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2014’s political moments

Supreme Court rules home-care employees do not have to pay union fees
News media crews wait for the Harris vs. Quinn decision in the final days of the Supreme Court’s term. The high court held that personal home-care employees cannot be forced to pay dues to a union, but it stopped short of extending the ruling to all public employees.  (J. Scott Applewhite / Associated Press)
Supreme Court sides with Hobby Lobby on contraception
Anti-abortion advocates cheer in front of the Supreme Court after the decision in Burwell vs. Hobby Lobby Stores. In a 5-4 decision, the Supreme Court ruled that Christian business owners with religious objections may refuse to provide their employees with insurance coverage for contraceptives. (Chip Somodevilla / Getty Images)
Robert McDonald selected to replace Shinseki
Former Procter and Gamble executive Robert McDonald speaks at the Clinton Global Initiative in New York in 2011. President Obama chose McDonald to succeed Eric Shinseki as secretary of Veterans Affairs in late June. (Mark Lennihan / Associated Press)
Supreme Court rejects Obama’s recess appointments
President Obama speaks at a fundraiser the night before the Supreme Court ruled he had exceeded his power in filling three seats on the National Labor Relations Board while the Senate was on recess. (Jacquelyn Martin / Associated Press)
Supreme Court rules against ‘buffer zones’
Opponents of abortion celebrate the McCullen vs. Coakley decision outside the U.S. Supreme Court in Washington, D.C. The court overturned a Massachusetts law barring protests within a 35-feet “buffer zone” around abortion clinics. (Win McNamee / Getty Images)
Biden visits Guatemala
Vice President Biden meets with Guatemalan President Otto Perez Molina in Guatemala City, Guatemala. Biden traveled to Central America in hopes of slowing the flood of child migrants crossing the U.S. border. (Saul Martinez / EPA)
George H.W. Bush skydives
Former President George H.W. Bush celebrates his 90th birthday by skydiving in Kennebunkport, Maine. Bush has also gone parachute jumping for his 75th, 80th and 85th birthdays. (Eric Shea / Getty Images)
Kevin McCarthy becomes House Majority Leader
Rep. Kevin McCarthy walks in a Capitol hallway shortly before being elected House Majority Leader in June. The position opened after Rep. Eric Cantor lost his reelection campaign in a stunning primary defeat. McCarthy, a Bakersfield Republican, is the first Californian to fill the post.  (Alex Wong / Getty Images)
Eric Cantor is defeated
Rep. Eric Cantor announces his resignation from his post as House Majority Leader after losing his reelection campaign to Tea Party challenger David Brat. (Alex Wong / Getty Images)
Sen. Harry Reid moves
Sen. Harry Reid hugs a supporter in his hometown of Searchlight, Nev. The senator, who often brings up his humble upbringing in Searchlight, moved to Las Vegas from the famously small, desert mining town in June. (Laura Rauch / Associated Press)
Bowe Bergdahl is released from Taliban captivity
Army Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl poses for a U.S. Army photo. Bergdahl went missing in Afghanistan in 2009, when he was taken prisoner by Taliban forces. President Obama announced that the U.S. traded five Guantanamo Bay detainees for Bergdahl’s release. (Associated Press)
Hillary Rodham Clinton and ‘Hard Choices’
Former Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton signs a copy of her book “Hard Choices” in June. Many speculate Clinton’s book tour could be a precursor to an announcement of her candidacy for president.  (Ed Andrieski / Associated Press)
Shinseki resigns
Secretary of Veterans Affairs Eric Shinseki speaks in May shortly before stepping down in the midst of a scandal over healthcare for veterans.  (Win McNamee / Getty Images)
Clay Aiken
“American Idol” runner-up Clay Aiken campaigns in North Carolina in May. Aiken won the Democratic congressional primary in his home state, and in a shocking turn of events, his opponent Keith Crisco died the night before the election.  (Chris Seward / MCT)
Easter at the White House
President Obama, First Lady Michelle Obama and the Easter Bunny stand with their hands on their hearts as Cam Anthony sings the national anthem at the annual White House Easter Egg Roll on Saturday.  (Carolyn Kaster / AP)
Sebelius is out
President Obama and Vice President Joe Biden applaud outgoing Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius during a news conference in the White House Rose Garden on April 11. Sebelius, who oversaw the rocky rollout of the Affordable Care Act, resigned after five years in the post. (Mark Wilson / Getty Images)
Civil Rights Act at 50
President Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama take the stage at the LBJ Presidential Library April 10 during a summit marking the 50th anniversary of the passage of the 1964 Civil Rights Act. (Pool / Getty Images)
Obamacare for 7 million
More than 7 million Americans signed up for health coverage during the Affordable Care Act’s open enrollment period, President Obama tells supporters and lawmakers at the White House on April 1. (Win McNamee / Getty Images)
Last call for Obamacare
In the final hours of Obamacare’s first open enrollment period, Vice President Joe Biden talks to attendees at an Affordable Care Act signup site in Washington, D.C. (Drew Angerer / Getty Images)
‘The Sheldon primary’
Billionaire casino mogul Sheldon Adelson listens to New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie speak during the Republican Jewish Coalition spring leadership meeting in Las Vegas. Some dubbed the gathering “the Sheldon primary,” as Republican presidential hopefuls vied for Adelson’s support. (Ethan Miller / Getty Images)
NSA reforms
President Obama asked Congress to end government storage of data from millions of U.S. phone calls. Under Obama’s plan, announced March 27, the National Security Agency would instead be required to access the records directly from phone companies. (Patrick Semansky / AP)
Secret service sent home
Members of the Secret Service’s counter -ssault team walk across the tarmac of a Belgium airport on March 26. Three agents were sent home from the Netherlands just before President Obama’s arrival after one agent was found inebriated in an Amsterdam hotel.  (Pablo Martinez Monsivais / AP)
The Senate vs. the CIA
Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) talks to reporters on Capitol Hill after announcing that the CIA’s improper search of a standalone computer network established for Congress had been referred to the Justice Department. (J. Scott Applewhite / AP)
David Jolly wins in Florida
Republican David Jolly celebrates winning Florida’s special election on March 11. Jolly beat Democrat Alex Sink in a Tampa-area House district that had been held by the late Republican Rep. Bill Young, who died in October of cancer.  (Chris Zuppa / Associated Press)
Palin rewrites ‘Green Eggs and Ham’
In a speech closing out the Conservative Political Action Conference, Sarah Palin turned the Dr. Seuss classic “Grren Eggs and Ham” into a full-blown critique of the Obama presidency. “I do not like this Uncle Sam,” she said. “I do not like his healthcare scam.”  (T.J. Kirkpatrick / Getty Images)
The Clinton papers
A freelance news producer for NBC News sorts through pages of White House documents after their release to the public on Feb. 28. The Clinton Presidential Library made available about 3,400 pages of previously unreleased documents involving former President Bill Clinton’s administration. (Stephen B. Thornton / Getty Images)
One year later, Boehner and Obama meet
President Barack Obama, right, meets with House Speaker John A. Boehner (R-Ohio) in the Oval Office. During their first one-on-one meeting in more than a year, they discussed trade and the California drought. (Alex Wong / Getty Images )
A visit from the Dalai Lama
Tibetan spiritual leader the Dalai Lama, center, meets with House Speaker John A. Boehner and House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi at the U.S. Capitol. (Charles Dharapak / Associated Press)
Up in the air
Aboard Air Force One en route to Mexico, President Barack Obama signs an executive order streamlining the export/import process for American business. (Jacquelyn Martin / Associated Press)
Aid for drought-stricken California
With California facing a severe water crisis, President Obama announced millions of dollars in federal drought assistance. (Wally Skalij / Associated Press)
A clean debt ceiling increase
Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) heads to the chamber after voting to increase the U.S. borrowing limit with no strings attached. The Senate approved the measure on Feb. 12, one day after senior House Republicans joined a majority of Democrats to increase the debt ceiling. (Jim Lo Scalzo / European Pressphoto Agency)
$10.10 for federal contractors
President Obama delivers remarks before signing an executive order raising the minimum wage to $10.10 on new federal contracts. (Mandel Ngan / AFP/Getty Images)
Dinner with the French
First Lady Michelle Obama, French President Francois Hollande and President Obama arrive at a state dinner at the White House. (Pablo Martinez Monsivais / Associated Press)
Expanding recognition of same-sex marriages
A reinvigorated Atty. Gen. Eric Holder announces that the Obama administration will broaden government recognition of same-sex marriage in federal courts and prisons. (Kris Connor / Getty Images)
Signing the farm bill
After a two-year battle in Congress, President Obama signs a $1-trillion farm bill, passed in a rare show of bipartisanship. (Jacquelyn Martin / Associated Press)
Rep. Henry Waxman
Rep. Henry A. Waxman, (D-Beverly Hills) fields phone calls in his Capitol Hill office after he announced his retirement. (J. Scott Applewhite / Associated Press)
Bernanke’s final day
Ben Bernanke walks down a hallway to an elevator at the Federal Reserve as he leaves his office on his last day as chairman of the central bank. (Saul Loeb / AFP/Getty Images)
State of the Union 2014
President Obama delivers his State of the Union address before a joint session of Congress at the Capitol. (Jewel Samad / AFP/Getty Images)
Cory Remsburg
Sgt. 1st Class Cory Remsburg, an Army Ranger, acknowledges applause from the audience during President Obama’s State of the Union address on Capitol Hill. (J. Scott Applewhite / Associated Press)
Cathy McMorris Rodgers
Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers (R-Wash.) sits on a couch as she prepares to respond to President Obama’s State of the Union address. (Alex Wong / Getty Images)
Chris Christie sworn in
New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie is sworn in for his second term by state Supreme Court Chief Justice Stuart Rabner during a ceremony in Trenton. (Mel Evans / Associated Press)
Bob McDonnell indicted
Former Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell, surrounded by news cameras, enters U.S. District Court in Richmond, Va., for his and his wife Maureen’s bond hearing and arraignment on federal corruption charges. (Dean Hoffmeyer / Associated Press)
Mike Huckabee
Former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee before speaking at the Republican National Committee in Washington, D.C. Huckabee sparked controversy by claiming that Democrats believe women “cannot control their libido or their reproductive system without the help of government.” (Susan Walsh / Associated Press)
Roe vs. Wade anniversary
Anti-abortion demonstrators protest in front of the Supreme Court and Capitol during the 41st annual March of Life in Washington, D.C. (Saul Loeb / AFP/Getty Images)
NSA reform speech
President Obama delivers remarks on the nation’s intelligence programs in the Great Hall at the Department of Justice in Washington, D.C. (Shawn Thew / EPA)
Oklahoma gay marriage ban
Gay Phillips, left, her partner, Sue Barton; and Mary Bishop and her partner Sharon Baldwin have a champagne toast during a celebration in Tulsa, Okla., after a federal judge struck down Oklahoma’s gay marriage ban. (James Gibbard / Associated Press)
Avoiding another shutdown
House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) leaves the House chamber on Capitol Hill after the final vote on a massive $1.1-trillion spending bill. (J. Scott Applewhite / Associated Press)
Supreme Court abortion protest
Alan Hoyle, of Lincolnton, N.C., stands outside the Supreme Court as the court heard arguments on a state of Massachusetts law setting a 35-foot protest-free zone outside abortion clinics. (Evan Vucci / Associated Press)
Rubio’s poverty address
Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) delivers a speech on reforming antipoverty programs and improving income mobility during a American Enterprise Institute for Public Policy Research event on Capitol Hill. (Alex Wong / Getty Images)
Chris Christie apologizes
New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie speaks at news conference in Trenton, N.J., about the “Bridgegate” scandal regarding massive traffic delays on the George Washington Bridge. (Jeff Zelevansky / Getty Images)
Gabrielle Giffords

Former Arizona Rep. Gabrielle Giffords waves from a car in Eloy, Ariz., after making her first parachute jump on the third anniversary of the day she was shot in Tucson during a political event.

 (Ross D. Franklin / Associated Press)
Utah gay marriages
Troy Williams, a local gay rights organizer, speaks to a crowd of supporters of gay marriage as they gathered to rally and deliver more than 58,000 petition signatures in support of gay marriage to Utah Gov. Gary Herbert at the Capitol in Salt Lake City. (Steve C. Wilson / Associated Press)
Biden at Sharon’s funeral
Vice President Joe Biden speaks next to the coffin of late Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon outside the Knesset, Israel’s parliament, in Jerusalem. (Sebastian Scheiner / Associated Press)
McAuliffe sworn in
New Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe takes the oath of office from Virginia Chief Justice Cynthia Kinser on the steps of the Capitol in Richmond. (Steve Helber / Associated Press)
Obama up close
President Obama shares lunch with young outreach activists at the Coupe restaurant in Washington. (Jim Watson / AFP/Getty Images)
Potatoes for Russia
Secretary of State John F. Kerry, left, holds Idaho potatoes as a gift for Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov before the start of their meeting at the U.S. ambassador’s residence in Paris. (Pablo Martinez Monsivais / AFP/Getty Images)
Obama, Biden photo-op
President Obama and Vice President Joe Biden talk during a photo-op that news photographers were allowed to document as they meet for lunch in the Private Dining Room of the White House. (Carolyn Kaster / Associated Press)
Bill de Blasio snowbound
New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio shovels the sidewalk in front of his house as a winter storm presented the first challenge of his tenure. (Seth Wenig / Associated Press)