Party leaders of the United States Senate

Tax showdown clears way for yearend deal

Tax showdown clears way for yearend deal

Senate Republicans derailed legislation Saturday to extend expiring tax cuts at all but the highest income levels in a political showdown that paradoxically clears a path for a compromise with the White House on steps to boost the economy. “We need to get this resolved and I’m confident we can do it,” President Barack Obama […]

Pentagon study shows gay service would not harm military

Pentagon study shows gay service would not harm military

The Pentagon study that argues that gay troops could serve openly without hurting the military’s ability to fight is expected to re-ignite debate this month on Capitol Hill over repealing the 17-year-old “don’t ask, don’t tell” policy. Officials familiar with the 10-month study’s results have said a clear majority of respondents don’t care if gays […]

Lame-duck Congress still has a full plate

Lame-duck Congress still has a full plate

Congress has more than a plateful of leftovers to deal with as lawmakers return to the Capitol on Monday. At the top of the pile are the George W. Bush-era tax cuts, enacted in 2001 and 2003 and due to expire at year’s end. President Barack Obama and most Democrats want to retain them for […]

Reid ready to deal on Bush-era tax breaks

Reid ready to deal on Bush-era tax breaks

The top Democrat in the Senate said on Tuesday he was willing to consider a temporary tax cut extension for all income levels, a step that could pave the way for a possible deal with Republicans on Bush-era tax cuts. “This is something we will take a look at,” Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid told […]

Can Democrats buck the anti-pork tidal wave?

Can Democrats buck the anti-pork tidal wave?

Now that Republicans have abandoned the you-scratch-my-back, I’ll-scratch-yours earmark process, Democrats who still hold a majority in the Senate have to decide whether they’ll try to prop up a system that seems to be collapsing all around them. With the incoming House GOP majority dead set against earmarks and President Barack Obama urging a crackdown, […]

Obama-GOP confab postponed until end of month

Obama-GOP confab postponed until end of month

A meeting planned on Thursday between President Barack Obama and congressional leaders following big Republican gains at the expense of Obama’s Democrats in the November 2 elections has been postponed until November 30. Obama’s spokesman, Robert Gibbs, said the meeting was put off at the request of Republican leaders in the Senate and the House […]

New clobbers old on Capitol Hill

New clobbers old on Capitol Hill

Old and new Washington collided on Capitol Hill Monday, and new won. Within moments of flicking on the Senate lights, Sen. Mitch McConnell announced that when it came to pork barrel politics he had changed his mind. The Senate’s staunchest fan of so-called earmarks reversed course and supported a ban on those special spending requests, […]

McConnell flips and backs ban on pork barrel spending

McConnell flips and backs ban on pork barrel spending

Congress’ most unapologetic fan of big-money politics is backing a ban on pork-barrel earmarks and avoiding an early battle with conservative senators who had threatened to force a vote on the matter. Sen. Mitch McConnell of Kentucky, who has long defended the practice of designating money for home-state projects, said he was heeding the message […]

Republicans plan early assault on health care law

Republicans plan early assault on health care law

Congressional Republicans said on Sunday they plan a full-scale assault against President Barack Obama‘s healthcare overhaul next year but acknowledged it could take until after the 2012 presidential election to repeal it. Representative Paul Ryan, expected to become chairman of the House Budget Committee chairman, said his fellow Republicans will try to deny funding for […]

Obama to both sides: Time to get to work

Obama to both sides: Time to get to work

President Barack Obama sought Thursday to retake the political initiative after a bruising election, inviting Republican and Democratic congressional leaders to meet with him on the economy and jobs. The White House said Obama would consider extending Bush-era tax cuts even for upper income Americans for a year or two. The Nov. 18 meeting will […]