Obama asks for ‘common ground’ in budget debate

President Barack Obama is urging lawmakers to find common ground on a budget deal to avert a government shutdown and says he’s willing to agree to steeper cuts to get there. The president issued a call for compromise Saturday in his weekly radio and Internet address but without offering any specifics on how to bridge the $50 billion gulf that divides the White House and Democratic budget proposal from the much steeper cuts offered by Republicans. The competing plans are headed for test votes in the Senate in the coming week that neither is expected to survive but that will
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Walker sends out layoff notices in Wisconsin

Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker issued layoff warning notices on Friday to unions representing state workers as a battle intensified between Republican and Democratic lawmakers over union bargaining rights that has sparked protests and a national debate. “If the Senate Democrats come back to Wisconsin, these notices may be able to be rescinded and layoffs avoided,” Walker said in a statement. “This action is necessary due to the delay in passage of the budget repair bill.” The warning notices were sent to at least 13 unions including AFSCME, Association of State Prosecutors and Wisconsin Education Association Council. The notes do not
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Tea Party gun lovers pack heat at Montana rally

About two dozen gun-toting Tea Party activists staged a rally at the Montana statehouse on Friday to support the Second Amendment right to bear arms and limiting the reach of the federal government. Outnumbered by the media and politicians in attendance, the protesters spoke in favor of conservative-backed bills to nullify various U.S. laws, such as the Endangered Species Act or the newly enacted reform of the nation’s healthcare system. The demonstrators had received special permission in advance to bring their weapons, unloaded and secured, to the state Capitol grounds for the rally. “What a beautiful March day to gather
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Arizona shooter indicted on 49 counts

Federal prosecutors on Friday unsealed an expanded 49-count indictment against Tucson shooting rampage suspect Jared Lee Loughner, setting in motion the formal process of deciding whether to seek the death penalty. The latest indictment charges Loughner with first-degree murder of a federal employee in the deaths of a federal judge and an aid to U.S. Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords, gravely wounded in the attack at a meet-and-greet event for her constituents. Loughner, 22, also is charged with causing the deaths of four other people who were “participants at a federally provided activity” when they were gunned down at the January 8
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Wisconsin layoffs loom amid budget impasse

MADISON, Wisconsin (Reuters) – Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker issued layoff warning notices on Friday to unions representing state workers as a battle intensified between Republican and Democratic lawmakers over union bargaining rights that has sparked protests and a national debate. Read the full story.
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