Capitol Hillbillies

The ‘gang of six’ debt deal

The ‘gang of six’ debt deal

A group of senators has offered an ambitious budget plan that could help Congress find a way to raise the $14.3 trillion debt ceiling before an August 2 default. Here are the elements of the so-called Gang of Six plan, which still lacks many specifics: GOALS * Slash $3.7 trillion from budget deficits over 10 […]

Grim jobs report casts shadow on debt talks

Grim jobs report casts shadow on debt talks

President Barack Obama used a bleak jobs report Friday to prod Congress toward a swift agreement on deficits and the national debt. But the higher unemployment numbers hardened partisan views that a weak economy can’t tolerate added taxes or cuts in spending, both key to the grand deal Obama seeks. White House, congressional negotiators and […]

McConnell: Don’t look for long-term deal on debt limit

McConnell: Don’t look for long-term deal on debt limit

The Senate’s top Republican is suggesting a short-term increase in the nation’s borrowing limit unless there’s deal soon that includes changes to big entitlement programs. Economists and Obama administration officials are warning of a calamity if the government defaults on its obligations. The default deadline is Aug. 2. Vice President Joe Biden is leading bipartisan […]

Tax, healthcare disputes stall budget talks

Tax, healthcare disputes stall budget talks

Vice President Joe Biden and top lawmakers faced an impasse on taxes and healthcare on Thursday as they worked on a deal to tame the United States’ debt and increase its borrowing limit. Republican and Democratic negotiators briefly discussed health costs, a major driver of the national debt, in a fourth round of talks that […]

Taxes remain sticking point in budget talks

Taxes remain sticking point in budget talks

White House-led negotiations to reduce massive budget deficits and raise the United States’ credit limit laid bare deep divisions on Thursday over whether tax increases could be part of any solution. Vice President Joe Biden, who heads a deficit-reduction working group including key members of Congress, said the talks were difficult but progress was being […]

Did bin Laden’s code name slur Native Americans?

Did bin Laden’s code name slur Native Americans?

Geronimo. The U.S. Senate Indian Affairs Committee didn’t know when it scheduled a hearing on racial stereotypes that members would have such an emotionally charged example to discuss. But the use of the Apache leader’s moniker as a code name for Osama bin Laden has appalled many Native Americans and drawn calls for an apology. […]

Default could destroy U.S. economy

Default could destroy U.S. economy

The United States has never defaulted on its debt and Democrats and Republicans say they don’t want it to happen now. But with partisan acrimony running at fever pitch, and Democrats and Republicans so far apart on how to tame the deficit, the unthinkable is suddenly being pondered. The government now borrows about 42 cents […]

Obama’s deficit plan faces economic realities

Obama’s deficit plan faces economic realities

President Barack Obama came to the West Coast looking to sell a long-term plan for reducing the nation’s deficit. But he couldn’t escape the reality that many Americans are still waiting for short-term solutions to their economic problems, from persistent unemployment to the crippled housing market. Voters in California and Nevada did express both an […]

GOP budget includes revamp of food stamps

GOP budget includes revamp of food stamps

House Republicans resurrected a 1990s-era fight over food stamps in their budget approved last week, arguing that any serious attempt to cut spending must include an overhaul of government programs that help needy families pay for food. Congress already has started cutting some food programs, including reducing the Women, Infants and Children Program by $500 […]

Republicans push offshore drilling

Republicans push offshore drilling

Republican lawmakers in the U.S. House of Representatives on Wednesday pushed a trio of bills through a congressional committee that would boost U.S. offshore oil drilling and ease some regulations on oil companies. Republicans said the bills would reverse the Obama administration energy policy of the last two years that they claimed has reduced domestic […]