Capitol Hillbillies

No agreement on farm bill could hike milk prices

No agreement on farm bill could hike milk prices

  The fight over renewing the nation’s farm bill has centered on cuts to the $80 billion-a-year food stamp program. But there could be unintended consequences if no agreement is reached: higher milk prices. Members of the House and Senate are scheduled to begin long-awaited negotiations on the five-year, roughly $500 billion bill this week. […]

Sebelius headed for tough grilling on Capitol Hill

Sebelius headed for tough grilling on Capitol Hill

Republicans said Sunday they intend to press Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius on the Obama administration’s troubled launch of healthcare.gov, the online portal to buy insurance, and concerns about the privacy of information that applicants submit under the new system. Meanwhile, the healthcare.gov application and enrollment system was down Sunday afternoon because the […]

Both sides doubt a major budget deal can happen

Both sides doubt a major budget deal can happen

On this, GOP budget guru Rep. Paul Ryan and top Senate Democrat Harry Reid can agree: There won’t be a “grand bargain” on the budget. Instead, the Wisconsin Republican and the Nevada Democrat both say the best Washington can do in this bitterly partisan era of divided government is a small-ball bargain that tries to […]

Forget grand plans: Just cut small, workable budget deal

Forget grand plans: Just cut small, workable budget deal

Forget a grand bargain. Reaching even a small budget deal will be a challenge when negotiators start meeting next week in an effort to salvage any kind of agreement in the aftermath of this month’s shutdown debacle and debt limit crisis. Long-standing, entrenched differences over taxes make a large-scale budget pact virtually impossible, according to […]

Democrats want to move Obamacare deadlines back

Democrats want to move Obamacare deadlines back

After uniting against Republican efforts earlier this month to delay President Barack Obama’s health care law, a growing number Democrats in Congress now want to extend the enrollment deadline, and one senator wants to delay the penalty for not complying. Six Senate Democrats up for re-election next year have proposed delaying the new March 31 […]

More healthcare.gov failures emerge at Capitol Hill hearing

More healthcare.gov failures emerge at Capitol Hill hearing

The leading contractors on the Obama administration‘s troubled health insurance website told Congress Thursday that the government failed to thoroughly test the complicated system before it went live. Executives of CGI Federal, which built the federal HealthCare.gov website serving 36 states, and QSSI, which designed the part that helps verify applicants’ income and other personal […]

Suddenly-united House backs big bucks water projects bill

Suddenly-united House backs big bucks water projects bill

After weeks of intense partisan fights, the House is showing it can come together on major legislation after all. Voting on its first big bill since the end of a 16-day partial government shutdown, House Republicans and Democrats acted in near unison, voting 417-3 to pass an $8.2 billion bill that sketches out plans for […]

Obama healthcare rollout debacle worries House Dems

Obama healthcare rollout debacle worries House Dems

House Democrats are worried about persistent problems with the rollout of President Barack Obama’s health care law — and one says the president needs to “man up” and fire those responsible. Rep. Richard Nolan, Democrat of Minnesota, emerged from a Wednesday meeting with administration officials on Capitol Hill and told reporters the rollout has “damaged […]