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NATIONAL
December 21, 2007 | Janet Hook, Times Staff Writer
Just over a year ago, a chastened President Bush acknowledged that his party had taken a "thumping" in the congressional elections, and he greeted the new Democratic majority at the weakest point of his presidency. But since then, Democrats in Congress have taken a thumping of their own as Bush has curbed their budget demands, blocked a cherished children's health initiative, stalled the drive to withdraw troops from Iraq and stymied all efforts to raise taxes.
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NATIONAL
December 20, 2007 | Richard Simon and Noam N. Levey, Times Staff Writers
Congressional Democrats ended their first year in control of Congress in more than a decade Wednesday, approving a $555-billion government spending measure that gave President Bush $70 billion for an Iraq war they had promised to end. And underscoring the frustrations that have beset the new majority much of the year, Democratic leaders left the Capitol complaining that much of their agenda had been thwarted by congressional Republicans who repeatedly stopped their most cherished initiatives.
BUSINESS
December 18, 2007 | Ken Bensinger, Times Staff Writer
Cars are set to get dramatically better mileage in the next decade under the energy bill that's expected to get final congressional approval today. But for drivers hoping to see sport utility vehicles go the way of the dinosaurs and find dealerships stocked with hybrids and high-tech fuel-cell vehicles, the future may be a long way off. The legislation requires that new mileage standards take effect in the 2011 model year with modest increases, ramping up to 35 miles per gallon in 2020.
NATIONAL
December 12, 2007 | From the Associated Press
Republicans maintained control of both congressional seats that were up for grabs in special elections Tuesday in Ohio and Virginia, disappointing Democrats who had hoped to extend their gains in the House. In Ohio, a state representative defeated a Democrat making her third run for the seat. And in Virginia, a first-term state legislator easily won. Both elections were to fill seats left vacant by deaths.
NATIONAL
December 7, 2007 | From the Associated Press
Congress has dropped legislation that would have expanded the scope of hate crimes to include attacks on gays after it became clear the measure wouldn't pass the House, aides said Thursday. The bill, sponsored by Sen. Edward M. Kennedy (D-Mass.), was widely supported by Democrats and some moderate Senate Republicans. But because it was attached to a major defense policy bill that would have authorized more money for the Iraq war, many antiwar Democrats said they would oppose it.
NATIONAL
November 21, 2007 | Peter Spiegel and Julian E. Barnes, Times Staff Writers
An increasingly bitter dispute between the Bush administration and Congress over war funding took an acrimonious turn Tuesday as Pentagon officials advanced plans to lay off 200,000 civilians because of budget shortfalls, prompting Democratic charges of fear-mongering. President Bush requested $196 billion for war funding in 2008, which would make it the most expensive year to date. House Democrats last week countered with a bill providing partial funding tied to troop withdrawal goals.
NATIONAL
November 13, 2007 | Theo Milonopoulos, Times Staff Writer
When Sarah Jean Davidson came to the nation's capital as a teenager at the height of the 1960s civil rights movement, she was unmoved by the historic buildings around her. "When I looked at the Capitol, I had no connection," said Davidson, now the president of a black history group in Arkansas. Little did she know that an ancestor, enslaved in Virginia, may have helped build it. The slaves who helped build the U.S.
NATIONAL
November 11, 2007 | From Times Wire Reports
GOP Rep. Barbara Cubin announced that she would not seek reelection next year to an eighth term representing Wyoming. She has missed almost half of her votes in Congress this year, spending much of her time in Wyoming caring for her husband, who has been ill for years with an unspecified immune disorder. She has also missed votes this year after her brother's death and after she broke a foot.
NATIONAL
November 7, 2007 | Richard Simon, Times Staff Writer
Rep. David R. Obey (D-Wis.), chairman of the House Appropriations Committee, recently invited White House budget director Jim Nussle over to the Capitol to talk about how to avert what could become the biggest budget showdown in years. "We went out on our balcony and had a drink and talked for a while," Obey said.
NATIONAL
November 4, 2007 | Faye Fiore, Times Staff Writer
The sun was hardly up when Jerry McNerney shut his front door behind him, a bowl of Great Grains Maple Pecan Crunch in his stomach, a brown suit and his good black shoes in a garment bag for later. In the 16 hours before he returned home, the freshman congressman who was never supposed to win would put on 40 pounds of gear at a firehouse and spend nearly two hours at a grocery store, talking to voters by the beer nuts.
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