President Obama and fellow Democrats, just back from a long holiday break, are immediately embracing a legislative agenda that would increase the minimum wage and extend unemployment insurance benefits to an estimated 1.3 million long-term jobless in America.
Liz Cheney, the daughter of former Vice President Dick Cheney, ended her Wyoming Senate primary challenge Monday, saying in a statement that a family health situation is responsible for her decision. (ABC News reports that sources close to Cheney said one of her daughters has diabetes.)
Even before family health issues arose, Cheney's apparently dimming prospects against GOP Sen. Mike Enzi would have been enough to give pause to many candidates.
The Senate returned from its two-week holiday break on Monday. Senators confirmed the nomination of Janet Yellen as chair of the Federal Reserve Board and delayed a vote on an extension of unemployment insurance.
I'm Michel Martin and this is TELL ME MORE from NPR News. Coming up, high unemployment in the U.S. is an ongoing political issue - one reason lawmakers right now are starting to talk about extending long-term unemployment benefits. But younger workers have been particularly hard hit during the world-wide economic slowdown. We're going to take a look how youth unemployment around the world is affecting political discussions. That's in just a few minutes.
New Year's Day marked the halfway point to sign up for health insurance through the Affordable Care Act for coverage this year.
And after a dismal start, things seem to be going a lot better on the HealthCare.gov website. Federal officials say more than 1 million people enrolled in coverage by the Christmas Eve deadline for coverage that began January 1.
The Senate gets back to work Monday after a two-week holiday break. Just as Majority Leader Harry Reid promised, the first piece of legislation getting a vote will be a three-month extension of the long-term unemployment benefits that ran out a week ago for 1.3 million jobless Americans.
Though the Senate unemployment measure is bipartisan, it's not clear it has enough votes to beat a GOP filibuster. Regardless, Democrats are banging the drum on the issue as a midterm election year begins.