Archives for Capitol Hillbillies

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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John Boehner: The timebomb who could be Speaker

Republican Representative John Boehner smokes, enjoys steak and red wine, has been known to lob rhetorical bombs — and could be the sharpest thorn in President Barack Obama‘s side come January. If Republicans retake the House of Representatives in November elections, as many analysts bet they will, Boehner will be the odds-on favorite to replace Democratic House Speaker Nancy Pelosi as the number-three US elected official. It would be a remarkable victory for Boehner, whose office has peppered reporters over the past few weeks with media accounts of his hardscrabble early life as the second of 12 children in a
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Boehner: American dream under seige

The “American Dream” is under siege by an out-of-control federal government that doesn’t listen to its people, U.S. House of Representatives Republican Leader John Boehner said on Friday. Boehner said Americans can make themselves heard by voting in the November 2 election to replace President Barack Obama’s Democrats in Congress with a new Republican majority. “Americans have been crystal clear about what they want: more jobs, less spending and a more open Congress that respects and abides by the Constitution,” Boehner said in a speech prepared for delivery at a small manufacturing company in his congressional district in West Chester,
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Other factors, not voters, could determine control of Congress

The nation may be waiting well beyond Election Day this year to find out who won control of Congress. It’s a troubling ballot-box scenario that has hundreds of lawyers from both parties preparing for battles that could drag on days, weeks or even months past the Nov. 3 day-after. Some states don’t count substantial amounts of votes until after Election Day. Others require mail-in ballots to be postmarked — not received — by Nov. 2, leaving the tally until well afterward. And with polls showing many Republican and Democratic candidates in tight contests, there’s plenty of opportunity for confusion, challenges
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Senator wants anti-bullying law in wake of suicide

Colleges should adopt a code of conduct that prohibits bullying and harassment in the wake of the suicide of a Rutgers University student whose gay sexual encounter in his dorm room was streamed online, U.S. Sen. Frank Lautenberg said at a town meeting on campus. Lautenberg, D-N.J., told the crowd gathered Wednesday night in memory of 18-year-old freshman Tyler Clementi that he would introduce such legislation. Clementi jumped off the George Washington Bridge into the Hudson River on Sept. 22 after the intimate images of him with another man were broadcast. His body was identified days later. Clementi’s roommate, Dharun
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Gingrich: Democrats are ‘the party of food stamps’

Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich is advising Republican candidates on November’s ballots to frame the choice for voters between Democrats as “the party of food stamps” while selling the GOP as “the party of paychecks.” With a month to go before the election, Gingrich brought his branding effort to Minnesota on Wednesday. He raised money for Republican gubernatorial nominee Tom Emmer and the state GOP during a private fundraiser. He told reporters later that Republicans can campaign as the party of opportunity. “Most Americans would like to get a paycheck,” Gingrich said. “Most Americans would not like to be forced
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Democrats closing gap in midterm election poll

Republicans maintain an edge among voters ahead of next month’s congressional elections, but Democrats are gaining ground, according to a Washington Post-ABC News poll released on Tuesday. Republicans are favored by 49 percent of likely voters compared to 43 percent for Democrats, said the poll, which was published by the Washington Post. A Washington Post-ABC News poll last month showed Republicans with 53 percent support versus 40 percent for Democrats, who are fighting to keep their majority in Congress. The findings were in line with recent polls showing Democrats making slight gains in terms of voter preferences for Congress and
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Both parties play the economic blame game

If you don’t like the economy, blame President Barack Obama and Democrats because they’re making times tougher, Republicans are telling voters entering the four-week homestretch to an election the GOP hopes will return the party to power in Congress. Look, Democrats say, it’s the Republicans who caused the financial meltdown and recession. Do you want them to do it again? As bad as high unemployment, record home foreclosures and bankruptcies are, they’d be worse if the GOP had succeeded in blocking financial and auto industry bailouts and Obama’s stimulus plan, Democrats claim. The dueling arguments will dominate the airwaves between
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Republicans, Democrats fine tune midterm strategies

Democrats have all but written off at least three Senate seats — in North Dakota, Indiana and Arkansas — and at least six House seats in Tennessee, Louisiana, New York and elsewhere as they embark on a final-weeks advertising push to minimize congressional election losses. Emboldened by their prospects, Republicans are throwing at least $3 million into West Virginia in hopes of winning a Senate seat that was long thought out of reach. With polls showing a close race, the GOP decided late last week to boost its initial investment in the state — the party’s latest move to expand
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Republicans go out-of-state to raise campaign cash

The private rooms at Carmine’s, a large Italian restaurant downtown, have been hopping with political donors at lunch this week. It’s a month to Election Day, and House and Senate candidates are searching far from home for last-minute campaign cash. This year, the pool of national donors is favoring Republicans, reversing the advantage Democratic candidates have held for two elections. The numbers are especially noticeable in open-seat races. In the Senate’s 14 contests where there’s no incumbent, Republican candidates hold a 2-1 advantage in money raised outside their own states, according to an analysis for The Associated Press by the
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