President Obama urged Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin in a one-hour phone call Thursday to pursue a diplomatic solution to his military incursion into Crimea, including direct talks between Russia and Ukraine with outside observers.
Obama also proposed a pull back of troops to pre-existing Russian bases, international monitors to protect the rights of all populations in Ukraine, and support for new Ukrainian elections in May, the White House said in a statement about the conversation with Putin.
House Republicans are fending off aggressive efforts by Democrats to punish Rep. Darrell Issa, R-Calif., for cutting off a Democratic congressman during a heated hearing on the IRS targeting scandal.
The House voted Thursday afternoon to block a resolution that would formally chastise the chairman of the House oversight committee for his conduct at Wednesday's hearing.
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