Archives for Capitol Hillbillies

GOP Capitol event comes under fire

Democrats and congressional watchdog groups accused Republicans on Friday of illegally holding a campaign fundraiser in the Capitol complex during this week’s swearing-in ceremonies for lawmakers. One group said it would ask House ethics officials to investigate, but there were no immediate indications that they would take formal action. A spokesman for the GOP congressman who sponsored the event denied that he had used it to raise campaign money, and said funds collected were for the costs of buses that ferried people to the reception. While at the reception, the two Republican lawmakers — Mike Fitzpatrick of Pennsylvania and Pete
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GOP fires early salvo on global warming

House Republicans wasted no time Thursday in trying to block the Obama administration from acting to stem global warming. On their second day in power, GOP lawmakers introduced several bills that would hamstring the Environmental Protection Agency from moving forward with regulations to reduce heat-trapping pollution from factories and other sources that they say contributes to global warming. The bills are part of an effort by House Republicans to reverse what they consider job-killing policies of the administration. The bills introduced by Rep. Ted Poe of Texas, Rep. Marsha Blackburn of Tennessee and Rep. Shelley Moore Capito of West Virginia
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Health care repeal could deepen govenment red ink

Repealing President Barack Obama‘s landmark health care overhaul would add billions to government red ink and leave millions without coverage, Congress’ nonpartisan budget referees said Thursday ahead of a politically charged vote in the House. House Speaker John Boehner brushed off the Congressional Budget Office analysis as emboldened Republicans, now in the majority in the House, issued their own report arguing that Obama’s coverage expansion would cost jobs and increase budget deficits. But Democrats seized on the CBO analysis, calling it a game changer in the battle for public opinion. In a letter to Boehner, budget office director Douglas Elmendorf
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Debt limit already a hot-button issue for GOP

In power scarcely a day, House Republicans bluntly told the White House on Thursday its request to raise the nation’s $14.3 trillion debt limit will require federal spending cuts to win their approval, laying down an early marker in a new era of divided government. Speaker John Boehner made the challenge as the new GOP majority voted to cut funding for House members’ own offices and committee operations by $35 million. Rank and file Republicans described that vote as a mere down payment on a much more ambitious assault on record federal deficits. “It’s not massive,” first-term Rep. Cory Gardner,
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Two Republicans voted before they took office

It only took two days for majority Republicans in the House to suffer their first embarrassment. Two of their members, including the House Republican campaign chairman, voted a half-dozen times in Wednesday’s opening session before they were sworn in. Reps. Pete Sessions, the campaign chief, and Mike Fitzpatrick were at a reception in the Capitol Visitor Center when other members took the oath. The two men saw House Speaker John Boehner swearing in members on television and raised their hands before the screen believing they were taking the oath, said Jo Maney, spokeswoman for House Rules Committee chairman David Dreier
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Reading the Constitution: Education or futility?

Republicans and Democrats took turns politely in a historic recitation of the Constitution from the House floor Thursday, but the decorum hardly meant they were in agreement. In a nod to the tea partiers who put the Republicans in power, GOP lawmakers took time out from their campaign to change the way government works to read the document upon which the government was founded. Democrats went along but pointedly questioned the Republicans’ insistence on omitting sections that show how the Constitution has changed over time — such as one that classified a slave as three-fifths of a person. Approved in
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Republicans already breaking their promises

Republicans have already violated some of the vows they made in taking stewardship of the House. Their pledge to cut $100 billion from the budget in one year won’t be kept. And for a coming vote seeking to repeal the health care overhaul, the first major initiative of the new Congress, lawmakers won’t be allowed to propose changes to the legislation despite Republican promises to end such heavy-handed tactics from the days of Democratic control. Is business as usual really back so fast? That’s not clear one day after Democrat Nancy Pelosi yielded the gavel to the new Republican House
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Obama’s New Year’s resolution? Fix the economy, stupid

President Barack Obama has set his New Year‘s resolution high for 2011: repair the struggling economy. In his weekly radio and Internet address on Saturday, the vacationing president said recent data showed the economic recovery was gaining traction even as millions of Americans are still out of work. “Our most important task now is to keep that recovery going,” Obama said. “As president, that’s my commitment to you: to do everything I can to make sure our economy is growing, creating jobs, and strengthening our middle class. That’s my resolution for the coming year.” Unemployment of nearly 10 percent and
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A humble soldier adjusts to fame

It was years in the making, so Staff Sgt. Sal Giunta had time to talk with his wife about the “what if” question. He’d been recommended for the Medal of Honor, the nation’s highest military decoration. If chosen, his name would be in headlines. His face in the spotlight. He’d be a celebrity. And again and again, he’d have to tell strangers the harrowing story of a deadly ambush in Afghanistan. “He was worried,” says Giunta’s wife, Jenny. “He didn’t know how he was going able to talk to people about it. He couldn’t even talk to me. He didn’t
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The GOP agenda: Lots of turmoil, little hope for progress

The Republican agenda for the new Congress that convenes Wednesday may have a greater impact on the 2012 elections than on the lives of Americans in the next two years. Republicans promise to cut spending, roll back President Barack Obama‘s health care overhaul and prevent unelected bureaucrats from expanding the government’s role in society through regulations that tell people what they must or can’t do. Getting this agenda through the House may be easier than in the Senate, given the GOP‘s 241-194 majority in the House. Getting the Senate to act will be a challenge. Democrats still hold an edge
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