Capitol Hillbillies

Lerner to testify on IRS scrutiny of tea party

Lerner to testify on IRS scrutiny of tea party

A House committee expects to hear firsthand from the former official at the center of what the government has acknowledged was the improper targeting of tea party groups claiming tax-exempt status. Lois Lerner headed the Internal Revenue Service division that handles applications for tax-exempt status before she retired last year. Last spring, she made brief […]

For her, one term in Congress was more than enough

For her, one term in Congress was more than enough

It took barely a year in Congress for Democrat Gloria Negrete McLeod to decide that she could do more for her California constituents by serving in county government. She’s one of 38 House members, including six from California, not to seek re-election in November, and during her single term, she grew frustrated quickly with the […]

Budgets? We don’t need no stinkin’ budgets

Budgets?  We don’t need no stinkin’ budgets

Democrats in the U.S. Senate won’t bother passing their own budget this year, arguing that a deal in December has already set spending levels for the 2015 fiscal year and “relitigating” it would create economic uncertainty. Senate Budget Committee Chairwoman Patty Murray said in a statement on Friday she would prefer to focus on promoting […]

Harry Reid: Koch brothers are ‘un-American’

Harry Reid: Koch brothers are ‘un-American’

The Senate’s top Democrat criticized a pair of billionaire brothers in unusually harsh terms Wednesday, accusing the conservative duo of being “un-American,” spreading lies about President Barack Obama’s health care overhaul and lacking a conscience. In a pair of appearances on the Senate floor, Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., became the latest Democrat this election […]

Showdown vote on vets benefits coming in Senate

Showdown vote on vets benefits coming in Senate

A Democratic bill enhancing health care, education and job-training benefits for veterans faces an uphill climb as the Senate approaches a showdown vote on the $21 billion legislation. Both political parties generally favor helping the nation’s 22 million veterans and their families, especially in a congressional election year. But Republicans consider the wide-ranging legislation too […]

Balancing on a minimum-wage political tightrope

Balancing on a minimum-wage political tightrope

Sen. Mark Pryor is doing a delicate dance over congressional Democrats’ upcoming push to boost the federal minimum wage. The Democrat from Republican-leaning Arkansas says he’ll vote against the bill, but on the key roll call may oppose GOP efforts to filibuster it to death. Democratic Sen. Mark Begich of Alaska, another red state where […]

Plan to shrink military faces Congressional skepticism

Plan to shrink military faces Congressional skepticism

The Obama administration’s push for a smaller, nimbler military must now face the scrutiny of a Congress that has spent years battling the Pentagon’s vision for a new security strategy. Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel is proposing to shrink the Army to its smallest size in three-quarters of a century, hoping to reshape the military after […]

Vets benefits bill expected to win initial Senate approval

Vets benefits bill expected to win initial Senate approval

A sprawling Democratic bill expanding health, education and other benefits for veterans seems ready to clear an initial hurdle in the Senate. Yet the election-year measure faces an uncertain fate as Republicans try to make it smaller and find ways to pay for it. The legislation, which sponsor Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., says would cost […]

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