Archives for Capitol Hillbillies

Republicans plan early assault on health care law

Congressional Republicans said on Sunday they plan a full-scale assault against President Barack Obama‘s healthcare overhaul next year but acknowledged it could take until after the 2012 presidential election to repeal it. Representative Paul Ryan, expected to become chairman of the House Budget Committee chairman, said his fellow Republicans will try to deny funding for implementation of the healthcare legislation and hold hearings to point out its shortcomings when the new Congress convenes in January. But full repeal of the law and replacing it may have to await the results of next election cycle, when control of Congress will again
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Cantor: Obama will be responsible for government shutdown

A top Republican refused on Sunday to rule out the possibility of a government shutdown next year over growing federal deficits but said if there were one, President Barack Obama would bear responsibility. House of Representatives Republican Whip Eric Cantor said it’s up to Obama to work with Republicans since they won the House from Obama’s Democrats in last week’s election, vowing to slash spending and shrink government. Appearing on “Fox News Sunday,” Cantor focused on Obama when asked if Republicans could provide assurances that they wouldn’t let the government shut down in any confrontation with the White House, disrupting
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Rand Paul: GOP must consider cutting military budgets

Republican Sen.-elect Rand Paul says GOP lawmakers must be open to cutting military spending as Congress tries to reduce government spending. The tea party favorite from Kentucky says compromise with Democrats over where to cut spending must include the military as well as social programs. Paul says all government spending must be “on the table.” Paul tells ABC’s “This Week” that he supports a constitutional amendment calling for a balanced budget.
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McConnell says banning pork ain’t that easy

Republican Senate leader Mitch McConnell says banning pork-barrel projects known as “earmarks” from congressional legislation is more complicated than it appears but that he is willing to consider such a ban. McConnell says that ending the common practice of slipping funding requests for home-state projects into legislation won’t cut spending. A ban on earmarks will only limit the discretion of where to spend the vast federal budget and not curb spending. Republican Sen. Jim DeMint of South Carolina has said he wants to ban all lawmakers’ requests for specific spending. President Barack Obama has backed that idea. McConnell says Republicans
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Gates to Congress: Repeal ‘don’t ask, don’t tell’ before new members are seated

Defense Secretary Robert Gates wants a lame duck session of Congress to repeal the ban on gays serving openly in the military before new, more anti-gay members are sworn in. But he isn’t holding his breath waiting for that to happen. On a trip to Australia for a series of defense and diplomatic confabs, Gates said: “I would like to see the repeal of “don’t ask, don’t tell” but I’m not sure what the prospects for that are.” He, however, did not sound optimistic that the current Congress would use a brief postelection session to get rid of the law
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Pelosi’s decision: Hell no, she won’t go

Despite widespread complaints about massive losses that will put Democrats in the minority, Speaker Nancy Pelosi said Friday she will try to stay on as leader of her party in the House. The decision exposed a rift between Pelosi’s liberal allies and the dwindling number of moderate Democrats, who feel besieged and eager for substantive and symbolic changes in direction after Tuesday’s Republican rout. It also is likely to trigger leadership battles farther down the ladder. Pelosi, the nation’s first female speaker, said many colleagues urged her to seek the post of minority leader in the new Congress that convenes
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GOP to Bachmann: Don’t call us, we’ll call you

Self-proclaimed tea party leader Michele Bachmann‘s bid for a top Republican post in the House received a cool reaction Thursday from Speaker-to-be John Boehner, an early test of how GOP leaders will treat the antiestablishment movement’s winners in Tuesday’s elections. “Constitutional conservatives deserve a loud and clear voice in leadership!” Bachmann, R-Minn., who founded the Tea Party Caucus, said in a one-paragraph Facebook announcement that she is running for GOP conference chairman. House Republican leaders don’t disagree. But that doesn’t mean they want the hyperbolic Bachmann being a spokeswoman for the new majority during the 2012 election cycle. Boehner, aware
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Coalitions? We don’t need no stinkin’ coalitions

President Barack Obama may have expressed humility over the “shellacking” he took in the midterm elections. But he and his fellow Democrats made it clear they still differ with Republicans on many key issues, and all the talk of a new spirit of compromise could prove tough to follow up on. Leaders of the two parties seemed to draw different lessons from the elections, in which Republicans took over the House and cut deeply into the Democrats’ Senate majority. Senate Republican leader Mitch McConnell of Kentucky practically threatened Democrats with deeper losses in two years if they don’t show more
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A bitter defeat for Nancy Pelosi

Nancy Pelosi, the first woman to serve as US speaker of the House, appeared out of a job after a short but productive four years in office as Republicans retook the chamber she ran with gusto. Pelosi, 70, won the distinction of being the highest woman ever elected to office in the United States. But while she earned the affection of Democrats for her strict and skillful running of the 435-seat House of Representatives, she swiftly became the woman the Republicans most loved to hate. Always impeccably turned out, the representative from California is an influential and powerful lawmaker and
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Congress more productive than realized

The public panned it. Republicans obstructed it. Many Democrats fled from it. Even so, the session of Congress now drawing to a close was the most productive in nearly half a century. Not since the explosive years of the civil rights movement and the hard-fought debut of government-supported health care for the elderly and poor have so many big things — love them or hate them — been done so quickly. Gridlock? It may feel that way. But that’s not the story of the 111th Congress — not the story history will remember. Democrats are dearly hoping history won’t repeat
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