THURSDAY, MARCH 22, 2012
Ryan budget passes committee by one vote
The House Budget Committee approved Chairman Paul Ryan’s 2013 budget resolution on Wednesday night by a close vote of 19 to 18.
Two conservative Republicans voted against the Ryan plan, which cuts spending by $5.3 trillion over ten years, because it did not cut the budget fast enough. Reps. Justin Amash (R-Mich.) and Tim Huelskamp (R-Kan.) voted no.
JOBS Act clears hurdle, faces others
The Senate moved forward Wednesday on a popular assortment of bills to roll back regulations targeting small businesses and startups.
But Democrats are reviving a push to add more oversight, which they argue is critical to protect investors from fraud. That could complicate the path forward, despite broad overall support among lawmakers and the White House.
OVERNIGHT HEALTH: House moves toward IPAB repeal
The House began debate Wednesday on a bill to repeal part of the healthcare reform law and impose new limits on medical malpractice suits, setting up a vote Thursday. The bill is expected to pass, but with less bipartisan support than it had before the malpractice limits were added.
Rep. Phil Roe’s (R-Tenn.) stand-alone bill to repeal the Independent Payment Advisory Board (IPAB) had garnered 20 Democratic co-sponsors. But only five Democrats sided with the GOP on a procedural vote Wednesday that opened the floor debate. Leadership sacrificed Democratic votes by paying for the IPAB repeal bill with tort reform, a non-starter for many on the left.
OPINION: Health care reform: Repeal disastrous Affordable Care Act (Sen. Orrin Hatch and Sen. Mike Enzi)
President Barack Obama’s unconstitutional $2.6 trillion health spending law turns two years old Friday. But the American people aren’t up for celebrating.
Seventy-two percent of Americans, including 56 percent of Democrats, believe the law’s mandate requiring Americans to buy insurance even if they don’t want it is unconstitutional, according to a recent Gallup Poll.
Obama vows to drill ‘everywhere we can’
As rising gasoline prices continue to plague the White House, President Obama moved aggressively Wednesday to parry GOP claims that he’s stifling U.S. oil and natural gas development with a short, camera-friendly speech at a New Mexico oil field.
In perhaps the president’s biggest photo-op to date on energy, the White House sought to use a clear visual — a working oil field dotted with pumps — to display the increases in U.S. oil production in recent years and support for continued expansion.
Student-Loan Debt Tops $1 Trillion
The amount Americans owe on student loans is far higher than earlier estimates and could lead some consumers to postpone buying homes, potentially slowing the housing recovery, U.S. officials said Wednesday.
Total student debt outstanding appears to have surpassed $1 trillion late last year, said officials at the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, a federal agency created in the wake of the financial crisis. That would be roughly 16% higher than an estimate earlier this year by the Federal Reserve Bank of New York.
McCaskill deals serious blow to BRAC
Sen. Claire McCaskill (D-Mo.) said Wednesday that she will not let new rounds of base closures pass her subcommittee this year, dealing a potentially fatal blow to the Pentagon’s plans for the Base Realignment and Closure Commission (BRAC) in its 2013 budget.
“There is one area where there is absolutely no room for compromise this year, and that is BRAC,” McCaskill said Wednesday at a hearing of the Senate Armed Services Readiness and Management Support subcommittee, which she chairs.