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Washington Insider

  • October 17, 2013

    Republicans Engage with President Obama on Debt and Spending

    House Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) proposed Thursday morning a short-term plan that would raise the debt ceiling through Nov. 22. If enough House Republicans back the proposal, the House could vote as soon as Thursday evening. Jason Furman, chairman of the White House Council of Economic Advisers, said the Obama administration prefers a longer-term deal.
  • October 17, 2013

    Next Budget Showdown Just Three Months Away?

    Congress passed and the president signed legislation that will fund the government through January 15 and raise the debt ceiling through February 7, setting a timeline for the next fiscal fight. Lawmakers have pinned hopes to avert another fiscal showdown on a new bipartisan, bicameral conference committee.
  • May 16, 2013

    Three Scandals Erupt Simultaneously

    As three separate scandals -— the Internal Revenue Service targeting the tea party, the Justice Department’s phone -- records grab from the AP, and Benghazi—erupt simultaneously, congressional Republicans are hoping to fold them into a single narrative of an unaccountable and overreaching White House that cannot be trusted, National Journal’s Shane Goldmacher reports.
  • May 09, 2013

    House Will Pass Farm Bill This Summer, Ag Committee Chair Says

    House Agriculture Committee Chairman Frank Lucas (R-OK) predicted Monday that the House would pass a five-year farm bill by this summer, The Hill reports. Lucas’s comments come after a memo from House Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-VA) asserted that the House would take up a farm bill this year.
  • May 02, 2013

    Efforts Underway to Undo Sequestration Cuts

    With two sequester adjustments—the FAA and meat inspectors—on the books, other special-interest groups, unions, and lobbyists are planning to rev up their efforts to undo the cuts piece by piece, National Journal’s Nancy Cook reports.
  • April 11, 2013

    Seven Things to Know About President Obama's Budget

    Many of President Obama’s nominees to high-profile positions enjoyed a pretty good week: SEC chair nominee Mary Jo White was confirmed in the Senate, as was Interior pick Sally Jewell. Those chosen to lead the Department of Energy, Office of Management and Budget, and the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Servicesall garnered high praise from Republicans in their confirmation hearings.
  • April 04, 2013

    America's Budget Process: Broken or Just Evolving?

    Lawmakers are getting behind legislation that would transition Congress to a biennial budget process, a move many feel would give Congress the time and energy to focus on the fiscal policy rather than the looming deadline, The Hill reports. Read more.
  • March 28, 2013

    Armed With Excuses, Lawmakers Head Home to Sequester Complaints

    As lawmakers headed home to their districts for a two-week recess, many were already getting an earful of grievances from constituents about the sequester’s impact—and were bracing to hear far more in meetings and town halls in coming weeks.
  • October 04, 2012

    Sequestration Finds Its Purpose: Action-Inspiring Fear

    With the fiscal cliff in sight, and business and defense interests badgering Congress for a deal that would stave off a recessionary wallop of tax hikes and spending cuts, Republican resolve against raising taxes is wavering in the Senate, where sources list more than a dozen GOP senators who could sign on to a package that includes higher tax revenues if Democrats agree to stop the sequestration of defense funds and enact entitlement reforms.
  • September 27, 2012

    Payroll Tax Cut Facing Last Stand

    Democrats fought for the extension of the payroll tax cut the last time around. But Democrats now sound like they’re throwing in the towel this time. "It never should have been enacted in the first place," Senator Tom Harkin (D-IA) told Politico recently.
  • September 20, 2012

    Hill Has Empty Calendar Until November

    Both chambers of Congress have scrapped their October sessions, congressional leaders said, and won’t return to work until after the November elections. House Majority Leader Eric Cantor announced last week that, after the House adjourns on Friday, it will not reconvene until Nov. 13.
  • September 13, 2012

    Back on Hill, Congress Still Unlikely to Pass Farm Bill in Time

    Congress returned this week from its August recess, but one of the many unfinished pieces of business on its docket is still stalled, with time running out. The farm bill that Congress has been crafting and haggling over for months looks unlikely to wrap up before a Sept. 30 deadline, and many agricultural leaders predict that no bill will pass before the November 6 election.
  • September 06, 2012

    Are We Better Off? The Numbers Say No

    The middle class in America today is not better off than it was four years ago, not better off than it was at the end of the Great Recession in 2009, not even better off than when President Clinton left office in 2001. This is the truth that Democrats confronted as they anchored their national convention theme in Charlotte on vows of support for American workers: The middle class has been declining for more than a decade, including through the Obama recovery.
  • August 30, 2012

    Democrats Rev Up for Charlotte

    Democrats have yet to release a schedule for next week’s convention in Charlotte, N.C., but more information dribbled out this week, including the somewhat surprising news that a sharp critic of President Obama’s new contraception rule would deliver the closing prayer of the convention.
  • August 23, 2012

    Not a Good Millennium So Far for the Middle Class

    The middle class, according to a Pew Research Center study released on Wednesday, over the past decade has grown smaller, less affluent, and less optimistic. Eighty-five percent of adults who describe themselves as middle class say it is more difficult to preserve their standard of living now than it was 10 years ago, according to the survey.
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