updated 9:14 AM EST, Fri December 19, 2014

FEATURED POLITICAL STORIES

Cuban beaches and cigars? Not yet
The end of the 50-year freeze in diplomatic relations with Cuba will mean many more U.S. travelers could be on their way to the neighbor island, only 90 miles from Key West, Florida.
CONGRESS OUTLOOK
Democrats use nuclear option

As they make a final push to approve presidential nominations before Republicans take control of the Senate, Democrats said Tuesday the confirmation of a record number of federal judges was evidence they were right to make controversial changes to filibuster rules, despite objections from Republicans.

Goodbye, Congress: Moses, fish and 'awful' staff

Several congressional giants, who are retiring or were voted out of office, quietly said their public goodbyes during the first half of December.