News Items

President Obama announced Monday that Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel has resigned, in a development that seemed abrupt yet came amid growing pressure from the White House over his handling of several international issues, Fox News has confirmed.

During a press conference at the White House, Obama said Hagel concluded it’s an “appropriate time” for him to complete his service.  

Hagel has had a rocky tenure of nearly two years in which he's struggled to break through the White House's insular foreign policy team. He stepped down under pressure amid multiple foreign policy crises, including the rise of the Islamic State group.

But in remarks at the White House, Obama praised Hagel as "an exemplary defense...

A day after re-electing Rep. Nancy Pelosi to lead them in the next Congress, House Democrats rebuffed her effort Wednesday to elect a close ally to an important committee post.

In a closed-door meeting, Democrats voted 100-90 to make New Jersey Rep. Frank Pallone the top Democrat on the House Energy and Commerce Committee. The loser was California Rep. Anna Eshoo, a Pelosi friend whose Silicon Valley district is near San Francisco, which Pelosi represents.

The vote attracted interest because it came amid grousing over this month's elections, which saw House Democrats lose at least a dozen seats, and...

A House Republican panel is huddling in the basement of the Capitol on Monday to decide who will wield the gavels on several committees in the next Congress.

Fox News is told the most prominent committee chairs to be decided on Monday are for the Ways and Means and Oversight committees.

For Ways and Means, Chairman Dave Camp, R-Mich., is retiring. Current House Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan, R-Wis., is the odds-on favorite to grab the Ways and Means gavel, though is facing a challenge from Joint Economic Committee Chairman Kevin Brady, R-Texas.

It is notable that on Friday, the House Republican Conference voted to establish what some are now calling the “Paul Ryan Rule.” That rule would ban sitting committee chairs and the chairs of appropriations...

WENTWORTH, N.C. - At least six North Carolina magistrates have given up their jobs rather than be forced to perform same-sex marriage ceremonies.

John Kallam, who worked as a magistrate in rural Rockingham county for over a decade, is one of them.

During that time he watched the growing momentum of gay marriage closely and wondered what it might mean for him.

"I told some of my co-workers, 'if it ever gets down to that, where I'm asked to perform same-sex marriage, I'm not going to be able to do it,'" Kallam told CBN News.

That moment happened last month when a federal judge struck down North Carolina's marriage amendment. The following work day, Kallam told his...

ObamaCare architect Jonathan Gruber apparently doesn't think much of the intelligence of the American people. 

A new tape has surfaced showing Gruber, once again, claiming the health care law's authors took advantage of the "stupid" American public. 

The tape, played on Fox News' "The Kelly File," showed Gruber speaking at an October 2013 event at Washington University in St. Louis. 

Referring to the so-called "Cadillac tax" on high-end health plans, he said: "They proposed it and that passed, because the American people are too stupid to understand the difference." 

Gruber specifically was referring to the way the "Cadillac tax" was designed -- he touted their plan to, instead of taxing policy holders, tax the insurance companies...

Republican Dan Sullivan was declared the winner of Alaska’s Senate race early Wednesday morning, a week after voting ended, as the Associated Press said he held an insurmountable lead over one-term Democratic Sen. Mark Begich.

Mr. Sullivan's win brings the Republican majority in the next Senate to 53 seats, with one race, in Louisiana, still to be settled in a runoff.

Mr. Begich’s campaign was doomed after he failed to make up significant ground Tuesday as Alaska elections...

You might have thought, after a traumatic and gut-wrenching defeat for the Democrats, that the midterms were a nightmare for Hillary Clinton.

Ah, but you don’t understand the sophisticated spin at work. The election was actually her dream come true!

Her team has convinced some reporters and pundits — or they have convinced themselves — that Hillary emerges enhanced from the wreckage.

I’m skeptical of that, but I’m also going to let you in on a secret: The midterms were probably a wash for Hillary. This whole notion that when a big shot goes out and campaigns for candidates and gets some...

Two titanic forces -- a "hope and change" president struggling to cement an enduring legacy in the final quarter of his term, and a resurgent Republican leadership eager to exercise a voters' mandate -- will face off Friday afternoon in a White House meeting that could set the course for the next two years. 

The dynamic in Washington, on the heels of Republicans' midterm gains, is volatile. Both sides claim to be interested in working together, yet President Obama is vowing to use executive action to address immigration in a matter of weeks, and House Speaker John Boehner is warning him in no uncertain terms to stand down. 

"He's going to burn himself if he continues to go down this path," Boehner said Thursday. 

Yet immigration is just one...

A federal appeals court today upheld pro-tradtional marriage laws in four states, breaking ranks with other courts that have considered the issue. The ruling sets up the prospect of Supreme Court review.

The 6th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals panel, which heard arguments in August on gay marriage bans or restrictions in Ohio, Michigan, Kentucky and Tennessee, split 2-1, with Circuit Judge Jeffrey Sutton writing the majority opinion.

The ruling creates a divide among federal appeals courts, increasing the likelihood the Supreme...

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid will seek to lead the Democrats in the next Congress as they hand over the majority to Republicans.

Adam Jentleson, a spokesman for Reid, said Wednesday that the five-term Nevada Democrat plans to remain leader and other Democrats indicated that he is unlikely to face a challenge.

Democrats suffered a drubbing in Tuesday's elections, losing their majority as Republicans picked up seven seats. The GOP majority could grow with possible wins in Alaska and Louisiana.

Senator Mitch McConnell of Kentucky is in line to become Majority Leader in the new Congress in January.

Reid is up for re-election in 2016.

Republicans sealed control of the Senate with more than six seats needed, a momentum Reuters suggested the GOP owes to evangelical voters.

FOX News exit polls showed that nearly 60 percent of voters who identified themselves as Protestant or Christian also identified themselves as Republican.

"If Republicans win control of the Senate in the midterm elections they should say a prayer of thanks for Christian conservatives," Reuters reporter Alistair Bell wrote more than a week ago.

Studies suggest the voting block may be shrinking, but it's still a considerable force. The latest Reuters-Ipsos polling shows Evangelicals are more enthusiastic about the midterms than...

Voters handed control of the Senate to Republicans for the first time in eight years on Tuesday, putting the GOP in charge of Congress for the remainder of President Obama's term. 

Republicans swept to victory in a string of contests across the country, retaining every one of the GOP-held seats up for grabs and picking up more than the six seats needed to take control of the Senate. Republicans enjoyed a banner night after mounting campaigns from coast to coast that, almost without exception, sought to cast their opponents as rubber stamps for the unpopular president. Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, who fended off a Democratic challenge in Kentucky, is now poised to ascend to majority leader next year. 

Republicans also are projected...

JERUSALEM, Israel -- The U.S. Supreme Court heard arguments Monday on the legality of listing Israel as the country of birth on U.S. passports of Israeli-born Jews holding dual citizenship.

Monday’s hearing involved a petition by 12-year-old Menachem Zivotofsky’s parents, who sued the State Department in 2003 for refusing to list Israel as the country of their Jerusalem-born son’s birth.

Menachem’s American-born parents, who immigrated to Israel after their first two sons were born, believe their first Israeli-born child should be recognized as such on his U.S. passport.

The same year he was born, former President George W. Bush signed legislation requiring the State Department to list Israel as the...

Voters likely will hear a familiar refrain Tuesday night as the election returns stream in: "Too close to call." 

From Alaska to Iowa to Florida and virtually everywhere in between, a surprising number of congressional and gubernatorial candidates are locked in tight races on Election Day. 

The battle for the Senate boils down to roughly 10 toss-up or battleground races, though a few others could yet surprise when the ballots are in. And at the state level, nearly a dozen governors are at risk of losing their seats - a volatile landscape not seen in decades. 

Turnout is key for both parties, especially Democrats as they battle historical midterm headwinds that typically punish whichever party holds the White House. Polling consistently has...

For years, one of the big arguments against solar energy is that it’s too expensive for consumers, and can’t compete price-wise with conventional electricity produced by burning fossil fuel in utility plants.

But that may be changing. Two new studies indicate that solar is getting affordable more quickly than expected, and that it’s on track to be as cheap or cheaper than average electricity-bill prices for most of the United States in just two years.

One study, by Deutsche Bank energy analyst Vishal Shaw, isn’t yet available on the financial institution’s website, but its findings have been reported in...

No matter which party winds up controlling the House and Senate after next Tuesday's elections, we will hear the usual calls for bipartisan cooperation.

Many Democratic candidates are running in hyper-drive trying to distance themselves from President Barack Obama.

One area in which they could find some common ground with Republicans is to oppose the increasingly dangerous penchant of the White House and State Department to attack Israel, a country that is already under greater siege because of failed U.S. behavior in the...

Politics and sports have something in common: generally, there is no such thing as a tie. 

In politics, there are winners and losers at the polls. In Congress, lawmakers pass bills or defeat them. 

There’s no middle ground in Congress. Except for one arcane area -- over which party “controls” the United States Senate. 

Political analysts see a close election on the horizon. This raises the possibility of a tie. A 50-50 Senate. There have been ties in the Senate before, one as recently as 13 years ago. But unlike professional sports, there isn’t a standard procedure to work out a Senate tie. 

To break a tie in baseball, the teams just keeps playing. Inning after inning. The NHL had ties until it introduced a shootout in 2005. Ties are...

Houston's mayor has finally withdrawn her subpoenas which demanded pastors surrender their private communications.

Mayor Annise Parker, a lesbian, had targeted five pastors as part of a lawsuit over a pro-gay ordinance. The religious leaders said the subpoenas violated their First Amendment rights.

Parker says her demands were not meant to infringe on anyone's religious freedoms.

"It was never our intention to interfere with any members of the clergy and their congregants in terms of sermons, in terms of preaching what they believe is the word of the God that they serve," Parker said.

But the targeted pastors still don't believe Parker has had a change of heart.

"If the mayor thought the subpoenas were wrong, she would...

The mayor of Houston announced Wednesday that the city will withdraw subpoenas of sermons from five pastors who publicly opposed an ordinance banning discrimination against gay and transgender residents, The Houston Chronicle reports.

"I didn't do this to satisfy them," Mayor Annise Parker said in reference to critics of the subpoenas. "I did it because it was not serving Houston."

Houston's City Council passed in May the equal rights ordinance, which consolidates city bans on discrimination based on sex, race, age, religion and other categories and increases protections for gay and transgender residents.

The controversy has touched a nerve among religious conservatives around the country, many of them already anxious about the rapid spread of gay rights...

In just a little more than a week, all of the ballots will be cast and counted in the 2014 midterm elections. While most prognosticators believe the Republicans will have little trouble keeping control of the House of Representatives, a number of polls show the battle for control of the U.S. Senate is still very closely contested.

Here is a preview of the struggle for Congress during President Barack Obama's final two years in office:


U.S. House of Representatives

Republicans control the House 233-199 with three vacancies -- one Republican in Virginia and two Democrat in North Carolina and New Jersey.  All 435 seats are at stake in 2014....