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 8, 2013 |
In the face of congressional gridlock, President Obama has started taking more and more matters into his own hands. In recent months, he has announced new gun control measures, put in place limited immigration reform and made fixes to the Affordable Care Act - all without Congress. Many liberals who once worried about presidential overreach have applauded his robust use of presidential power. Yet the president's increasing unilateralism shouldn't be cause for celebration. Bypassing Congress means bypassing democratic checks.
December 4, 2013 |
WASHINGTON - Budget negotiators who are racing to prevent another government shutdown in the new year are close to a mini-deal that could go to the House for a vote as soon as next week. The contours of the agreement being crafted by Republican Rep. Paul Ryan, the party's former vice presidential nominee, and Democratic Sen. Patty Murray, the budget chairwoman, are bound to disappoint tea party conservatives, making its prospects for passage uncertain. Congress faces a Dec. 13 deadline to come up with a package before the House recesses.
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.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
November 21, 2013 |
State Sen. Bill Emmerson says he's so fed up with the California Legislature that he's giving up and getting out. The Hemet Republican says his legislative fire no longer burns, his passion for politics has cooled. "I'm totally frustrated, and it's time for me to move on," the 68-year-old lawmaker told me. "I'm done. " Emmerson especially cites political polarization as a reason for vacating Sacramento. Ideological extremes, combined with powerful interests on both sides, too often stymie problem-solving, he complains.
November 12, 2013 |
Jhené Aiko offered a quick warning before she played her single, “The Worst.” It's best enjoyed alone with a joint (her words). She curled into a plush leather chair, took a long sip from a cocktail and gently swayed as the wrenching production unfolded, her eyes shut as the particularly aching hook filled a North Hollywood recording studio. “I don't need you, I don't need you, but I want you,” she sings. “I don't mean to, I don't mean to, but I love you.” PHOTOS: Celebrities by The Times “The Worst” is the lead single for the singer-songwriter's new EP, “Sail Out.” Released on Monday, the EP serves as an appetizer as she completes her debut album, "Souled Out," and is the first release from producer No I.D.'s Artium imprint under Def Jam. In hip-hop Aiko is the new “it girl,” offering sultry, emotive hooks countering rhymes by J. Cole, Wale, Big Sean and Drake.
November 1, 2013 |
Senate Republicans' rejection Thursday of two key nominations by President Obama revived a battle over filibuster rules and opened a new partisan front just as congressional leaders and the White House are searching for a budget compromise to avert another government shutdown. Democrats in the Senate immediately renewed a threat to use their majority to impose the so-called nuclear option, making a historic change to long-standing Senate rules that would prevent a minority party -- currently Republicans -- from blocking such nominations through filibuster.
November 1, 2013 |
WASHINGTON -- As a comprehensive immigration overhaul stalls in the House, two border-state lawmakers introduced legislation Thursday that would tackle one aspect of the issue -- making it easier to unite American families split apart by past immigration law violations. The effort from Rep. Beto O'Rourke (D-Texas) and Rep. Steve Pearce (R-N.M.) could provide common ground among Democrats and Republicans, an opportunity to ease into a debate over what to do with one subset of the estimated 11 million people living in the United States without legal status.
October 31, 2013 |
WASHINGTON - Senate Republicans ' rejection Thursday of two key nominations by President Obama revived a battle over filibuster rules and opened a new partisan front just as congressional leaders and the White House are searching for a budget compromise to avert another government shutdown. Democrats in the Senate immediately renewed a threat to use their majority to impose the so-called nuclear option, making a historic change to long-standing Senate rules that would prevent a minority party - currently Republicans - from blocking such nominations through filibuster.
October 30, 2013 |
WASHINGTON - With another government shutdown looming as soon as January, congressional negotiators convened Wednesday to attempt to reach a budget compromise and end the brinkmanship that has left the capital lurching from one fiscal crisis to another. But just two weeks after a short-term deal ended the 16-day government shutdown, familiar partisan divisions over tax hikes and spending cuts reemerged and expectations remained low that members of the House and Senate panel would achieve the kind of far-reaching deficit reduction deal once pursued by President Obama and House Speaker John A. Boehner (R-Ohio)