Archives for Capitol Hillbillies

Advice to newbies: Details, details, details

Be work horses, not show horses. Choose details over drama. The small stuff? Sweat it. And do it fast. Republicans retaking control of the House in January are getting lessons from veterans of the past two transitions of power on Capitol Hill — 1994, when the GOP last took control of Congress, and 2006, when Democrats grabbed it back. Lesson No. 1: They have a short window to convince the public they’re serious about changing the way Washington works. “If we look like we’re doing business as usual,” says Rep.-elect Adam Kinzinger, R-Ill., “then obviously the American people will say,
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Is Boehner more of a crybaby than Pelosi?

Got hankies? The next speaker is a weeper. If soon-to-be-ousted House Speaker Nancy Pelosi is known for her steely smile and composure, her replacement, John Boehner, has a reputation for tearing up. It starts with a quaver in the Ohio Republican’s voice. Then there’s a pregnant pause as he tries — usually unsuccessfully — to keep his feelings in check. Soon, he’s choking out words in a rush of emotion, shaking his head and waving his hands as he tries to pull himself together. It happened most recently when Boehner took his first turn on stage after Republicans seized control
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Republicans tap two tea party winners for transition help

To help lead the GOP‘s transition to power in the House, Republicans on Monday tapped two newly elected congressmen who drew tea party backing in their campaigns. Adam Kinzinger of Illinois and Tim Scott of South Carolina, who won endorsements by Sarah Palin and support from tea party activists, are part of a 22-member team charged with crafting new rules and smoothing the GOP’s shift from minority to majority. The team, led by Rep. Greg Walden of Oregon and headquartered in the basement of the Capitol, was to gather over Chinese food Monday evening in Republican leader John Boehner‘s office
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Palin to Bernanke: ‘Cease and desist’

Tea Party favorite Sarah Palin on Monday weighed in on the global debate over the Federal Reserve’s $600 billion plan to buy up government debt, suggesting Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke should “cease and desist.” “We shouldn’t be playing around with inflation,” Palin, who is widely seen as a prospective 2012 Republican presidential candidate, said in remarks prepared for a Monday speech in Phoenix. “We don’t want temporary, artificial economic growth bought at the expense of permanently higher inflation, which will erode the value of our incomes and our savings. We want a stable dollar combined with real economic reform. It’s
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Republicans plan early assault on health care law

Congressional Republicans said on Sunday they plan a full-scale assault against President Barack Obama‘s healthcare overhaul next year but acknowledged it could take until after the 2012 presidential election to repeal it. Representative Paul Ryan, expected to become chairman of the House Budget Committee chairman, said his fellow Republicans will try to deny funding for implementation of the healthcare legislation and hold hearings to point out its shortcomings when the new Congress convenes in January. But full repeal of the law and replacing it may have to await the results of next election cycle, when control of Congress will again
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Cantor: Obama will be responsible for government shutdown

A top Republican refused on Sunday to rule out the possibility of a government shutdown next year over growing federal deficits but said if there were one, President Barack Obama would bear responsibility. House of Representatives Republican Whip Eric Cantor said it’s up to Obama to work with Republicans since they won the House from Obama’s Democrats in last week’s election, vowing to slash spending and shrink government. Appearing on “Fox News Sunday,” Cantor focused on Obama when asked if Republicans could provide assurances that they wouldn’t let the government shut down in any confrontation with the White House, disrupting
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Rand Paul: GOP must consider cutting military budgets

Republican Sen.-elect Rand Paul says GOP lawmakers must be open to cutting military spending as Congress tries to reduce government spending. The tea party favorite from Kentucky says compromise with Democrats over where to cut spending must include the military as well as social programs. Paul says all government spending must be “on the table.” Paul tells ABC’s “This Week” that he supports a constitutional amendment calling for a balanced budget.
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McConnell says banning pork ain’t that easy

Republican Senate leader Mitch McConnell says banning pork-barrel projects known as “earmarks” from congressional legislation is more complicated than it appears but that he is willing to consider such a ban. McConnell says that ending the common practice of slipping funding requests for home-state projects into legislation won’t cut spending. A ban on earmarks will only limit the discretion of where to spend the vast federal budget and not curb spending. Republican Sen. Jim DeMint of South Carolina has said he wants to ban all lawmakers’ requests for specific spending. President Barack Obama has backed that idea. McConnell says Republicans
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Gates to Congress: Repeal ‘don’t ask, don’t tell’ before new members are seated

Defense Secretary Robert Gates wants a lame duck session of Congress to repeal the ban on gays serving openly in the military before new, more anti-gay members are sworn in. But he isn’t holding his breath waiting for that to happen. On a trip to Australia for a series of defense and diplomatic confabs, Gates said: “I would like to see the repeal of “don’t ask, don’t tell” but I’m not sure what the prospects for that are.” He, however, did not sound optimistic that the current Congress would use a brief postelection session to get rid of the law
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Pelosi’s decision: Hell no, she won’t go

Despite widespread complaints about massive losses that will put Democrats in the minority, Speaker Nancy Pelosi said Friday she will try to stay on as leader of her party in the House. The decision exposed a rift between Pelosi’s liberal allies and the dwindling number of moderate Democrats, who feel besieged and eager for substantive and symbolic changes in direction after Tuesday’s Republican rout. It also is likely to trigger leadership battles farther down the ladder. Pelosi, the nation’s first female speaker, said many colleagues urged her to seek the post of minority leader in the new Congress that convenes
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