Archives for Capitol Hillbillies

Cocaine-abusing Florida Congressman calling it quits

Facing a House ethics investigation, the Florida congressman who pleaded guilty to cocaine-possession charges last year says he will resign Monday evening, after several GOP leaders requested that he step down. U.S. Rep. Trey Radel announced his impending resignation in a letter to House Speaker John Boehner, saying that while this year has “already been tremendously positive … some of my struggles had serious consequences.” He will step down Monday, effective at 6:30 p.m., the letter says. Politico first reported the upcoming resignation Monday morning. On Nov. 20, the freshman Republican pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor charge of cocaine possession
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Arizona GOP considers John McCain ‘too liberal’

  The Arizona Republican Party formally censured Sen. John McCain on Saturday, citing a voting record they say is insufficiently conservative. The resolution to censure McCain was approved by a voice-vote during a meeting of state committee members in Tempe, state party spokesman Tim Sifert said. It needed signatures from at least 20 percent of state committee members to reach the floor for debate. Sifert said no further action was expected. McCain spokesman Brian Rogers declined to comment on the censure. But former three-term Sen. Jon Kyl told The Arizona Republic (http://bit.ly/1mIyKyy ) that the move was “wacky.” “I’ve gone
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Democrats say ‘no games’ on debt limit increase

With House Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan saying Republicans will, once again, put changes in Obamacare in the way of extending the nation’s debt limit, the Democrats Friday had a quick answer:  No way. Senate Budget Committee chairwoman Patty Murray said: We will not negotiate over whether or not the United States of America should pay its bills.  “And once again, before they get any further down this damaging path, we call on our Republican colleagues to not play politics with our economic recovery. House Speaker John Boehner says Republicans will demand concessions before agreeing to any increasing in the
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Rep. Ryan issues familiar threats against Obamacare

In political rhetoric that has a familiar ring, Republican Paul Ryan of Wisconsin says his colleagues in the House of Representatives are planning another attack on Obamacare as a major part of their strategy as the nation approaches another debt limit crisis. “There are issues with Obamacare,” Ryan said in San Antonio Thursday.  A lot of folks don’t realize there could be some massive insurance company bailouts in the near future with Obamacare that a lot of taxpayers probably don’t know about that we don’t want to see happen. That’s one of the issues that’s in the realm of possibility.”
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Critics speaking out on Obama’s NSA ‘reform’

Leaders of the congressional intelligence committees are pushing back against a key part of President Barack Obama’s attempt to overhaul U.S. surveillance, saying it is unworkable for the government to let someone else control how Americans’ phone records are stored. Obama, under pressure over the controversy over government spying, said last week he wants bulk phone data stored outside the government to reduce the risk that the records will be abused. Rep. Mike Rogers, chairman of the House Intelligence Committee, said Sunday that Obama had intensified a sense of uncertainty about the country’s ability to root out terrorist threats. Obama
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Congressman thinks Russia behind Snowden’s leaks

The head of the U.S. House of Representatives Intelligence Committee said on Sunday he is investigating whether former spy agency contractor Edward Snowden had help from Russia in stealing and revealing U.S. government secrets. “I believe there’s a reason he ended up in the hands – the loving arms – of an FSB agent in Moscow. I don’t think that’s a coincidence,” U.S. Representative Mike Rogers told the NBC program “Meet the Press,” referring to the Russian intelligence agency that is a successor of the Soviet-era KGB. Snowden last year fled the United States to Hong Kong and then to
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Lawmakers say Obama’s NSA changes won’t work

A chief element of President Barack Obama’s attempt to overhaul U.S. surveillance will not work, leaders of Congress’ intelligence committees said Sunday, pushing back against the idea that the government should cede control of how Americans’ phone records are stored. Obama, under pressure to calm the controversy over government spying, said Friday he wants bulk phone data stored outside the government to reduce the risk that the records will be abused. The president said he will require a special judge’s advance approval before intelligence agencies can examine someone’s data and will force analysts to keep their searches closer to suspected
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Spending bill passes Senate, goes to Obama

Congress sent President Barack Obama a $1.1 trillion government-wide spending bill Thursday, easing the harshest effects of last year’s automatic budget cuts after tea party critics chastened by October’s partial shutdown mounted only a faint protest. The Senate voted 72-26 for the measure, which cleared the House a little more than 24 hours earlier on a similarly lopsided vote. Obama’s signature on the bill was expected in time to prevent any interruption in government funding Saturday at midnight. The huge bill funds every agency of government, pairing increases for NASA and Army Corps of Engineers construction projects with cuts to
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Congress close to approving $1.1 trillion budget

Shunning the turmoil of recent budget clashes, Congress is ready to approve a massive $1.1 trillion spending bill for this year, a compromise financing everything from airports to war costs and brimming with victories and setbacks for both parties. The huge bill furnishes the fine print — 1,582 pages of it — for the bipartisan pact approved in December that set overall federal spending levels for the next couple of years. With that decision behind them and lawmakers eager to use the election year to show they can run a government, there was little suspense about the spending bill’s fate.
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Budget expands some programs to help children

Tens of thousands more American babies, toddlers and preschoolers would be eligible for early childhood programs under a budget deal reached by lawmakers that advocates hailed as an encouraging sign that Congress is committed to early education programs. They are hopeful the next step will be the icing on the cake in early childhood education: Passage of universal preschool for 4-year-olds. There are still a lot of hurdles. The budget deal restores funds cut from Head Start programs that provide educational services to low-income students. The funds were removed under across-the-board budget cuts last year, and an estimated 57,000 children
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