December 13, 2013 |
The budget agreement reached by the House and Senate this week is a small step forward in restoring some sanity and order to the process. By putting in place a bipartisan plan for the next two years, the agreement represents a much-needed improvement over the uncertainty of governing by crisis that has dominated fiscal policy the last several years. But the fundamental fiscal challenges we identified in the 2010 report of the National Commission on Fiscal Responsibility and Reform, and the need for reforms of entitlement programs and the tax code, go unaddressed.
December 12, 2013 |
WASHINGTON - House Republicans, with help from Democrats, passed an $85-billion budget deal Thursday that falls short of conservative small-government goals but represents the first potential cease-fire in the budget battles that have left Congress lurching from one fiscal crisis to another. Approval of the compromise represents a victory for House Speaker John A. Boehner (R-Ohio), who appears to have regained momentary control over his rebellious majority despite the opposition of influential conservative groups, as well as for Rep. Paul D. Ryan (R-Wis.)
December 11, 2013 |
WASHINGTON - In an uncharacteristically forceful tone, House Speaker John A. Boehner on Wednesday lambasted the conservative advocacy groups that helped bring his party to power, saying their opposition to a bipartisan budget proposal amounted to an effort to manipulate Republicans and the American people "for their own goals. " The rare outburst from the often poker-faced speaker, a reversal of his past approach toward influential conservative groups, underscored long-simmering tensions between them and mainstream Republicans, who appear to be moving to reestablish their control over the party's agenda.
December 10, 2013 |
The new congressional budget deal, as announced Tuesday evening by Republican Rep. Paul D. Ryan and Democratic Sen. Patty Murray, was light on fiscal details and big on buzzwords that have not exactly carried the day in Washington recently: Compromise. Common ground. Had there been a soundtrack, the Rolling Stones' “You Can't Always Get what You Want” would have been playing on Capitol Hill speakers. Although the road ahead for the deal is highly uncertain - conservative groups declared war before the deal was even announced and liberals weren't too pleased either - Ryan and Murray appeared visibly relieved, as if trying to put to rest on behalf of the entire Congress the crisis-to-crisis careening that has been the congressional hallmark of late.
December 9, 2013 |
WASHINGTON - The Obama administration will launch a lobbying push Tuesday to stop Congress from approving harsh new penalties for Iran, a move the White House warns could sink international negotiations aimed at curbing Tehran's nuclear program. A bipartisan group of lawmakers, including Sens. Robert Menendez (D-N.J.) and Mark Steven Kirk (R-Ill.), has nearly completed sanctions legislation that it hopes to attach as an amendment to the annual, must-pass defense authorization bill, which could face a vote this week before Congress adjourns for the holidays.
December 4, 2013 |
WASHINGTON - The contours of a mini-deal to avert another government shutdown emerged Wednesday, a rare glimmer of bipartisanship in a Congress noted for division and dysfunction. Crafted by Republican Rep. Paul D. Ryan, the party's former vice presidential nominee, and Democratic Sen. Patty Murray, the budget chairwoman, the proposed compromise could go before the House for a vote as soon as next week. But prospects for passage remain murky, and tea party conservatives are already voicing familiar concerns.
October 16, 2013 |
A frantic day of legislative maneuvering ended in futility for Speaker John A. Boehner on Tuesday, as the most conservative members of the House refused to back his proposed compromise to end the standoff over the federal budget. The failure leaves a bipartisan Senate plan negotiated by Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) and Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) as the sole way out of a stalemate that risks a U.S. default on its bills and huge economic disruptions. A bill that passed the Senate would receive Democratic support in the House, guaranteeing a majority if Boehner were willing to bring it to the floor even without the backing of most Republicans.
September 25, 2013 |
Having a physical disability profoundly disconnects a person from the world in which the able-bodied live and move, and makes a challenge out of numerous mundane tasks. The Americans with Disabilities Act, which was passed more than two decades ago, prohibits many forms of discrimination against the disabled and mandates that they be provided with equal access to buildings, workplaces, programs, services and public accommodations. The federal law was the model for the United Nations treaty known as the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, which requires participating countries to provide equal access for the disabled.
August 12, 2013 |
WASHINGTON - In a sign of growing disenchantment with the war on drugs, conservatives joined Democrats and reform advocates Monday in praising Atty. Gen. Eric H. Holder Jr.'s declaration that it was time to rethink get-tough policies that have tied the hands of judges and swollen the populations of federal prisons. The nation's top law enforcement officer, decrying the "moral and human costs" of mass incarceration, said he would instruct federal prosecutors to change the way they charge some drug offenders to avoid triggering "mandatory minimum" sentencing laws.
July 20, 2013 |
WASHINGTON - In this era of federal austerity, appetites are souring over spending taxpayer money on dinner parties in India featuring California prunes, cartoons in Spain touting homegrown walnuts and billboards in South Korea extolling American beef. Yet an effort to end a $200-million-a-year federal program that promotes U.S. agricultural products abroad has run into bipartisan opposition in Congress and has created a rare rift among Republicans in California, which receives a large chunk of the money.