The House passed the bill by voice vote after brief debate and the Senate passed an identical bill last week. But senators must act again, for technical reasons, before sending the bill to President Obama for his signature.
Former Alaska Sen. Ted Stevens, who died in a plane crash in a remote part of southern Alaska, served in the Senate longer than any Republican in history. During his four decades as a senator, he become known as "Uncle Ted" in Alaska for the work he did for the state.
The House interrupted its summer vacation and returned to Washington to pass what the Senate wrought last week: a $26.1 billion state aid package to help avoid teacher layoffs and Medicaid cuts. Republicans have denounced the package as a costly sop to teachers' unions. On the way there, embattled New York Democratic Rep. Charles Rangel took the opportunity to defend himself against charges he violated ethics rules, telling his colleagues, "I am not going away."
Sen. Tim Johnson underwent surgery Tuesday morning at Avera McKennan Hospital in Sioux Falls. The 63-year-old Democrat, elected to the Senate in 1996, had been admitted Sunday with a high fever. Doctors say this ailment is not related to a life-threatening brain hemorrhage he suffered about four years ago.
Vanity Fair's Todd Purdum followed President Obama and his advisers around for a day this summer. He says the modern-day presidency would be unrecognizable to previous chief executives -- "thanks to the enormous bureaucracy, congressional paralysis, systematic corruption and disintegrating media."
The House of Representatives was supposed to be on break all this month, as lawmakers hit the streets in their home districts, campaigning for this fall's elections. But members have been summoned back for a one-day session, and the partisan campaign atmosphere is coming to the Capitol with them.
A pair of primary elections on Tuesday have political observers waiting for news from Colorado. Both the Republican and Democratic Senate primaries have turned into all-out brawls. Jody Strogoff, editor and publisher of the Colorado Statesman -- a weekly political newspaper, talks to Renee Montagne about the political drama.
Late last week, the Senate returned several of President Obama's judicial nominations to the White House -- after failing to move on them for months. About 100 judge slots -- representing 10 percent of the judicial branch -- are still waiting to be filled. Among them is Goodwin Liu, who may be the president's most controversial judicial nominee.
A runoff between two Republicans in Georgia's race for governor pits Sarah Palin and Newt Gingrich against each other. Not literally, of course. But Palin is backing Karen Handel, while Gingrich is behind former U.S. Rep. Nathan Deal. Palin and Gingrich are each considering a possible run for the presidency. If Gingrich is unable to beat back Palin in his home state, it could affect his decision on whether to run.
President-elect Barack Obama has gone to Hawaii for the holidays. Obama leaves Washington with his Cabinet and White House picks in place. It's a transition to executive office that many view as one of the most efficient ever. However, there are some daunting tasks facing Obama when he returns to Washington.
The heads of Microsoft and Google are big fans of something called "cloud computing" — but will it work in the White House? Security and technology experts talk to host Andrea Seabrook about one of the mundane but hugely important decisions that must be made by the Obama transition team — just how the White House computers should run.