Republicans at odds with business on Capitol Hill

Traditional ties between the business community and the Republican Party are fraying on Capitol Hill, where the House GOP has bucked corporate interests on a series of priorities this year, from immigration to highway funding to trade. Rebuffed in Congress, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and other business groups have found more success backing pro-business candidates for election, but even they don’t always deliver. It adds up to a significant shift in how the GOP operates, ushered in by the rise of the tea party movement and its distrust of the federal government and of big corporate America. But whether
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Obama: GOP doesn’t care about people

Blasting the GOP as willfully indifferent to American struggles, President Barack Obama issued a rebuke Friday to Republican attempts to thwart his economic agenda, offering a stark contrast that Democrats hope will yield electoral success in November. Obama’s remarks at a picturesque lake in Minneapolis were billed by the White House as a speech on the economy. But as Obama ripped into his political foes before 3,500 cheering supporters, the political undertones were less than subtle. “They don’t do anything, except block me and call me names,” an indignant Obama said against a backdrop of sailboats and a band shell
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IRS official sought audit of GOP Senator

Congressional investigators say they uncovered emails Wednesday showing that a former Internal Revenue Service official at the heart of the tea party investigation sought an audit involving a Republican senator in 2012. The emails show former IRS official Lois Lerner mistakenly received an invitation to an event that was meant to go to Sen. Charles Grassley, R-Iowa. The event organizer apparently offered to pay for Grassley’s wife to attend the event. In an email to another IRS official, Lerner suggests referring the matter for an audit, saying it might be inappropriate for the group to pay for his wife. “Perhaps
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Tea party spending millions in losing efforts

Desperate to knock off GOP incumbents in this year’s Republican primaries, the nation’s tea party groups have spent millions only to fall short in election after election. Yet for all the losses, from Matt Bevin in Kentucky to Chris McDaniel in Mississippi, business for the tea party has never been better. The lack of success at the ballot hasn’t kept the groups from raising huge sums of money, adding names to their mailing lists and recruiting new volunteers. At the same time, they continue to pull the Republican Party to the right. GOP lawmakers who previously compromised with Democrats on
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GOP leaders kowtow to right-wing Bible thumpers

Some of the Republican Party’s most ambitious leaders are courting religious conservatives as evangelical officials claim new momentum in their fight for the GOP’s soul. The Faith and Freedom Coalition, led by former Christian Coalition leader Ralph Reed, launches its annual conference Thursday with appearances by Florida Sen. Marco Rubio and Texas Sen. Ted Cruz. Almost every other top-tier prospective presidential hopeful is on the agenda for the three-day gathering in Washington. “This is the most conservative, the most pro-life and the most pro-family stable of candidates we’ve ever had,” Reed told The Associated Press in an interview. “Not only
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Three GOP presidential wannabes talk unity

Three possible Republican candidates for the 2016 presidential race were in Iowa on Saturday to offer their prescriptions for uniting the GOP and rally party faithful in the early primary state. Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal, U.S. Sen. Rand Paul and former U.S. Sen Rick Santorum offered a mix of vision for Republican leadership and criticism of Democrats. It is Paul’s third trip to Iowa since the 2012 election. The Kentucky senator said the GOP should maintain its core message but make the party more attractive to black and Hispanic voters. “There’s a way to expand the party, staying true to
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