Barack Obama

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 […]

Election showcases Obama’s eroding base

Election showcases Obama’s eroding base

Near the midpoint of his presidency, Barack Obama‘s diverse voter coalition reveals giant cracks and he faces major work repairing his standing among independents in states crucial to his re-election chances. Catholics. Older people. Women. Young adults. They shifted toward Republicans in this month’s elections and failed to support Obama’s Democratic Party as they did […]

Obama urges earmark reform; GOP says just get rid of them

Obama urges earmark reform; GOP says just get rid of them

Confronting the nation’s mounting deficit, President Barack Obama is urging Congress to limit spending on pet home-state projects, while Republicans are challenging him to support an outright ban. In his weekly radio and online address Saturday, Obama said that with the economy still struggling to recover from the recession, the U.S. cannot afford unnecessary spending […]

Supreme Court rejects request to lift military gay ban

Supreme Court rejects request to lift military gay ban

The Supreme Court on Friday denied a request to lift the Pentagon’s ban that prevents openly gay men and women from serving in the U.S. military, a decision that turns the focus on the issue to Congress when lawmakers return to work next week. President Barack Obama has pledged to end the “don’t ask, don’t […]

Gates on gay ban report leak: Who asked? Who told?

Gates on gay ban report leak: Who asked? Who told?

Defense Secretary Robert Gates on Friday condemned the leak of a Pentagon study looking at ending a ban on gays in the US military, launching a probe into the disclosure. The Pentagon had planned to announce the results of the internal review in December but the Washington Post published details of the study’s findings on […]

Task force warns Obama over high cost of Aghan war

Task force warns Obama over high cost of Aghan war

An independent task force cautioned President Barack Obama on Friday about the high cost of the Afghanistan war and said he should consider a narrow military mission if his December review finds the current strategy is not working. The 25-member task force, led by former Deputy Secretary of State Richard Armitage and former national security […]

Deficit commission challenges conventional wisdom on budget

Deficit commission challenges conventional wisdom on budget

The leaders of the deficit commission are baldly calling out the budget myths of both political parties, challenging lawmakers to engage in the “adult conversation” they say they want. Their plan — mixing painful cuts to Social Security and Medicare with big tax increases — has no chance of enactment as written, certainly not as […]