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Asked About Gay Rights, Boehner Sticks to Economy

Essential Reads

One day after President Barack Obama roiled the political world by declaring his support for gay marriage, House Speaker John Boehner (R., Ohio) Thursday seemed determined to keep his distance from the subject. Pressed on the gay marriage issue at his weekly press conference, Mr. Boehner repeatedly tried to steer the discussion back to the economy.

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Iowa Rep. Steve King Upset with Boehner

On The Radar

Iowa GOP Rep. Steve King is frustrated. A day after the conservative lawmaker opted against endorsing any of the Republican Party's presidential contenders competing in tonight's caucuses, he vented further about the party's leadership in Congress. King expressed "real clear frustration" with the leadership of House Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio, for two offenses in 2011: ruling out the possibility of a government shutdown during the budget debate in the spring, and ruling out a U.S. default during the debt ceiling debate in the summer.

Newt Gingrich: Kibitzer-in-chief?

On The Radar

As Newt Gingrich will be the first to tell you, he is a man with a vast and deep résumé. One boast he has been offering lately makes the former House speaker and current presidential contender sound like a cross between Mr. Chips and Sun Tzu. “I am the longest-serving teacher in the senior military, 23 years teaching one- and two-star generals and admirals the art of war,” Gingrich said at the most recent GOP presidential debate in Iowa.

In Case You Were Wondering: We Have Been Here Before

Gwen's Take

“Politics is politics” House Speaker John Boehner opined Thursday, as he stepped before the cameras to explain why he would not back down in the payroll tax fight House Republicans have been waging with the Senate.

Seldom have truer words been spoken. And it was politics at work when -- even as Boehner was speaking -- his counterpart on the other side of the Capitol, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, was busy bailing water out of the boat.

Gingrich Uses Precious Time To Get On Va. Ballot

On The Radar

Newt Gingrich is frantically playing catch-up in the Republican presidential race, spending precious time trying to get on Virginia’s primary ballot while his rivals campaign in crucial Iowa and New Hampshire. The former House speaker is paying a price for his late start in organizing. Gingrich had to leave New Hampshire on Wednesday and race to Virginia, where he needs 10,000 valid voters’ signatures by Thursday to secure a spot on the March 6 ballot.

Obama Gets a Lift From Tax Battle With Republicans

On The Radar

After a long stretch of high unemployment, legislative turmoil and, in turn, slipping public approval, President Obama seemed to regain his political footing this week with the help of House Republicans, whose handling of a standoff over payroll taxes had even leading conservatives accusing them of bungling the politically charged issue.
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House Speaker Foresees Extension of Payroll Tax Cuts

On The Radar

House Speaker John Boehner told USA TODAY on Monday that he was optimistic that payroll tax cuts and unemployment benefits would be extended — despite a congressional stalemate that could result in millions of Americans losing both in the new year.
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Obama Professes Satisfaction With Payroll Tax Deal

On The Radar

President Obama triangulated, truncated and equivocated on his way to a pale compromise with lawmakers over the payroll tax. On Saturday, with Senate approval behind him and House action a question mark next week, he professed satisfaction with a result that will benefit 160 million Americans -- for eight weeks in 2012. "I'm glad that both parties in Congress came together," the president declared. "And I want to thank them for ensuring that as we head into the holidays, folks at home don't have to worry about their taxes going up."

Newt by Proxy

On The Radar

In 1995, then-House Speaker Newt Gingrich banned proxy votes in committees. That meant no longer could powerful chairmen (for 40 years previous, all Democrats) cast votes for lawmakers who skipped out on the marking-up of legislation. This is ironic because the reason Gingrich is the Republican presidential front-runner today is that several big-name Republicans essentially cast their proxy vote for him.

Gingrich Surges Ahead in Iowa

On The Radar

A month before the Republican nominating contest opens here, former Speaker Newt Gingrich holds a substantial lead among voters who say they are likely to participate in the Iowa caucuses, according to the latest New York Times/CBS News poll. Mr. Gingrich, whose presidential candidacy has steadily surged in recent weeks after a series of televised debates, won the support of 31 percent of Republicans and independents who say they will definitely or probably attend the Iowa caucuses on Jan. 3.