WASHINGTON - Helen Thomas, the feisty, trailblazing White House reporter who tore down historical barriers that had stymied women journalists for generations, died Saturday at 92.
WASHINGTON - The blur of Washington news this week - major decisions on voting rights, affirmative action, same-sex marriage and immigration - was a vivid illustration of how Americans are grappling with fundamental social change.
WASHINGTON - The Senate Thursday voted 68-32 to overhaul the nation's immigration system, an ambitious plan that creates a path to citizenship for millions of undocumented immigrants while requiring tough new steps to secure the nation's borders.
WASHINGTON - Eight U.S. senators - six Democrats and two Republicans - demanded Tuesday that the public be given more details about the top-secret surveillance programs that scoop up the phone and Internet records of millions of Americans.
WASHINGTON - The revelations that the government has secret programs to collect data from U.S. phone records and the Internet are unlikely to force any significant changes in the program, at least not anytime soon.
WASHINGTON - Fueled by fresh, terse testimony Tuesday from conservative groups detailing intense IRS scrutiny, a powerful lawmaker with watchdog responsibility for the agency promised a relentless effort to get answers from officials at all levels of the Internal Revenue Service.
WASHINGTON - A group of anti-abortion activists in Iowa had to promise the Internal Revenue Service it wouldn't picket in front of Planned Parenthood.
WASHINGTON - Congress headed home this weekend for a nine-day break, leaving behind much of the trouble it was elected to help ease.
WASHINGTON - The same-sex-marriage battle won't be settled with a Supreme Court decision, regardless of what the justices rule.
WASHINGTON - Republicans are touting a 100-page report full of lofty talk about reaching out to minority voters and projecting an air of tolerance. But three paragraphs spell out another way of doing business: stalking Democrats.
WASHINGTON - Senate Democrats on Wednesday unveiled their first budget plan in nearly four years, a proposal that sets up a lengthy fight with Republicans over the two parties' stark differences on taxes, spending and the future of Medicare.
WASHINGTON - It's become an annual ritual: Congress can't agree on a budget, so it adopts a "continuing resolution" to keep the government funded.
WASHINGTON - Faced with tough re-election campaigns and constituents clamoring for government services, Republican governors in some big swing states are turning pragmatic, pulling away from the conservative line that helped them win in 2010.
CHARLOTTE, N.C. - America's two major political parties are prisoners of their images, stifling their ability to broaden their appeal.
WASHINGTON - They don't manage crises. They manage by crisis.
WASHINGTON - Congress is frantically trying to wrap up its 2012 session, with the fates of storm victims, farmers, the military, jobless workers and others highly uncertain.
WASHINGTON - Both major political parties may have their fingerprints on long-simmering problems in the federal budget, but just one created the current crisis known as the fiscal cliff.
WASHINGTON - Saving billions of dollars in anticipated federal spending, at least for awhile, may not be that difficult.
WASHINGTON - Congress returns next week with hopes of a big deal but strong odds favoring another piecemeal approach to avoid the so-called fiscal cliff, in a race against the clock to address tax and budget issues while keeping the U.S. economy from tumbling back into recession.
BOSTON - Mitt Romney staked his campaign on the economy, and the economy let him down.
WASHINGTON - Hurricane Sandy added an unprecedented dose of uncertainty to an already-unpredictable presidential race Monday, forcing President Obama and Republican Mitt Romney to scramble their campaign schedules and raising the possibility that some states might have to alter Election Day plans.
WASHINGTON - With his fortunes in several battleground states fading, Mitt Romney will step onto the stage Wednesday night to debate President Obama in what could be one of his last opportunities to change the dynamics of the 2012 election.
CHARLOTTE, N.C. - Get ready for an all-out brawl in 10 too-close-to-call battleground states as President Obama and Mitt Romney begin a two-month sprint to Election Day.
CHARLOTTE, N.C. - The Democrats' 2012 convention may be energizing women and minorities, but it may not help them with the white working class.
WASHINGTON - It's now clear this election will be a stark choice between two candidates with dramatically different visions of how to govern America.
WASHINGTON - Rep. Nancy Pelosi was emphatic. Mitt Romney's refusal to release more than two years of his personal tax returns, she said, makes him unfit to win confirmation as a member of the president's Cabinet, let alone to hold the high office himself.
WASHINGTON - A clearly divided Supreme Court cast serious doubts on the Obama administration's signature health-care law Tuesday, emboldening the Republicans who now are eagerly campaigning to kill it.
WASHINGTON - The Supreme Court will engage this week in a historic three-day showdown over health care, leading to decisions that could ensnare everyone from private citizens to the president of the United States.
NORTH CHARLESTON, S.C. — Newt Gingrich lashed out angrily at the
news media Thursday night for fresh reporting on his failed second
marriage, in an extraordinary opening to a high-stakes debate two
days before a pivotal GOP presidential primary in South
SIOUX CITY, Iowa — Newt Gingrich found his record challenged
repeatedly in a high-stakes debate Thursday, the last chance for
him and his rivals to appear together in a televised debate before
voting for the 2012 Republican presidential nomination starts in
less than three weeks.
WASHINGTON - The Supreme Court's announcement Monday that it
will consider multiple challenges to the Obama administration's
health-care law next year sets the stage for a legal and political
WASHINGTON - Supreme Court justices appear poised to thrust
themselves and the Obama administration's signature health-care law
smack into the middle of the 2012 election.
TROY, Mich. - A year before the presidential election, President
Obama and Mitt Romney already are slugging away at each other day
after day, as if they're already their parties' nominees.
WASHINGTON - The tea party movement roars into the Republican
presidential spotlight today, as grass-roots conservative-coalition
members are scheduled to question GOP candidates at a Tampa, Fla.,
WASHINGTON - Lawmakers in Congress return to Washington Tuesday
after a monthlong recess, during which the economy continued to
stumble, the government's fiscal crisis deepened and lawmakers'
poll numbers plummeted after the debt-ceiling debacle of July.
WASHINGTON - White House and congressional leaders plan to
intensify their efforts this week to reach some agreement on a
sweeping budget deficit-cutting proposal by July 1, a plan that
most lawmakers insist be part of any agreement to raise the
nation's debt ceiling.
MANCHESTER, N.H. - On the eve of the first 2012 Republican
presidential candidates' debate in this crucial state on Monday
night, two distinct battles are under way: A split among diehard
conservatives, and another within the more mainstream,
willing-to-bend establishment GOP wing.
WASHINGTON - Republicans in Congress are eager to stuff any
budget deal with a host of conservative social policies, such as
dismantling the new health-care law and barring federal aid to
WASHINGTON - Minutes after the Senate rejected a huge,
controversial Republican budget-cutting plan last week, Democrats
pounced hard, blasting moderate GOP senators who supported the
WASHINGTON - President Obama proposed a $3.7 trillion budget
Monday for fiscal 2012 that he said will start reining in runaway
budget deficits, but his plan envisions the national debt swelling
by almost $13 trillion over a decade.
WASHINGTON - The Senate on Wednesday rejected the Republican
effort to repeal the 2010 health-care law, a vote likely to
reverberate politically, as both sides used the debate to make
partisan points they see boosting them for 2012 elections.
WASHINGTON - Social Security's strong political support is
slowly growing shakier.
WASHINGTON - Despite what Republicans say, the 2010 health-care
law isn't necessarily going to eliminate jobs, experts say.
WASHINGTON - Even as the House of Representatives' newly elected
leaders made lofty calls for civility and bipartisanship on
Wednesday, the rank-and-file members engaged in sharp political
warfare over the federal budget and health care.
WASHINGTON - Dozens of tax breaks designed to help a wide
variety of interests - students, teachers, energy companies and
lots of others - are due to expire at the end of the year, and most
of them have been tacked on to the White House/Republican tax-cut
deal to help it get through Congress.
WASHINGTON - The Senate Thursday blocked a bid to repeal the
"don't ask, don't tell" policy toward gays in the military, a vote
likely to doom the effort this year.
WASHINGTON - President Obama reached agreement Monday with
congressional Republicans to extend and deepen tax cuts temporarily
- and extend unemployment insurance - in hopes of stirring the
economy and creating jobs.
WASHINGTON - Newly invigorated Senate Republicans plan to take a
small but symbolic step today to show they're serious about curbing
spending, when they formally support a moratorium on "earmarks,"
the thousands of local projects stuffed into legislation that add
up to billions of federal dollars.
WASHINGTON - With a week to go before the elections, independent
groups, most of them with sharp partisan leanings, have spent
$257.7 million to influence political campaigns, nearly quadrupling
such interest groups' total spending in the last midterm election,
according to a Washington watc…
WASHINGTON - The tea party movement's grass-roots conservatives
rocked the political world this year by upsetting mainstream
Republicans in several nominating contests, but they remain an
uncertain force in November.