President Barack Obama thanked Kathleen Sebelius for helping pass the 2010 health-care law and named Sylvia Mathews Burwell his new health secretary, calling her “a proven manager” who knows how “to deliver results.”
Lamar Alexander, the No. 3 Senate Republican leader, will step down from his leadership job in January, saying he can do more to help set budget priorities and curb government regulations as an “independent senior senator.”
A month after voting for an immigration bill that many House Republicans see as political poison, three Senate Republicans are heading into 2014 re- election campaigns with few signs of damage -- so far.
The most significant change in three decades in how the Senate approves presidential nominees could make one of the least productive Congresses even more gridlocked, endangering efforts to raise the nation’s debt ceiling and fund the government, Republicans say.
The debate over increasing the federal minimum wage this year can help Democratic candidates win in key U.S. battleground states, said national labor leaders who plan to press the issue in congressional elections.
The Obama administration said it has reached out to the “best and brightest” from inside and outside of government to get its health-insurance exchange up to speed, even as it faces another missed deadline for the rollout.
The U.S. Senate changed its rules to let a simple majority confirm most presidential nominees, defying opposition from Republicans who called it the most dangerous revision of its process in more than two centuries.