House Republicans have orchestrated a master plan to avoid a government shutdown, delay the implementation of Obamacare, and maintain the current, post-sequester spending levels. But first, they need the Senate to shred the very proposal that House conservatives have spent this week celebrating. According to several Republican lawmakers and senior aides who described the plan on condition of anonymity, a strategy is coming into focus that, if properly executed, would accomplish multiple GOP policy objectives in one maneuver. With the deadline for a new continuing resolution looming on Oct. 1, and the House poised to pass a CR that will be dead
USIS, the Falls Church government contractor that handled the background check for National Security Agency leaker Edward Snowden, said Thursday that it also vetted Navy Yard shooter Aaron Alexis for his secret-level clearance in 2007. The company, which is under criminal investigation over whether it misled the government about the thoroughness of its background checks, said earlier this week that it had not handled Alexis’s case. (Snip) USIS, which was spun off from the federal government in the 1990s, has become the largest private provider of government background checks. With 7,000 employees, the company handles about 45 percent of all
Apple fans desperate to get their hands on the new iPhone that went on sale this morning were left disappointed and angered after iPhone 5S handsets sold out in certain locations before stores even officially opened. The phones are now in such demand that some have appeared on eBay for three times their retail value, while others are being blatantly re-sold on the black market outside shops with mark ups of around £100. Stocks of the iPhone 5S sold out by 7.50am UK time at the Apple store in Cardiff and by 8am in Liverpool as the limited amount of tickets reserving
That Israel has chosen to publicly come out against the government of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad just when he and his Russian and Iranian allies seemed to have scored a major victory suggests that there is a lot more to the drama than meets the eye. Whether a new grand initiative, perhaps on Iran, is in the making, or the Syrian crisis is nearing another major unexpected twist, is hard to tell, but the recent interview of the Israeli Ambassador to the US, Michael Oren, in the Jerusalem Post brought up both of these possibilities. "We always wanted
WASHINGTON — The House voted 230-189 along party lines Friday to approve a stopgap spending bill to fund the federal government through mid-December, but it is facing certain defeat in the Senate because it includes language aiming to dismantle President Obama´s health care law. Without a stopgap spending bill, the federal government will feel the effects of a shutdown when the fiscal year ends on Sept. 30. The bill extends the current rate of government spending at $986 billion a year. House Republicans attached a provision to defund the Affordable Care Act, a consistent target of congressional Republicans. However, the provision has
The House on Friday passed legislation that defunds ObamaCare but would keep the government running through mid-December. The legislation was approved on a party line 230-189 vote, with only 1 Republican voting against it and 2 Democrats supporting it. Passage of the bill sets up a showdown with the Senate, and moves the two sides closer to a possible government shutdown on Oct. 1. The ObamaCare language is expected to be stripped from the bill in the Senate, setting up a critical week of negotiations next week. House Republicans have cancelled a planned recess to return to Washington Wednesday, and
"When we believe something--we don’t go ´are you thinking what we’re thinking´. We say it out loud." [Snip] That paragraph about the Romanian crime wave, for example. You´d never hear Cameron, or Clegg or Miliband getting as near-the-knuckle as this, would you? London is already experiencing a Romanian crime wave. There have been an astounding 27,500 arrests in the Metropolitan Police area in the last five years. 92 percent of ATM crime is committed by Romanians. This gets to the heart of the immigration policy that UKIP wants, we should not welcome foreign criminal gangs and we must deport those
Appearing on MSNBC’s Jansing & Co. on Friday, Rep. Michael Grimm (R-NY) attacked the “arch-conservative” members of his party who he said were misleading the Republican base into believing that the Affordable Care Act could be defunded as part of a budget agreement. Chris Jansing pressed Grimm on whether there was a historical precedent to defund a law as part of any budget agreement, which would likely lead to a government shutdown, in American history. “I don’t want to shut down the government,” Grimm countered. “We’re in negotiations,” he continued. “Are we going to put our best foot forward at
Not in my lifetime have I witnessed a pope who has so quickly succeeded in making more Catholics, and non-Catholics, hyperventilate than Pope Francis. Indeed, some are ready to jump off the bleachers. They all need to calm down. Pope Francis is delightfully frank, and that is what makes him positively engaging. He is also provocative in the best sense of that word. He seeks to challenge us and shake us out of our comfort zone. But he is not about to turn the Catholic Church upside down and inside out. Such talk is pure lunacy. In a three-part meeting
Did US President Barack Obama score a great victory for the United States by concluding a deal with Russia on Syria’s chemical weapons or has he caused irreparable harm to the US’s reputation and international position? By what standard can we judge his actions when the results will only be known next year? To summarize where things now stand, last Saturday US Secretary of State John Kerry and Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov concluded an agreement regarding Syria’s chemical weapons arsenal. The agreement requires Syria to provide full details on the size and locations of all of its chemical weapons by this Saturday. It requires international inspectors to go to Syria beginning in November, and to destroy or remove Syria’s chemical weapons from the country by June 2014.
Texas Gov. Rick Perry on Thursday accused Democrats in his state of punishing Republican opponents by misusing prosecution power and the courts because Democrats “can’t get what they want at the polls.” In an interview with The Washington Times, Mr. Perry hailed a court ruling Thursday that threw out the felony conviction of former House Majority Leader Tom DeLay, putting an end to the eight-year legal travail for the congressman from Texas on charges of laundering illegal political contributions. Mr. Perry, himself under investigation by a special prosecutor in an ethics case, declined to say whether he will create
WASHINGTON - Mike Fitzpatrick epitomizes the plight of a rare and diminishing breed in Washington: the Republican congressman who has to hew to the center to survive. Fitzpatrick, from Bucks County, represents a district that blends from suburban to rural, nearly evenly split between Republicans and Democrats. He has courted and won tea party backing while casting himself as a moderate problem-solver with the centrist group "No Labels." So as some of the GOP´s most defiant conservatives have urged a showdown over President Obama´s health-care law and raised the specter of a government shutdown, Fitzpatrick has been squeezed in a
Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas rarely visits the West Coast. He made the journey to the University of Portland, where he spoke Thursday, because he made a promise to E. William Beauchamp, the Catholic school’s president. “Some years ago, Father Beauchamp did me a favor to help me help someone I care deeply about,” Thomas said. “I promised him I’d come to the University of Portland one day. It probably caused him more trouble than he wanted.” The “someone” was in the crowd, a junior named Dakota Garza. The Supreme Court justice never mentioned her by name or told the details
Just how much fight is left in Barack Obama? Various actors, ranging from Benjamin Netanyahu, the Republican Party, Vladimir Putin and Iran are trying to decide how much they can risk against a weakened President. (Snip) In reality things have not worked out too well for Barack Obama. His administration is now rotten to its core, unable to face enemies abroad, incapable of tapering the money machine, yet unwilling to yield the slightest ground on the Obamacare racket because that’s what he needs to buy off his critics and pay off his supporters. The question facing the other political players
Millions of people who take statins to fight heart disease could be 27 percent more likely to develop cataracts, researchers warn. Older people are particularly susceptible because they make up the majority of statin users and patients with cataracts, which cloud the eye and require surgery to prevent blindness. [Snip] The scientists found the increased risk of 27 percent for statin users held up even after they accounted for other factors that could explain the result, such as high blood pressure. They said cholesterol was necessary to maintain healthy cells in the eye and the transparency of the lens.
Senate Republicans, along with GOP lawmakers in the House, know that Sen. Ted Cruz and his colleagues don´t have the votes to pass a continuing resolution to defund Obamacare. They don´t even have the votes -- 41 in the Senate -- to successfully filibuster a resolution that does fund Obamacare. But some had hoped that Cruz & Co. could at least stage an old-fashioned talking filibuster -- like Sen. Rand Paul´s March filibuster against U.S. drone policy -- that would at least be a high-profile symbol of Republican opposition to the president´s national health care law. Now, it turns out they
The recent ruling to reform the New York Police Department´s controversial ´stop-and-frisk´ tactic has already led to a sharp rise in shootings, new figures reveal. In the month after the policy was ruled unconstitutional shootings spiked nearly 13 per cent while gun seizures fell almost a fifth, the figures show. In the 28 days up to September 8 there were 140 shootings across the city, compared with 124 over the same period last year, according to NYPD statistics. The shocking rise in gun crime has emerged days after the federal judge who ordered an overhaul of the stop-and-frisk strategy refused
The Obama administration is pressing ahead with tough requirements for new coal-fired power plants, moving to impose for the first time strict limits on the pollution blamed for global warming. The proposal would help reshape where Americans get electricity, away from a coal-dependent past into a future fired by cleaner sources of energy. It´s also a key step in President Barack Obama´s global warming plans, because it would help end what he called "the limitless dumping of carbon pollution" from power plants.
A top Republican congressional investigator is ´in the process of issuing subpoenas´ to State Department personnel who can explain the events before, during and after the September 11, 2012 terror attack that destroyed the U.S. diplomatic station in Benghazi, Libya. The State Department has not made those people available,´ House Oversight and Government Reform Committee Chairman Rep. Darrell Issa said during a hearing Thursday. He said Secretary John Kerry´s cabinet-level agency ´has played hide-and-go-seek, and is now hiding behind a thinly-veiled statement that there is a criminal investigation´ into the terror attack.´ Stung by State´s reluctance to produce
The House of Representatives voted to cut nearly $4billion from food stamp funding even after a Democrat used some congressional dinner expenses as ways to try to shame them into supporting the funding. The 217-210 vote on Thursday was a win for conservatives and it was approved even though Democrats were united in opposition. The bill´s savings would be achieved by allowing states to put broad new work requirements in place for many food stamp recipients and to test applicants for drugs. The bill also would end government waivers that have allowed able-bodied adults without dependents to receive food stamps
This is priceless. Former Fla. GOP Gov. Jeb Bush, consummate politician and 2016 presidential aspirant, has now bitterly accused opponents of his federal education schemes of possessing "purely political" motives. Projection, anyone? Having previously suggested that critics of the so-called Common Core standards program are crazy, ignorant and lying, Bush piled on at a National Press Club appearance this week. Jeb the Insult Comic Dog did not hold back. Not only is the growing anti-Fed Ed movement of parents, teachers, school board members, academics, privacy advocates and state legislators of all stripes "purely political," Bush sniped, but the Common Core backlash
Barack Obama has still never really sold the American people on anything but himself. For Obama supporters, the question has become frustrating and frequent: how can the man and the team who made a freshman senator the country’s first black president, and kept people with him despite Great Depression-level unemployment, have failed to truly turn public opinion around on a single
Republicans oppose ObamaCare. That´s no secret. But there seems to be some conflicting ideas among Republicans about how that opposition should be played out on Capitol Hill. For example, the House GOP establishment had, until this week, wanted to hold votes on two bills: one that could potentially defund ObamaCare, and a separate bill that would keep the government funded after this month. This was the expected path, the path of GOP reason and "compromise" according to the media and Democrats.
It is with both caution and charity that we set out to assess the first months of the papacy of Pope Francis. Six months is not a long time in the church, and it seems unfair to evaluate an individual’s achievements after so short a period. We are also aware that as a Jesuit journal we have a special relationship to the first Jesuit pope, who kindly agreed to allow America to print in this issue the English translation of his interview with Jesuit journals from around the world. Yet St. Ignatius Loyola, the founder of the Jesuit order, calls