David Welna http://wfpl.org en 'Pretty Good' Budget Deal Looks Good Enough To Avoid Shutdown http://wfpl.org/post/pretty-good-budget-deal-looks-good-enough-avoid-shutdown For the first time in years, the House of Representatives is expected to approve a massive new spending bill Wednesday that keeps federal agencies operating until a new fiscal year starts in October.<p>The so-called "omnibus" package of all 12 annual spending bills is a compromise; it has more money in it than what Congressional Republicans wanted, but less than what President Obama had asked for. Wed, 15 Jan 2014 11:59:26 +0000 David Welna 8245 at http://wfpl.org 'Pretty Good' Budget Deal Looks Good Enough To Avoid Shutdown The War Over Poverty: A Deep Divide On How To Help http://wfpl.org/post/war-over-poverty-deep-divide-how-help All this week, Majority Leader Harry Reid declared over and over on the Senate floor that there's a downside to the recovering economy.<p>"It's true," he said. "The rich are getting a lot richer, and the poor are getting poorer."<p>That observation may not be surprising, coming from a Democrat. Less expected, perhaps, is a similar lament made the same day by the Senate's Republican leader, Mitch McConnell.<p>"We all know the stock market's been doing great, so the richest among us are doing just fine," McConnell said. "But what about the poor? Sun, 12 Jan 2014 13:30:52 +0000 David Welna 8211 at http://wfpl.org The War Over Poverty: A Deep Divide On How To Help Congress Is On Pace To Be The Least Productive Ever http://wfpl.org/post/congress-pace-be-least-productive-ever We're only at halftime for the 113th Congress, but if current trends hold, it's well on track to being the least productive lawmaking effort in the nation's history.<p>During this Congress' first yearlong session, just 58 bills became law — and many that did were about naming post offices or transferring federal lands. In fact, the most memorable act of Congress this year may well have been its failure to act in time to avoid a government shutdown.<p>President Obama began the year, and his second term in the White House, with high hopes for moving his agenda through Congress. Tue, 24 Dec 2013 11:21:22 +0000 David Welna 8012 at http://wfpl.org Congress Is On Pace To Be The Least Productive Ever With Nominees Stalled, Democrats Reprise Filibuster Threat http://wfpl.org/post/nominees-stalled-democrats-reprise-filibuster-threat For the third time this year, the Democrats who run the Senate are threatening to change that chamber's rules on the Republican minority's most potent weapon: the filibuster. Thu, 21 Nov 2013 11:57:37 +0000 David Welna 7635 at http://wfpl.org With Nominees Stalled, Democrats Reprise Filibuster Threat How The Debt Limit Became 'A Nuclear-Tipped Leverage Point' http://wfpl.org/post/how-debt-limit-became-nuclear-tipped-leverage-point Political battles over the debt limit have been around nearly as long as the law passed by Congress in 1917 that set a statutory limit for how much debt the Treasury could accrue.<p>Since then, Congress has had to increase that limit on more than 100 occasions — and 40 of those times, lawmakers have tried to tie strings to raising the debt ceiling. Mon, 14 Oct 2013 10:34:34 +0000 David Welna 7203 at http://wfpl.org How The Debt Limit Became 'A Nuclear-Tipped Leverage Point' After The Senate Filibuster Deal: Still 'Room For Bad Behavior' http://wfpl.org/post/after-senate-filibuster-deal-still-room-bad-behavior It was the eve of a series of votes to end GOP filibusters of seven presidential appointees, and Democrats had vowed they would resort to the "nuclear option" and get rid of such filibusters altogether should any of those stalled nominees remain blocked.<p>All but two of the Senate's 100 members squeezed into the camera-free old chamber that the Senate used until just before the Civil War. Sat, 20 Jul 2013 11:23:01 +0000 David Welna 6190 at http://wfpl.org After The Senate Filibuster Deal: Still 'Room For Bad Behavior' Some Gun Control Opponents Cite Fear Of Government Tyranny http://wfpl.org/post/fears-government-tyranny-push-some-reject-gun-control As the Senate returns from a two-week spring recess Monday, topping its agenda is legislation to try to curb the kind of gun violence that took the lives of 20 first-graders in Connecticut last December.<p>Recent polls show broad popular support for enhanced background checks and bans on military-style guns and ammunition. Mon, 08 Apr 2013 10:08:09 +0000 David Welna 4880 at http://wfpl.org Some Gun Control Opponents Cite Fear Of Government Tyranny Sen. Rubio's Response Gives GOP A Chance To Woo Hispanics http://wfpl.org/post/sen-rubios-response-gives-gop-chance-woo-hispanics Republican leaders have tapped Marco Rubio, a 41-year-old Cuban-American senator from Florida, to deliver the official GOP response to President Obama's State of the Union address Tuesday night.<p>It's a chance for a party that has fared badly with both young and Hispanic voters to showcase a fast-rising, youthful Latino with a new stance on immigration.<p>In making the announcement on the GOP response, House Speaker John Boehner called Rubio "one of our party's most dynamic and inspiring leaders." <em>Time </em>magazine has Rubio, the son of Cuban immigrants, on its current cover, where it ca Tue, 12 Feb 2013 21:01:16 +0000 David Welna 3954 at http://wfpl.org Sen. Rubio's Response Gives GOP A Chance To Woo Hispanics Congressional Leaders Hopeful As Fiscal Cliff Deadline Nears http://wfpl.org/post/congressional-leaders-hopeful-fiscal-cliff-deadline-nears Even though the top four congressional leaders left their White House meeting with the president separately and silently on Friday, they cast the hourlong encounter in a positive light back at the Capitol.<p>House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi described the tone of the discussion to head off across-the-board tax hikes and spending cuts as "candid." An aide to House Speaker John Boehner put out a statement that noted that the group agreed the next step should be the Senate's — a tacit acknowledgement that Boehner is no longer the lead negotiator with President Obama.<p>"It was very constructive, Sat, 29 Dec 2012 14:53:25 +0000 David Welna 3177 at http://wfpl.org Congressional Leaders Hopeful As Fiscal Cliff Deadline Nears