Archives for Capitol Hillbillies

Steele wants another chance to screw up the GOP

Embattled party chairman Michael Steele is telling Republican National Committee members that he’s running for re-election. That’s according to several participants listening to a conference call Monday night between Steele and the 168-member committee. They spoke on the condition of anonymity because the call was private. The RNC will vote in January on whether to grant Steele a second two-year term or choose a successor from a multicandidate field. Steele, the first black Republican Party chairman, has watched his once strong support within the RNC rank and file all but evaporate during a first term that has been marked by
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Dems mull changes while GOP grumbles

House Democrats considered changes in legislation to avoid a Jan. 1 jump in income taxes on Tuesday, despite a warning from Republicans that the bill’s passage could be endangered as a result. “This agreement is not subject to being reopened,” said Senate Republican leader Mitch McConnell of Kentucky. “In other words, we have an understanding.” President Barack Obama announced the agreement a week ago, saying it had been worked out with leading lawmakers in both parties and was essential to help strengthen an economy still struggling to recover from the worst recession in decades. There is little disagreement among lawmakers
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And the house Democrats just keep on bitching

The struggle over tax cuts is seriously straining President Barack Obama‘s relationship with House Democrats, who have backed him on key issues even when it cost them politically. Expressing hurt and bewilderment, Democratic lawmakers say Obama ignored them at crucial negotiating moments, misled them about his intentions and made needless concessions to Republicans. The president has responded that he acted honorably and drove the best bargain he could. But even his explanations offended some longtime allies. Aides to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi grumbled about a Dec. 7 news conference in which Obama claimed that some liberals would feel “sanctimonious about
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Obama’s embattled health care plan: Is there a doctor in the house?

The scorecard on the legal fight over President Barack Obama‘s health care overhaul is two judges in favor and one against. But these are the early rounds in preliminary bouts. The one that really counts — a showdown at the Supreme Court — is at least a year away. The health care law suffered its first major legal setback Monday when a federal judge declared that the heart of the sweeping legislation is unconstitutional. The decision handed Republican foes ammunition for their repeal effort next year. The ruling by U.S. District Judge Henry E. Hudson, a Republican appointee in Richmond,
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Tax cut pill a bitter one for Democrats to swallow

The struggle over tax cuts is seriously straining President Barack Obama’s relationship with House Democrats, who have backed him on key issues even when it cost them politically. Expressing hurt and bewilderment, Democratic lawmakers say Obama ignored them at crucial negotiating moments, misled them about his intentions and made needless concessions to Republicans. The president has responded that he acted honorably and drove the best bargain he could. But even his explanations offended some longtime allies. Aides to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi passed around news accounts of a Dec. 7 news conference in which Obama claimed that some liberals would
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Lobby this: Prosecutors urged hard time for lobbyist

Federal prosecutors recommended a prison term of nearly five years Monday for a former lobbyist who specialized in getting congressional appropriators to funnel money to his defense contractor clients. In papers filed in U.S. District Court here, prosecutors said Paul Magliocchetti should serve 57 months behind bars because his criminal activities driven by greed caused significant injury to the image and integrity of the nation’s electoral process. Magliocchetti, 64, pleaded guilty to illegally funneling more than $380,000 in campaign contributions to House members controlling the Pentagon‘s budget. In a separate court filing, Magliocchetti’s lawyer, Lindsey R. Vaala, recommended that her
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Partisanship or cooperation? Damn good question

For an early idea of how the Democratic White House and emboldened House Republicans will get along next year, keep an eye on Vice President Joe Biden and California congressman Darrell Issa. Biden, the administration’s point man touting the economic stimulus, and Issa, the GOP‘s top House investigator who called White House claims of the program’s success a fake, have made peace for now. But will the cooperative spirit last? Both men have been known for bombastic rhetoric, and there was little reason for them to cooperate while Democrats controlled the House. But just as the House Republican victory in
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Obama-GOP tax bill passes key Senate hurdle

Far-reaching legislation to avert a Jan. 1 income-tax increase for millions won overwhelming support in a Senate test vote on Monday, backed by an uneasy and unusual alliance between the White House and lawmakers in both parties. Even before the vote was complete, President Barack Obama said the show of support “proves that both parties can in fact work together to grow our economy and look out for the American people.” Senate passage, expected within a day or two, would set up a final showdown in the House between Obama and liberals in his own party who want the White
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Judge rules key part of Obamacare unconstitutional

A federal judge in Washington ruled Monday that a key part of President Barack Obama‘s health care law is unconstitutional because the feds can’t force Americans to buy insurance. U.S. District Judge Henry E. Hudson said no court in the nation has expanded the Commerce Clause of the Constitution to allow regulation of an individual’s decision to buy or not to buy a product. The decision invalidates a key part of Obama’s landmark health care plan and sends the case to the courts where the who issue of mandatory health insurance could become moot. Several states have already said they
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Tax bill foes say ‘yes, damn it,’ it will pass

With the White House stepping up pressure and even bringing in former President Bill Clinton as the closer, even foes of the Obama tax cut deal see it passing and passing soon. Obama chief advisor David Axelrod acknowledged the tough battle will be in the House, which has rejected the legislation already but the aide predicted the administration will broker enough changes to pull off the deal. “We believe that when it comes back to the House, that we will get a vote, and that we’ll prevail there, because at the end of the day, no one wants to see
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