Barack Obama

Raising retirement age hurts the poor

Raising retirement age hurts the poor

Raising the retirement age for Social Security would disproportionately hurt low-income workers and minorities, and increase disability claims by older people unable to work, government auditors told Congress. The projected spike in disability claims could harm Social Security’s finances because disability benefits typically are higher than early retirement payments, the Government Accountability Office concluded. The […]

The election is over: So is the sense of urgency

The election is over: So is the sense of urgency

When Barack Obama tried — as much as his ego would allow — to accept some of the responsibility for the shellacking the Democrats took from voters in the mid-term elections it seemed the President might — after early two years of missteps — finally understand that there is a lot of difference between campaigning […]

Reid ready to deal on Bush-era tax breaks

Reid ready to deal on Bush-era tax breaks

The top Democrat in the Senate said on Tuesday he was willing to consider a temporary tax cut extension for all income levels, a step that could pave the way for a possible deal with Republicans on Bush-era tax cuts. “This is something we will take a look at,” Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid told […]

Can Democrats buck the anti-pork tidal wave?

Can Democrats buck the anti-pork tidal wave?

Now that Republicans have abandoned the you-scratch-my-back, I’ll-scratch-yours earmark process, Democrats who still hold a majority in the Senate have to decide whether they’ll try to prop up a system that seems to be collapsing all around them. With the incoming House GOP majority dead set against earmarks and President Barack Obama urging a crackdown, […]

Obama-GOP confab postponed until end of month

Obama-GOP confab postponed until end of month

A meeting planned on Thursday between President Barack Obama and congressional leaders following big Republican gains at the expense of Obama’s Democrats in the November 2 elections has been postponed until November 30. Obama’s spokesman, Robert Gibbs, said the meeting was put off at the request of Republican leaders in the Senate and the House […]

Split Congress spells trouble for election reform

Split Congress spells trouble for election reform

The Obama administration has pushed an ambitious education agenda in the last two years, sending $100 billion to states thorough the stimulus package and spurring reform in many locations through the Race to the Top competition. But none of the major initiatives pushed by President Barack Obama and Education Secretary Arne Duncan have been bipartisan. […]

New clobbers old on Capitol Hill

New clobbers old on Capitol Hill

Old and new Washington collided on Capitol Hill Monday, and new won. Within moments of flicking on the Senate lights, Sen. Mitch McConnell announced that when it came to pork barrel politics he had changed his mind. The Senate’s staunchest fan of so-called earmarks reversed course and supported a ban on those special spending requests, […]

McConnell flips and backs ban on pork barrel spending

McConnell flips and backs ban on pork barrel spending

Congress’ most unapologetic fan of big-money politics is backing a ban on pork-barrel earmarks and avoiding an early battle with conservative senators who had threatened to force a vote on the matter. Sen. Mitch McConnell of Kentucky, who has long defended the practice of designating money for home-state projects, said he was heeding the message […]

Pelosi’s political purgatory

Pelosi’s political purgatory

The petite woman in regal purple edged her way behind a raucous mob of reporters awaiting the next speaker of the House, a brutal midterm election behind her and an unclear future ahead. Attuned for four years to the comings and goings of House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, few in the press klatch noticed — and […]

Lame ducks return to Washington

Lame ducks return to Washington

House takeover, hobbled Democrats and invigorated Republicans return Monday to a testy tax dispute and a lengthy to-do list for a post-election session of Congress unlikely to achieve any landmark legislation. With change clearly in the air, more than 100 mainly Republican freshmen arrive on Capitol Hill to be schooled on the jobs they’ll assume […]