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Can Congress overcome its petty differences and actually do something?

Can Congress overcome its petty differences and actually do something?

Republicans and Democrats put goodwill to the test as Congress returns this week to potentially incendiary fights over nominations, unresolved disputes over student loans and the farm bill, and the uncertainty of whether lawmakers have the political will to rewrite the nation’s immigration laws. The rare cooperation on display in the Senate last month with […]

Gay marriage ruling affecting other cases

Gay marriage ruling affecting other cases

When the Supreme Court struck down part of an anti-gay marriage law, Justice Anthony Kennedy took pains in his majority opinion to say the ruling applied only to legally married same-sex couples seeking benefits from the federal government. But judges and lawyers representing same-sex couples are already using Kennedy’s language and reasoning in other cases […]

Gabrielle Giffords: A powerful voice for gun congrol

Gabrielle Giffords: A powerful voice for gun congrol

Thirty months after she was shot through the head, former Arizona Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords sits in a New Hampshire restaurant facing parents of children killed in the nation’s latest school shooting. They are here to talk political strategy, but Giffords doesn’t say much. She doesn’t have to. The 43-year-old Democrat has become the face of […]

Obama fights to keep U.S. surveillance court secret

Obama fights to keep U.S. surveillance court secret

The Obama administration on Friday urged a secret U.S. court that oversees surveillance programs to reject a request by a civil liberties group to see court opinions used to underpin a massive phone records database. Justice Department lawyers said in papers filed in the U.S. Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court that the court’s opinions are a […]

Right-wing Wisconsin governor signs new abortion restrictions into law

Right-wing Wisconsin governor signs new abortion restrictions into law

Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker signed into law on Friday new abortion restrictions that opponents said could lead to the closing of two of the state’s four abortion clinics. Opponents of the law, which goes into effect Monday, July 8, filed a federal lawsuit challenging it. The law requires women to undergo an ultrasound before they […]

Differences over abortion highlight Georgia Senate race

Differences over abortion highlight Georgia Senate race

The four Georgia Republicans who want to succeed retiring Sen. Saxby Chambliss all call themselves conservatives who oppose abortion. Two are congressmen who recently voted in favor of a House bill to outlaw nearly all abortions beyond the 20th week after conception. Another candidate, a former secretary of state with her own national profile in […]

Obama faces fight with fellow Dems over closing Gitmo

Obama faces fight with fellow Dems over closing Gitmo

President Barack Obama’s hardest sell in his renewed push to close the U.S. detention center at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, may be members of his own party — moderate Senate Democrats facing tough re-election bids next year in the strongly Republican South. Obama has stepped up the pressure to shutter the naval facility, driven in part […]

Some 650,000 Petagon workers face a day without pay

A day without pay, the first of 11 through September, comes next week for more than 650,000 people who hold civilian jobs with the Defense Department. Officials worry that the Pentagon will be hit even harder by layoffs in 2014 if automatic budget cuts continue as planned. Roughly 85 percent of the department’s nearly 900,000 […]

CBO says costly Senate-passed immigration will could slash illegals by half

CBO says costly Senate-passed immigration will could slash illegals by half

A Senate-passed immigration bill would significantly reduce the flow of illegal immigrants, but increased U.S.-Mexico border security costs would eat into projected budget savings, the Congressional Budget Office said on Wednesday. The CBO concluded that the bill, which would double the number of federal agents along the border and complete the 700 miles of fencing, […]

Industries unhappy with, critical of Obama’s climate change ideas

President Barack Obama’s push to fight global warming has triggered condemnation from the coal industry across the industrial Midwest, where state and local economies depend on the health of an energy sector facing strict new pollution limits. But such concerns stretch even to New England, an environmentally focused region that long has felt the effects […]