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Washington Insider

  • August 09, 2011

    Health Care, Job Creation; What's Next for Congress?

    A week after Congress and the Obama administration averted default on the nation’s credit, the future legislative climate in Washington remains uncertain. It appears that Democrats and Republicans still can't agree on a list of priorities for Congress to pursue once it reconvenes on September 7.
  • August 01, 2011

    Congress Passes and President Signs Budget Control Act of 2011

    After weeks of tense negotiations among congressional leaders and the Obama administration regarding the nation's debt limit and deficit, Congress passed the "Budget Control Act of 2011." The bill, which will raise the debt limit by $900 billion, was signed by President Obama on August 2.
  • July 27, 2011

    Dueling Deficit Plans Unveiled by House and Senate Leaders

    As the debt ceiling debate continues, House Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) (pictured) and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) unveiled separate budget proposals last Monday. Boehner's plan, modeled after the “Cap, Cut and Trade” legislation recently passed by the House, takes a two-step approach.
  • July 19, 2011

    Debt-Ceiling Debate Continues to Consume Washington

    The U.S. House of Representatives and the Senate are on a veritable crash course this week to reach agreement on a plan for raising the national debt limit prior to the August 2 deadline. Although negotiations between the White House and Congressional leaders stalled over the weekend, the two sides appear ready to re-engage with a joint goal of avoiding a catastrophic credit default.
  • July 12, 2011

    Negotiations Continue as Debt-Ceiling Deadline Looms

    Negotiations regarding raising the country’s debt-ceiling limit heated up over the weekend as Congressional leaders and President Barack Obama seek to forge a compromise that includes measures to reduce the nation’s soaring federal deficit. The uptick in negotiations comes as the August 2 deadline for Congressional action quickly approaches.
  • July 05, 2011

    Senate Committee to President: "No Ground Troops in Libya"

    The Senate Foreign Relations Committee last week inserted itself in the fight over President Obama’s use of the country’s military force in Libya by overwhelmingly approving a legally binding resolution. The panel, chaired by Senator John Kerry (D-MA), voted 14-5 to approve the measure, which would expire after one year and would bar the president from deploying U.S. ground troops in Libya.
  • June 28, 2011

    Debt-Ceiling Negotiations Now in the Hands of the Leaders

    As the August 2 debt-ceiling deadline set by Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner and other financial officials approaches, it will be now incumbent upon President Barack Obama, House Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) to negotiate a final agreement that will address an increase in the country’s borrowing capacity, slash spending in the federal budget and reduce the overall federal deficit over the next 10 years.
  • June 21, 2011

    Biden's Budget Group Ramps Up Efforts to Craft Proposal

    A renewed sense of urgency surrounded talks last week among members of Vice President Joe Biden's budget working group as the focus shifted back to non-defense discretionary spending in the federal budget. The group will continue to meet regularly during the next three weeks with hopes of crafting a feasible proposal.
  • June 15, 2011

    Time Running Out on Debt Ceiling Fix, White House Sets Time Frame

    The White House last week urged Congressional members involved in Vice President Joe Biden's debt reduction negotiations to pick up the pace of those talks.
  • June 07, 2011

    Debt-Limit Debate Dominates Discussions in Washington

    Lawmakers from both sides of the aisle were invited last week to the White House to meet with President Obama to discuss raising the nation's debt limit and address its long-term budget deficit. But, as the nation's capital segues into the dog days of summer, the debate continues to envelop Washington politics.
  • June 02, 2011

    Democrat Triumphs in New York Special Election

    Democrat Kathy Hochul defeated Republican Assemblywoman Jane Corwin and Tea Party candidate Jack Davis in a special election for New York's 26th Congressional district that signaled a referendum on Representative Paul Ryan's (R-WI) proposed plan to overhaul the Medicare program.
  • May 23, 2011

    Coburn Leaves 'Gang of Six'; Biden's Debt Talks Continue

    Senator Tom Coburn (R-OK) abruptly pulled out of the “Gang of Six” debt-ceiling negotiations last week, seeming to signal that a comprehensive deal would not be reached any time soon. His departure underscores the great divide that remains between Republicans and Democrats regarding deficit reduction and reform of government entitlement programs. Now all eyes have turned to the debt talks conducted by Vice President Joe Biden among another group of bipartisan legislators.
  • May 16, 2011

    Wisconsin Senator Herb Kohl Will Not Seek Re-election

    Senator Herb Kohl (D-WI) announced on Friday that he will not seek re-election to the U.S. Senate seat he has held since 1989. He becomes the ninth sitting senator and sixth Democrat to announce his retirement during this election cycle. The current political make-up of the Senate includes 51 Democrats, 47 Republicans and 2 Independents.
  • May 10, 2011

    Vice President Biden Convenes Bipartisan Group for Debt Talks

    The worst kept secret in Washington these days is that the U.S. government is rapidly approaching its debt-ceiling limit of $14.3 trillion, and time is running short. Lawmakers have advanced many possible approaches but progress seems to have fizzled. Enter Vice President Joe Biden, who gathered a bipartisan group of legislators last week in to discuss solutions to the debt ceiling and the deficit.
  • May 02, 2011

    Senator Corker Takes Leading Role in Debt-Ceiling Fight

    Another week has passed, and Congress still is searching for a resolution to the debt-ceiling issue. While the bipartisan Gang of Six continues to remain silent on the details of its plan, other members of the Senate have stepped in to fill the vacuum. On the GOP side, perhaps the most significant contributor has been Senator Bob Corker of Tennessee. Senator Corker has made passing his Commitment to American Prosperity, or CAP, Act or similar legislation a pre-condition for voting to raise the debt-ceiling limit.
 
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