Archives for Capitol Hillbillies

Rangel’s woes: An election year gift to Republicans

Republicans wanted an election-season ethics case against Democratic powerhouse Rep. Charles Rangel of New York. And now, it looks like they have one. A House ethics panel of four Democrats and four Republicans, who will determine Rangel’s guilt or innocence on 13 ethics charges, held its organizational meeting Thursday. The message going forward, from the top Republican on the panel, was: Let the trial begin. Rangel was “given the opportunity to negotiate a settlement during the investigation phase,” Rep. Michael McCaul of Texas said. “We are now in the trial phase.” McCaul’s strong comment was echoed by Rep. Jo Bonner,
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Rangel faces the jury

A jury of Rep. Charles Rangel’s congressional peers is ready to publicly discuss charges of ethical misdeeds. But the political discussions outside the room will be far more significant. Eight House lawmakers who will determine guilt or innocence of the former committee chairman will hold their first meeting Thursday. A number of Democrats considering calls for the New York Democrat to resign will get their first look at the allegations. “I think everyone is looking forward to getting all the facts out in the open and people will have to react once we know what we’re dealing with,” said Rep.
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Democrats ignored Rangel’s ethics problems

House Democratic leaders who promised to “drain the swamp” of corrupt Washington are doing a delicate rhetorical dance around one of their own, 20-term Rep. Charlie Rangel, as he faces a public trial on ethical misdeeds during a high-stakes midterm election. They can’t pressure the former Ways and Means chairman to strike a deal or resign without running afoul of the powerful Congressional Black Caucus. So by Tuesday, as behind-the-scenes talks more or less continued, Democratic leaders went public with the only thing they all could agree on. “Everybody would like to have it go away,” said House Majority Leader
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Economic fears threaten Democrats

Americans by a large majority believe President Barack Obama has not focused enough on job creation, as economic fears threaten Democrats ahead of November 2 congressional elections, a Reuters-Ipsos poll found on Tuesday. In a sign of trouble ahead for the Democrats, the poll found evidence of a sizable enthusiasm gap with Republicans more energized about voting in the elections. Americans expressed deep unhappiness with the direction of the economy, which in the poll they identified overwhelmingly as the country’s top problem. The U.S. unemployment rate is at a stubbornly high 9.5 percent and Obama has spent much of the
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Harry Reid’s uncertain future

Senate Democratic leader Harry Reid’s chances for six more years in Washington may be like tossing dice in a casino, even if he has made headway against Republican challenger Sharron Angle in a state with the nation’s highest rate of joblessness. The four-term Reid holds a slight lead over Angle in the latest polling, thanks in part to her unsteady performance since winning the June primary and to Democratic ads portraying her as an extremist. Video of Angle scurrying away from reporters has mixed with television commercials of older voters upset about her call to phase out Social Security and
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Rangel becomes major headache for Democrats

Friends and political allies of embattled Rep. Charlie Rangel are noticeably quiet after the disclosure that the 40-year House veteran and dean of the New York congressional delegation may face serious charges from a House ethics panel. Rangel, 80, told reporters Friday that he looked forward to a public airing of the charges next week and fully intended to fight to clear his name. But national Democrats, already nervous about the party’s prospects in the November election, had little to say publicly about Rangel’s plight. It’s a particularly vexing situation for New York Democrats, who know Rangel well and have
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Rangel faces more ethics problems

Rep. Charles Rangel, who has spent half of his 80 years as a member of Congress, says he looks forward to fighting ethics charges. Other Democrats won’t be so pleased. The ethics trial sought by the New York congressman and former Ways and Means Committee chairman will coincide with campaign season. Democrats will have to defend their party’s conduct. If enough of them lose, the party could cede control of the House. Republicans are already going negative, reminding voters that Speaker Nancy Pelosi promised to “drain the swamp” of ethical misdeeds in Congress. Rangel had a choice. His lawyer had
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Democrats can’t win without independent voters

Democrat Joe Sestak — a son of the Philadelphia suburbs — needs the independent voters in his backyard as he campaigns for a Senate seat in a swing state that may tilt Republican this year. Independents have been turning away from President Barack Obama and the Democratic Party, frustrated with the economic downturn and administration initiatives, even in Pennsylvania where Obama won by double-digits two years ago. Sestak, a two-term congressman, has his work cut out for him. “To vote for any of them right now, I’m not really sure I could. It’s too early to say,” says Tori Fisher,
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Anti-abortion forces win one in health care fight

Abortion foes have scored a victory and traditional allies of the Obama administration are grumbling about a decision to ban most abortion coverage in insurance pools for those unable to purchase health care on their own. The Catholic bishops “welcome this new policy,” said Cardinal Daniel DiNardo, although he added the organization remains concerned that other provisions of President Barack Obama’s health care overhaul law will promote abortion. The issue flared after at least one state — New Mexico — initially decided to allow coverage of elective abortion in a newly launched, federally funded program to provide coverage for high-risk
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Sessions predicts GOP takeover of House

A top Republican lawmaker on Sunday predicted his party would win back the House of Representatives from Democrats in the November mid-term elections, as both parties previewed the arguments they will deploy in the battle for control of Congress. Republican Representative Pete Sessions said his party would win “slightly over” 40 House seats, which would give them a slim majority in the chamber and, with it, the ability to derail President Barack Obama’s agenda. “I think our candidates are going to take us from good to great to victory,” said Sessions, who oversees his party’s electoral efforts in the House.
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