Can Democrats buck the anti-pork tidal wave?

Can Democrats buck the anti-pork tidal wave?

Now that Republicans have abandoned the you-scratch-my-back, I’ll-scratch-yours earmark process, Democrats who still hold a majority in the Senate have to decide whether they’ll try to prop up a system that seems to be collapsing all around them. With the incoming House GOP majority dead set against earmarks and President Barack Obama urging a crackdown, […]

Rangel convicted on 11 ethics violations

Rangel convicted on 11 ethics violations

Rep. Charles Rangel, once one of the most influential House members, was convicted Tuesday on 11 counts of breaking ethics rules and now faces punishment. An ethics panel of eight House peers deliberated over two days before delivering a jarring blow to the 20-term New York Democrat’s career. Rangel was charged with 13 counts of […]

Murkowski: Palin doesn’t have what it takes to be President

Murkowski: Palin doesn’t have what it takes to be President

Republican U.S. Sen. Lisa Murkowski says she doesn’t think Sarah Palin has the leadership qualities to be president, nor the “intellectual curiosity” needed to make good policy. Murkowski also tells Katie Couric of the “CBS Evening News” that she doesn’t think Palin enjoyed governing. An e-mail sent Monday from The Associated Press to Palin’s media […]

Split Congress spells trouble for election reform

Split Congress spells trouble for election reform

The Obama administration has pushed an ambitious education agenda in the last two years, sending $100 billion to states thorough the stimulus package and spurring reform in many locations through the Race to the Top competition. But none of the major initiatives pushed by President Barack Obama and Education Secretary Arne Duncan have been bipartisan. […]

Reid, McDonnell keep Senate leadership posts

Reid, McDonnell keep Senate leadership posts

Senate Democrats and Republicans alike are poised to return their respective party leaders to their posts following an election in which the top Democrat scrambled to retain his seat and the senior Republican picked up 13 new senators. Majority Leader Harry Reid, a Nevada Democrat, is unopposed to keep his post, as is Kentucky Republican […]

New clobbers old on Capitol Hill

New clobbers old on Capitol Hill

Old and new Washington collided on Capitol Hill Monday, and new won. Within moments of flicking on the Senate lights, Sen. Mitch McConnell announced that when it came to pork barrel politics he had changed his mind. The Senate’s staunchest fan of so-called earmarks reversed course and supported a ban on those special spending requests, […]

McConnell flips and backs ban on pork barrel spending

McConnell flips and backs ban on pork barrel spending

Congress’ most unapologetic fan of big-money politics is backing a ban on pork-barrel earmarks and avoiding an early battle with conservative senators who had threatened to force a vote on the matter. Sen. Mitch McConnell of Kentucky, who has long defended the practice of designating money for home-state projects, said he was heeding the message […]

Rangel walks, ethics committee balks

Rangel walks, ethics committee balks

Once one of the most powerful members of Congress, veteran Rep. Charles Rangel of New York was reduced Monday to pleading with colleagues for more time to raise money for a lawyer before they took up misconduct charges against him. No, they said, and quickly began deliberations, saying the facts were so clear they didn’t […]

Murkowski leading by 1,706 votes as the count continues

Murkowski leading by 1,706 votes as the count continues

Election workers are scheduled to continue counting ballots in Alaska’s still-undecided Senate race. About 8,800 ballots were to be tallied on Tuesday, a day after election officials said Sen. Lisa Murkowski had emerged from several days of counting with a 1,706 vote lead over GOP nominee Joe Miller. Murkowski waged a write-in campaign after losing […]

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 […]