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Chuck Hagel: Government shutdown ‘astoundingly irresponsible’

Chuck Hagel: Government shutdown ‘astoundingly irresponsible’

Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel appealed on Saturday for lawmakers to take action to avert a government shutdown next week, saying it was “astoundingly irresponsible” to try to influence policymaking by triggering a funding crisis. Hagel, speaking to reporters en route to Seoul to mark the 60th anniversary of the U.S.-South Korea defense alliance, said he […]

The games continue on Capitol Hill

The games continue on Capitol Hill

The political and economic stakes mounting with each tick of the clock, the White House and congressional Democrats say a House-approved delay in President Barack Obama’s health care law does nothing but push Washington to the brink of the first government shutdown in 17 years. Neither side showed signs of surrender early Sunday after the […]

Republicans feeling the heat

Republicans feeling the heat

Heat is building on balkanized Republicans, who are convening the House this weekend in hopes of preventing a government shutdown but remain under tea party pressure to battle on and use a must-do funding bill to derail all or part of President Barack Obama’s health care law. The weekend session comes after the Senate on […]

Lots of violent rhetoric in budget fights

Lots of violent rhetoric in budget fights

Ask top Democrats, and they’ll say Republicans are acting like terrorists, arsonists and people with bombs strapped to their chests. Ask some Republicans about President Barack Obama’s health care law, and they’ll draw comparisons to the Nazis or the return of runaway slaves and declare that the law will cause the untimely death of vulnerable […]

Tourists, homebuyers will feel impact of government shutdown

Tourists, homebuyers will feel impact of government shutdown

A government shutdown would have far-reaching consequences for some, but minimal impact on others. The mail would still be delivered and Social Security and Medicare benefits would continue to flow. But vacationers would be turned away from national parks and Smithsonian museums. Low-to-moderate income borrowers and first-time homebuyers seeking government-backed mortgages could face delays. Here’s […]

NSA’s extensive spying on Americans headed for increased restrictions

NSA’s extensive spying on Americans headed for increased restrictions

Leading senators unveiled proposed changes to the way the National Security Agency gathers U.S. records in its hunt for overseas terrorists or spying targets, and top intelligence officials said they would cooperate to try to win back the public trust, following disclosures about the extensive NSA collection of telephone and email records of millions of […]

Obama’s hardball stance: ‘Make my day’

Obama’s hardball stance: ‘Make my day’

This time, President Barack Obama says, he’s not budging. This is the confrontational Obama, the “Make my day” president, betting Republicans blink to avoid a government shutdown or a first-ever default of the nation’s debts. It’s a proposition not without risk and one with a history of last-minute accommodations on both sides. Brinkmanship between Obama […]

Senate OK of budget bill will not end fight

Senate OK of budget bill will not end fight

A potential government shutdown hurtling ever closer, the Democratic-led Senate is ready to approve legislation keeping federal agencies from locking their doors on Tuesday. But disputes with the Republican-run House and among GOP lawmakers themselves ensure that the battle will spill into the weekend at least, and quite possibly beyond. The result: a high-stakes showdown […]

Government plans for furloughs during shutdown

More than a third of federal workers would be told to stay home if the government shuts down, forcing the closure of national parks from California to Maine and all the Smithsonian museums in the nation’s capital. Workers at the State Department’s Bureau of Consular Affairs wouldn’t be around to process visa and passport applications, […]

NSA spied on King, Ali, others

NSA spied on King, Ali, others

The National Security Agency eavesdropped on civil rights icon Martin Luther King and heavyweight boxer Muhammad Ali as well as other leading critics of the Vietnam War in a secret program later deemed “disreputable,” declassified documents revealed. The six-year spying program, dubbed “Minaret,” had been exposed in the 1970s but the targets of the surveillance […]