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Clinton doesn’t see ‘getting back into politics’

Outgoing U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton on Tuesday cast doubt on speculation she might run for the White House in 2016. In an interview taped for National Public Radio, Clinton was asked what questions she needs to answer for herself as she decides whether to run for president. “I’m not even posing those questions. I am really looking forward to stepping off the fast track that I’ve been on. I’ve been out of politics as Secretary of State. I don’t see myself getting back into politics,” she said, according to an excerpt of the interview. Whether this is her
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GOP goal: Stalemate with Dems, no collaboration

Is Washington’s backroom dealing dead? House Speaker John Boehner says he no longer wants to negotiate deficit reduction with President Barack Obama. The president says he won’t negotiate raising the government’s borrowing authority. Rank and file lawmakers say they’re tired of being left out of the loop and insist on the regular legislative process. If those are New Year’s resolutions, they can certainly be broken. But at the start of a second presidential term, cutting a secret, late night fiscal bargain with the White House on the phone and with a handshake suddenly seems so yesterday. “No more brinkmanship,” Senate
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Newtown parents want more enforcement of gun laws

Parents of children killed in the Newtown school shooting called for better enforcement of gun laws and tougher penalties for violators Monday at a hearing that revealed the divide in the gun-control debate, with advocates for gun rights shouting at the father of one 6-year-old victim. Neil Heslin, whose son Jesse was killed in last month’s massacre at Sandy Hook Elementary, asked people in the room to put themselves in his position as he questioned the need for any civilian to own semiautomatic, military-style weapons. “It’s not a good feeling. Not a good feeling to look at your child laying
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Claims don’t match facts in Chuck Hagel debate

Republican-leaning groups opposing President Barack Obama’s choice of Chuck Hagel to head the Defense Department have let loose a barrage of claims about the former GOP senator. They say he endorses automatic cuts to the defense budget, that he wants to decimate the nation’s nuclear arsenal, that his membership on the board of a major company that had a Pentagon contract is a conflict of interest that he’s ignoring. A look at Hagel’s record suggests many of the contentions are overblown. In statements and attack ads, the groups have sought to undermine Hagel’s nomination in the weeks leading up to
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Obama set to sign Superstorm Sandy aid bill

President Barack Obama said he’ll sign a $50.5 billion emergency relief measure for Superstorm Sandy victims as soon as it lands on his desk. Three months after Sandy ravaged coastal areas in much of the Northeast, Obama chided lawmakers for taking their time to approve the funding even as he commended them for providing the long-awaited aid. “So while I had hoped Congress would provide this aid sooner, I applaud the lawmakers from both parties who helped shepherd this important package though,” Obama said in a statement late Monday. Despite opposition from conservatives concerned about adding billions of dollars to
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Feinstein admits assualt weapons ban faces a tough fight

Sen. Dianne Feinstein, who’s leading the push to restore an assault weapon ban, acknowledged on Sunday that the effort faces tough odds to pass Congress and she blamed the nation’s largest gun-rights group. Feinstein, D-Calif., on Thursday introduced a bill that would prohibit 157 specific weapons and ammunition magazines that have more than 10 rounds. The White House and fellow Democrats are skeptical the measure is going anywhere, given lawmakers who are looking toward re-election might fear pro-gun voters and the National Rifle Association. “This has always been an uphill fight. This has never been easy. This is the hardest
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Obama to gun control advocates: Listen to rural voices

President Barack Obama urged gun control advocates to listen to views of rural Americans who use guns for hunting and said bridging a cultural divide in attitudes to gun ownership will be critical to his administration’s push to curb gun violence. “If you grew up and your dad gave you a hunting rifle when you were 10, and you went out and spent the day with him and your uncles, and that became part of your family’s traditions, you can see why you’d be pretty protective of that,” Obama said in an interview with The New Republic magazine published on
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Senators reach deal on immigration reform

A bipartisan group of leading senators has reached agreement on the principles of sweeping legislation to rewrite the nation’s immigration laws. The deal, which was to be announced at a news conference Monday afternoon, covers border security, guest workers and employer verification, as well as a path to citizenship for the 11 million illegal immigrants already in this country. Although thorny details remain to be negotiated and success is far from certain, the development heralds the start of what could be the most significant effort in years toward overhauling the nation’s inefficient patchwork of immigration laws. President Barack Obama also
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Obama ways he will miss Hillary Clinton

President Barack Obama lauded Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton as one of his closest advisers and said their shared vision for America’s role in the world persuaded his one-time rival — and potential successor — to be his top diplomat while he dealt with the shattered economy at home. During a joint interview that aired Sunday, Obama and Clinton chuckled as they described their partnership and stoked speculation that Obama may prefer Clinton to succeed him in the White House after the 2016 elections. Clinton is leaving Obama’s Cabinet soon, and speculation about the former first lady and senator
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Thousands march for gun control in Washington

Thousands of people, many holding signs with names of gun violence victims and messages such as “Ban Assault Weapons Now,” joined a rally for gun control on Saturday, marching from the Capitol to the Washington Monument. Leading the crowd were marchers with “We Are Sandy Hook” signs, paying tribute to victims of the December school shooting in Newtown, Conn. Washington Mayor Vincent Gray and other city officials marched alongside them. The crowd stretched for at least two blocks along Constitution Avenue. Participants held signs reading “Gun Control Now,” ”Stop NRA” and “What Would Jesus Pack?” among other messages. Other signs
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