Archives for Capitol Hillbillies

Congress goes to gimmicks to pay for highway funds

Congress is providing $11 billion to prevent a 28 percent reduction in federal highway and mass transit spending at the peak of the summer construction season. The Senate passed a House-written bill to augment federal gasoline and diesel fuel taxes for keeping the federal Highway Trust Fund solvent through next May. The bill raises the money through: —Pension “smoothing.” Raises $6.4 billion by allowing companies to reduce the amount that they contribute to their pension funds now and make up for it later. Since pension contributions are tax deductible, companies would owe more tax revenue in the next few years
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House tells Obama: ‘No troops in Iraq without our approval’

The House overwhelmingly passed a resolution Friday that would bar President Barack Obama from sending forces to Iraq in a “sustained combat role” without congressional approval, a bill with greater symbolic than legal effect. The nonbinding measure hasn’t been debated in the Senate. Its language opens up several questions related to the Constitution’s separation of powers between executive and legislative branches, even if Obama and his top military advisers already have ruled out sending combat troops to help Iraq fight extremist insurgents. Friday’s legislation was approved by a 370-40 vote after Republican and Democratic lawmakers emphasized the need to reassert
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