Archives for News

Embattled Boehner holds on to Speaker’s post

Despite a rocky few weeks during the “fiscal cliff” fight, John Boehner won re-election as speaker of the House of Representatives on Thursday and will again lead Republicans as they take on the White House over federal spending. Boehner defeated House Democratic leader Nancy Pelosi 220-192 in a vote on the opening day of the 113th Congress and vowed to use his second term to shrink the national debt of $16 trillion to prevent it from “draining free enterprise.” The Ohio congressman narrowly avoided the embarrassment of having to go to a second round of voting, as 12 conservatives held
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The fiscal cliff debacle: From hope to hopelessness

It began so optimistically. On November 16, after their first “fiscal cliff” session with President Barack Obama, the four leaders of Congress had stood in the driveway of the White House shoulder-to-shoulder for what is a rare photo these days, Republicans and Democrats together, smiling. There they were at the microphone, talking about a “framework” for tax reform and deficit reduction. In hindsight, the shot of House Speaker John Boehner and Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell – the Republicans – with Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid and House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi – the Democrats – seems like an old
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Employers stepped up hiring amid fiscal cliff turmoil

U.S. employers likely kept hiring last month at a modest but steady pace, despite tense negotiations that pushed the economy to the brink of the fiscal cliff. Economists forecast that employers added 155,000 jobs in December, according to a survey by FactSet. That would be slightly higher than November’s 148,000. The unemployment rate is projected to remain at 7.7 percent. Stable hiring would mean the job market held up during the talks between Congress and the White House over tax increases and spending cuts that were not resolved until the new year. A trio of encouraging reports Thursday on private
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New Congress will face the same, old partisan problems

Congress is ushering in the new and the old — dozens of eager freshmen determined to change Washington and the harsh reality of another stretch of bitterly divided government. The 113th Congress will convene Thursday at the constitutionally required time of noon for pomp, pageantry and politics as newly elected members of the House and Senate are sworn in and the speaker of the Republican-controlled House is chosen. The traditions come against the backdrop of a mean season that closed out an angry election year. A deal to avert the “fiscal cliff” of big tax increases and spending cuts split
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John Boehner, under fire for delaying relief action, sets vote for Friday

The House is headed for a vote on aid for Superstorm Sandy victims after House Speaker John Boehner mollified Republicans from New York and New Jersey upset with his decision to cancel action on the bill. Facing intense pressure, Boehner agreed Wednesday to schedule a vote Friday on $9 billion for the national flood insurance program and another vote Jan. 15 for a remaining $51 billion in the package, said Rep. Peter King, R-N.Y. The new Congress is being sworn in Thursday. King left a meeting with Boehner and other Republicans without the anger that led him to rip into
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Gov. Christie nails Republicans for failure to provide aid to hurricane victims

Gov. Chris Christie‘s blunt talk has long been one of his hallmarks. But Christie, who has verbally tangled with many, showed Wednesday he’s willing to aim his barbs at the highest echelons of his own party. In a State House news conference, Christie blasted Republican U.S. House Speaker John Boehner of Ohio for delaying a vote on a $60 billion aid package for Superstorm Sandy recovery. “Do your job and come through for the people of this country,” Christie pointedly said about Boehner. Harsh criticism of Boehner by elected officials in New York and New Jersey turned into a bipartisan
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Al-Jazeera buys Current TV. Now what?

With its purchase of left-leaning Current TV, the Pan-Arab news channel Al-Jazeera has fulfilled a long-held quest to reach tens of millions of U.S. homes. But its new audience immediately got a little smaller. The nation’s second-largest TV operator, Time Warner Cable Inc., dropped Current after the deal was confirmed Wednesday, a sign that the channel will have an uphill climb to expand its reach. “Our agreement with Current has been terminated and we will no longer be carrying the service. We are removing the service as quickly as possible,” the company said in a statement. Still, the acquisition of
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House abandons political rhetoric, approves Senate bill averting ‘fiscal cliff’

Past its own New Year’s deadline, a weary Congress sent President Barack Obama legislation to avoid a national “fiscal cliff” of middle class tax increases and spending cuts late Tuesday night in the culmination of a struggle that strained America’s divided government to the limit. The bill’s passage on a 257-167 vote in the House sealed a hard-won political triumph for the president less than two months after he secured re-election while calling for higher taxes on the wealthy. In addition to neutralizing middle class tax increases and spending cuts taking effect with the new year, the legislation will raise
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Senate approves tax, spending deal 89-8

Hours past a self-imposed deadline for action, the Senate passed legislation early New Year’s Day to neutralize a fiscal cliff combination of across-the-board tax increases and spending cuts that kicked in at midnight. The pre-dawn vote was a lopsided 89-8. Senate passage set the stage for a final showdown in the House, where a vote was expected later Tuesday or perhaps Wednesday on the measure, which also raises tax rates on wealthy Americans. Even by the recent dysfunctional standards of government-by-gridlock, the activity at both ends of historic Pennsylvania Avenue was remarkable as the administration and lawmakers spent the final
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Under Senate deal, economy dodges bullet for now

A deal worked out by U.S. Senate leaders to avoid the “fiscal cliff,” was far from any “grand bargain” of deficit reduction measures. But if approved by the U.S. House of Representatives, it could help the country steer clear of recession, although enough austerity would remain in place to likely keep the economy growing at a lackluster pace. The Senate approved a last-minute deal early Tuesday morning to scale back $600 billion in scheduled tax hikes and government spending cuts that economists widely agree would tip the economy into recession. The deal would hike taxes permanently for household incomes over
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