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Scrappy, enduring reporter covered 10 presidents

Scrappy, enduring reporter covered 10 presidents

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.

July 21, 2013 12:00 amLoading…

US wrestles with huge changes in social mores

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.

June 29, 2013 12:00 amLoading…
Senate passes immigration overhaul

Senate passes immigration overhaul

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.

June 28, 2013 12:00 amLoading…
Senate leaders defend online, phone snooping

Senate leaders defend online, phone snooping

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.

June 12, 2013 12:00 amLoading…
Lawmakers seek to curb US on phone, online snooping

Lawmakers seek to curb US on phone, online snooping

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.

June 11, 2013 12:00 amLoading…
Conservative groups describe IRS harassment

Conservative groups describe IRS harassment

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.

June 05, 2013 12:00 amLoading…
More than tea-party organizations may have been audited by the IRS

More than tea-party organizations may have been audited by the IRS

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.

June 01, 2013 12:00 amLoading…

Congress heads home for another recess

WASHINGTON - Congress headed home this weekend for a nine-day break, leaving behind much of the trouble it was elected to help ease.

April 27, 2013 12:00 amLoading…

Public opinion, not court, to decide Public opinion, not court, to decide gay-marriage issue

WASHINGTON - The same-sex-marriage battle won't be settled with a Supreme Court decision, regardless of what the justices rule.

March 29, 2013 12:00 amLoading…

Candid camera now an important tool in political warfare

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.

March 22, 2013 12:00 amLoading…

Dems, GOP face off on budgets pl

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.

March 14, 2013 12:00 amLoading…

Everything you always wanted to know about 'continuing resolutions'

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.

March 07, 2013 12:00 amLoading…

Some GOP govs abandon hard line

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.

February 25, 2013 12:00 amLoading…

Hard-left, hard-right images make parties' wider messages a hard sell

CHARLOTTE, N.C. - America's two major political parties are prisoners of their images, stifling their ability to broaden their appeal.

February 03, 2013 12:00 amLoading…
Weak compromise reflects a politically hobbled process

Weak compromise reflects a politically hobbled process

WASHINGTON - They don't manage crises. They manage by crisis.

January 01, 2013 12:00 amLoading…

Plenty to do, but little expected as the curtain falls on Congress

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.

December 17, 2012 12:00 amLoading…

Years of GOP moves led to fiscal cliff crisis

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.

December 02, 2012 12:00 amLoading…

Some US budget cuts won't be so hard to achieve

WASHINGTON - Saving billions of dollars in anticipated federal spending, at least for awhile, may not be that difficult.

November 23, 2012 12:00 amLoading…

'Fiscal cliff': It's time to put up or shut up - or not

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.

November 09, 2012 12:00 amLoading…

Analysis: Romney unable to spin poor economy into win

BOSTON - Mitt Romney staked his campaign on the economy, and the economy let him down.

November 07, 2012 12:00 amLoading…

Storm shakes up campaign, maybe Election Day, too

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.

October 30, 2012 12:00 amLoading…

Romney facing critical test in Wednesday's first debate

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.

September 30, 2012 12:00 amLoading…
Fall brawl begins in 10 tossup states

Fall brawl begins in 10 tossup states

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.

September 09, 2012 12:00 am Photos

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Working-class whites gravitating back to GOP

CHARLOTTE, N.C. - The Democrats' 2012 convention may be energizing women and minorities, but it may not help them with the white working class.

September 06, 2012 12:00 amLoading…

Attention voters: Fasten your seat belts

WASHINGTON - It's now clear this election will be a stark choice between two candidates with dramatically different visions of how to govern America.

August 19, 2012 12:00 amLoading…
Despite calls for openness, most in Congress keep taxes a secret

Despite calls for openness, most in Congress keep taxes a secret

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.

July 19, 2012 12:00 am Photos

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Skepticism rules justices' remarks on health law

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.

March 28, 2012 12:00 amLoading…

Health-care overhaul is set for 3-day high-court review

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.

March 25, 2012 12:00 amLoading…

Gingrich scolds media for spotlighting ex-wife's complaint

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 Carolina.

January 19, 2012 9:10 pmLoading…

Gingrich comes under attack in last debate before Iowa caucuses

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.

December 15, 2011 9:06 pmLoading…

Justices make it official, will enter fray on disputed health-care law

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 blockbuster.

November 15, 2011 12:00 amLoading…

High court likely to put health-care law on its agenda

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.

November 13, 2011 12:00 amLoading…
Obama campaign acts like Romney is GOP pick

Obama campaign acts like Romney is GOP pick

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.

November 13, 2011 12:00 am Photos

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Tea party gets chance to quiz GOP field tonight

Tea party gets chance to quiz GOP field tonight

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., debate.

September 12, 2011 12:00 amLoading…

Lawmakers return amid few signs of partisan letup

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.

September 05, 2011 12:00 amLoading…

Push for a deficit-reduction deal likely to intensify in coming week

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.

June 19, 2011 12:00 amLoading…
New Hampshire 'wide open' on eve of first GOP debate

New Hampshire 'wide open' on eve of first GOP debate

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.

June 12, 2011 12:00 amLoading…

GOP leaders most likely to accept budget deal without social issues

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 Planned Parenthood.

April 03, 2011 12:00 amLoading…

GOP moderates feeling heat from two sides

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 package.

March 13, 2011 12:00 amLoading…

Obama spending plan sets up clash with GOP

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.

February 15, 2011 12:00 amLoading…

Repeal of health-care law rejected

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.

February 03, 2011 12:00 amLoading…

Support for Social Security in Congress grows weaker

WASHINGTON - Social Security's strong political support is slowly growing shakier.

January 28, 2011 12:00 amLoading…

Health law effect on jobs is unclear

WASHINGTON - Despite what Republicans say, the 2010 health-care law isn't necessarily going to eliminate jobs, experts say.

January 18, 2011 12:00 amLoading…
Boehner, as new speaker: Be cordial

Boehner, as new speaker: Be cordial

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.

January 06, 2011 12:00 am Photos

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Special-interest breaks sweeten tax-cut deal

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.

December 12, 2010 12:00 amLoading…

Senate keeps 'don't ask, don't tell'; vote for repeal falls flat

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.

December 10, 2010 12:00 amLoading…
Obama, GOP agree: Keep tax cuts for all

Obama, GOP agree: Keep tax cuts for all

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.

December 07, 2010 12:00 amLoading…
GOP senators to back ban on earmarks

GOP senators to back ban on earmarks

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.

November 16, 2010 12:00 amLoading…

Interest groups splurge on voters

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…

October 26, 2010 12:00 am Related

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Tea party's general election muscle an unknown

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.

October 03, 2010 12:00 amLoading…

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