Archives for Capitol Hillbillies

Three House veterans leaving Congress

Three veteran members of the House of Representatives, two Republicans and one Democrat, announced their retirements just as the 2014 congressional campaign season starts to heat up. Republican Representatives Frank Wolf of Virginia and Tom Latham of Iowa, along with Democratic Representative Jim Matheson of Utah, made their separate announcements on Tuesday as Congress was winding up its legislative activity for the year. All three seats are considered competitive in the November, 2014 elections, when Republicans will try to expand their majority in the House and Democrats will attempt to capture control of the 435-member chamber. Wolf, 74, and Latham,
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Budget deal creates split among Republican leaders

Senate Republican leaders are criticizing a bipartisan budget deal, parting ways with their House counterparts who shepherded the measure through that chamber last week. The split makes it harder for the Republican Party to present a united front as it approaches the midterm election year. And it shows that even modest tweaks in tax and spending policies trigger strong reactions in conservative circles. Still, senators in both parties say the budget deal should have enough votes to pass and become law, perhaps by Wednesday. And some GOP activists play down the House-Senate divide’s implications, saying it’s driven by internal congressional
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House ethics panel investigating Rep. Radel

The House Ethics Committee announced Monday it was launching a formal investigation of a Florida congressman who pleaded guilty last month to cocaine possession. Ethics Committee Chairman Michael Conaway and ranking Democrat Linda Sanchez said in a joint statement the committee had voted unanimously to open an investigation into Rep. Henry “Trey” Radel, a freshman Republican who represents the Fort Myers-Naples area. Launching a formal investigation means the Ethics Committee can look deeper into Radel’s background and could decide to take action against him, including an official reprimand or expulsion. Radel pleaded guilty in District of Columbia Superior Court last
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Ryan says budget deal helps Republicans

The Republican co-author of a rare bipartisan budget deal in Congress defended the agreement from opposition in his own party on Sunday as an asset that could help Republicans capture the Senate next year and the White House in 2016. In a pair of televised interviews, House of Representatives Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan said the deal he struck with Democratic Senator Patty Murray could also bring progress on tax reform, but there was little chance of a “grand deficit reduction bargain” as long as the Senate and White House were controlled by Democrats. “We need to win a couple
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Durbin: Senate short of votes needed to pass budget deal

Senate Democrats are still short of the votes needed to pass a budget deal that would avoid a government shutdown in January and blunt automatic spending cuts, Senator Dick Durbin, the chamber’s No. 2 Democrat, said on Sunday. “The struggle is still on in the United States Senate. We will need about eight Republicans to come our way. I feel we’ll have a good strong showing from the Democratic side, but we need bipartisan support to pass it,” Durbin, of Illinois, said on the CBS “Face the Nation” program. The Republican-led House of Representatives on a broad bipartisan vote last
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Even with budget deal, bitter battles remain in Congress

Anyone expecting a new era of good feeling to break out on Capitol Hill in the wake of this week’s bipartisan budget deal should probably forget about it. That was the clear message from most lawmakers interviewed on Friday as well as from close observers of Congress, after the deal passed through the U.S. House of Representatives on Thursday on its way to the Senate. The budget bill, negotiated by Republican Representative Paul Ryan and Democratic Senator Patty Murray, is vague and non-specific, avoiding tough, divisive issues. But Congress’ agenda for the next year is full of specifics, including raising
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Budget deal expected to pass Senate early next week

One day after winning lopsided House approval, bipartisan legislation to ease across-the-board spending cuts and reduce economy-rattling budget brinkmanship appears likely to command the 60 votes necessary to clear the Senate, officials in both parties said Friday. Yet unlike in the House, significantly more Senate Republicans are expected to oppose the legislation than vote for it, highlighting the different political forces at work at opposite ends of the Capitol. Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., announced a test vote for Tuesday on the measure, which cleared the House on an overwhelming bipartisan vote of 332-94. The Veterans of Foreign Wars joined
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Republican conservatives helped pass budget bill in House

After a sweeping vote by conservative Republicans controlling the House and President Barack Obama’s Democratic allies, a bipartisan budget pact is in the hands of the Senate, where it will encounter stronger but probably futile resistance from Republicans. The modest package passed by the House on Thursday would ease the harshest effects of another round of automatic spending cuts set to hit the Pentagon and domestic agencies next month. Supporters of the measure easily beat back attacks on it from conservative organizations that sometimes raise money by stoking conflict within the Republican Party. At the same time, Democrats who were
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Battle weary, bipartisan House approves budget deal

Battle-fatigued and suddenly bipartisan, the House voted Thursday night to ease across-the-board federal spending cuts and head off future government shutdowns, acting after Speaker John Boehner unleashed a stinging attack on tea party-aligned conservative groups campaigning for the measure’s defeat. The legislation, backed by the White House, cleared on a vote of 332-94, with lopsided majorities of Republicans and Democrats alike voting in favor. Final passage is expected next week in the Senate. The events in the House gave a light coating of bipartisan cooperation to the end of a bruising year of divided government — memorable for a partial
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Boehner gets testy with right-wing naysayers

After years of bitter friction within Republican circles, House Speaker John Boehner is lashing out against hard-line conservative and tea party groups — the latest GOP establishment figure to join the increasingly public battle roiling the party. For the second day in a row — but at greater length and with more passion — the Ohio Republican on Thursday lit into groups such as Heritage Action and Club for Growth. Though naming no names, he accused such groups and others of stirring up opposition on the right to a budget bill worked out with Democrats that would replace some across-the-board
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