Capitol Hillbillies

Confused by Obamacare? So is Congress

Confused by Obamacare?  So is Congress

Think you’re confused by “Obamacare.” It’s roiling Capitol Hill behind the scenes, too. Members of Congress are governing themselves under President Barack Obama’s signature law, which means they have great leeway in how to apply it to their own staffs. For House members and senators, it’s about a section of the law that may — […]

Even a last minute deal won’t end the turmoil that lies ahead

Even a last minute deal won’t end the turmoil that lies ahead

Hold the champagne. Even if Congress reaches a last-minute or deadline-busting deal to avert a federal default and fully reopen the government, elected officials are likely to return to their grinding brand of brinkmanship — perhaps repeatedly. House-Senate talks are barely touching the underlying causes of debt-and-spending stalemates that pushed the country close to economic […]

Republicans considering short-term debt limit increase

Republicans considering short-term debt limit increase

House Republican leaders are considering a short-term increase in the U.S. debt limit as a possible way to break out of the gridlock that threatens the nation with an unprecedented default in as little as a week, officials said Wednesday night. There now is far less urgency on Capitol Hill about ending the government shutdown, […]

Republicans see no problem with government defaulting on debt

Republicans see no problem with government defaulting on debt

The Obama administration says a U.S. default would be “catastrophic.” Economists say it could plunge the country into recession and prompt a global financial meltdown. To many Republicans, however, the prospect of the world’s lone superpower juggling its bills doesn’t seem so bad. The government could muddle through without a debt-ceiling increase as long as […]

Out of work federal employees slated to get back pay

Out of work federal employees slated to get back pay

    Their government has failed to keep the doors open and has told federal workers to stay off the job as the political parties fight over spending and health care in austere times. Now Congress and President Barack Obama are sending this message to the 800,000 sidelined government employees: We don’t know when the […]

Obamacare exchanges open amid government shutdown

Obamacare exchanges open amid government shutdown

For three years, the Obama administration has been preparing for this moment: the launch of new insurance exchanges, intended to expand health coverage to millions of uninsured Americans. But this is far from the grand opening that President Barack Obama may have expected. Instead, the exchanges are starting up just as most of the federal […]

Chuck Hagel: Government shutdown ‘astoundingly irresponsible’

Chuck Hagel: Government shutdown ‘astoundingly irresponsible’

Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel appealed on Saturday for lawmakers to take action to avert a government shutdown next week, saying it was “astoundingly irresponsible” to try to influence policymaking by triggering a funding crisis. Hagel, speaking to reporters en route to Seoul to mark the 60th anniversary of the U.S.-South Korea defense alliance, said he […]

Lots of violent rhetoric in budget fights

Lots of violent rhetoric in budget fights

Ask top Democrats, and they’ll say Republicans are acting like terrorists, arsonists and people with bombs strapped to their chests. Ask some Republicans about President Barack Obama’s health care law, and they’ll draw comparisons to the Nazis or the return of runaway slaves and declare that the law will cause the untimely death of vulnerable […]

Anger isn’t the answer. It’s time to try reason and rational action

Anger isn’t the answer.  It’s time to try reason and rational action

America heads into an approaching fall in what some consider the autumn of its existence. Beset by a seemingly unending series of crises, facing yet another possible government shutdown in a budget and debt standoff and an ever-increasing lack of public confidence in its leaders and government, the country may truly be at a crossroads. […]

Can Obama convince skeptics, lawmakers about Syria strike?

Can Obama convince skeptics, lawmakers about Syria strike?

Congress is holding its first public hearing about U.S. plans for military intervention in Syria as President Barack Obama seeks to convince skeptical Americans and their lawmakers about the need to respond to last month’s alleged sarin gas attack outside Damascus. Secretary of State John Kerry, Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel and Joint Chiefs Chairman Gen. […]