Sen. Patty Murray (D) of Washington rose to political prominence by espousing an environmentalist agenda. She also gathered grassroots support to strike down proposed preschool program budget cuts.
The deficit super committee tasked with cutting $1.2 trillion from the budget over 10 years began its work Thursday. Critics say it needs to be more transparent and members need to stop fundraising.
The task of reining in the national debt lies in the hands of a super committee of 12, which gets down to business now that Congress is returning from its summer break.
With the sweep of the deficit committee's mandate potentially covering every dollar taxed or spent in the federal government, Washington’s lobby community is going on full alert.
Congress has created a special super committee to devise a way to cut at least $1.2 trillion from US spending in coming years. Its real name is the Joint Select Committee on Deficit Reduction, and its deadline is Nov. 23. If a majority of the bipartisan, bicameral committee approves the plan, it goes to the House and Senate for a vote, and they must act by Dec. 23. If the plan is voted down, automatic spending cuts are slated to occur. Here are the 12 lawmakers serving on the super committee.
Polls show Americans blame Democrats more than Republicans for $4 gasoline prices, and President Obama's poll numbers show it. But people blame big oil companies even more, which may be a political opening for Obama.
Sarah Ramadan, of Kuwait, poses for a photo under the Statue of Liberty in New York, on April 6. As talks to avoid a government showdown continue in Washington, the White House sought to put the prospect of a shutdown in terms people would care about, warning even that the beloved National Cherry Blossom Festival Parade in the nation's capital would be wiped out. The Smithsonian Institution and national parks around the country, as well as the Statue of Liberty, would also be closed.
Authorities say they believe Jared Lee Loughner, the primary suspect in Saturday's shooting in Tucson, Ariz., targeted Rep. Gabrielle Giffords (D) of Arizona but have not identified a motive, characterizing him as mentally unstable. The shooting followed a year in which several members of Congress have been threatened.
Deficit hawks and watchdog groups see Thursday's demise of an omnibus spending bill in the Senate as a turning point. A critical mass of lawmakers, they say, are committed to an earmark ban.
Sen. Patty Murray (D) of Washington State won reelection, though not by the comfortable margins she's used to. Farther north, the drama continues as Alaskans wait to see if incumbent Lisa Murkowski won her write-in challenge to tea party favorite Joe Miller.