Capitol Hillbillies

Finishing up a $1.1 trillion government spending bill

Finishing up a $1.1 trillion government spending bill

After weeks of secretive work, senior lawmakers on Capitol Hill are trying to put the finishing touches on a $1.1 trillion spending bill that would lay to rest last year’s budget battles. The goal is to finish writing the mammoth measure this week in anticipation of House and Senate votes before a Jan. 15 deadline […]

A last, perhaps futile, grasp at immigration reform

A last, perhaps futile, grasp at immigration reform

His agenda tattered by last year’s confrontations and missteps, President Barack Obama begins 2014 clinging to the hope of winning a lasting legislative achievement: an overhaul of immigration laws. It will require a deft and careful use of his powers, combining a public campaign in the face of protests over his administration’s record number of […]

Unemployment showdown in Senate

Unemployment showdown in Senate

His agenda tattered by last year’s confrontations and missteps, President Barack Obama begins 2014 clinging to the hope of winning a lasting legislative achievement: an overhaul of immigration laws. It will require a deft and careful use of his powers, combining a public campaign in the face of protests over his administration’s record number of […]

Senate confirms Janet Yellin as new chairman of The Fed

Senate confirms Janet Yellin as new chairman of The Fed

The Senate confirmed Janet Yellen on Monday as the first woman to lead the Federal Reserve, elevating an advocate of fighting unemployment and a backer of the central bank’s efforts to spur the economy with low interest rates and massive bond purchases. Yellen, 67, will replace Ben Bernanke, who is stepping down after serving as […]

Unemployment, Fed top Congressional agenda

Unemployment, Fed top Congressional agenda

Back to work on Monday, Congress faces a hefty list of unfinished business and a politically driven agenda in an election year that will determine control of the House and Senate. President Barack Obama’s nomination of Janet Yellen to head the Federal Reserve and a three-month extension of benefits for the long-term unemployed are first […]

Election year politics drives Congress in 2014

Election year politics drives Congress in 2014

Congress returns to work Monday with election-year politics certain to shape an already limited agenda. Republicans intend to focus on every facet of President Barack Obama’s health care law. They see a political boost in its problem-plagued rollout as the GOP looks to maintain its House majority and seize control of the Democratic-led Senate. First […]

Democrats, Republicans repackage themselves

Democrats, Republicans repackage themselves

Both Republicans and Democrats are looking for fresh ways to pitch old arguments as they head into the final midterm election year of Barack Obama’s presidency. Eager to capitalize as the president’s job approval rating hovers in the low 40s, Republicans are looking to hammer the clumsy implementation of Obama’s health care overhaul and bemoan […]

Year’s end also brings end to 55 tax breaks

Year’s end also brings end to 55 tax breaks

  In an almost annual ritual, Congress is letting a package of 55 popular tax breaks expire at the end of the year, creating uncertainty — once again — for millions of individuals and businesses. Lawmakers let these tax breaks lapse almost every year, even though they save businesses and individuals billions of dollars. And […]