Social Security judges face threats to safety

Social Security judges face threats to safety

Judges who hear Social Security disability cases are facing a growing number of violent threats from claimants angry over being denied benefits or frustrated at lengthy delays in processing claims. There were at least 80 threats to kill or harm administrative law judges or staff over the past year — an 18 percent increase over […]

Rangel’s ethics trial begins

Rangel’s ethics trial begins

Rep. Charles Rangel of New York headed the House’s tax-writing committee but acknowledged shortchanging the Internal Revenue Service on his own tax bill. Now, a House ethics panel will judge whether filing an amended tax return and belatedly paying his taxes and other financial and fundraising practices violated the congressional rule book. A rare ethics […]

Pelosi’s political purgatory

Pelosi’s political purgatory

The petite woman in regal purple edged her way behind a raucous mob of reporters awaiting the next speaker of the House, a brutal midterm election behind her and an unclear future ahead. Attuned for four years to the comings and goings of House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, few in the press klatch noticed — and […]

Lame ducks return to Washington

Lame ducks return to Washington

House takeover, hobbled Democrats and invigorated Republicans return Monday to a testy tax dispute and a lengthy to-do list for a post-election session of Congress unlikely to achieve any landmark legislation. With change clearly in the air, more than 100 mainly Republican freshmen arrive on Capitol Hill to be schooled on the jobs they’ll assume […]

Newbies get a crash course in being a Congressman

Newbies get a crash course in being a Congressman

Where to live? Whom to hire? What’s a voting card — and where are the bathrooms? More than 100 members of Congress arrive in Washington this coming week for the first time since winning election, trading the loftiness of campaign speeches for mundane lessons in how to do their new jobs. It’s freshman orientation on […]

Election showcases Obama’s eroding base

Election showcases Obama’s eroding base

Near the midpoint of his presidency, Barack Obama‘s diverse voter coalition reveals giant cracks and he faces major work repairing his standing among independents in states crucial to his re-election chances. Catholics. Older people. Women. Young adults. They shifted toward Republicans in this month’s elections and failed to support Obama’s Democratic Party as they did […]

Democrats cut deal to avoid leadership battle

Democrats cut deal to avoid leadership battle

House Democrats averted a messy leadership struggle, clearing the way for Maryland Rep. Steny Hoyer to become second in command of their new minority without a challenge from South Carolina Rep. James Clyburn. Under an arrangement worked out in private, officials said late Friday that Clyburn would instead receive a new position, title unknown and […]

Obama urges earmark reform; GOP says just get rid of them

Obama urges earmark reform; GOP says just get rid of them

Confronting the nation’s mounting deficit, President Barack Obama is urging Congress to limit spending on pet home-state projects, while Republicans are challenging him to support an outright ban. In his weekly radio and online address Saturday, Obama said that with the economy still struggling to recover from the recession, the U.S. cannot afford unnecessary spending […]

Deficit commission challenges conventional wisdom on budget

Deficit commission challenges conventional wisdom on budget

The leaders of the deficit commission are baldly calling out the budget myths of both political parties, challenging lawmakers to engage in the “adult conversation” they say they want. Their plan — mixing painful cuts to Social Security and Medicare with big tax increases — has no chance of enactment as written, certainly not as […]

Voters not sold on GOP’s agenda

Voters not sold on GOP’s agenda

People back Republican tax cut plans but not the GOP campaign to repeal President Barack Obama‘s health care overhaul, according to a poll suggesting that the Republicans’ big Election Day win was not a mandate for the party’s legislative wish list. Fifty-three percent say income tax cuts that soon will expire should be renewed for […]