August 3, 2013 |
WASHINGTON - Even by the standards of a Congress that has earned a reputation for dysfunction, this past week - the last before a long summer recess - set a mark for futility. Republican leaders in the House had hoped to pass a bill providing money for several major government agencies. Instead, they halted the vote after a GOP campaign to reduce spending levels hit an unexpected roadblock: Rank-and-file Republicans refused to approve cuts in programs that home-state governors and mayors rely on to fix roads, streets and bridges.
May 16, 2013 |
WASHINGTON - Two of President Obama's second-term Cabinet nominees inched forward Thursday, while another was poised to win final confirmation by the Senate. Thomas E. Perez, Obama's choice to lead the Labor Department, and EPA nominee Gina McCarthy won party-line votes of Senate committees Thursday morning, after Republicans had employed various procedural tactics to delay progress in confirming their appointments. It is unclear at this point how soon, if at all, the full Senate would move to confirmation votes for either nominee.
May 10, 2013 |
Dear Justin Bieber: America's grown-ups aren't exactly in love with you. In fact, according to a recent poll, Bieber was the only pop artist to earn an unfavorable rating from people across the political landscape. A majority of Democrats (23% favorable-54% unfavorable), Republicans (17%-52%), and independents (18%-56%) all bagged on the Biebs. And why not, given the 19-year-old pop star's recent neighborhood conflict, maybe pot smoking and all of his foibles while on tour in Europe, including but not limited to ditching a gift monkey in Germany?
April 29, 2013 |
SACRAMENTO - California's $8-an-hour minimum wage needs to go up, says Watsonville Democratic Assemblyman Luis Alejo. And he may be getting the votes he needs to make it happen. But don't count on it; Alejo has tried this before. Alejo is the author of AB 10, which would give the Golden State its first minimum wage increase since 2008. The bill would raise it 25 cents an hour next year, 50 cents in 2015 and an additional 50 cents to $9.25 an hour in 2016. In 2017 and annually thereafter, hourly pay would be adjusted upward automatically, based on the state's inflation rate.
February 12, 2013 |
WASHINGTON - After a contentious debate, the Senate Armed Services Committee on Tuesday narrowly approved former Sen. Chuck Hagel to be secretary of Defense, moving the fight over President Obama's controversial Cabinet choice to the full Senate. Hagel, a Republican from Nebraska, won the 26-member panel's endorsement with only Democratic votes. All 11 Republicans present voted against his nomination; one GOP senator was absent. The full Senate will begin considering Hagel's nomination Wednesday, with a final vote possible by week's end. Several GOP senators have threatened to delay the vote, but the White House appears confident it has enough votes to prevail.
February 12, 2013 |
WASHINGTON -- After a sometimes contentious debate, the Senate Armed Services Committee voted on party lines and narrowly approved the nomination of former Sen. Chuck Hagel to be secretary of Defense, moving the bitter fight over President Obama's Cabinet choice to the full Senate. Hagel, a former Republican senator from Nebraska, won the 26-member panel's endorsement with only Democratic votes. All 11 Republicans present voted against his nomination, with one absent. The full Senate could vote as early as Thursday to confirm Hagel, although several GOP senators have threatened to seek delays.