Capitol Hillbillies

Mullen: Congress should have waited on gay ban vote

Mullen: Congress should have waited on gay ban vote

The chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff said Sunday he would have preferred that Congress had waited before voting to repeal the “don’t ask, don’t tell” law that bans gays from serving openly in the military. Adm. Mike Mullen did not directly criticize a House vote on Friday that marked a step toward repealing […]

Congress moves forward on removing gay military ban

Congress moves forward on removing gay military ban

Congress has taken two big steps toward ending the “don’t ask, don’t tell” ban on gays and lesbians serving openly in the military. In quick succession Thursday, the Senate Armed Services Committee and the full House approved measures to repeal the 1993 law that allows gay people to serve in the armed services only if […]

Gates to military: Curb runaway spending

Gates to military: Curb runaway spending

Defense Secretary Robert Gates told the U.S. military on Saturday it must rein in spending that he called out of sync with today’s tough economic times, and said budget woes could be a factor in deciding whether to use force against Iran and others. Promising to play a hands-on role in wringing out savings, Gates […]

Arizona governor says ‘nada’ to delaying immigration law

Arizona governor says ‘nada’ to delaying immigration law

A prominent Senate Democrat asked Republican Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer to put off her state’s controversial immigration law to give Congress a chance to act. Scant time passed before Brewer’s answer came back: No. The request by Sen. Chuck Schumer of New York was a long shot for getting a stalled Senate immigration initiative moving […]

Farm subsidies: The rich keep getting richer

Farm subsidies: The rich keep getting richer

Lawmakers crafting a sweeping farm bill in 2008 promised it would cut government payments to wealthy farmers. Two years later, little appears to have changed. Data being made public Wednesday shows that the wealthiest farmers in the country are still receiving the bulk of government cash, despite claims from lawmakers that reforms in the bill […]

Obama wants new restrictions on campaign finance

Obama wants new restrictions on campaign finance

President Barack Obama on Saturday pressed Congress for swift action on measures to restrict political advertising by corporations and labor unions, saying that “no less than the integrity of our democracy” is at stake. Legislation introduced in Congress this week would require that corporations and unions identify themselves in political ads they pay for and […]

Obama: Don’t expect swift action on immigration reform

Obama: Don’t expect swift action on immigration reform

President Barack Obama says there “may not be an appetite” in Congress to deal with immigration immediately after going through a tough legislative year. With energy legislation on the table and midterm elections approaching, Obama said Wednesday he didn’t want to force an immigration bill through Congress “just for the sake of politics.” Still, he […]

Gun law changes dooms DC voting rights

Gun law changes dooms DC voting rights

For some residents of the nation’s capital, a bill to give them a voting member of Congress wasn’t worth the price: severely weakened gun laws. “As much as I want the vote in the city, I think the gun ban is hugely important,” said Betsy Cutler, 41, a paralegal who lives in Adams Morgan, a […]

Loopholes in Obama’s low-cost health coverage plan

Loopholes in Obama’s low-cost health coverage plan

It’s an eagerly awaited early benefit of President Barack Obama’s health care overhaul: affordable coverage for Americans with medical problems who can’t get a private insurer to even take a look. Starting in July, a special high-risk pool will offer coverage to uninsured people with pre-existing health conditions at a cost similar to what everyone […]

Health care opposition up, Obama down in poll

Health care opposition up, Obama down in poll

Opposition to President Barack Obama‘s health care law jumped after he signed it — a clear indication his victory could become a liability for Democrats in this fall’s elections. A new Associated Press-GfK poll finds Americans oppose the health care remake 50 percent to 39 percent. Before a divided Congress finally passed the bill and […]