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2 hrs ago | Roll Call
The Senate Finance Committee's hearing to consider President Barack Obama's nominee to run the IRS became the latest casualty of procedural sparring on Tuesday.
Should free speech ever be restricted?
Do undocumented immigrants contribute to the economy?
6 hrs ago | The Washington Post
If we are going to get a deal to replace the sequester, which looks likely, perhaps one key reason may be as follows: This time, the incentives favor Republicans showing they can enter into the basic give and take of governing.
8 hrs ago | The Courier-Journal
<![CDATA[PIKEVILLE, KY. -- Eastern Kentucky has made much progress in recent years and few know that better than U.S. Rep Hal Rogers, the Somerset Republican who has spent much of his long tenure in Congress helping make it possible. Monday, he used his opening remarks at an extraordinary gathering on the region's future to list some past accomplishments. Among items he mentioned at the one-day SOAR conference (Shaping Our Appalachian Region) in Pikeville: * Cleaning up litter, including the junked cars and rusting appliances that used to clutter the hills and hollows of Eastern Kentucky. * Removing "straight pipes," the notorious drains that spewed sewage straight into streams. * Organizing programs to fight illegal drugs and prescription drug abuse that have exercised an especially corrosive grip on the region. Yet he and Gov. Steve Beshear made it very clear at Monday's SOAR meeting that the problems of Eastern Kentucky are stubborn and deep. They include generational poverty, high unemployment, low educational attainment, poor health and entrenched political corruption. Such problems will require a sustained effort to help the people of Eastern Kentucky, who account for about one-fifth of Kentucky's population, become better educated, find meaningful employment and lead productive lives. Gov. Beshear was particularly blunt in calling for citizens and elected leaders to face reality about coal, once king in Eastern Kentucky but now a fading force in jobs and energy. While coal has been a "foundation" of the region's economy and remains important, "there should be no doubt in anyone's mind that its role as an employer is reducing," he said. "To ignore that is to blindfold ourselves and stick our heads in the sand." Gov. Beshear described as "urgent" the need to address challenges facing the region. Apparently many in Kentucky agree. About 1,700 people showed up for the day-long event, including elected officials, community advocates, government workers and local leaders. The event itself had a remarkable bipartisan flavor, highlighted by the joint appearance of Rep. Rogers and Gov. Beshear, a Democrat. As co-hosts and keynote speakers, they both urged putting the future of Eastern Kentucky ahead of party differences. Rep. Rogers, serving in a U.S. House currently fractured by bitter partisan politics, gave no hint of such rancor as he spoke simply and directly on behalf of bipartisan solutions that would bring new jobs, technology and prosperity to his region. One of his greatest ambitions, he said, is to stop the "brain drain" of young people from Eastern Kentucky and allow them to remain in "these beloved hills from whence we come." It was a refreshing contrast to U.S. Sen. Mitch McConnell, the Louisville Republican and Senate minority leader who skipped the Monday SOAR meeting but staged his own event Friday in Pikeville to denounce the so-called "war on coal" of the Obama administration. Mr. McConnell, according to a political website, was attending an out-of-state fundraiser Monday. Seeking a sixth U.S. Senate term, Mr. McConnell continues the tiresome tirade about coal even as others are willing to move forward, seeking broader and better opportunities for Eastern Kentucky. Monday's SOAR conference was just a start. Organizers acknowledge they must work to come up with solutions and ideas to prove the event isn't another meaningless study of Eastern Kentucky. But it's an impressive start. And it offers great promise under the leadership of those willing to put aside personal politics for true advancement of an important region and its proud people.
In January, will the federal government be shuttered again? At first thought, it seems inconceivable that Congress would want to go through another protracted fight like the one that shut things down for 16 days in October.
With Sen. Thad Cochran's decision last week to seek re-election, the six-term incumbent must now begin hiring a political team and getting serious about fundraising.
A Washington fundraiser later this week for North Carolina state House Speaker Thom Tillis and his U.S. Senate campaign reportedly has received the stamp of approval from some big Republican names, including Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell.
Miguel Estrada, whose 2002 nomination to a federal judgeship was filibustered by Senate Democrats, will represent Senate Republicans in their recess appointments case against President Obama.
The chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff is warning Congress that failure to act on a defense policy bill before year's end would create more uncertainty for the military and undercut the nation's commanders.
House and Senate negotiators were putting the finishing touches Sunday on what would be the first successful budget accord since 2011, when the battle over a soaring national debt first paralyzed Washington.
Thad Cochran, a six-term Senator with a shock of white hair, is the spitting image of the Republican establishment.
With the start of the Affordable Care Act just weeks away, lawmakers and their staffs have until the end of Monday to enroll in new health-care exchanges established by the law, or decide to pay out of pocket for a different public or private insurance plan.
Largely shut out of the budget negotiations, Capitol Hill's minority parties are getting increasingly antsy about the emerging agreement.
Senator Elizabeth Warren is helping trying to get more women elected to the U.S. Senate and she's fundraising for three Democratic female candidates for next year's election: As a little girl, I never would have thought I'd be here today, doing what I'm doing.
Three days after it was first reported that none of the three major candidates in next year's U.S. Senate race were planning to attend tomorrow's Shaping Our Appalachian Region summit, one campaign now says their candidate will be there for at least part of the day.
U.S. Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell offered some Kentucky wisdom - "there's no education in the second kick of a mule" - when asked about the prospect of another government shutdown , but some members of Congress seem determined to test the proposition.
There's a saying that goes, 'If you can't win, cheat like hell' and it's apparently the motto that the GOP has taken to heart across the country in their latest attempts to sabotage the Affordable Care Act.