Archives for Capitol Hillbillies

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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Boehner: House is ‘broken’

The top Republican in the House of Representatives proposed on Thursday that lawmakers be forced to cut federal spending to offset the cost of any new program. Taking a swipe at fellow Republicans as well as Democrats, John Boehner said “this institution is broken” and earned its reputation for “fiscal recklessness.” Boehner, in line to become House speaker if Republicans win control of the chamber in the November 2 election, said “congressional rules are rigged” to make it easy to increase spending and nearly impossible to cut spending. “We should … consider developing a ‘cut-as-you-go rule,'” Boehner said in a
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And they’re off! Gridlocked Congress leaves town

Battle-weary members of Congress are coming soon to neighborhoods near you to press for re-election, more eager to campaign before angry constituents than compromise in Washington on tax cuts, child nutrition or a federal budget. Majority Democrats facing tough re-election fights rebelled in both chambers Wednesday against their leaders’ decisions to call off controversial votes, pass a temporary bill to keep the government running and head home. “The Senate should be more concerned about doing what’s right for the country and less concerned about campaign season,” said Sen. Michael Bennet, D-Colo. The measure to adjourn passed both chambers despite the
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Pelosi, Democrats failed to deliver on ethics promises

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi promised four years ago that Democrats would lead “the most honest, most open, most ethical Congress in history.” But as her party defends its record with its majority in jeopardy, two prominent Democrats await ethics trials. Two other party members gave Congressional Black Caucus Foundation scholarships to relatives. Most importantly, lobbyists, corporations and special interests still have unimpeded ways to buy access to members of Congress. Take House Majority Whip James Clyburn’s annual charity golf tournament, which provides college scholarships for needy students in his South Carolina district and funds the endowment he established at South
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Obama to Democrats: Stop bitching and get to work

Buck up. Stop whining. And get to work. Clearly frustrated by Republicans‘ energy — and his own party’s lack of enthusiasm — President Barack Obama scolded fellow Democrats even as he rallied them Tuesday in an effort to save the party from big GOP gains in the crucial midterm elections. In the final month of campaigning, he’s trying to re-energize young voters, despondent liberals and other Democrats whose excitement over his election has dissipated. “It is inexcusable for any Democrat or progressive right now to stand on the sidelines,” the president declared in a Rolling Stone magazine interview. He said
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GOP ‘Pledge’ driven by polls, not philosophy

Billed as a Pledge to America, the House Republican campaign manifesto is as much political straddle as conservative call to action, long on poll-tested goals, short on controversial specifics and designed to reassure independent voters who abandoned the party in the last two elections. “It’s not intended to be a party platform. It’s not intended to cover everything under the sun,” said House Republican leader John Boehner as he and others presented the 21-page document at a prototypical small business (hardware store) just outside the Washington Beltway (15.7 miles). The strategy of appealing to independents while trying to hold the
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On-again, off-again tax cut off again until after election

The White House and Democratic leaders in Congress said Sunday they would find a way to extend middle-class tax cuts after the November elections, unable to secure GOP backing before lawmakers break to campaign. “One way or the other, we’re going to get it done. And I believe the pressure is going to build among the American people” said David Axelrod, President Barack Obama‘s top political aide. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., had suggested that a vote could be held this coming week before lawmakers leave town for the elections. But her deputy, Majority Leader Steny Hoyer of Maryland, said
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Republicans block repeal of ‘don’t ask, don’t tell’

Ever-present Republican homophobia triumphed in the United States Senate Tuesday as the party of the elephant successfully blocked an Obama-sponsored effort to lift the ban on gays serving openly in the military. In a mostly partisan vote, the Senate fell short of the 60 votes needed to advance a major defense policy bill that included repeal of the 17-year-old “don’t ask, don’t tell” policy that allows gays to serve in the military as long as they don’t reveal their sexual orientation. Gay advocates blame the measure’s failure on both President Barack Obama and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, saying neither
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GOP leader defends McDonnell

The No. 3 man in the House Republican leadership is brushing aside a negative report on tea party upstart Christine O’Donnell as part of pre-election “silly season.” Rep. Mike Pence tells ABC’s “Good Morning America” any verdict on O’Donnell’s fitness to serve in the Senate is “up to the voters of Delaware.” The Indiana Republican says there’s a welling up of anger and a demand for political leaders who will “put our fiscal house in order.” He spoke about a decade-old television clip of O’Donnell, who said she once “dabbled into witchcraft.” Pence says the election is more about the
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Republicans unsure on how they will change Obamacare

Republicans are promising to repeal and replace President Barack Obama‘s health care overhaul if they win control of Congress. But with what? Not even they know. Some have proposed major changes to workplace coverage, even turning Medicare into a voucher plan. Many prefer small steps that tiptoe around political land mines. Others want a clean start. “During the health care debate there was just as much division within Republicans as there was between the parties,” said Douglas Holtz-Eakin, a leading adviser to 2008 GOP presidential candidate John McCain. One of the first acts of a Republican majority would be a
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