• Montana Democratic Sen. Max Baucus (Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)

    Montana Democratic Sen. Max Baucus will not seek re-election next year, the senator announced on Tuesday.

    "I have decided not to seek reelection in 2014," Baucus said in a statement. "I will serve out my term, and then it will be time to go home to Montana."

    Baucus plans to fulfill his sixth term in the chamber and will step down before the next session in 2015. The lawmaker chairs the powerful Senate Committee on Finance, and he played an influential role in writing the federal health care law that passed in 2010.

    Baucus had deeply angered the White House in recent days, first by opposing bipartisan legislation to enhance background checks of would-be gun purchasers. Baucus’ “no” vote helped kill the background check measure, and he was among the lawmakers President Barack Obama targeted with a blistering Rose Garden tirade against “shameful” inside-the-Beltway politics.

    “There were no coherent arguments as to why we wouldn’t do this,” Obama said. “It came down to politics—the worry

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  • The Senate Judiciary Committee continues work on the immigration reform bill Tuesday with testimony from Secretary of Homeland Security Janet Napolitano.

    It will be the committee’s third hearing on the legislation, which was unveiled last week.

    [Senators argue over whether bombing should influence immigration reform]

    Monday’s hearing was marked by a heated discussion over whether the deadly bombings in Boston, allegedly by two brothers who emigrated from Eastern Europe, should influence the immigration reform debate.

    Also worth noting on Tuesday: President Barack Obama meets with Qatar Amir Hamad bin Khalifa al-Thani at the White House; Obama honors the 2013 National Teacher of the Year and finalists; Stephen Colbert hosts a fundraiser for his sister, Elizabeth Colbert Busch, the Democratic candidate in South Carolina's 1st Congressional District May 7 special election; and first lady Michelle Obama visits the Department of the Interior to thank employees for their public service.

    And then

    Read More »from Tuesday in politics: Napolitano testifies at immigration hearing, and more
  • President Barack Obama on Monday telephoned FBI Special Agent in Charge Richard DesLauriers and Boston Police Commissioner Edward F. Davis to praise them and their teams' work in the Boston Marathon bombing investigation, the White House said in a statement.

    Obama called "to express his appreciation to the men and women of the Boston Field Office, Boston Police Department, and all the members of the Joint Terrorism Task Force," according to the statement.

    "The president hailed the professionalism and bravery demonstrated by officers since Monday, and praised the impressive coordination between these federal, state, and local law enforcement agencies who together were able to bring this chapter of this tragedy to a close," it said. "While the president acknowledged there is still much work ahead, he thanked Special Agent in Charge DesLauriers and Commissioner Davis for their leadership and told them that the law enforcement officials, the citizens of Boston, and all affected by this

    Read More »from Obama phones Boston police commissioner, top FBI agent

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  • Sweet Caroline interruption proves awkward for McIlroy

    DUBLIN (Reuters) - Rory McIlroy, the world's number one golfer, experienced an awkward moment when he went to watch Ulster take on Connacht in a rugby match on Friday. The Ulster supporter was in the middle of a television interview with the BBC when the Neil Diamond song 'Sweet Caroline' was played over the public address system at halftime. McIlroy responded by smiling sheepishly, looking down at the ground and exclaiming "Oh dear". ...

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