Finishing up a $1.1 trillion government spending bill

Finishing up a $1.1 trillion government spending bill

After weeks of secretive work, senior lawmakers on Capitol Hill are trying to put the finishing touches on a $1.1 trillion spending bill that would lay to rest last year’s budget battles. The goal is to finish writing the mammoth measure this week in anticipation of House and Senate votes before a Jan. 15 deadline […]

Unemployment showdown in Senate

Unemployment showdown in Senate

His agenda tattered by last year’s confrontations and missteps, President Barack Obama begins 2014 clinging to the hope of winning a lasting legislative achievement: an overhaul of immigration laws. It will require a deft and careful use of his powers, combining a public campaign in the face of protests over his administration’s record number of […]

Senate confirms Janet Yellin as new chairman of The Fed

Senate confirms Janet Yellin as new chairman of The Fed

The Senate confirmed Janet Yellen on Monday as the first woman to lead the Federal Reserve, elevating an advocate of fighting unemployment and a backer of the central bank’s efforts to spur the economy with low interest rates and massive bond purchases. Yellen, 67, will replace Ben Bernanke, who is stepping down after serving as […]

Supremes freeze same-sex marriages in Utah

Supremes freeze same-sex marriages in Utah

The Supreme Court on Monday put same-sex marriages on hold in Utah, at least while a federal appeals court more fully considers the issue. The court issued a brief order blocking any new same-sex unions in the state. The order grants an emergency appeal by the state following the Dec. 20 ruling by U.S. District […]

Liz Cheney drops out of Wyoming Senate race

Liz Cheney drops out of Wyoming Senate race

Liz Cheney, daughter of former Vice President Dick Cheney, on Monday abruptly abandoned her effort to unseat Republican incumbent Sen. Mike Enzi of Wyoming. Cheney cited “serious health issues” that “have recently arisen in our family” as the reason for her decision. But her candidacy had raised hackles in the Republican Party and caused a […]

Unemployment, Fed top Congressional agenda

Unemployment, Fed top Congressional agenda

Back to work on Monday, Congress faces a hefty list of unfinished business and a politically driven agenda in an election year that will determine control of the House and Senate. President Barack Obama’s nomination of Janet Yellen to head the Federal Reserve and a three-month extension of benefits for the long-term unemployed are first […]

Election year politics drives Congress in 2014

Election year politics drives Congress in 2014

Congress returns to work Monday with election-year politics certain to shape an already limited agenda. Republicans intend to focus on every facet of President Barack Obama’s health care law. They see a political boost in its problem-plagued rollout as the GOP looks to maintain its House majority and seize control of the Democratic-led Senate. First […]

Secret court authorizes continuation of NSA spying

Secret court authorizes continuation of NSA spying

A secretive U.S. spy court has ruled again that the National Security Agency can keep collecting every American’s telephone records every day, in the midst of dueling decisions in two other federal courts about whether the surveillance program is constitutional. The Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court on Friday renewed the NSA phone collection program, said Shawn […]

From ‘uninsured’ to ‘underinsured’

From ‘uninsured’ to ‘underinsured’

  For working people making modest wages and struggling with high medical bills from chronic disease, President Barack Obama’s health care plan sounds like long-awaited relief. But the promise could go unfulfilled. It’s true that patients with cancer and difficult conditions such as multiple sclerosis or Crohn’s disease will be able to get insurance and […]