Washington (CNN) - The White House and Senate Democrats have agreed to push the effective date of a proposed "millionaire's surtax" back a year to January 2013 and to slightly raise the rate, White House and congressional sources told CNN on Wednesday.
A 5% surtax on Americans earning $1 million or more per year - proposed by Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nevada, as a means of funding President Barack Obama's $447 billion jobs bill - had been planned to take effect in January 2012. Under the new agreement, the surtax would be 5.6%, a Senate Democratic leadership aide told CNN.FULL STORY
Washington (CNN) Senate Democrats huddled with top Obama administration officials in the Capitol Thursday to pore through the details of the president’s jobs bill and figure out the best way to pass it through the chamber.
Most senators departing the 90-minute meeting with White House aides Gene Sperling, David Plouffe and others said they support the $447 billion proposal, which is designed to boost employment. However, some expressed concerns about the price tag of the bill and the president’s plan to raise some taxes to cover the costs.
Washington (CNN) - Senate Democrats on Friday blocked the latest House Republican proposal to cut spending and increase the federal debt ceiling, setting up a weekend of negotiations to seek a deal that would avoid a potential federal default next week.
WASHINGTON (CNN) - President Barack Obama on Monday endorsed a debt-ceiling proposal by Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid that would cut federal deficits by $2.7 trillion and increase the federal borrowing limit through 2012, the White House said.
The plan proposed by Reid, D-Nevada, "is a reasonable approach that should receive the support of both parties, and we hope the House Republicans will agree to this plan so that America can avoid defaulting on our obligations for the first time in our history," said a statement by White House Press Secretary Jay Carney. "The ball is in their court."FULL STORY
Washington (CNN) - Thirteen Democratic senators released a YouTube video Wednesday as part of the "It Gets Better" campaign, intended to offer hope to young lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender teens across the country.
The nearly five minute, highly produced, black and white video features the 13 senators who are all co-sponsors of a bill that would repeal of the Defense of Marriage Act. The video is part of a larger project aimed at LGBT youth who may be having a difficult time in school. The simple message is life does get better.
Washington (CNN)–Senate Democratic leaders are increasingly anxious the persistently high unemployment rate poses a long-term threat to the economy, their constituents' well-being, and, consequently, their own political fortunes.
In a strategic shift beginning this week, designed to show their heightened concerns, Senate Democrats will try to put new focus on job creation, so it is on equal footing with deficit reduction, which Republicans have successfully championed. They are promising to do it through a series of high profile bills this summer – some to cut taxes, others to increase spending – aimed solely at job creation.
Washington (CNN) - Invoking a rarely used filibuster, Republican senators scored a major tactical and political victory Thursday, blocking a final floor vote for a controversial judicial nominee. California law professor Goodwin Liu has been tapped to serve on the U-S Court of Appeals for the 9th Circuit, based in San Francisco.
A cloture maneuver to end weeks of delays over the nomination failed when Democrats could not secure the necessary 60 votes
to end debate and move ahead with an up-or-down vote.
Liu was the first of President Obama's judicial picks to be successfully filibustered. Republicans complained he was inexperienced
and a partisan ideologue. Democrats countered he was a thoughtful mainstream candidate well qualified to serve.
Washington (CNN)- Wisconsin Democratic Sen. Herb Kohl announced Friday that he will retire after serving four terms in the Senate.
A Democratic source tells CNN, "The DSCC [Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee] has made sure that all these decisions were made and announced very early in the cycle. Democrats are confident that we can keep the seat."
Washington (CNN) - Senate Democrats planned to open debate Wednesday on legislation to cut $21 billion in subsidies from big oil companies and use the money to reduce the federal debt - a move designed to put Republicans on the defensive and capitalize on public anger over rising gas prices.
The bill has virtually no chance of winning congressional approval. Analysts believe, however, that Democrats will try to use the issue to their political advantage in both the run-up to the 2012 elections and the ongoing fight to increase to the amount of money the federal government is allowed to borrow before Washington defaults on its financial obligations.FULL STORY
(CNN) - Senate Democrats are calling oil and gas industry executives to testify next week about the billions of dollars they get in tax subsidies at the same time they are earning enormous profits and consumers are facing steep price hikes at the pumps.
Democrats also will seek a vote on legislation to block the subsidies to the largest oil companies and use the savings to either fund clean energy programs or reduce the deficit, according to a Senate Democratic leadership aide.