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Jan 15, 2014

Slaughter: ‘War on women’ continues

Fed up with the House Republicans’ focus on restricting women’s health rights instead of considering a real economic agenda for women and families, pro-choice members of Congress protested a House Judiciary Committee markup of another anti-choice bill Wednesday. The protest was led by Rep. Louise Slaughter, of Fairport, and Rep. Diana DeGette, of Colorado, both […]

Jan 7, 2014

Fed chair, unemployment on tap as Congress returns

WASHINGTON — Back to work on Monday, Congress faces a hefty list of unfinished business and a politically driven agenda in an election year that will determine control of the House and Senate. President Barack Obama’s nomination of Janet Yellen to head the Federal Reserve and a three-month extension of benefits for the long-term unemployed […]

Dec 31, 2013

Congress letting 55 tax breaks expire at year end

WASHINGTON — In an almost annual ritual, Congress is letting a package of 55 popular tax breaks expire at the end of the year, creating uncertainty — once again — for millions of individuals and businesses. Lawmakers let these tax breaks lapse almost every year, even though they save businesses and individuals billions of dollars. […]

Dec 17, 2013

Congress targets fed workers’ pensions for savings

WASHINGTON — Top lawmakers have found easy prey in their hunt for savings for Congress’ budget deal: Federal workers’ retirement programs, which are notably generous compared to the norm in private industry. Most federal civilian employees hired beginning in January will contribute 4.4 percent of their pay to their pension plans under the bipartisan budget […]

Dec 12, 2013

Bipartisan budget deal sets off some grumbling

WASHINGTON — Backers of a narrowly drawn budget deal are selling it as a way to stabilize Congress’ shaky fiscal practices and mute some of the partisan rancor that has helped send lawmakers’ public approval ratings plummeting. But the bipartisan pact doesn’t solve long-term tax and spending issues, leaving liberals and conservatives alike grumbling. House […]

Dec 4, 2013

At 11th hour, Congress debates plastic gun ban

WASHINGTON — Congress is racing toward renewing a 25-year-old prohibition against firearms that can evade metal detectors and X-ray machines, just days before the ban expires. But with 3-D printers increasingly able to produce plastic weapons, many Democrats, gun control advocates and law enforcement officials say the restrictions must be tightened. The Republican-led House was […]

Oct 25, 2013 failures surface at Hill hearing

WASHINGTON — The leading contractors on the Obama administration’s troubled health insurance website told Congress on Thursday that the government failed to thoroughly test the complicated system before it went live. Executives of CGI Federal, which built the federal website serving 36 states, and QSSI, which designed the part that helps verify applicants’ income […]

Oct 17, 2013

Short-term deal won’t mask big barriers ahead

WASHINGTON — Hold the champagne. Even after lawmakers completed their deal to avert a federal default and fully reopen the government, they are likely to return to their grinding brand of brinkmanship — perhaps repeatedly. Wednesday’s self-congratulations notwithstanding, congressional talks are barely touching the underlying causes of debt-and-spending stalemates that pushed the country clo[...]

Oct 17, 2013

Gov’t reopens after Congress ends 16-day shutdown

WASHINGTON — The government reopened its doors Thursday after a battle-weary Congress approved a bipartisan measure to end a 16-day partial shutdown and avert the possibility of an economy-jarring default on U.S. obligations. Early Thursday, President Barack Obama signed the measure, which the House and Senate passed late Wednesday, ending a brawl with Republicans who […]

Oct 17, 2013

Congress votes to end shutdown, avoid US default

WASHINGTON — Up against a deadline, Congress passed and sent a waiting President Barack Obama legislation late Wednesday night to avoid a threatened national default and end the 16-day partial government shutdown, the culmination of an epic political drama that placed the U.S. economy at risk. The Senate voted first, a bipartisan 81-18 at midevening. […]

Oct 15, 2013

Shutdown deal in sight? Reid, McConnell optimistic

WASHINGTON — Racing the clock, the Senate’s Democratic and Republican leaders closed in on a deal Monday night to avoid an economy-menacing Treasury default and end the two-week partial government shutdown. “We’ve made tremendous progress,” Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid declared after an intense day of negotiations with Senate Republican leader Mitch McConnell and oth[...]

Oct 2, 2013

Some in GOP not heeding old big business allies

WASHINGTON — Having failed to persuade their traditional Republican allies in Congress to avert a government shutdown, business leaders fear bigger problems ahead, and they’re taking sides with a Democratic president whose health care and regulatory agenda they have vigorously opposed. President Barack Obama is embracing the business outreach, eager to employ groups like the […]

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