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BUSINESS
October 1, 2013 | By Don Lee
WASHINGTON -- With signs of slowing in the important housing industry recently, home builders and others have been waiting for government updates on construction activity. They'll have to keep waiting, now that the lights are out in many federal offices. In the first economic-data casualty of the government shutdown Tuesday, the Commerce Department did not release its monthly construction spending report. Spending had eased earlier in the summer as higher mortgage rates seemed to be crimping activity, but expectations were for a decent uptick in August.
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NEWS
October 9, 2013 | By Morgan Little
WASHINGTON - Koch Industries, the multibillion-dollar company led by David and Charles Koch, tried to distance itself Wednesday from any blame for the government shutdown and congressional quagmire. But doing so requires some explaining given the long track record that the Koch brothers have of supporting conservative Republican causes. In a letter sent to Senate offices Wednesday , the company's president of government and public affairs, Philip Ellender, said claims that Koch Industries pushed for a shutdown are “erroneous or misleading.” “Koch believes that Obamacare will increase deficits, lead to an overall lowering of the standard of healthcare in America and raise taxes,” Ellender wrote.
NEWS
October 9, 2013 | By Cathleen Decker
How low can Congress go? Today's answer: There's not much lower they can go. Polls out Wednesday painted a bleak picture of Americans' views of their federal legislators. Really bleak. In an Associated Press-GfK poll, Congress dropped to an approval rating of 5%. No typo there. To rub salt into the wound: With the margin of error, the real figure could actually be just over 1%. It's little surprise that the poll showed, as many have in recent days, that no one in Washington is looking good as a result of the government shutdown, which began Oct. 1. But Republicans are faring particularly badly.
NEWS
October 13, 2013 | By Lisa Mascaro
WASHINGTON - Talks in the Senate aimed at resolving the crisis over the federal budget hit a setback Sunday as Democrats, emboldened by GOP disarray, pushed their advantage, leading Republicans to warn against efforts to “humiliate” their party. Although Senate leaders continued to talk, they appeared to make little progress over the weekend, dashing hopes that a deal could be announced before markets opened Monday. Some senators urged House Republican leaders to try again to push a measure through their chamber.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
September 30, 2013 | Robin Abcarian
Newt Gingrich can't be serious. Of all the people in the world who ought to be wary of a federal government shutdown, it should be former House Speaker Gingrich, whose political career flamed out spectacularly after he orchestrated two federal shutdowns over a budget impasse with then-President Clinton.  In an essay published Monday , the co-host of CNN's “Crossfire,” has urged House Republicans to stick to their guns and allow the federal government to close down in order to teach the president a (flawed)
NEWS
September 27, 2013 | By Lisa Mascaro and Michael A. Memoli
WASHINGTON - The legislation the Senate passed Friday to prevent a government shutdown landed with a thud in the House, where the Republican majority has no clear strategy for ending the standoff threatening to close shutter the government at midnight Monday. House Speaker John A. Boehner (R-Ohio) left the Capitol after a mid-morning meeting with his leadership team without publicly revealing a strategy. Boehner plans to assemble rank-and-file Republicans at noon Saturday to discuss the alternatives.
BUSINESS
October 1, 2013 | By Michael Hiltzik
In February 1860, Abraham Lincoln gave a speech at New York's Cooper Union that many historians believe catapulted him onto the national stage and into the presidency. It may even be more pertinent today for what he said about intransigent political blocs. A few excerpts : Your purpose, then, plainly stated, is that you will destroy the Government, unless you be allowed to construe and enforce the Constitution as you please, on all points in dispute between you and us. You will rule or ruin in all events.
NEWS
October 2, 2013 | By Jon Healey
You could see this one coming. Politico reported late Tuesday that congressional leaders are starting to talk about two fiscal crises merging in the days ahead. Federal agencies have partially shut down because House Republicans refuse to pass a bill to keep them open unless Senate Democrats agreed to delay or derail the 2010 healthcare law they (and President Obama) strongly support. The more time Congress spends debating this shutdown, the closer the federal government comes to hitting the debt ceiling -- a limit that Treasury Secretary Jacob Lew says will be reached around Oct. 17. The end of the fiscal year Sept.
NEWS
September 30, 2013 | By Lisa Mascaro and Michael A. Memoli
WASHINGTON - An hour after the federal government began shutting down, House Republicans approved a last-ditch effort early Tuesday seeking to set up a committee with the Senate to resolve their monumental differences over Obamacare. Establishing a conference committee can be a standard legislative procedure but is rare in a time of crisis. As of Tuesday, the first day of the fiscal year, 800,000 federal workers will be sent home and national parks, museums and offices will be closed.
NEWS
September 30, 2013 | By Kathleen Hennessey
WASHINGTON - President Obama blamed the "extreme right wing" of the Republican Party for a budget standoff that has pushed the government to the edge of the first shutdown in 17 years, and he made one last plea Monday to House Republicans to pass a spending bill before a midnight deadline. “One faction of one party in one house of Congress in one branch of government doesn't get to shut down the entire government just to re-fight the results of an election,” Obama said in a brief appearance in the White House briefing room.
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