GOP leadership void opens door for Paul Ryan

GOP leadership void opens door for Paul Ryan

Republicans are pressing ahead with one of the most ambitious and risky long-term spending agendas in memory, yet the dozen or so potential White House hopefuls are nearly invisible on the issue. They can’t stay on the sidelines for long, however. The contentious debate will rope them in on terms they might find hard to […]

Supreme Court justice O’Connor faulted for ethical lapses

Supreme Court justice O’Connor faulted for ethical lapses

Retired Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O’Connor continues to hear cases in U.S. appeals courts, while also playing a role in public policy issues. Her critics say she should do one or the other, but not both. O’Connor, 81, was forced to apologize for 50,000 recorded telephone calls made to Nevada voters in which she […]

Both sides win something in budget deal

Both sides win something in budget deal

Rivals in a divided government, President Barack Obama and the most powerful Republican in Congress split their differences to stave off a federal shutdown that neither combatant was willing to risk. Their compromise is the result of a battle pitting the enduring power of the presidential veto and the White House soapbox — despite a […]

At end of long night, a last-minute deal

At end of long night, a last-minute deal

There was barely an hour left before the midnight padlocking of government doors. In a Capitol basement meeting room, House Speaker John Boehner was telling exhausted fellow Republicans that a deal to avert a shutdown was nearly finished when an aide alerted him that staff had completed the final details and the agreement was complete. […]

Signs of relief, widespread disgust

Signs of relief, widespread disgust

A collective sense of relief resonated across the nation Saturday, now that a federal government shutdown is merely a thought of what could have been. Thousands of tourists poured into the Smithsonian museums in Washington — which would have been shuttered without Friday’s late-night budget deal — to see artifacts like the original “Star-Spangled Banner” […]

Last-minute deal avoids shutdown

Last-minute deal avoids shutdown

A last minute budget deal, forged amid bluster and tough bargaining, averted an embarrassing federal shutdown and cut billions in spending — the first major test of the divided government voters ushered in five months ago. Working late into the evening Friday, congressional and White House negotiators struck an agreement to pay for government operations […]

Budget battle tests Obama’s leadership

Budget battle tests Obama’s leadership

President Barack Obama promised to change Washington’s ways. Yet he is as caught up in them as ever. It was just at the start of this week that Obama launched his re-election bid with a sunny video of real people talking about their hopes and needs. It was the very image of life outside Washington […]

Planned parenthood, abotion and budgets

Planned parenthood, abotion and budgets

Republicans portray Planned Parenthood as primarily focused on performing abortions and — intentionally or not — using American taxpayer dollars to do it. Not so, say Democrats who counter that the group’s 800-plus health centers nationwide provide an array of services, from screenings for cancer to testing for sexually transmitted diseases. Abortion is just one […]

IRS snitch gets $4.5 million whistleblower award

IRS snitch gets $4.5 million whistleblower award

An accountant who tipped off the IRS that his employer was skimping on taxes has received $4.5 million in the first IRS whistleblower award. The accountant’s tip netted the IRS $20 million in taxes and interest from the errant financial-services firm. The award represents a 22 percent cut of the taxes recovered. The program, designed […]

Terror suspects secretly detained for weeks

Terror suspects secretly detained for weeks

“Black sites,” the secret network of jails that grew up after the Sept. 11 attacks, are gone. But suspected terrorists are still being held under hazy circumstances with uncertain rights in secret, military-run jails across Afghanistan, where they can be interrogated for weeks without charge, according to U.S. officials who revealed details of the top-secret […]