Archives for Capitol Hillbillies

Democrats jump on tax cut bandwagon

More Democrats joined Republicans on Wednesday in calling for the preservation of tax breaks for Americans of every income level, bolting this election season from President Barack Obama’s plan to preserve cuts for families who earn less than $250,000 and let taxes rise for the wealthiest Americans. But Obama placed the blame for the stalled proposal squarely on Republicans. “They want to hold these middle class tax cuts hostage until they get an additional tax cut for the wealthiest 2 percent of Americans,” the president said in afternoon remarks. “Doesn’t it make sense for us to move forward with the
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Ethics-challenged Rangel survives primary challenge

Embattled Rep. Charles Rangel prevailed in a crowded Democratic primary Tuesday, with voters in his New York City district signaling they are willing to stand by the 40-year House veteran despite more than a dozen ethics charges pending against him. Rangel beat back five challengers including Adam Clayton Powell IV, a state assemblyman and son of the legendary Harlem figure Rangel defeated in 1970. Rangel is all but guaranteed re-election in November in this heavily Democratic district. With 83 percent of precincts reporting, Rangel had 52 percent to 24 percent for Powell, his nearest competitor. “I’m going back to Washington
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Congressional pork could doom Pentagon cost-cutting

The Pentagon will unveil new rules later on Tuesday aimed at ending years of massive cost overruns on major weapons programs, but congressional efforts to protect home-district jobs may turn Defense Secretary Robert Gates’ cost-cutting drive into his toughest battle yet. Gates and chief weapons buyer Ashton Carter are due to announce the next steps in a major drive to cut overhead costs by $100 billion over the next five years while ensuring real growth in defense spending of at least one percent. Gates has won the grudging admiration of many watchdog groups, impressed with the Obama administration‘s victory in
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GOP: Tax increase ain’t gonna happen

President Barack Obama‘s plan to raise taxes on wealthier people while preserving cuts for everyone else appears increasingly likely to founder before Election Day. Senate GOP leaders declared on Monday that Republicans are, to a person, opposed to legislation that would extend only middle-class tax relief — which Obama has repeatedly promised to deliver — if Democrats follow through on plans to let tax rates rise for the wealthiest Americans. The GOP senators forcefully made their case one day after House Republican leader John Boehner suggested he might vote for Obama’s plan if that ends up the only option. Both
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Boehner will support middle-class tax cuts…but

House Minority Leader John Boehner says he would vote for President Obama’s plan to extend tax cuts only for middle-class earners, not the wealthy, if that were the only option available to House Republicans. Boehner, R-Ohio, said it is “bad policy” to exclude the highest-earning Americans from tax relief during the recession, and later Sunday he accused the White House of “class warfare.” But he said he wouldn’t block the breaks for middle-income individuals and families if Democrats won’t support the full package. Income tax cuts passed under President George W. Bush will expire at the end of this year
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Democrats desert Obama on taxes

Democrats in Congress are distancing themselves from President Barack Obama’s push to let taxes rise for the wealthiest Americans, fearing it will further harm them in November’s mid-term elections. Obama stood firm on his stance in a fiery speech this week addressing the looming increase of all individual taxes. He repeated his pledge to let tax rates on high-end income groups rise — individuals making more than $200,000 a year or couples earning over $250,000. But congressional Democrats are worried as they face potentially big losses in November. Democrats in the most vulnerable districts are teetering, especially the party’s conservative
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Democrats shun help from Obama

President Barack Obama doesn’t go there anymore. The days of Obama traipsing around the country to states like Montana, Indiana or Arkansas in freewheeling campaign mode — and with sky-high popularity lifting Democratic candidates — are long over. With his approval rating sliding, the president in the next few weeks is primarily sticking to big cities — Milwaukee, Cleveland and Philadelphia — and other party strongholds, like Connecticut, where he can help fellow Democrats in the midterm election homestretch. Who’s campaigning for Democratic candidates in Arkansas on Wednesday? Former President Bill Clinton, ex-governor of the state. “Judging from the polls
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Democratic woes put at least 75 House seats in play

Their control of the House in peril, Democrats are scratching to survive in races all across the country. Disgruntled voters, a sluggish economy and vanishing enthusiasm for President Barack Obama have put 75 seats or more — the vast majority held by Democrats — at risk of changing hands. The party could become a victim of its own successes during the past two elections, when candidates were swept into power by antipathy for President George W. Bush and ardor for Obama. Now, eight weeks from Election Day, the Democrats are bracing for the virtual certainty of lost House seats and
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Murkowski: ‘I’m not a quitter’

A week after conceding the tight GOP primary to Joe Miller, U.S. Sen. Lisa Murkowski says she’s not a quitter and is “still in this game.” Murkowski told The Associated Press on Tuesday that she’s been inundated with calls and e-mails from supporters and overwhelmed by people just coming up to her, asking her not to leave the race. She said she had been ready to consider her future outside the Senate on Aug. 31, when she conceded, but has been humbled by the outpouring from Alaskans, is listening and weighing her options. She said that if this was “all
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John Boehner: Speaker in waiting?

John Boehner could walk down most American streets without turning a head. But the perpetually tanned, chain-smoking Ohioan might be the next House speaker and a huge force in national politics, trying to manage an increasingly libertarian-leaning Republican caucus while leading the opposition to President Barack Obama. For those who know Boehner (pronounced BAY’-nur), the question is which version of the House Republican leader will emerge as speaker if the GOP takes at least 40 seats from Democrats in November. Will it be the policy-minded lawmaker who sometimes shows bipartisan tendencies? Or will it be the partisan of recent months
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