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 […]

Time is running out

Time is running out

Uncomfortably close to a deadline, President Barack Obama and top congressional leaders have only hours to avert a Friday midnight government shutdown that all sides say would inconvenience millions of people and damage a still fragile economy. Obama said he still hoped to announce an agreement on Friday but did not have “wild optimism.” In […]

Workers brace for government shutdown

Workers brace for government shutdown

A weather forecaster says he may have to live off the money he’s been setting aside for a Caribbean vacation. A worker in Washington hopes to polish his resume so he can retire from public service and work in the private sector. An accountant wonders if she can put off her mortgage for a month. […]

Shadow of Newt Gingrich looms over shutdown

Shadow of Newt Gingrich looms over shutdown

In this Nov. 20, 1995, file photo, House Speaker Newt Gingrich, of Ga., holds the original budget compromise given to him by White House Chief of Staff Leon Panetta during an address before the U.S. Chamber of Commerce in Washington. Gingrich was the face of the last federal government shutdown, the fiery House speaker who […]

Social Security ending mailed earning statements

Social Security ending mailed earning statements

Those yearly statements that Social Security mails out — here’s what you’d get if you retired at 62, at 66, at 70 — will soon stop arriving in workers’ mailboxes. It’s an effort to save money and steer more people to the agency’s website. The government is working to provide the statements online by the […]