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Obama slams Republicans over delay of Hagel nomination

President Barack Obama is criticizing Senate Republicans for delaying the confirmation of Chuck Hagel as his secretary of defense. The president said his opponents are using politics while the nation is still in a war in Afghanistan. Obama called Hagel, who is a former senator and Vietnam veteran, “eminently” qualified for the job Thursday and expressed confidence he would ultimately be confirmed. He said Republicans now insist that every issue and nomination requires a super majority of 60 votes. Senate Democrats on Thursday came up short of the 60 votes needed to overcome a procedural step that would have permitted
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Senate Republicans force delay on Hagel confirmation

By delaying a confirmation vote on Chuck Hagel to be defense secretary, Senate Republicans have forced Leon Panetta to remain on the job he is eager to give up. But they’ve also given the White House an opportunity to cast the GOP as obstructing President Barack Obama’s assembly of a second-term national security team. Senate Republicans temporarily blocked a Hagel confirmation vote on Thursday, insisting that the administration must first answer more questions about its handling of a terrorist attack last September on a U.S. diplomatic compound in Benghazi, Libya, that killed four Americans, including Ambassador Chris Stevens. Jay Carney,
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GOP Senators call Hagel a liar, want his nomination vote delayed

Senate Republicans have questioned Chuck Hagel’s truthfulness and they’ve challenged his patriotism. Now they’re threatening to stonewall his nomination to be President Barack Obama’s defense secretary unless the White House gives them more information about what Obama was doing on the night of the deadly attack on the U.S. diplomatic mission in Benghazi, Libya. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., has set the stage for a full Senate vote on Hagel, a former two-term Republican senator from Nebraska and twice-wounded Vietnam combat veteran. Reid filed a motion Wednesday to limit debate and force a vote, which is expected to be
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New right-wing Senator tries to take Washington by storm

For new U.S. senators, the drill typically goes something like this: Keep quiet once you arrive in Washington, learn how things work and then begin asserting yourself. That is not exactly the path Ted Cruz is taking. He has been in office for barely six weeks, but already the senator from Texas, a favorite of the conservative Tea Party movement, has shown a provocative, in-your-face style that has won him criticism and praise. Cruz, 42, has been chided by Democrats and even fellow Republicans who say he trampled Senate etiquette during contentious hearings in which he went after former Republican
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Boehner backs off, lets other take the lead on issues

John Boehner is pulling back. After two stressful years as Washington’s most powerful Republican and a pair of failed, high-profile rounds of budget talks with President Barack Obama — and disappointment over Obama’s re-election — the battle-scarred House speaker has adopted a you-first approach to the Democrat in the White House, his allies who control the Senate and anyone else who wants to work with them. Upcoming across-the-board spending cuts set to slam the economy in two weeks? Boehner says a solution is up to Obama and Senate Democrats. New ideas to prevent gun violence? Let’s see what the Senate
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Documents reveal ties between Clinton, Nixon

In the final months of his life, Richard Nixon quietly advised President Bill Clinton on navigating the post-Cold War world, even offering to serve as a conduit for messages to Russian President Boris Yeltsin and other government officials, newly declassified documents show. Memos and other records show Nixon’s behind-the-scenes relations with the Clinton White House. The documents are part of an exhibit opening Friday at the Nixon Presidential Library, marking the centennial of his birth. Clinton has talked often of his gratitude to Nixon for his advice on foreign affairs, particularly Russia. In a video that will be part of
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Obama’s State of the Union brings quick oppositon from Congress

President Barack Obama set up high-stakes clashes over guns, immigration, taxes and climate change in a State of the Union address that showcased a newly re-elected president determined to mark his legacy, facing off against a deeply divided Congress with Republicans eager to rein him in. At the center of it all was a fight over the very role of government, with Obama pushing a raft of new initiatives to improve preschool programs and voting, boost manufacturing and research and development, raise the minimum wage and lower energy use. “It is our unfinished task to make sure that this government
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As usual, Obama lied in some claims in State of the Union

President Barack Obama did some cherry-picking Tuesday night in defense of his record on jobs and laid out a conditional path to citizenship for illegal immigrants that may be less onerous than he made it sound. A look at some of the claims in his State of the Union speech, a glance at the Republican counterargument and how they fit with the facts: OBAMA: “After years of grueling recession, our businesses have created over 6 million new jobs.” THE FACTS: That’s in the ballpark, as far as it goes. But Obama starts his count not when he took office, but
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GOP response: Usual Obama rhetoric on taxes, spending

Republicans dismissed President Barack Obama’s State of the Union address as nothing more than big government spending and more tax increases. But a brief sip of water may have gotten more immediate attention than any policy ideas. Florida Sen. Marco Rubio‘s mid-speech swig from a small Poland Spring water bottle during his GOP response generated instant reaction in social media circles and on cable television, even as Republicans offered fresh appeals on the economy and promises to rein in federal spending. Rubio appeared to wipe away sweat during his rebuttal from the Speaker’s conference room in the U.S. Capitol. At
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In divided vote, Senate panel approves Hagel for Defense Secretary

A bitterly divided Senate panel has voted to approve the nomination of Chuck Hagel to be the nation’s defense secretary. The Armed Services Committee voted 14-11 to send the nomination to the full Senate. Tuesday’s vote broke along party lines with all 14 Democrats backing President Barack Obama’s choice. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid is pushing for a full Senate vote by week’s end, but some Republicans are threatening to filibuster the nomination. Hagel, a former two-term Republican senator and Vietnam combat veteran, faces strong opposition from GOP senators. They have questioned whether he is sufficiently supportive of Israel and
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