Yesterday’s fiery exchange between Attorney General Eric Holder and Sen. John Cornyn:

SEN. JOHN CORNYN (R), Texas: You won’t tell the truth about what you know and when you knew it on Fast and Furious. You won’t cooperate with a legitimate congressional investigation. So, Mr. Attorney General, it’s more sorrow than — than regret — than anger that I would say that you leave me no alternative but to join those that call upon you to resign your office.

ERIC HOLDER: This is now the ninth time that I have answered questions before a congressional committee about Fast and Furious.

If you want to talk about Fast and Furious, I’m the attorney general that put an end to the misguided tactics that were used in Fast and Furious, which leads me to believe that the desire here is not for an accommodation, but for a political point-making.

And that is the kind of thing that, you know, you and your side I guess have the ability to do, if that’s what you want to do. It is the thing that I think turns people off about Washington. While we have very serious problems, we’re still involved in this political gamesmanship.


Rep. Rush Kicked Off Floor for Wearing Hoodie in Support of Trayvon Martin

"Just because you wear a hoodie, doesn’t make you a hoodlum," Rep. Bobby Rush, D-Ill, said. "I don’t mind being out of order if it means standing up for freedom and justice and human dignity. This is just another part of the struggle."

More: Rush tells us the “Panther” part of him never left

Rep. Gabrielle Giffords drew thunderous applause from her colleagues as she walked into the House chamber and cast a vote in favor of the bill to raise the U.S. debt ceiling.

More on the vote

Did you miss President Obama’s press conference? Here is the full video.

Plus video and analysis here.


Harry Reid tells Jim Lehrer: “The War Powers Act has no application to what’s going on in Libya.”


Boehner Rejects White House Rationale on Libya

The sparring between Congress and the White House over whether American military involvement in Libya adheres to the War Powers Resolution escalated Thursday when House Speaker John Boehner said a White House report claiming it didn’t need congressional approval for the operation “didn’t pass the straight-face test.”

The White House released a 32-page report to Congress late Wednesday arguing that it did not need authorization from Congress to use U.S. military forces in Libya and was not in violation of the War Powers Resolution – which mandates that the president get authorization from Congress 60 days after engaging in hostilities – because it is supporting a NATO mission in Libya and not technically involved in the type of “hostilities” referenced in the law.

From the report:

The President is of the view that the current U.S. military operations in Libya are consistent with the War Powers Resolution and do not under that law require further congressional authorization, because U.S. military operations are distinct from the kind of “hostilities” contemplated by the Resolution’s 60 day termination provision. U.S. forces are playing a constrained and supporting role in a multinational coalition, whose operations are both legitimated by and limited to the terms of a United Nations Security Council Resolution.

The White House said U.S. forces were involved in refueling and support missions, which included some drone airstrikes, but that U.S. soldiers were not on the ground.

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Weiner Announces Resignation From Congress, Apologizes for Scandal

By Quinn Bowman

Updated 3:38 p.m. ET | Rep. Anthony Weiner, D-N.Y., announced Thursday that he would resign from Congress after weeks of media attention and bipartisan calls for him to step down over a scandal involving lewd online relationships and lying about them.

 “I am here today to again apologize for the personal mistakes I have made and the embarrassment I have caused. I make this apology to my neighbors and constituents but I make it particularly to my wife Huma,” Weiner said at a news conference.

Weiner, 46, has been under pressure from top Democrats and the White House to step down after admitting he lied about sending lewd photos of himself to women he met on social media sites Twitter and Facebook. At the time that admission, Weiner maintained that he wasn’t resigning his post.

Weiner requested a leave from Congress to seek unspecified treatment in recent days while his wife Huma Abedin, an aide to Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, was traveling with the secretary in Africa.

“I had hoped to be able to continue the work that the citizens of my district elected me to do: to fight for the middle class and those struggling to make it. Unfortunately, the distraction that I have created has made that impossible,” Weiner said.

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What Is the War Powers Resolution of 1973?

House Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio, sent President Obama a letter Tuesday claiming that he will soon be in violation of the War Powers Resolution, as the 90-day mark of the U.S.’ involvement in NATO air strikes in Libya approaches.

Boehner reminded the president that is bound by the Constitution to ensure “laws be faithfully executed,” including the War Powers Resolution:

"Given the mission you have ordered to the U.S. Armed Forces with respect to Libya and the text of the War Powers Resolution, the House is left to conclude that you have made one of two determinations: either you have concluded the War Powers Resolution does not apply to the mission in Libya, or you have determined the War Powers Resolution is contrary to the Constitution," he wrote.

As Politico’s Jonathan Allen reported, Boehner had previously voted to repeal the law in 1995 on the grounds that it excessively hampered the president’s role as commander-in-chief. However, a spokesman for Speaker Boehner said that those views did not contradict the assertion that the president must uphold the laws as they are.

(White House photo)

President Obama is expected to issue a formal response Wednesday. White House spokesman Tommy Vietor said in a statement that they “are in the final stages of preparing extensive information for the House and Senate that will address a whole host of issues about our ongoing efforts in Libya.”

So what exactly is the The War Powers Act of 1973?

Let’s start at the Library of Congress. They offer an overview this way:

"The Constitution of the United States divides the war powers of the federal government between the Executive and Legislative branches: the President is the Commander in Chief of the armed forces (Article II, section 2), while Congress has the power to make declarations of war, and to raise and support the armed forces (Article I, section 8). Over time, questions arose as to the extent of the President’s authority to deploy U.S. armed forces into hostile situations abroad without a declaration of war or some other form of Congressional approval. Congress passed the War Powers Resolution in the aftermath of the Vietnam War to address these concerns and provide a set of procedures for both the President and Congress to follow in situations where the introduction of U.S. forces abroad could lead to their involvement in armed conflict.”

President Nixon actually vetoed the law in 1973, so the war powers act is a joint resolution of Congress, which has most the same legal effects as a piece of signed legislation. However, as the LOC explains, several U.S. presidents have taken the stance that the resolution is an infringement of executive branch powers - so its authority has often been a matter of debate.

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Political Checklist: Debt Ceiling Vote Symbolism

By Quinn Bowman

The House of Representatives is preparing to hold a symbolic vote on raising the government’s debt ceiling without spending cuts, a vote that is sure to fail as Republicans have said that they won’t support any increase in the limit without substantial cuts to spending.

Political Editor David Chalian and Senior Correspondents Gwen Ifill and Judy Woodruff analyze what the vote means, and why the House would hold a vote that is destined to fail.

President Obama plans to meet with some House Republicans and Democrats, separately this week, presumably to discuss bipartisan negotiations about how to put forward a vote on the debt ceiling that both parties can support.

The team also takes a look at Sarah Palin’s road trip and why Palin is able to command media attention wherever she goes — while also shunning reporters. Palin’s appearance at the Memorial weekend Rolling Thunder motorcycle rally in Washington, D.C. garnered her a lot of attention and marked the start of a bus tour across the country in which she will visit historical sites with her family.