National Journal Online

Why This Congressional Chaos Isn't About to End

When it comes to the end-of-session loggerheads, what’s important to
 understand is that Congress isn’t simply “dysfunctional,” as it’s
 blithely labeled, but it’s being torn by forces that are real, 
historic, and unlikely to abate even with the 2012 election.

On Friday it seemed plausible to think that Congress was done for the 
year, save for House approval of extending the 
payroll-tax cut and unemployment insurance—but there were hints of 
surging discontent.

Posted: Sunday, December 18, 2011 - 6:40pm

Boehner: House Opposes Senate Payroll Tax Bill

The Senate’s two-month payroll tax extension is dead on arrival in the House. House Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio, made that perfectly clear Sunday morning as he said that Congress will have to negotiate a deal closer to the House-passed one-year extension  before members leave for the holidays.

“Well, it’s pretty clear that I and our members oppose the Senate bill – it’s only for two months,” Boehner said on NBC’s Meet the Press. “If you talk to employers, they talk about the uncertainty. How can you do tax policy for two months?”

Posted: Sunday, December 18, 2011 - 4:40pm

QUICK TAKE: Reid has Angry Reaction to Boehner Comments

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., reacted angrily to Speaker John Boehner's comments Sunday that a bipartisan payroll-tax package approved in the Senate this weekend was dead on arrival in the House.

Reid negotiated the deal with Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., last week, after Boehner departed the talks in the middle of last week, challenging the Senate leaders to produce a plan. The two-month extension of the payroll tax break and unemployment benefits that resulted from those negotiations sailed through the Senate 89 to 10 on Saturday.

Posted: Sunday, December 18, 2011 - 2:40pm

Boehner: House Opposes Senate Payroll Tax Bill

The Senate’s two-month payroll tax extension is dead on arrival in the House. House Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio, made that perfectly clear Sunday morning as he said that Congress will have to negotiate a deal closer to the House-passed one-year extension  before members leave for the holidays.

“Well, it’s pretty clear that I and our members oppose the Senate bill – it’s only for two months,” Boehner said on NBC’s Meet the Press. “If you talk to employers, they talk about the uncertainty. How can you do tax policy for two months?”

Posted: Sunday, December 18, 2011 - 12:40pm

Huntsman Defends His Position

GOP presidential candidate Jon Huntsman defended his campaign’s seeming lack of traction with conservative voters Sunday morning while taking jabs at frontrunners Mitt Romney and Newt Gingrich.

The former Utah governor, speaking on CNN’s “State of the Union” from New Hampshire, highlighted his rise to third in the polls in the key state. He said that he is climbing slowly because he is, “not going to pander.”

Posted: Sunday, December 18, 2011 - 11:40am

Romney Defends Controversial 'Money Photo'

In his first appearance on a Sunday show in almost two years, Mitt Romney spent much of his time defending his policy prescriptions and his work in the private sector, including a photo of him and his colleagues adorned with money.  

Posted: Sunday, December 18, 2011 - 11:40am

Dempsey: Candidate Remarks 'Offensive'

RIYADH – Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Martin Dempsey blasted a common refrain heard on the GOP presidential campaign trail – that as president candidates would listen to the generals – as "offensive."

Demspey returns to Washington soon from an extensive trip to the region and will have to sell his belief that the U.S. will need some type of military presence in Afghanistan beyond 2014. Asked if he thinks his advice will be heard in Washington next year, when the phrase "listen to the generals" is a hot political talking point, Dempsey gave a sharp response.

Posted: Sunday, December 18, 2011 - 11:40am

Playwright President Vaclav Havel Dies

Vaclav Havel, the Czech dissident playwright who served as his country's first democratically-elected president after throwing off Soviet rule, died Sunday morning, The New York Times reported. He was 75.

Posted: Sunday, December 18, 2011 - 11:40am

Playwrite President Vaclav Havel Dies

Vaclav Havel, the Czech dissident playwrite who served as his country's first democratically-elected president after throwing off Soviet rule, died Sunday morning, The New York Times reported. He was 75.

Posted: Sunday, December 18, 2011 - 9:40am

Romney Finds "Happy Place" with Editorial

For Mitt Romney, the pages of the Des Moines Register must be his "happy place."

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Posted: Sunday, December 18, 2011 - 9:40am