documents

House Oversight and Government Reform Chairman Darrell Issa has teamed up with Sen. Lamar Alexander to demand that the Obama administration turn over documents related to the deeply troubled HealthCare.gov.

In a letter to Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius, Issa and Alexander warn that if documents related to the health insurance exchange website are not turned over to both chambers by Oct. 28, the House may move to subpoena them.

Sebelius Agrees to Testify on Obamacare Rollout ... Eventually

Bowing to pressure from House Republicans, Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius has reportedly agreed to testify in the House on the troubled rollout of the Obamacare website for health insurance exchanges.

Sebelius had been asked to testify on Thursday before the House Energy and Commerce panel, but she declined, citing a scheduling conflict and the recent end to the government shutdown.

Taking the Economy for a Ride | Capitol Quip

Well, Congress avoided one economic catastrophe last week, but lawmakers set themselves up to fight over the same fiscal matters all over again in January and February. That brings us to this week's Capitol Quip.

Send us a caption for this week’s contest by leaving it in the comments section of our Heard on the Hill blog. Editors will pick five finalists on Wednesday, and everyone can vote for the winner through Thursday.

Ka-Boom! | Capitol Quip

Thanks to the many readers who contributed captions for last week’s Capitol Quip contest. Here’s the winning entry, as voted by readers of Heard on the Hill.

Five Explosive Captions To Choose From | Capitol Quip

The five finalists for this week’s caption contest are ready for your votes.

Using the comments section below, vote for your favorite caption until 10 p.m. EDT Thursday.

Senate Leaders Optimistic About Debt, Shutdown Deal After House Plan Collapses (Updated)

Updated 10:27 p.m. | The Senate's leaders appear to have a path forward on a legislative package to avert a default and reopen the government, but a lot of staff work remains before reaching the finish line.

"They're still working out the details between Sens. McConnell and Reid, and we're close," Senate Majority Whip Richard J. Durbin said.

Boxer Accuses GOP of Acting Like Domestic Abusers

Sen. Barbara Boxer likened GOP lawmakers to people who abuse their spouses on Monday when discussing the current government shutdown and the looming debt limit deadline.

The California Democrat, like most in her party, blames the lack of government funding and current impasse over raising the debt ceiling on Republicans who have insisted on passing measures aimed at dismantling the Affordable Care Act, known as Obamacare.

Inhofe Undergoes Open Heart Surgery

Sen. James M. Inhofe is recovering in Tulsa, Okla., after doctors advised an emergency quadruple bypass surgery for five blocked arteries in his heart.

Oklahoma news outlets reported Tuesday that doctors discovered the 78-year-old Republican's heart problems after he went in for another procedure on Friday.

Obama Pans GOP Supercommittee Idea

President Barack Obama dismissed the House GOP’s newest idea of creating a supercommittee to deal with budget, suggesting it was a ruse to force Democrats to agree to concessions in return for reopening the government and raising the debt ceiling.

But he indicated he is open to signing short-term extensions of the debt limit and government spending.

Female Suspect Killed in Capitol Incident, Injured Officer Airlifted (Updated)

Updated Oct. 4, 10:51 a.m. | A female suspect was killed by police after a car chase from the White House to the Capitol, law enforcement officials confirmed Thursday evening.

A Capitol Police officer was injured in a crash with the suspect's car and airlifted to an area hospital. Bryan Carter, a 23-year veteran of force, was treated and released from MedStarWashington Hospital Center, by 9:30 p.m. Thursday. A Secret Service agent was also injured, officials reported, but no details on that agent's condition were given.

Shutdown Reaches All the Way to ... Belgium?

Signs like these are all over Washington and the rest of the country these days, but what makes this one unusual is that it was taken by this scribe's mother-in-law in Waregem, Belgium, at the Flanders Field American Cemetery.

Yes, it appears even our overseas cemeteries honoring fallen U.S. soldiers from World Wars I and II are shuttered. Indeed, the American Battle Monuments Commission, which manages 24 cemeteries and 26 memorials, monuments and markers abroad, has shut down.

Senate Torpedoes House's Latest Obamacare Delay (Updated)

Updated 4:05 p.m. | The Senate voted to table House amendments intended to delay Obamacare and repeal a medical device tax.

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., wasted no time when the Senate came in Monday at 2 p.m. He made the motion, which cannot be filibustered, without any debate.

McCain Criticizes Cruz's Nazi Germany Reference (Video)

Sen. John McCain took to the Senate floor Wednesday to lambaste Sen. Ted Cruz's attempt to liken his political opponents to those who tried to appease Adolf Hitler.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8rKKljDtw50&feature=youtu.be

Best Clips of Ted Cruz's Talkathon on Defunding Obamacare (Video)

Sen. Ted Cruz compared the fight against Obamacare to the battle against Nazi Germany and mused on the intimidating nature of the moon. The Texas Republican talked about the deliciousness of White Castle mini burgers, how he doesn't know Ashton Kutcher personally, and how he is a coward when it comes to wearing boots versus comfortable shoes. And he found time to read some bedtime stories to his daughters.

There have been so many moments in Cruz's stem-winder. Here are a few of the best:

Stockman: Democrats Want to Kill Infants
Rep. Steve Stockman is never one to disappoint when it comes to questionable tweets. Here's the Texas Republican's latest attempt to put the Senate debate on Obamacare defunding and Sen. Ted Cruz's extended speechifying in perspective....
McConnell: Cruz Plan Would Shut Government and Keep Obamacare Funded (Video)

Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell doubled down Tuesday on his opposition to Sen. Ted Cruz's proposal to filibuster a House-passed spending bill that would keep the government funded past Sept. 30.

On Monday, McConnell's spokesman said the Kentucky Republican would vote to end debate on the bill, a vote that Cruz claims will facilitate Majority Leader Harry Reid's plan to strip Obamacare defunding language from the bill.