April 8, 2014 |
WASHINGTON - President Obama used his executive power and a hot-button issue to try to stoke support from a key election-year constituency Tuesday, as he issued two directives aimed at ensuring federal contractors pay women as much as men for equal work. Surrounding himself with female supporters at the White House, Obama signed an executive order prohibiting federal contractors from retaliating against employees who talk about how much money they make. Advocates say secrecy about salaries is a major contributor to the gap in average pay between male and female workers in the United States, which the White House says means women make 77 cents for every dollar earned by men. The president also ordered contractors to report data to the government showing the compensation paid to employees by gender and race.
April 3, 2014 |
WASHINGTON - Democrats struggling to combat a flood of outside money pouring in to defeat their candidates have found at least a temporary solution: If you can't beat them, brand them. The latest strategy of Democratic messaging is tying Republican candidates and policies to the party's most prominent - and at times vilified - financial patrons, billionaire industrialists Charles and David Koch. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) initiated the strategy last month when he decried the brothers - whose last name is pronounced "coke" - from the Senate floor as "shadowy billionaires" and "un-American.
April 2, 2014 |
WASHINGTON - President Obama said Wednesday that Republicans were "not necessarily coldhearted" in their policies but then devoted much of his speech at the University of Michigan to lampooning GOP opposition to his views on economic issues, including his proposal to raise the federal minimum wage. As Congress gears up for a debate on his proposal to raise the minimum wage to $10.10 an hour, Obama said lawmakers would have to decide between sticking with him or sticking it to working Americans.
April 2, 2014 |
WASHINGTON - Muriel Bowser, a relatively little-known District of Columbia councilwoman, triumphed in Tuesday's Democratic mayoral primary over incumbent Vincent Gray, whose tenure has been tarnished by a corruption scandal. The win most likely means she will be the next mayor in the overwhelmingly Democratic city. Bowser emerged as the front-runner in a field of seven challengers after federal prosecutors tied Gray to an illegal "shadow campaign" that helped him win the mayor's race in 2010.
April 1, 2014 |
WASHINGTON - The Affordable Care Act has passed its first big test, but the law's distribution of winners and losers all but guarantees the achievement will not quiet its political opposition. White House officials, who had a near-death experience with the law's rollout six months ago, were nearly giddy Tuesday as they celebrated an open-enrollment season that ended on a high note. Despite the early problems with the federal website, "7.1 million Americans have now signed up," President Obama declared in a Rose Garden speech to members of Congress, his staff and supporters in which he notably returned to referring to the law as "Obamacare.
March 31, 2014 |
WASHINGTON - Faced with a strong prospect of losing control of the Senate in November, Democrats have begun a high-stakes effort to try to overcome one of their party's big weaknesses: voters who don't show up for midterm elections. The party's Senate campaign committee plans to spend $60 million to boost turnout. That's nine times what it spent in the last midterm election, in 2010. The Democratic National Committee has begun to make the sophisticated data analysis tools developed to target voters in the 2012 presidential campaign available to all the party's candidates.