Jeff Flake

Gun control advocates struggle to keep focus on issue

Gun control advocates struggle to keep focus on issue

Gun control forces are targeting Sens. Kelly Ayotte, Max Baucus and others as they struggle to persuade five senators to switch their votes and revive the rejected effort to expand background checks to more firearms buyers. With Congress back from a weeklong recess, the bottom line remains familiar: Advocates of broadened checks lack the new […]

Immigration bill could exclude many from citizenship

Immigration bill could exclude many from citizenship

A bipartisan immigration bill soon to be introduced in the Senate could exclude hundreds of thousands of immigrants here illegally from ever becoming U.S. citizens, according to a Senate aide with knowledge of the proposals. The bill would bar anyone who arrived in the U.S. after Dec. 31, 2011, from applying for legal status and […]

Key players believe immigration deal is near

Key players believe immigration deal is near

Big business and big labor have settled on a political framework for an immigration overhaul. Now, the lawmakers writing bipartisan legislation need to resolve the nitty-gritty — and keep their parties’ political flanks mollified. Business and labor negotiators late last week agreed on a deal that would allow tens of thousands of low-skilled workers into […]

Sen. Jeff Flake predicts support for gay marriage in future GOP presidential candidate

The Republican shift from longtime homophobia to acceptance of equality for homosexuals continued Sunday with Sen. Jeff Flake saying it is “inevitable” that his party will see one of its own run for president while supporting gay marriage. Flake, appearing on NBC’s “Meet the Press,” admitted the political landscape is shifting and will eventually field […]

Senators reach deal on immigration reform

Senators reach deal on immigration reform

A bipartisan group of leading senators has reached agreement on the principles of sweeping legislation to rewrite the nation’s immigration laws. The deal, which was to be announced at a news conference Monday afternoon, covers border security, guest workers and employer verification, as well as a path to citizenship for the 11 million illegal immigrants […]

Republicans will have to live with a tax increase, no matter what happens

Republicans will have to live with a tax increase, no matter what happens

Republicans in the U.S. House of Representatives are resigned to seeing some sort of income tax increase in legislation to avoid a “fiscal cliff,” but such efforts could be doomed in the absence of spending cuts, some Republican lawmakers say. Congress and President Barack Obama are gearing up for a last-ditch attempt to avoid $600 […]

Jon Kyl, others ignored Senate ban on earmarks

Jon Kyl, others ignored Senate ban on earmarks

Senate Republicans’ ban on earmarks — money included in a bill by a lawmaker to benefit a home-state project or interest — was short-lived. Only three days after GOP senators and senators-elect renounced earmarks, Arizona Sen. Jon Kyl, the No. 2 Senate Republican, got himself a whopping $200 million to settle an Arizona Indian tribe’s […]

Smokescreen: Ban on pork is anything but

Smokescreen: Ban on pork is anything but

Despite their claims, the Republicans’ ban on earmarks won’t stop lawmakers from steering taxpayers’ dollars to pet projects. And it will have little if any effect on Washington’s far graver problem — the gigantic budget deficit. Saying Election Day victories gave them a mandate to curb spending, Republicans formally agreed last week to a two-year […]

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 […]