Archives for Capitol Hillbillies

Pelosi, Democrats failed to deliver on ethics promises

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi promised four years ago that Democrats would lead “the most honest, most open, most ethical Congress in history.” But as her party defends its record with its majority in jeopardy, two prominent Democrats await ethics trials. Two other party members gave Congressional Black Caucus Foundation scholarships to relatives. Most importantly, lobbyists, corporations and special interests still have unimpeded ways to buy access to members of Congress. Take House Majority Whip James Clyburn’s annual charity golf tournament, which provides college scholarships for needy students in his South Carolina district and funds the endowment he established at South
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Obama to Democrats: Stop bitching and get to work

Buck up. Stop whining. And get to work. Clearly frustrated by Republicans‘ energy — and his own party’s lack of enthusiasm — President Barack Obama scolded fellow Democrats even as he rallied them Tuesday in an effort to save the party from big GOP gains in the crucial midterm elections. In the final month of campaigning, he’s trying to re-energize young voters, despondent liberals and other Democrats whose excitement over his election has dissipated. “It is inexcusable for any Democrat or progressive right now to stand on the sidelines,” the president declared in a Rolling Stone magazine interview. He said
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GOP ‘Pledge’ driven by polls, not philosophy

Billed as a Pledge to America, the House Republican campaign manifesto is as much political straddle as conservative call to action, long on poll-tested goals, short on controversial specifics and designed to reassure independent voters who abandoned the party in the last two elections. “It’s not intended to be a party platform. It’s not intended to cover everything under the sun,” said House Republican leader John Boehner as he and others presented the 21-page document at a prototypical small business (hardware store) just outside the Washington Beltway (15.7 miles). The strategy of appealing to independents while trying to hold the
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On-again, off-again tax cut off again until after election

The White House and Democratic leaders in Congress said Sunday they would find a way to extend middle-class tax cuts after the November elections, unable to secure GOP backing before lawmakers break to campaign. “One way or the other, we’re going to get it done. And I believe the pressure is going to build among the American people” said David Axelrod, President Barack Obama‘s top political aide. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., had suggested that a vote could be held this coming week before lawmakers leave town for the elections. But her deputy, Majority Leader Steny Hoyer of Maryland, said
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Republicans block repeal of ‘don’t ask, don’t tell’

Ever-present Republican homophobia triumphed in the United States Senate Tuesday as the party of the elephant successfully blocked an Obama-sponsored effort to lift the ban on gays serving openly in the military. In a mostly partisan vote, the Senate fell short of the 60 votes needed to advance a major defense policy bill that included repeal of the 17-year-old “don’t ask, don’t tell” policy that allows gays to serve in the military as long as they don’t reveal their sexual orientation. Gay advocates blame the measure’s failure on both President Barack Obama and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, saying neither
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GOP leader defends McDonnell

The No. 3 man in the House Republican leadership is brushing aside a negative report on tea party upstart Christine O’Donnell as part of pre-election “silly season.” Rep. Mike Pence tells ABC’s “Good Morning America” any verdict on O’Donnell’s fitness to serve in the Senate is “up to the voters of Delaware.” The Indiana Republican says there’s a welling up of anger and a demand for political leaders who will “put our fiscal house in order.” He spoke about a decade-old television clip of O’Donnell, who said she once “dabbled into witchcraft.” Pence says the election is more about the
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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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