House GOP approves plan to cut budget
House Republicans rallied behind a slashing budget blueprint on Thursday, passing a nonbinding but politically imposing measure that promises a balanced federal ledger in 10 years with sweeping budget cuts and termination of health care coverage under the Affordable Care Act.
The 219-205 vote on the budget outline takes a mostly symbolic swipe at the government's chronic deficits. Follow-up legislation to actually implement the cuts isn't in the offing. Twelve Republicans opposed the measure, and not a single Democrat supported it.
Republicans promised a balanced budget by 2024 but would do so at the expense of poor people and seniors on Medicaid, lower-income workers receiving "Obamacare" subsidies, and people receiving food stamps and Pell Grants.
The GOP plan, by Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan, R-Wis., would cut more than $5 trillion over the coming decade, relying on sharp cuts to domestic programs, but leaving Social Security untouched and shifting more money to the Pentagon and health care for veterans.
Hillary Clinton dodges shoe during speech
A woman was taken into federal custody Thursday after throwing a shoe at Hillary Rodham Clinton as the former secretary of state began a keynote speech in Las Vegas.
The incident happened moments after Clinton took the stage before an Institute of Scrap Recycling Industries meeting.
Clinton ducked, and she did not appear to be hit by the object.
"Is that somebody throwing something at me? Is that part of Cirque de Soleil?" Clinton quipped.
Many in the audience of more than 1,000 people laughed and applauded as Clinton resumed her speech.
Judges divided on Utah gay marriage case
Sharp questioning Thursday by a divided panel of appellate judges considering Utah's ban on gay marriages showed that, while same-sex marriage has had a remarkable winning streak lately, its legal status remains uncertain.
The three judges of the 10th Circuit Court of Appeals were divided on how much the landscape has changed since the U.S. Supreme Court last year struck down the Defense of Marriage Act. The high court found that the law violated gay couples' due process rights by forbidding the federal government from recognizing their marriages.
An attorney representing three Utah gay couples argued that meant any state law that bars gays from something as important as marriage should be voided. Eight federal judges have, to varying degrees, agreed since the Supreme Court ruling, striking down a series of state gay marriage bans, or bans on recognizing same-sex marriages from other states.
In other news
A Florida manhunt ended Thursday with the surrender of a driver blamed in a deadly crash at a Winter Park day care that injured 14 and killed a 4-year-old girl.