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With Fiscal Fights Looming, Can Simpson-Bowles Group Get Congress to Move?

August 27, 2013 With its bipartisan branding, boldface names, and big money, the Campaign to Fix the Debt muscled its way into Washington power politics last summer. But as Congress preps for yet another fiscal showdown, Democrats and Republicans doubt the group has the swat to push either side far enough toward the ...

Senate Republicans Prepare for Coming Fiscal Showdown

August 5, 2013 Mitch McConnell will be at the center of negotiations during this fall's fiscal showdown. It's inevitable, his allies say, and while his campaign team might not love it, they're now preparing to defend his dealings with Democrats, both from anti-compromise tea partiers and negotiating partners looking to score a few ...

Republicans, White House in Talks Toward Big Fiscal Deal

July 18, 2013 At least a dozen Republican senators are regularly meeting with President Obama’s top aides in an attempt to plot a way forward on the looming fiscal challenges facing leaders this fall, senators involved in the meetings tell National Journal. The meetings, which began after Obama hosted GOP senators for dinner ...

Nuclear Crisis Averted, Senate Begins Clearing Obama Nominees

July 17, 2013 After reaching a deal to move beyond a fight over filibusters Tuesday, the Senate is poised to take the rest of the week to clear a handful of long-delayed executive-branch nominations, including Thomas Perez as Labor secretary and Gina McCarthy as Environmental Protection Agency administrator. On a day that had ...

Senate Agrees to Up-or-Down Votes for Obama Nominees, Avoids 'Nuclear Option'

July 16, 2013 Senate Democrats and Republicans have reached an agreement on a process that would avert the "nuclear option" by allowing up or down votes on President Obama's executive nominees, according to Senate Democratic and Republican leadership aides. The deal, reached Tuesday morning by Republican Sen. John McCain and Democratic Sen. Chuck ...

GOP Not Backing Down on Border Security in Immigration Bill

June 14, 2013 Despite publicly rallying around an aggressive plan from Sen. John Cornyn, R-Texas, to secure the border, Republicans are privately conceding that staunch Democratic opposition means it likely doesn’t have the votes to pass. But that doesn’t mean the issue goes down too. Conservatives still want border-security improvements and are warning ...

The Republicans' Plan to Take Down the Consumer Protection Agency Chief

June 6, 2013 If Harry Reid goes nuclear, Senate Republicans plan to make the fight personal—and their first target will be the man sitting atop the still-controversial Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. Democrats are eyeing the so-called nuclear option to blow up Senate rules that allow Republicans to block the confirmation of President Obama’s ...

Don't Expect Any Backroom Deals on Sequester -- For Now

March 1, 2013 There’s been so much talk about relationships in Washington recently that opening a newspaper can feel a bit like reading Cosmo. House Speaker John Boehner and President Obama don’t get along, what with the speaker saying the president doesn’t have “the guts” to cut spending. Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell ...

Once unthinkable, severe spending cuts now seem plausible

January 24, 2013 Republicans and Democrats in the Senate appear to be coming to the same conclusion on spending, namely that once unthinkable, draconian cuts designed to force a more reasonable compromise may be much harder to undo than anyone ever imagined. For Republicans, the automatic, across-the-board spending cuts are an increasingly palatable ...

Senate likely to pass 'No Budget No Pay' debt limit fix

January 23, 2013 Senate Democrats are likely to pass a House Republican bill to suspend the debt ceiling until May, ensuring that the government can pay its bills while lawmakers attempt to solve yet another raft of tricky fiscal issues this spring, Democratic aides said Tuesday. The House is expected to vote on ...