Washington (CNN) - The high-stakes political maneuvering over government spending cuts continued Thursday as Senate Democrats for the first time said they are readying specific budget cuts they hope will satisfy House Republicans. Unless the two sides reach an agreement, the government will run out of money and shut down at the end of next week.
However, an aide for House Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio, quickly indicated the proposed cuts don’t go deep enough to end the stalemate.
Washington (CNN) - Senate Democrats rejected Tuesday a House Republican leadership proposal to extend government funding for two weeks past March 4, the date when current funding expires.
House Republicans want the short-term bill to cut $4 billion in government spending during those two weeks - a prorated figure based on the more than $60 billion in spending cuts the House passed for the rest of this fiscal year.
Washington (CNN) – Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid and expected Speaker-to-be Rep. John Boehner met Wednesday morning for the first time since the election. The unannounced meeting the two men who will lead the next Congress took place in Reid's office suite in the Capitol.
(CNN) - The Democratic-led Congress that was knocked on its heels by voters November 2 returns for a post-election, lame-duck session Monday with a long list of controversial bills Democrats would like to clear before January when Republicans take control of the House of Representatives and bulk up their numbers in the Senate.
Whether they can pass any of these measures, which include funding the government and extending Bush-era tax cuts, is an open question. If they can't, the bills will die or be punted over to the new Congress
Washington (CNN) – Facing the prospect of losing control of Capitol Hill in the midterm elections, congressional Democrats return to Washington this week for one final month-long legislative push they hope will persuade voters to keep them in power.
At the top of their to-do list, Democrats will tee up the emotionally charged debate about whether to extend expiring Bush tax cuts for people earning more than $250,000 a year or just for those who earn less. Only weeks before voters go to the polls, Democrats are eager to make the argument that their party is focused on the middle class and Republicans are the party of the rich.
Most Democrats agree with President Obama that tax relief should be limited to the less well-off, while Republicans argue taxes shouldn't be hiked on anyone - including the wealthy - while the economy is weak.
House Minority Leader John Boehner of Ohio said Sunday on CBS' "Face the Nation" that he would vote for extending the tax cuts for the middle class if that was the only option he had, but that he would do everything that he could to extend them for those making more than $250,000 as well.
Washington (CNN) - Senate Democratic leaders have concluded that the only way to pass critical war-funding before the fast-approaching August congressional recess is for the House to drop its insistence that the measure include billions of dollars for unrelated domestic programs, a top Senate Democratic leadership aide told CNN.
The extra money, which includes funds to help cash-strapped states avoid teacher layoffs, has drawn fire from Republicans who complain it's a giveaway to the teachers' unions.
The White House, which doesn't oppose giving states money for teachers, also objects to the House legislation because it pays for the teacher initiative by cutting funding from President Obama's "Race to the Top" education reform program.
WASHINGTON (CNN) – House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said Tuesday that before the House acts on final health care legislation, leaders are waiting for costs assessments from the Congressional Budget Office, and information from the Senate parliamentarian.
Specifically, House leaders want to know "what the Senate will be able to do" in a controversial reconciliation bill meant to correct changes in the underlying health care bill.
Pelosi's comments came after an hour-and-a-half meeting in the Capitol with House and Senate Democratic leaders, and the White House Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel that, in part, dealt with allaying distrust some House Democrats have of Senate Democrats and their ability to pass the reconciliation bill.
Asked if House leaders want a letter or some other concrete assurance about what the Senate can pass in a reconciliation bill, Pelosi, D-California, said no.
"We are way far down the road. It's not a question of confidence. It's a question now of making sure those numbers are what we represent them to be and we have to have that validation from the CBO," she said. FULL POST
WASHINGTON (CNN) - Key Republicans on Capitol Hill Wednesday blasted the Treasury Department and the Federal Reserve for orchestrating an $85 billion bailout of insurance giant American International Group.
The criticism came a day after lawmakers were surprised by the news that taxpayers would again be called on to shore up a member of the struggling financial sector.
"Once again the Fed has put the taxpayers on the hook for billions of dollars to bail out an institution that put greed ahead of responsibility and used their good name to take risky bets that did not pay off," said Sen. Jim Bunning, R-Kentucky, a member of the banking committee.
A spokesman for Sen. Richard Shelby of Alabama, the top Republican on the banking committee, said the senator "profoundly disagrees with the decision to use taxpayer dollars to bail out a private company" and is upset the government has sent an inconsistent message to the markets by bailing out AIG after it just refused to save investment bank Lehman Brothers from bankruptcy.