Barack Obama

Congress finally passes aid program for first responders

Congress finally passes aid program for first responders

Congress has passed a $4.2 billion aid package for survivors of the September 2001 terrorist attack on the World Trade Center and responders who develop illnesses because of breathing dust from the ruins. The House passed the bill on a 206-60 vote Wednesday about two hours after the Senate cleared it. President Barack Obama has […]

Obama gets the votes he needs for new arms treaty

Obama gets the votes he needs for new arms treaty

President Barack Obama locked up enough Senate Republican votes Tuesday to ratify a new arms control treaty with Russia that would cap nuclear warheads for both former Cold War foes and restart on-site weapons inspections. Eleven Republicans joined Democrats in a 67-28 proxy vote to wind up the debate and hold a final tally on […]

Did Obama manage to salvage a bad year?

Did Obama manage to salvage a bad year?

From the wreckage of the mid-term elections, US President Barack Obama, preaching pragmatism and bi-partisanship, is engineering a political rebound and reinvigorating his administration. Yet there are signs that the rare moment of compromise that drove a massive 858-billion dollar, economy-boosting, tax cut bill through Congress may be fleeting, with next year’s battle with Republicans […]

Eric Cantor, other Republicans: Major hypocrites when it comes to spending

Eric Cantor, other Republicans: Major hypocrites when it comes to spending

For a guy who insists that federal bureaucrats make too much money, incoming House Majority Leader Eric Cantor sure doesn’t mind handing out handsome government raises of his own. Cantor, the Virginia Republican who has led the GOP charge this year to freeze federal salaries, has boosted his congressional office’s payroll by 81 percent since […]

McConnell: We don’t need no stinkin’ Russian nuclear treaty

McConnell: We don’t need no stinkin’ Russian nuclear treaty

The Senate’s Republican leader said Sunday he would oppose a nuclear arms treaty with Russia, damaging prospects for President Barack Obama‘s foreign policy priority in the final days of the postelection Congress. Top Democrats still expressed confidence the Senate would ratify the accord by year’s end. Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., criticized the treaty’s verification […]

Economic stimulus sets the stage for next year’s big fight

Economic stimulus sets the stage for next year’s big fight

In the year-end tax debate of 2010, President Barack Obama got the economic stimulus he sought while Democrats in Congress settled for picking a political fight. Far more quietly, Republicans pocketed a two-year extension of George W. Bush-era tax cuts at all income levels and a sweetened estate tax to go with it, without having […]

‘Don’t ask, don’t tell’ is history after historic vote

‘Don’t ask, don’t tell’ is history after historic vote

In a historic vote for gay rights, the Senate agreed on Saturday to do away with the military’s 17-year ban on openly gay troops and sent President Barack Obama legislation to overturn the Clinton-era policy known as “don’t ask, don’t tell.” Obama was expected to sign the bill into law next week, although changes to […]

Republcans end year with scrooge move on immigration

Republcans end year with scrooge move on immigration

Senate Republicans on Saturday doomed an effort that would have given hundreds of thousands of young illegal immigrants a path to legal status if they enrolled in college or joined the military. Sponsors of the Dream Act fell five votes short of the 60 they needed to break through largely GOP opposition and win its […]

Congress pontificated against earmarks, then then packed bill with pork

Congress pontificated against earmarks, then then packed bill with pork

More than two dozen senators — most of them Republicans — put hundreds of homestate projects in the $1.3 trillion bill to fund the federal government even though they recently voted to ban so-called earmarks. The effort to pass the 1,924-page bill collapsed Thursday night after complaints by conservatives over its complexity and size and […]

Next up: ‘Don’t ask, don’t tell’

Next up: ‘Don’t ask, don’t tell’

The Senate was headed toward a landmark vote Saturday on legislation that would let gays serve openly in the military, testing waning opposition among Republicans and putting Democrats within striking distance of overturning “don’t ask, don’t tell.” Passage would be a historic victory for President Barack Obama, who made repeal of the 17-year-old law a […]