The Washington Times' political blog.
The non-partisan Congressional Research Service has issued a new report saying that if Congress refuses to raise the government's borrowing limit, the White House cannot do so unilaterally under the Constitution's 14th Amendment.
Upset at the "circus" caused by reporters asking questions of the president at the beginning of Monday's debt negotiations meeting, the White House on Wednesday said it was restricting access to that day's meeting only to photographers. "The last time we had TV cameras in the meeting, it was less than three hours after the president had given a press conference, and people shouted questions at him, including people who had just had questions in the press conference," White House press secretary Jay Carney told reporters. "The meeting [-] purpose of the meeting is not to create a circus but to negotiate," he said. Lawmakers on Capitol Hill are beginning to rebel against the closed-door negotiations, which are being attended by President Obama and top Republican and Democratic leaders from Congress. Rank-and-file members say they don't want to be surprised by a last-minute deal that requires them to accept trillions of dollars in tax increases or spending cuts. Asked by a reporter why the White House doesn't shift to open talks considering that confidential negotiations have not produced a deal, Mr. Carney suggested the talks needed to be secret in order to ensure lawmakers would compromise on thorny issues. "I think that you know as well as I do that … this is difficult," he said. "And one of the reasons why when we talk about, and leaders of both parties have put it in these terms, that you have to get in the boat together, is because that there is -- that it's hard to get this done because of the differing opinions, and that it requires approaching it this way so that we can get in the boat together and it doesn't tip over." Before Wednesday, access to the negotiations had been granted to the full "pool," a rotating group of reporters that is given closer access to the president when he travels or holds noteworthy events. The pool had been let into the meetings for less than a minute and then ushered out, usually giving reporters a chance to shout a few questions, and giving both print and video photographers a chance to get images. Wednesday's meeting, though, was restricted just to the print photographers.
The Senate's top Republican said Wednesday that in the closed-door budget talks, the White House was offering just an additional $2 billion in actual spending cuts for 2012 — compared to an expected deficit of $1.1 trillion for the whole year.
Partisan tit for tat over raising the nation's debt limit continued Tuesday, as the No. 2 House Democrat rebuked GOP Majority Leader Eric Cantor for saying Republicans were making a concession simply by agreeing to join the negotiations.
Sen. Harry Reid surprised lawmakers last week by canceling the Senate's July 4 vacation last week to fight over the budget — only to instead schedule a vote on President Obama's troop deployment in Libya.
After 2½ years in office, President Obama now "owns" the economy as an issue, according to top adviser David Plouffe, who added he was confident that voters understand that recovering from a devastating recession Mr. Obama inherited takes time.
A new poll out this week finds that in a head-to-head battle against Texas Gov. Rick Perry in the 2012 presidential election, President Obama would emerge victorious the Lone Star state.
Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington has asked the Federal Bureau of Investigation to launch a criminal investigation of Rep. Laura Richardson regarding possible misuse of her staff.
President Obama's regulatory czar told a Capitol Hill gathering Tuesday that the administration has produced fewer burdensome rules for industry than did the administration of President George W. Bush.
The Club for Growth, the influential fiscal conservative group, released a glowing review Tuesday of Rep. Michelle Bachmann's tenure in Congress and the Minnesota state Senate, saying that the third-term lawmaker and 2012 presidential hopeful has a solid record of supporting pro-growth policies.
Rep. Trey Gowdy, South Carolina Republican, said Tuesday that he and other lawmakers looking into a controversial undercover federal gun sting want answers from the Obama administration on who approved the ill-fated Operation Fast and Furious.
Former Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty, in a speech Tuesday at the Council on Foreign Relations, plans to lay out his strategic vision for the nation's involvement in the Middle East, calling on his fellow Republicans not to shrink away from what he sees as the nation's commitments in the region.
Bristol Palin said her mother, former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin, has decided whether or not she'll run for president in 2012 — but she wouldn't tip her mom's hand.
Rep. Michele Bachmann kicked off her presidential campaign on Monday in Waterloo, Iowa, and in one interview surrounding the official event she promised to mimic the spirit of Waterloo's own John Wayne. The only problem, as one eagle-eyed reader notes: Waterloo's John Wayne was not the beloved movie star, but rather John Wayne Gacy, the serial killer.
At least one fellow Texas Republican believes Gov. Rick Perry, already flirting with a 2012 presidential run, is getting ready to jump into the race.
By John Solomon
How the government's punishing of the exposure of official wrongdoing can linger for years