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** FILE ** Sen. Charles E. Schumer, New York Democrat. (Associated Press)

Schumer blames tea party for gridlock

New York Sen. Charles E. Schumer blasted tea party Republicans on Friday, accusing them of obstructing efforts by Congress to fix the economy and of making it increasingly difficult for Democratic and Republican lawmakers to work together.

** FILE ** Former Secretary of State Colin Powell attends the unveiling of the official portraits of former President George W. Bush and former first lady Laura Bush in the East Room of the White House in Washington on Thursday, May 31, 2012. (AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais)

Obama names Colin Powell to delegation

President Obama selected former Secretary of State Colin L. Powell Thursday to lead a U.S. delegation to Jamaica to celebrate the country's 50th anniversary of its independence next month.

**FILE** House Majority Leader Eric Cantor, Virginia Republican, speaks on April 13, 2012, at the National Rifle Association convention in St. Louis. (Associated Press)

Cantor, Hoyer not blinking on tax cuts

House Majority Leader Eric Cantor, Virginia Republican, and House Minority Whip Steny Hoyer, Maryland Democrat, made it clear Thursday that their respective parties remain far apart on the issue of letting the Bush-era tax cuts expire.