Congress

3:39pm

Mon December 17, 2012
It's All Politics

Some Senators Show Willingness To Take On Gun Laws

Originally published on Mon December 17, 2012 5:19 pm

Sen. Joe Manchin, a West Virginia Democrat, has an "A" rating from the NRA, but questions why anyone would need the kind of semi-automatic assault rifle used in the Newtown, Conn., killings.
Dave Martin AP

As President Obama spoke to mourning families in Newtown, Conn., on Sunday night, he clearly seemed to suggest a need for tougher gun laws.

"Are we really prepared to say that we're powerless in the face of such carnage? That the politics are too hard?" he said.

For Congress, the politics have been too hard.

The combination of a powerful gun owners' lobby in the form of the National Rifle Association and a loss of public support for gun control has stymied efforts in recent years to tighten gun laws.

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11:58am

Mon December 17, 2012
It's All Politics

What Shut The Back Door To Congressional Compromise

Originally published on Mon December 17, 2012 12:50 pm

President Kennedy speaks with Senate GOP leader Everett Dirksen of Illinois in March 1961. Dirksen's support was critical to passing civil rights legislation through Congress.
Harvey Georges AP

Remember the important contributions Republicans made to civil rights legislation back in the 1960s?

They've almost been lost to memory. When Congress enacted the Civil Rights Act of 1964, the GOP presidential nominee that year, Arizona Sen. Barry Goldwater, opposed it, and Republicans have never recovered their former share of support among African-Americans.

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4:42am

Sun December 16, 2012
It's All Politics

Parting Advice From The Senators Leaving Congress

Originally published on Sun December 16, 2012 7:11 am

Indiana Republican Sen. Richard Lugar
Saul Loeb AFP/Getty Images

The United States is now just over two weeks away from a plunge over the "fiscal cliff" — that is, unless Congress can agree on a deal to prevent automatic tax hikes and spending cuts in the new year. But once again, Congress seems headed for the brink.

That's been happening more and more in recent years. And it was noted sadly by a string of retiring senators as they were bidding their colleagues farewell this past week.

Daniel Akaka

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6:34am

Sat December 15, 2012

2:53am

Thu December 13, 2012
Politics

Most Of Congress In The Dark On 'Fiscal Cliff' Talks

Originally published on Thu December 13, 2012 9:44 am

Of the 535 members of Congress, not many appear to be in the loop about the "fiscal cliff" negotiations. That makes the rest nervous about having to vote on a bill on short notice despite misgivings about what's in it. But this is often how major deals get accomplished in Washington.

In these budget negotiations, the names Boehner and Obama come up most often — and virtually all the rest are on the outside looking in.

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