Max Baucus

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 […]

Health care celebration? Celebrate what?

Health care celebration?  Celebrate what?

It was the ultimate Christmas Eve present for Barack Obama. Around 7 a.m. one year ago today, every Democratic senator in office – 60 in all – voted in favor of enacting comprehensive health care reform. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid had leveraged the threat of spending Christmas in the Capitol to force even reticent […]

Obama-GOP tax bill passes key Senate hurdle

Obama-GOP tax bill passes key Senate hurdle

Far-reaching legislation to avert a Jan. 1 income-tax increase for millions won overwhelming support in a Senate test vote on Monday, backed by an uneasy and unusual alliance between the White House and lawmakers in both parties. Even before the vote was complete, President Barack Obama said the show of support “proves that both parties […]

Suddenly, a rally behind tax cuts

Suddenly, a rally behind tax cuts

Defying expectations, a bipartisan majority of President Barack Obama‘s deficit commission has rallied behind the panel’s controversial deficit-slashing proposals. A key Obama ally, liberal Democratic Sen. Dick Durbin of Illinois, endorsed the plan Thursday night, joining two of the Senate’s most conservative Republicans. The plan now has public commitments of support from a majority of […]

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 […]

Senate finally passes small business aid bill

Senate finally passes small business aid bill

The Senate passed a long-stalled measure on Thursday that would boost lending to small businesses, giving President Barack Obama’s Democrats one of their last chances before November elections they are working to revive the sluggish economy. The 61 to 38 vote sends the measure back to the House of Representatives, which has passed a similar […]

GOP kills unemployment aid extension

GOP kills unemployment aid extension

Republicans on Thursday defeated Democrats’ showcase election-year jobs bill, including an extension of weekly unemployment benefits for millions of people out of work more than six months. The 57-41 vote fell three votes short of the 60 required to crack a GOP filibuster, delivering a major blow to President Barack Obama and Democrats facing big […]

Obama’s tax, jobs bill strikes out in Senate

Obama’s tax, jobs bill strikes out in Senate

A Democratic bill to extend jobless benefits and raise taxes on investment fund managers failed a key vote in the Senate on Thursday, dealing a blow to President Barack Obama’s push to boost the economy. The bill would have extended popular business tax breaks, stopped a 21 percent Medicare pay cut for doctors treating elderly […]