Archives for Capitol Hillbillies

Boehner defies Obama with Netanyhu invitation

Defying President Barack Obama, House Speaker John Boehner announced on Wednesday that he’s invited Israel’s prime minister to stand before Congress and push for new sanctions against its archenemy Iran. Boehner’s decision to bring Benjamin Netanyahu before a joint meeting of Congress on Feb. 11 seemed to catch the White House by surprise. And it added fuel to a drive by lawmakers from both parties to pass legislation calling for fresh penalties if there is no deal soon to prevent a nuclear-armed Iran. Barely sworn in, the new Republican-controlled Congress is already on a collision course with Obama over a
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House backs down on anti-abortion publicity stunt

With thousands of anti-abortion protesters in town, Republicans are ready to push legislation through the House designed to please them. But it’s not the bill an embarrassed GOP was hoping for. Republican leaders had planned House passage Thursday of legislation criminalizing most abortions after 20 weeks of pregnancy, an act that would have defied a White House veto threat. But late Wednesday they abruptly postponed that confrontation indefinitely after concluding they were short of votes. Instead, the House will vote on legislation barring taxpayer funding of abortions — a prohibition that’s already largely in place. Republicans say the bill will
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SOTU: Loading the House gallery with partisan guests

To see the other stars of the State of the Union Tuesday night, you had to look up — way up, to the visitors’ gallery circling the room above President Barack Obama’s head. Lawmakers, no longer content to be a formal — and sometimes hostile — backdrop to the president’s big speech, have found a way to grab more attention by loading the House gallery with guests chosen to embody various political points. Presidents, of course, have been using their guests this way since Ronald Reagan. But this year’s noticeable increase in lawmakers embracing the tactic added to the partisan
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Republicans stand fast on partisan response to SOTU

  The new Republican Congress understands Americans’ suffering from the economy, health care system and Washington gridlock and will steer the country away from President Barack Obama’s failed policies, the newly minted senator delivering her party’s official response to the State of Union address promised Tuesday. Mixing calls for bipartisanship with a flexing of GOP muscle, freshman Sen. Joni Ernst, R-Iowa, called on Obama to cooperate with Republicans to simplify the tax code by lowering rates and eliminating unspecified loopholes and to ease trade barriers with Europe and Asia. She also listed a parade of looming clashes with the president,
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Republicans will block Obama’s plans to tax the rich

Republican lawmakers are already signaling they will do what they can to block President Barack Obama’s pitch for tax increases on the wealthiest Americans. Obama is making that pitch to a huge television audience in hopes of putting the new Republican Congress in the position of defending top income earners over the middle class. As Obama continues to signal what he will propose during Tuesday’s State of the Union address, senior administration officials said during the weekend that he will call for raising the capital gains rate on top income earners and eliminating a tax break on inheritances. The revenue
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Ohio man threatens to blow up Capitol and ‘wage jihad’

A 20-year-old Ohio man’s Twitter posts sympathizing with Islamic terrorists led to an undercover FBI operation and the man’s arrest on charges that he plotted to blow up the U.S. Capitol and kill government officials. Christopher Lee Cornell, also known as Raheel Mahrus Ubaydah, told an FBI informant they should “wage jihad,” and showed his plans for bombing the Capitol and shooting people, according to a criminal complaint filed in federal court in Ohio Wednesday. The FBI said Cornell expressed his support for the Islamic State. Cornell’s arrest came only days after a grand jury indictment charged another Cincinnati-area resident
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IRS cuts complicates meeting Obamacare rules

The IRS is cutting taxpayer services just as President Barack Obama’s health law is making filing a tax return more complicated. The agency blames budget cuts enacted by Congress. An IRS watchdog says service problems at the tax agency will make complying with the law harder for well-intentioned taxpayers. “Without adequate support, many taxpayers will be frustrated, some will make potentially costly mistakes, others will incur higher compliance costs when forced to seek information and assistance from tax professionals,” said Nina E. Olson, the National Taxpayer Advocate, an independent office within the IRS. “Still others,” Olson said, “will simply give
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Republicans target Obama on immigration

House Republicans are taking broad steps to overturn President Barack Obama’s immigration policies and remove protections for immigrants brought illegally to the country as kids. Votes were set Wednesday on legislation worth nearly $40 billion to finance the Homeland Security Department through the rest of the budget year. Republicans were voting on one amendment to undo executive actions Obama announced in November that provided temporary deportation relief to some 4 million immigrants in the country illegally. Another amendment would delete Obama’s 2012 policy that’s granted work permits and stays of deportation to more than 600,000 immigrants who arrived in the
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Ohio bartender threatens to kill Boehner

An Ohio bartender with a history of psychiatric illness was indicted on a charge of threatening to murder House Speaker John Boehner, possibly by poisoning his drink at a country club or shooting him, according to court documents. A grand jury indictment filed in U.S. District Court in Ohio on Jan. 7 identified the accused man as Cincinnati resident Michael R. Hoyt, said the records made available Tuesday. A separate criminal complaint said Hoyt was fired last fall from his job at a country club in West Chester, Ohio, where he served drinks to Boehner, who is a member. The
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Democrats want to boost middle class, tax the rich

Democratic congressional leaders plan on Monday to unveil proposed legislation to boost the middle class by giving many families a tax cut that would be countered by a fee on financial transactions and reduced tax benefits for the top 1 percent of earners, the Washington Post reported. The plan, which Representative Chris Van Hollen of Maryland was to introduce, could create a windfall of about $1.2 trillion over a decade, the newspaper said. As much as $800 billion of that could come from a 0.1 percent fee on stock trades, mostly from high-volume transactions, Van Hollen told the Post. The
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