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Democrats, Republicans will stage meaningless budget votes

Democrats, Republicans will stage meaningless budget votes

Across-the-board spending cuts all but certain, Republicans and Democrats in the Senate are staging a politically charged showdown designed to avoid public blame for any resulting inconvenience or disruption in government services. The two parties drafted alternative measures to replace the cuts, but officials conceded in advance the rival measures were doomed. At the White […]

With sequestration certain, government shutdown is next crisis

With sequestration certain, government shutdown is next crisis

With big, automatic budget cuts about to kick in, House Republicans are turning to mapping strategy for the next showdown just a month away, when a government shutdown instead of just a slowdown will be at stake. Both topics are sure to come up at the White House meeting Friday between President Barack Obama and […]

Gay candidate for mayor killed in Mississippi

Gay candidate for mayor killed in Mississippi

A candidate for mayor of a small town in Mississippi was found dead by a river on Wednesday morning, the victim of an apparent homicide, police said. Marco McMillian, 34, was one of the first viable, openly gay candidates in Mississippi, according to the Victory Fund, a national organization that supports and endorses lesbian, gay, […]

Christie will work to expand Medicaid coverage in New Jersey

Christie will work to expand Medicaid coverage in New Jersey

Gov. Chris Christie announced Tuesday that he would expand Medicaid health insurance coverage to more low-income New Jersey adults as part of President Barack Obama’s health insurance overhaul — all while making it clear he’s “no fan of” the president’s program. Christie made the announcement Tuesday as part of his state budget proposal to a […]

Crisis-weary Americans tune out budget debate

Crisis-weary Americans tune out budget debate

President Barack Obama is pulling out all the stops to warn just what could happen if automatic budget cuts kick in. Americans are reacting with a collective yawn. They know the shtick: Obama raises the alarm, Democrats and Republicans accuse each other of holding a deal hostage, there’s a lot of yelling on cable news, […]

Divided Senate confirms Chuck Hagel for Defense Secretary

Divided Senate confirms Chuck Hagel for Defense Secretary

A deeply divided Senate voted on Tuesday to confirm Republican Chuck Hagel to be the nation’s next defense secretary, handing President Barack Obama’s pick the top Pentagon job just days before billions of dollars in automatic, across-the-board budget cuts hit the military. The vote was 58-41, with four Republicans joining the Democrats in backing the […]

As budget cuts loom, politcal hyperbole increases

As budget cuts loom, politcal hyperbole increases

President Barack Obama and his officials are doing their best to drum up public concern over the shock wave of spending cuts that could strike the government in just days. So it’s a good time to be alert for sky-is-falling hype. Over the last week or so, administration officials have come forward with a grim […]

Both sides exchange blame on budget crisis

Both sides exchange blame on budget crisis

President Barack Obama is arguing that looming government-wide spending cuts could idle military resources like naval aircraft carriers, while Republicans are criticizing the president for taking his arguments outside Washington instead of staying to work out a plan before Friday’s deadline. The president planned to appear Tuesday at Virginia’s largest industrial employer, Newport News Shipbuilding, […]

Senate to start concentrating on gun control bills next week

Senate to start concentrating on gun control bills next week

The Senate Judiciary Committee seems all but certain to start voting on an assault weapons ban and other gun curbs next week, Congress’ first roll calls in response to the Newtown, Conn., slayings of 26 students and staff at an elementary school in December. The Democratic-written bills largely follow President Barack Obama’s proposals for limiting […]