House and Senate reach compromise on Pentagon bill
WASHINGTON — House and Senate negotiators reached a final agreement Monday on a Pentagon policy bill that would strengthen protections for military victims of sexual assault and keep the prison facility at Guantánamo Bay open over President Barack Obama’s strenuous objections, as Congress rushed to wrap up work in its last full week of the year.
US government is shutting down in fiscal impasse
WASHINGTON — A flurry of last-minute moves by the House, Senate and White House late Monday failed to break a bitter budget standoff over President Barack Obama’s health care law, setting in motion the first government shutdown in nearly two decades.
IRS focus on conservatives gives GOP issue to seize on
WASHINGTON — The Internal Revenue Service’s special scrutiny of small-government groups applying for tax-exempt status went beyond keyword hunts for organizations with “Tea Party” or “Patriot” in their names, to a more overtly ideological search for applicants seeking to “make America a better place to live” or “criticize how the country is being run,” according to part of a draft audit by the inspector general that has been given to Capitol Hill.
Gun control a liability for swing-state Democrats
WASHINGTON — The families of the Newtown, Conn., shooting victims who have converged on Capitol Hill this week made a point of visiting Sen. Heidi Heitkamp, a freshman Democrat known for the “North Dakota nice” of her home state, but on the main issue that brought them here — limiting the capacity of gun magazines and universal background checks — she curtly rejected their pleas for support.
Senate Democrats unveil plan to avert broad spending cuts
Senate Democratic leaders are closing in on a $120 billion package of tax increases on the affluent and targeted spending cuts that they say would be large enough to put off looming, across-the-board spending cuts to defense and domestic programs for 10 months.
Republicans make counteroffer in fiscal talks with Obama
WASHINGTON — Republican congressional leaders Monday countered President Barack Obama’s deficit reduction proposal with a plan of their own that is far heavier on spending cuts but that embraces $800 billion in new taxes over the next 10 years.
Democrats like a Romney plan on income tax
WASHINGTON — With both parties positioning for difficult negotiations to avert a fiscal crisis as Congress returns for its lame-duck session, Democrats are latching on to an idea floated by Mitt Romney to raise taxes on the rich through a hard cap on income tax deductions.
Bad luck and missteps make GOP climb steeper
WASHINGTON — The Indiana Senate candidate Richard E. Mourdock’s reintroduction of rape and abortion into the political dialogue this week is the latest in a series of political missteps that have made the Republican quest to seize control of the Senate a steeper climb.
House approves $310 billion in cuts, shifts savings to Pentagon
WASHINGTON — The House on Thursday approved sweeping legislation to cut $310 billion from the deficit over the next decade — much of it from programs for the poor — and to shift some of that savings to the Pentagon to stave off automatic military spending cuts scheduled for next year.
House Republicans split over a bid to revise the budget deal
WASHINGTON — The House is bracing for a rancorous showdown over a 2013 budget plan that has already divided Republicans because of a push by conservatives to cut spending below the level both parties agreed to in last year’s deal to raise the federal deficit.