Archives for News

Pelosi may want even more taxes for the rich

House Democratic leader Nancy Pelosi isn’t ruling out pushing for upper-income earners to pay more even after the “fiscal cliff” deal that raised their taxes. She tells CBS’ “Face the Nation” that “I’m saying that’s not off the table.” The California Democrats isn’t getting into specifics but she does discuss changes to tax law that might involve deductions and other breaks. The former House speaker also says the current Republican Party isn’t the “Grand Old Party that did so many things for America that commanded so much respect.” She says the country needs a strong GOP but she describes the
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Obama will nominate John Breenan to run CIA

President Barack Obama will nominate John Brennan as his next director of the Central Intelligence Agency. Brennan, a 25-year CIA veteran, currently serves as Obama’s top counterterrorism adviser. The White House says the president will announce Brennan’s nomination during an event Monday afternoon. At the same event, an administration official says, the president will also formally announce that he is nominating Chuck Hagel as his next defense secretary. Both men must be confirmed by the Senate. Obama considered Brennan for the top CIA job in 2008. But Brennan withdrew his name amid questions about his connection to enhanced interrogation techniques
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White House looking for sharply increased gun control laws

The White House is weighing a far broader approach to curbing U.S. gun violence than just reinstating a ban on assault weapons and high-capacity magazines, the Washington Post reported on Sunday. A working group led by Vice President Joseph Biden is seriously considering measures that would require universal background checks for gun buyers and track the movement and sale of weapons through a national database, the newspaper said. The measures would also strengthen mental health checks and stiffen penalties for carrying guns near schools or giving them to minors, the Post said. The approach is backed by law enforcement leaders,
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Don’t look for any cooperation on solving debt crisis

Congressional leaders on Sunday showed no signs of emerging from their corners to resolve the next step in the financial crisis, with Democrats still talking about higher taxes on the wealthy and the Senate’s top Republican suggesting that a crippling default on U.S. loans was possible unless there were significant cuts in government spending. “It’s a shame we have to use whatever leverage we have in Congress to get the president to deal with the biggest problem confronting our future, and that’s our excessive spending,” said Sen. Mitch McConnell, R-Ky. Last week’s deal to avert the combination of end-of-year tax
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Obama set to nominate Republican Hagel as defense secretary

President Barack Obama will nominate Chuck Hagel as his next defense secretary, a senior administration official said Sunday, choosing a former Senate colleague and a decorated Vietnam veteran and signaling he’s ready for a contentious confirmation fight likely dominated by questions about Hagel’s stands on Israel and Iran. Obama, who avoided a Capitol Hill battle by deciding not to nominate U.N. Ambassador Susan Rice as his first choice for secretary of state, went ahead with Hagel, 66, even as leading Republicans announced their opposition — though they stopped short of saying they might try to block Hagel. Seeking to soften
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Republicans: Just as divided and angry as ever

The Republican Party seems as divided and angry as ever. Infighting has penetrated the highest levels of the House GOP leadership. Long-standing geographic tensions have increased, pitting endangered Northeastern Republicans against their colleagues from other parts of the country. Enraged tea party leaders are threatening to knock off dozens of Republicans who supported a measure that raised taxes on the nation’s highest earners. “People are mad as hell. I’m right there with them,” Amy Kremer, chairman of the Tea Party Express, said late last week, declaring that she has “no confidence” in the party her members typically support. Her remarks
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Gov. Christie: Nailing Republicans part of his job

In 2010, Gov. Chris Christie underestimated the first major storm of his administration by flying to Disney World hours before snow crippled New Jersey. A year later, he overplayed Tropical Storm Irene with the now-infamous order, “Get the hell off the beach.” When Superstorm Sandy set its sights on his state, he had learned his lesson: be more hands on, more empathetic. “I had a sense from the beginning that this one was going to be really bad,” Christie, 50, told The Associated Press in an interview last week that reflected on a first term that has now positioned him
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Obama urges fast action on new debt ceiling

President Barack Obama is hailing a last-minute deal that avoids the so-called fiscal cliff but says it’s just one step in a broader effort to boost the economy and shrink federal deficits. Obama said in his radio and Internet address Saturday that the new law — approved by Congress on New Year’s Day and signed Thursday — raises taxes on the wealthiest Americans while preventing a middle-class tax hike that could have thrown the economy back into recession. With the “fiscal cliff” crisis barely over, Obama faces new battles in Congress over raising the country’s $16.4 trillion borrowing limit, as
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Obama set to round out new national security team

President Barack Obama may round out his new national security leadership team next week, with a nomination for defense secretary expected and a pick to lead the Central Intelligence Agency possible. Former Republican Sen. Chuck Hagel of Nebraska is the front-runner for the top Pentagon post. Acting CIA director Michael Morell and Obama counterterrorism adviser John Brennan are leading contenders to head the spy agency. White House aides said the president has not made a final decision on either post and won’t until he returns from Hawaii, where he is vacationing with his family. Obama is due back in Washington
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FDA claims moves will make food safer

The Food and Drug Administration says its new guidelines would make the food Americans eat safer and help prevent the kinds of foodborne disease outbreaks that sicken or kill thousands of consumers each year. The rules, the most sweeping food safety guidelines in decades, would require farmers to take new precautions against contamination, to include making sure workers’ hands are washed, irrigation water is clean, and that animals stay out of fields. Food manufacturers will have to submit food safety plans to the government to show they are keeping their operations clean. The long-overdue regulations could cost businesses close to
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