May 7, 2013 |
The federal government is expected to hit its statutory credit limit later this month, setting the stage for yet another battle between the Obama administration and the House GOP over raising the debt ceiling. Republican leaders of the House Ways and Means Committee reportedly want something new in return for raising the limit: an agreement to simplify the tax code and reduce rates. Lawmakers should know by now that it's self-destructive to play games with the debt ceiling, and that the brinkmanship that characterizes contemporary Washington politics needs to stop.
May 7, 2013 |
PORT ST. LUCIE, Fla. - Wearing a 2010 vintage Marco Rubio campaign T-shirt and matching button, Cheryl Griffin spewed frustration that the man she helped win a long-shot conservative bid for Senate is now leading an immigration overhaul. An evening downpour was falling on this coastal town, less a city than a hodgepodge of new and old subdivisions. But the weather did not deter Griffin, a small, skeptical woman, or her husband, Mark, a friendly man twice her size with rain dripping from his straw cowboy hat. The Griffins, who came down from neighboring Fort Pierce, were protesting Rubio's appearance at the annual Republican Party dinner.
May 2, 2013 |
WASHINGTON - President Obama nominated Democratic Rep. Mel Watt to be the top regulator for Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, moving to replace a career bureaucrat who has been sharply criticized by liberals for not doing more to help troubled homeowners. But confirmation of Watt, a 20-year congressman from North Carolina, to be director of the Federal Housing Finance Agency is expected to be blocked by Senate Republicans. And the fight over the nomination could make it even more difficult for Republicans and Democrats to come together on legislation to overhaul the housing finance system and replace taxpayer-owned Fannie and Freddie.
April 28, 2013 |
Abel Maldonado, the Republican iconoclast most recently famous for his brief stint as California's appointed lieutenant governor and his unsuccessful run for Congress last year, is making noises about running for governor in 2014 against Jerry Brown. Will putting up a Latino face for the state's top office reverse more than two decades of rejection for the GOP by the fast-growing Latino community? Can even a Latino Republican win Latino votes in California? Both history and the data tell us not to bet on it. I know and like Maldonado, the son of a migrant farmworker, and consider him a smart, decent, charming fellow.
April 25, 2013 |
WASHINGTON - House Republicans announced the first in a series of immigration-related bills that would attempt to reshape the system one piece at a time, a contrast with the comprehensive approach the Senate is pursuing. The chairman of the House Judiciary Committee, Rep. Robert W. Goodlatte of Virginia, was careful Thursday to say the two bills he would unveil this week - and "several" more after that - were simply starting points for debate. The effort does not preclude the broader overhauls being drafted by bipartisan groups in both chambers, he said.
April 24, 2013 |
WASHINGTON - As the new Congress began this year, House Majority Leader Eric Cantor of Virginia sought to redefine the Republican Party as focused on "making life work" for ordinary Americans. Surveys showed that the public had tired of the party of "no" as House Republicans fought President Obama. The party lost its opportunity to win the White House or take control of the Senate last fall, and saw its House majority shrink. Cantor's approach echoed the "compassionate conservatism" of an earlier Republican era. In a speech at the American Enterprise Institute, he said the House majority would "pursue an agenda based on a shared vision of creating the conditions for health, happiness and prosperity for more Americans and their families.