Capitol Hillbillies

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. […]

Congress, staffs get more protection from Obamacare costs

Congress, staffs get more protection from Obamacare costs

While the real cost of Obamacare remains a huge unknown for millions of Americans, Congress as usual found a way to exempt itself from parts of the threat that could force 535 members and their staff to face the same problems as the rest the nation. In a glaring example of how the health care […]

Budget cuts hurt defense

Budget cuts hurt defense

Pentagon officials insist they are not crying wolf when they say proposed budget cuts could severely harm the military. In a detailed and stark warning, Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel said about $500 billion in automatic budget cuts scheduled to take effect over the next decade could leave the nation with an ill-prepared, underequipped military doomed […]

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