Melanie Starkey

Kay Bailey Hutchison Stands by Criticism of Rick Perry

Retiring Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison refused today to soften any of the criticisms she leveled at Texas Gov. Rick Perry when she challenged him in last year’s GOP gubernatorial primary.

“I’m not going to backtrack on anything I said,” Hutchison told CNN’s “State of the Union” when asked whether her criticisms still stand against Perry, who is running for the 2012 GOP presidential nomination. “I tried to give Texas a choice. ... He was pretty brutal on my record, and I took on his record. And so that’s the way politics is, and it does come back.”

Connie Mack IV to Run for Senate

Updated: 11:59 p.m.

Rep. Connie Mack IV will enter the Senate race in Florida, the Republican’s chief of staff confirmed to Roll Call late Wednesday.

George McGovern Hospitalized for Fatigue, Expected to Fully Recover

George McGovern, a former presidential candidate and Senator, was hospitalized, the Associated Press reported today.

The 89-year-old South Dakota Democrat was admitted to Avera McKennan Hospital in Sioux Falls, S.D., for fatigue, hospital spokeswoman Julie Ward told the AP today. He is expected to fully recover and be released in a couple of days, she said.

Gabrielle Giffords to Visit North Carolina for Therapy

Rep. Gabrielle Giffords left Texas today to undergo intensive therapy in North Carolina through Nov. 4.

The Arizona Democrat’s two-week stay in Asheville had been planned for months, according to a statement from her office. Giffords will receive treatment from a therapist who has worked with her for several months in Houston as she recuperates from a brain injury.

GOP Senators, Hillary Clinton Disagree on Troops Leaving Iraq

Republican Sens. Lindsey Graham (S.C.) and John McCain (Ariz.) slammed the Obama administration today for deciding to withdraw all U.S. troops from Iraq this year, while Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton emphasized America’s commitment to the nation during a swing through the morning political shows.

“This was an ongoing discussion,” Clinton said on “Fox News Sunday.” “It started, you know, several years ago. It kept going, and at the end of the day, as in many discussions and negotiations, an agreement was reached that met the needs of both sides. The president has fulfilled the commitment he made to the American people. We’ve also, under the president’s leadership, fulfilled the commitment requested by the Iraqis.”

Michele Bachmann Replacing New Hampshire Team After Resignations

Updated: 11:09 a.m.

Rep. Michele Bachmann is looking for new campaign staff in New Hampshire after her team in the state quit last week, the Minnesota Republican said today.

Iowa Sets Date for Caucuses

The Iowa Republican Party will hold its caucuses on Jan. 3, according to the Des Moines Register.

The party's central committee voted unanimously tonight in favor of the date, the newspaper reported. The caucuses were held on the same date in 2008.

Calls Intensify for Tougher Sanctions Against Iran

Top members of Congressional intelligence and military panels today called for tougher sanctions against Iran in light of an alleged plot to assassinate the Saudi ambassador to the United States.

Senate Intelligence Chairman Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.), Senate Armed Services ranking member John McCain (R-Ariz.) and House Intelligence Chairman Mike Rogers (R-Mich.) made the case in separate interviews on the Sunday political news shows, with Feinstein and Rogers citing Iran's nuclear program as further cause for concern.

Eric Cantor Says Republicans Looking For Common Ground

House Republicans are looking for common ground between the jobs plan they introduced in the spring and President Barack Obama's proposal, House Majority Leader Eric Cantor said Sunday.

"We want the president to work with us. We want him to stop campaigning. Let's go find the things that are in common between this plan and his," the Virginia Republican told "Fox News Sunday" host Chris Wallace. "And, in fact, Chris, I think you'll see within the next month, we will take portions of this plan that match up with his, put them across the floor to help small businesses."

Darrell Issa Plans New Subpoenas About Gun Program

House Oversight and Government Reform Chairman Darrell Issa plans to issue new subpoenas to the attorney general this week in his investigation of the Fast and Furious weapons program.

The California Republican said on “Fox News Sunday” that he wants to know what top Justice Department officials knew about the program, when they knew it and who authorized the program.

Earl Ray Tomblin to Finish Joe Manchin’s Term as West Virginia Governor

Acting West Virginia Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin (D) won a special election for the office today, the Associated Press reported.

The sleepy contest to replace former Gov. Joe Manchin (D), who was elected in November to the Senate, became competitive in its final days.

Nevada GOP to Hold Earlier Presidential Caucuses

In response to Florida’s decision to hold its presidential primary Jan. 31, Nevada Republicans voted Saturday to move up their caucuses and face the consequences of breaking party rules.

The caucuses will be held the Saturday following New Hampshire’s primary on a date to be determined, the Las Vegas Review-Journal reported. The move from Feb. 18 is meant to preserve Nevada’s status as one of the four early voting states, with Iowa, New Hampshire and South Carolina.

Major Democratic Campaign Treasurer Arrested in California, Accused of Fraud

The FBI arrested a Democratic campaign treasurer for Sen. Dianne Feinstein (Calif.) and Rep. Loretta Sanchez (Calif.) last week on suspicion of mail fraud, officials said Saturday.

Kinde Durkee of Durkee and Associates in Burbank, Calif., was arrested in connection with her position as a campaign treasurer, FBI Special Agent Steve Dupre confirmed Saturday afternoon to the Orange County Register.

Obama Agrees to Push Back Jobs Speech

After Speaker John Boehner pushed back against President Barack Obama’s request to convene a joint session of Congress on Sept. 7, the administration conceded Wednesday to the Ohio Republican’s recommendation to hold it the next day.

Obama asked Wednesday to deliver a high-profile speech on jobs to Congress at 8 p.m. Sept. 7, in conflict with a scheduled Republican presidential debate. Boehner did not mention the debate in a letter responding to the president’s request, instead warning of “logistical impediments” to holding it that day.

Obama’s Uncle Charged With Drunken Driving, Held by Immigration Officials

Updated: 10:16 p.m.

President Barack Obama’s uncle was arrested last week on charges of drunken driving and is being held by federal immigration officials, multiple news outlets reported Monday.

Michele Bachmann to Release Memoir in November

Rep. Michele Bachmann’s memoir will arrive in stores in November.

The Minnesota Republican and 2012 presidential candidate has already written the untitled book, the Associated Press reported Monday. It will be published by Sentinel, a conservative imprint of the Penguin Group.

McCain: Gadhafi’s Ouster Is Imminent

Sen. John McCain predicted Sunday that Libyan leader Moammar Gadhafi is on the verge of falling from power.

“It’s a matter of hours if not days,” the Arizona Republican said on CBS’ “Face the Nation.” “And once our NATO forces, under the leadership of the British and the French and others, became more heavily engaged with the use of air power, I think it was something that was going to happen.”

McCain Explains ‘Hobbit’ Dig

Sen. John McCain was put on the defensive Sunday for comparing some of his GOP colleagues to hobbits during the debt ceiling debate.

The Arizona Republican had taken to the Senate floor in July to admonish conservatives for “unrealistic” expectations and quoted a Wall Street Journal editorial that compared them to the characters from J.R.R. Tolkien’s “The Lord of the Rings.”

FBI Clears Suspicious Packages Sent to Alaskan Lawmakers

A suspicious powder delivered to the offices of Alaskan lawmakers was not hazardous and the sender did not act maliciously, an FBI spokesman told the Associated Press on Tuesday.

Packages containing white powder were sent to the Alaska offices of Sen. Mark Begich (D) in Fairbanks, Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R) in Fairbanks and Rep. Don Young (R) in Anchorage.

Suspicious Packages Sent to Alaska Lawmakers

Packages containing white powder were delivered to the offices of Sen. Mark Begich (D), Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R) and Rep. Don Young (R) in Alaska on Monday.

The Fairbanks Daily News-Miner reported the incidents. The packages were opened in Young’s Anchorage office and Begich’s Fairbanks office before the powder was discovered, but Murkowski’s staff did not open the package sent to her in Fairbanks.