Barack Obama

Obama uses recess appointment for Medicare chief

Obama uses recess appointment for Medicare chief

President Barack Obama appointed health expert Donald Berwick on Wednesday to run the Medicare  and Medicaid programs that provide care to seniors and the poor, bypassing the Senate  to fill a key job over Republican  objections. Obama had nominated Berwick in April to run the vast federal medical programs but his Senate confirmation was held […]

Problem for GOP: Where’s the passion?

Problem for GOP: Where’s the passion?

Republican senators have already blamed the breezy confirmation process for Elena Kagan on simple math, saying Kagan’s confirmation to the Supreme Court is already ensured with 58 Democrats in the Senate. But the GOP has more than just a math problem with Kagan. It has a passion problem — the party, which has used judicial […]

Tough times for Charlie Rangel

Tough times for Charlie Rangel

Just about everyone likes Charlie Rangel. Republicans pump his hand, Democrats put their arms around his shoulders and women of all political persuasions give him pecks on the cheek. Spend some time with the 80-year-old congressman from New York City who’s been striding the Capitol’s halls for four decades on behalf of residents of Harlem, […]

Republicans line up to oppose Kagan

Republicans line up to oppose Kagan

Supreme Court nominee Elena Kagan drew opposition Friday from Republican leader Mitch McConnell and two other GOP senators, raising the prospect of a confirmation largely along party lines. “The American people expect a justice who will impartially apply the law, not one who will be a rubberstamp for the Obama administration or any other administration,” […]

Tea Party: Moving from enraged to engaged

Tea Party: Moving from enraged to engaged

Bill Warner is hardly a naive man. He ran his own engineering firm for three decades, and sold the assets just before the economy tanked. He built his dream home on a majestic hill abutting a national park, back when the housing market was steady. While some neighbors have since been foreclosed upon, Warner is […]

House passes massive war funding bill

House passes massive war funding bill

A House measure blending money for President Barack Obama’s Afghanistan troop surge with last-ditch moves by Democrats to salvage their faltering jobs agenda faces an uphill climb in the Senate. After long delays, House Democrats muscled the approximately $80 billion measure to passage Thursday night as their final act before leaving for a weeklong Fourth […]

Kagan sailing towards nomination

Kagan sailing towards nomination

Elena Kagan is speeding toward confirmation as the 112th Supreme Court justice, with Republicans showing little appetite for a long-shot filibuster attempt after sparring with her over abortion, gays in the military and other divisive issues. “Solicitor General Kagan will be confirmed,” Sen. Patrick Leahy, D-Vt., confidently predicted as the Senate Judiciary Committee wrapped up […]

No benefits extension for 1.3 million

No benefits extension for 1.3 million

More than 1.3 million laid-off workers won’t get their unemployment benefits reinstated before Congress goes on a weeklong vacation for Independence Day. An additional 200,000 people who have been without a job for at least six months stand to lose their benefits each week, unless Congress acts. For the third time in as many weeks, […]

Financial reform passes House but Senate delays action

Financial reform passes House but Senate delays action

The U.S. House of Representatives on Wednesday approved a landmark overhaul of financial regulations but the Senate put off action until mid-July, delaying a final victory for President Barack Obama. Still, the 237 to 192 vote in the House marked a win for Obama and his fellow Democrats, who have made the most sweeping rewrite […]

Tapes show Blago’s many moods

Tapes show Blago’s many moods

Wiretap recordings played at Rod Blagojevich’s corruption trial depict the former governor as furious one minute, then optimistic and other times unsure about his chances for success in his alleged plan to trade his power to name someone to Barack Obama‘s vacated U.S. Senate seat for a well-paying job. He curses at one point in […]