Barack Obama

Did lame duck session breathe new life into a lackluster Congress?

Did lame duck session breathe new life into a lackluster Congress?

In the middle of a House debate, Democratic Rep. John Yarmuth of Kentucky handed the woman in charge of the rules a paper bag. Rep. Louise Slaughter, D-N.Y., peered inside, saw the bottle of Maker’s Mark bourbon and laughed. Indeed, a shot of something strong might help make sense of a prolific Congress that seemed […]

Health care celebration? Celebrate what?

Health care celebration?  Celebrate what?

It was the ultimate Christmas Eve present for Barack Obama. Around 7 a.m. one year ago today, every Democratic senator in office – 60 in all – voted in favor of enacting comprehensive health care reform. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid had leveraged the threat of spending Christmas in the Capitol to force even reticent […]

Emanuel cleared to run for Chicago mayor

Emanuel cleared to run for Chicago mayor

Former White House chief of staff Rahm Emanuel cleared an important hurdle in his bid to be Chicago mayor early Thursday when a hearing officer recommended his name appear on the February ballot, even though Emanuel spent much of the last two years living in Washington working for President Barack Obama. The ruling, which still […]

Can Obama’s political rebound last?

Can Obama’s political rebound last?

President Barack Obama, whose first two years were marked by staunchly partisan votes on his signature initiatives, finds himself at a crossroads. In the seven weeks since the election, Obama negotiated with Republican leaders on taxes and left angry liberals on the sidelines. On a major nuclear treaty with Russia, he sidelined GOP Senate leaders […]

Ousted gays hope to return to military service

Ousted gays hope to return to military service

Joseph Rocha reported being cruelly hazed by Navy colleagues. Katherine Miller resigned from West Point halfway through, weary of concealing her sexual orientation. David Hall was outed by a fellow Air Force cadet and booted from the career he loved. The exits from military service were wrenching consequences of “don’t ask, don’t tell,” the policy […]

How did a lame duck Congress become the Energizer Bunny?

How did a lame duck Congress become the Energizer Bunny?

This is the story of a “lame duck” Congress that wasn’t. Shaken by a historic election in which angry voters canceled Democratic control of the House, lawmakers of both parties and President Barack Obama tried something new: They consulted each other. They cooperated. And finally, they compromised. From tax cuts to a nuclear arms treaty […]

Obama signs end to ‘don’t ask, don’t tell’

Obama signs end to ‘don’t ask, don’t tell’

President Barack Obama signed a new law Wednesday that will allow gays for the first time in history to serve openly in America‘s military. And he urged those kicked out under the old law to re-enlist. Framing the issue as a matter of civil rights long denied, Obama said that “we are a nation that […]

Senate gives Obama victory on Start treaty

Senate gives Obama victory on Start treaty

The Senate on Wednesday ratified an arms control treaty with Russia that reins in the nuclear weapons that could plunge the world into doomsday, giving President Barack Obama a major foreign policy win in Congress’ waning hours. Thirteen Republicans broke with their top two leaders and joined 56 Democrats and two independents in providing the […]

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 […]