Archives for Capitol Hillbillies

Republicans unsure on how they will change Obamacare

Republicans are promising to repeal and replace President Barack Obama‘s health care overhaul if they win control of Congress. But with what? Not even they know. Some have proposed major changes to workplace coverage, even turning Medicare into a voucher plan. Many prefer small steps that tiptoe around political land mines. Others want a clean start. “During the health care debate there was just as much division within Republicans as there was between the parties,” said Douglas Holtz-Eakin, a leading adviser to 2008 GOP presidential candidate John McCain. One of the first acts of a Republican majority would be a
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Democrats: Yeah, we’re bad but Republicans are worse

With just six weeks to avoid a possible election catastrophe, Democrats are trying to limit the damage with a closing argument that’s more plea than platform: We know you voters are furious with us, but just let us explain why the Republicans would be worse. The strategy requires an autumn influx of voters willing to view the election as a choice between two imperfect parties — and imperfect candidates on each ballot line — rather than as a chance to slap the Washington establishment that the public seems to dislike so deeply. But the Democrats admit the Republicans have a
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DeMint to Republicans: Accept Tea Party, get over it

Sen. Jim DeMint proudly recalls the moment he became a thorn in the side of the Republican establishment. In the gloomy weeks following the party’s throttling in the 2008 elections, the first-term South Carolina senator urged GOP leaders to shake up the seniority rules that he felt were perpetuating a broken culture of parochial spending within the party. “I was told eye-to-eye … ‘DeMint, you can’t change the Senate,'” he said in an interview in his Capitol Hill office this week. “I said, ‘Well, we’ll see.’ And that’s been my challenge ever since.” Two years later, DeMint has done as
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Senate finally passes small business aid bill

The Senate passed a long-stalled measure on Thursday that would boost lending to small businesses, giving President Barack Obama’s Democrats one of their last chances before November elections they are working to revive the sluggish economy. The 61 to 38 vote sends the measure back to the House of Representatives, which has passed a similar bill and is expected to approve the Senate’s version as soon as next week. With the unemployment rate stuck at 9.6 percent, voters cite jobs and the economy as their top concern and say Obama has not done enough on these issues. Republicans are poised
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Democrats jump on tax cut bandwagon

More Democrats joined Republicans on Wednesday in calling for the preservation of tax breaks for Americans of every income level, bolting this election season from President Barack Obama’s plan to preserve cuts for families who earn less than $250,000 and let taxes rise for the wealthiest Americans. But Obama placed the blame for the stalled proposal squarely on Republicans. “They want to hold these middle class tax cuts hostage until they get an additional tax cut for the wealthiest 2 percent of Americans,” the president said in afternoon remarks. “Doesn’t it make sense for us to move forward with the
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Ethics-challenged Rangel survives primary challenge

Embattled Rep. Charles Rangel prevailed in a crowded Democratic primary Tuesday, with voters in his New York City district signaling they are willing to stand by the 40-year House veteran despite more than a dozen ethics charges pending against him. Rangel beat back five challengers including Adam Clayton Powell IV, a state assemblyman and son of the legendary Harlem figure Rangel defeated in 1970. Rangel is all but guaranteed re-election in November in this heavily Democratic district. With 83 percent of precincts reporting, Rangel had 52 percent to 24 percent for Powell, his nearest competitor. “I’m going back to Washington
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Congressional pork could doom Pentagon cost-cutting

The Pentagon will unveil new rules later on Tuesday aimed at ending years of massive cost overruns on major weapons programs, but congressional efforts to protect home-district jobs may turn Defense Secretary Robert Gates’ cost-cutting drive into his toughest battle yet. Gates and chief weapons buyer Ashton Carter are due to announce the next steps in a major drive to cut overhead costs by $100 billion over the next five years while ensuring real growth in defense spending of at least one percent. Gates has won the grudging admiration of many watchdog groups, impressed with the Obama administration‘s victory in
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GOP: Tax increase ain’t gonna happen

President Barack Obama‘s plan to raise taxes on wealthier people while preserving cuts for everyone else appears increasingly likely to founder before Election Day. Senate GOP leaders declared on Monday that Republicans are, to a person, opposed to legislation that would extend only middle-class tax relief — which Obama has repeatedly promised to deliver — if Democrats follow through on plans to let tax rates rise for the wealthiest Americans. The GOP senators forcefully made their case one day after House Republican leader John Boehner suggested he might vote for Obama’s plan if that ends up the only option. Both
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Boehner will support middle-class tax cuts…but

House Minority Leader John Boehner says he would vote for President Obama’s plan to extend tax cuts only for middle-class earners, not the wealthy, if that were the only option available to House Republicans. Boehner, R-Ohio, said it is “bad policy” to exclude the highest-earning Americans from tax relief during the recession, and later Sunday he accused the White House of “class warfare.” But he said he wouldn’t block the breaks for middle-income individuals and families if Democrats won’t support the full package. Income tax cuts passed under President George W. Bush will expire at the end of this year
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Democrats desert Obama on taxes

Democrats in Congress are distancing themselves from President Barack Obama’s push to let taxes rise for the wealthiest Americans, fearing it will further harm them in November’s mid-term elections. Obama stood firm on his stance in a fiery speech this week addressing the looming increase of all individual taxes. He repeated his pledge to let tax rates on high-end income groups rise — individuals making more than $200,000 a year or couples earning over $250,000. But congressional Democrats are worried as they face potentially big losses in November. Democrats in the most vulnerable districts are teetering, especially the party’s conservative
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