Congress

5:19am

Wed January 9, 2013
Politics

Root Canals Are More Popular Than Congress

Polling found Congress' most recent approval rating is 9 percent. Other things were tested too, and it was discovered root canals are more popular than lawmakers. On the bright side for Congress, it is more popular than the Ebola virus and playground bullies.

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1:32am

Wed January 9, 2013
It's All Politics

Lobbying Battle Over Hagel Under Way Before Obama's Nod

Originally published on Sun January 13, 2013 7:03 am

Former U.S. Sen. Chuck Hagel, R-Neb., speaks at the White House on Monday after President Obama nominated him to replace Defense Secretary Leon Panetta.
Mark Wilson Getty Images

Weeks before President Obama officially nominated Chuck Hagel to be secretary of defense, the lobbying battle was well under way. The fight might be bigger than any other Cabinet nomination in history as the former Republican senator's friends and foes prepare for modern combat on TV and the Internet.

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4:09pm

Tue January 8, 2013
It's All Politics

House Gears Up For Immigration Battle

Originally published on Tue January 8, 2013 5:05 pm

Rep. Bob Goodlatte, R-Va., the new House Judiciary Committee chairman, is a former immigration attorney who has taken a hard line against Democratic proposals.
Alex Wong Getty Images

With immigration expected to be a top issue in the new Congress, lawmakers in both parties continue to call for a bipartisan approach — while also preparing for battle.

The messaging from many House Democrats and Republicans about the chances of passing an immigration overhaul remains optimistic. And some of them, such as Republican Mario Diaz-Balart of Florida and Democrat Zoe Lofgren of California, have begun to meet privately.

But other moves indicate that lawmakers are hedging their bets and girding for a fight.

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2:53pm

Sun January 6, 2013
Politics

Could Reviving Earmarks Get Congress Moving Again?

Originally published on Mon January 7, 2013 7:54 am

Recent episodes of gridlock in Congress have some arguing for the return of legislative earmarks, which, though often abused for political gain, helped get bills passed.
Drew Angerer Getty Images

"You scratch my back, and I'll scratch yours" is an old and cherished maxim of our republic. In politics, that's called an earmark, aka pork. One member of Congress gets a road or a monument for his or her state in exchange for a vote on the bill in question.

Congress has lived on this since the era of stovepipe hats. The political vogue lately, however, has been to repudiate those earmarks. But with the recent gridlock in Washington, the feeling is that perhaps some of that grease might help ease things.

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12:47pm

Sun January 6, 2013
The Two-Way

GOP Senators Warn Of Tough Road For Hagel Nomination

Originally published on Sun January 6, 2013 3:19 pm

Former Sen. Chuck Hagel, seen here in 2008, is reported to be President Obama's pick to be the next defense secretary.
Dave Weaver AP

President Obama will on Monday name former Sen. Chuck Hagel to be his next defense secretary, an administration official confirmed to NPR.

The former Republican senator from Nebraska is a Vietnam veteran. He would succeed Leon Panetta, who is retiring.

Our original post follows:

Republican senators say former Sen. Chuck Hagel can expect a tough nominating process if President Obama names him to be the next defense secretary.

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