Capitol Hillbillies

More and more Democrats view Obamacare as liability

More and more Democrats view Obamacare as liability

Obamacare emerged pretty much intact from the government shutdown and debt threat debacle but the program now appears in danger of imploding within and Democrats who once supported the President’s signature health care “reform” now see it as a potential liability in upcoming 2014 midterm elections. Those who most fear potential damage from the constant […]

Senate committee votes to continue NSA mass spying

Senate committee votes to continue NSA mass spying

The Senate Intelligence Committee approved legislation on Thursday that would tighten controls on the government’s sweeping electronic eavesdropping programs but allow them to continue. In a classified hearing, the panel voted 11-4 for a measure that puts new limits on what intelligence agencies can do with bulk communications records and imposes a five-year limit on […]

Confused by Obamacare? So is Congress

Confused by Obamacare?  So is Congress

Think you’re confused by “Obamacare.” It’s roiling Capitol Hill behind the scenes, too. Members of Congress are governing themselves under President Barack Obama’s signature law, which means they have great leeway in how to apply it to their own staffs. For House members and senators, it’s about a section of the law that may — […]

Memo to Congress: Do more for national parks

Memo to Congress: Do more for national parks

Interior Secretary Sally Jewell says Congress needs to do more than talk when it comes to national parks, forests and other public lands. In her first major address since taking office this spring, Jewell called on Congress to push for full funding for parks and other public lands in the federal budget. “The real test […]

Paul Ryan talks collaboration, not confrontation

Paul Ryan talks collaboration, not confrontation

To hear Rep. Paul Ryan tell it, a bipartisan group of congressional negotiators has the chance to take the first steps toward fixing a serious problem: a debt-ridden federal government facing an onslaught of retiring baby boomers draining entitlement programs. If successful, “we’ll restore confidence in Washington,” Ryan said this week at the start of […]

Republicans back to their old political tricks in Senate

Republicans back to their old political tricks in Senate

Senate Republicans have blocked confirmation of President Barack Obama’s nominee to one of the most influential federal courts. Obama had nominated Patricia Millett to join the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit. Millett has worked as a lawyer for both Democratic and Republican administrations. The court rules on federal agency actions […]

Unity within the fractured Democratic Party is short-lived

Unity within the fractured Democratic Party is short-lived

Just two weeks after President Barack Obama saw his Democratic Party put up an unyielding front against Republicans, his coalition is showing signs of stress. From health care to spying to pending budget deals, many congressional Democrats are challenging the administration and pushing for measures that the White House has not embraced. Some Democrats are […]

Federal deficit falls below $1 trillion for first time in five years

Federal deficit falls below $1 trillion for first time in five years

For the first time in five years, the U.S. government has run a budget deficit below $1 trillion. The government said Wednesday that the deficit for the 2013 budget year totaled $680.3 billion, down from $1.09 trillion in 2012. That’s the smallest imbalance since 2008, when the government ran a $458.6 billion deficit. It’s still […]

Spying on allies can be a two-way street

Spying on allies can be a two-way street

Nations spying on each other’s leaders is a two-way street and a longtime practice in the intelligence world, according to the U.S. intelligence chief. But a surveillance sweep on phone records overseas that has prompted an anti-American backlash was carried out by European governments, not the U.S., another intelligence official said. National Intelligence Director James […]