TPM News

Poll: Public Wants Congress To Keep Working On Health Care A new CNN poll has mixed news for the health care bill, with a total of 59% saying that Congress should continue to work on it. However, only 26% said the current bills should be passed with only minor changes, with 33% saying major changes should be made. Only 24% said to start over on new bills, and only 15% said to pass no bill at all.

Obama's Day Ahead President Obama will sign at 11 a.m. ET the Worker, Homeownership, and Business Assistance Act of 2009, extending unemployment benefits and other aid in the recession. He will depart the White House at 2:20 p.m. ET, and will visit Walter Reed Army Medical Center at 2:35 p.m. ET. He will arrive back at the White House at 4:15 p.m. ET. He will meet at 4:25 p.m. ET with Congressman-elect Bill Owens (D-NY), and will meet at 5:10 p.m. ET with Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.

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The cousin of Nidal Hasan, Nader Hasan, released a statement on the Fort Hood shootings through a spokeswoman:

As Nidal Hasan's first cousin, and because his parents are no longer alive, I wanted to issue a statement on behalf of my family. We are shocked and saddened by the terrible events at Fort Hood today. We send the families of the victims our most heartfelt sympathies.

We, like most of America, know very few details at this time. Here is what we do know about our cousin. Nidal was an American citizen. He was born in Arlington, Virginia and raised here in America. He attended local high schools and eventually went on to attend Virginia Tech.

We are filled with grief for the families of today's victims. Our family loves America. We are proud of our country, and saddened by today's tragedy. Because this situation is still unfolding, we have nothing else that we are able to share with you at this time.

This morning, two officials from Fort Hood -- Col. John Rossi and Col. Steve Braverman -- held a press conference on the deadly shooting at the Texas Army base yesterday. Here are some key pieces of news:

- Initial findings indicate that there was a single shooter, who was shot and subdued by first responders. They named him as Major Nidal Malik Hasan.

- The number of victims killed is 13, with 28 injured and hospitalized.

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Bill Owens will have been a member of Congress less than five hours when he is treated to a private sit-down with President Obama.

The White House said Obama is scheduled to meet with Owens in the Oval Office Friday at 4:25 p.m. after the president returns from a visit to Walter Reed.

Owens (D-NY) was elected Tuesday night after defeating Conservative Party candidate Doug Hoffman. Speaker Nancy Pelosi will host the swearing-in ceremony around noon Friday.

He was a bright spot in a lousy night for the party in the elections in the Northeast, and the first Democrat to hold the seat since the Civil War.

TPMDC reported earlier that Obama is meeting with House Democrats during a caucus meeting before they vote on health care. That was scheduled for Friday but the White House just announced the meeting will be Saturday instead.

Late update: Vice President Biden on Friday will speak via phone to "members of the House of Representatives about the need to pass health insurance reform." In announcing Biden's schedule, the White House didn't specify if he was speaking to Democrats and Republicans or just one party. TPMDC will update when we find out.

The scene today at the Capitol Hill Tea Party probably worried incumbents of both parties.

TPMDC was there, following every "Kill the bill" refrain and impromptu "USA! USA!" chant from the many thousands gathered on the West Front Lawn of the Capitol.

Evan captured the mood on the ground (with extra fun video of women singing their own anti-health care version of "Yankee Doodle") and as we reported earlier, I stumbled upon tea partiers heckling police who had arrested protesters.

My takeaway after several hours interviewing people who had taken time off work, sacrificed sleep and hopped on buses to make the trip from across the country is that there is a real spark to the movement.

The group is angry, and in many cases ill-informed about the 1,900-page health care bill that they delighted in shredding across the Capitol today. But they vote, and each person told me they are angry with incumbents and government spending.

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Sen. Carl Levin (D-MI) chairman of the Armed Services Committee, issued the following statement on the shootings today at Fort Hood, Texas:

Our hearts go out to the families of the brave Americans who lost their lives in today's senseless violence at Ft. Hood, Texas, and to those who were injured. For all Americans, and especially for those of us who know and work closely with members of our military, this is the saddest of days. The Senate Armed Services Committee has requested a detailed accounting of today's tragic events.

Tea Party Express, an anti-health care reform bus tour, has released a statement on the shootings at Fort Hood in Texas:

The leaders and staff of the Tea Party Express II national bus tour wishes to convey our deepest sympathy to the families and associates of those killed and wounded as a result of the tragic shooting at the Ft. Hood military base.

The Tea Party Express is currently traveling through the state of Texas - and will be in Austin tomorrow (Friday) - and the pain and shock from the tragic shooting has deeply impacted all aboard the tour. The Tea Party Express ends each and every rally with a special tribute to the military men and women serving, or who have served, their nation.

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The Council on American-Islamic Relations, or CAIR, released a statement today condemning the shootings at Fort Hood. Here is the full text:

We condemn this cowardly attack in the strongest terms possible and ask that the perpetrators be punished to the full extent of the law. No religious or political ideology could ever justify or excuse such wanton and indiscriminate violence. The attack was particularly heinous in that it targeted the all-volunteer army that protects our nation. American Muslims stand with our fellow citizens in offering both prayers for the victims and sincere condolences to the families of those killed or injured."

Along with innumerable condemnations of terror, CAIR has in the past launched an online anti-terror petition drive called "Not in the Name of Islam," initiated a television public service announcement (PSA) campaign against religious extremism and coordinated a "fatwa," or Islamic religious ruling, against terrorism and extremism.

Vice President Biden released a statement today expressing sympathy to those affected by the shootings at Fort Hood that left 12 dead and 31 wounded. Here is the full text, as released by the White House:

Jill and I join the President and Michelle in expressing our sympathies to the families of the brave soldiers who fell today. We are all praying for those who were wounded and hoping for their full and speedy recovery. Our thoughts and prayers are also with the entire Fort Hood community as they deal with this senseless tragedy.