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INSIDE POLITICS

The Washington Times' political blog.

  • Former Pakistani Prez Thinks Perry is In

    By Seth McLaughlin | Published July 21, 2011 Comments

    Count former Pakistani President Pervez Musharraf among those who think Texas Gov. Rick Perry is gearing up for a presidential run.

  • Reid: GOP budget bill among worst in history

    by Sean Lengell | Published July 21, 2011 Comments

    Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid on Thursday said the chamber will vote on Republican budget bill Friday, a day earlier than anticipated, before trashing the measure as among the "worst legislation in the history of this country."

  • Club: Paul's Achilles' heel is libertarian Ideology

    by Seth McLaughlin | Published July 21, 2011 Comments

    The Club for Growth, the influential fiscal conservative group, warned Thursday Rep. Ron Paul's unwavering libertarian views stops the Texas Republican from seeing that sometimes the perfect is the enemy of the good.

  • Regulators: Budget cuts would harm oversight of Wall St. reforms

    by Paige Winfield Cunningham | Published July 21, 2011 Comments

    Federal regulators on Thursday said budget cuts proposed by the House would hamper their ability to enforce new Wall Street rules under the Dodd-Frank Act.

  • Poll: Weakened Obama would lose vote today

    by Dave Boyer | Published July 21, 2011 Comments

    A Democratic polling firm said President Obama's already weak job-approval numbers are "worse than they appear" and he likely would lose the election if it were held today.

  • TOP GOP fundraiser betting on Perry 2012 bid

    by Seth McLaughlin | Published July 20, 2011 Comments

    Gov. Rick Perry hosted a group of top national Republican fundraiser Tuesday in Austin, leaving at least one of the 20 or so big-money bundlers in attendance convinced that he's going to jump into the presidential race.

  • Senate to work weekends until debt deal reached

    by Sean Lengell | Published July 18, 2011 Comments

    Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid says the Senate will stay in session every day — including weekends — until lawmakers gee to a compromise to increase the debt ceiling.

  • Tax code allowed deductions for body oils, office parties, and feeding stray cats

    by Stephen Dinan | Published July 18, 2011 Comments

    Tax breaks for whaling ship captains, feeding stray cats and holding office parties for low-wage employees all have been ruled legal under tax law, according to a new report that comes just as the debate over so-called "tax expenditures," estimated to be worth as much as $1 trillion a year, is heating up.

  • Obama would veto House budget bill

    by Sean Lengell | Published July 18, 2011 Comments

    President Obama would veto a proposed House Republican package to raise the nation's debt limit, balance the budget and cut spending, calling it an "empty political statement" that could hurt seniors and other vulnerable Americans, the White House said Monday.

  • Santorum's campaign take fails to impress

    by Seth McLaughlin | Published July 15, 2011 Comments

    Former Pennsylvania Sen. Rick Santorum's long-shot bid for president fell flat in his latest fundraising report, putting him far behind the presumed front-runner in the race, former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney.

  • Obama completes about-face on debt vote

    by Stephen Dinan | Published July 15, 2011 Comments

    President Obama said Friday that his least-preferred option in the ongoing spending talks is a "clean," unconditional debt limit increase without any spending cuts or tax increases attached — reversing his position from earlier this year when the White House said that would be using the debt issue as a "hostage."

  • White House hits GOP leaders on debt votes

    by Dave Boyer | Published July 14, 2011 Comments

    Raising the rhetorical stakes, the White House on Thursday called out Republican congressional leaders who administration officials said are being hypocritical in their reluctance to increase the nation's debt limit, saying the four lawmakers approved higher borrowing routinely until now.

  • Boehner rejects Camp David meeting

    by Stephen Dinan | Published July 14, 2011 Comments

    House Speaker John A. Boehner has told President Obama he sees no need to go to Camp David this weekend to continue debt talks.

  • CRS analysis: Obama can't use 14th amendment to circumvent debt limit

    by Stephen Dinan | Published July 13, 2011 Comments

    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.

  • WH reduces access to debt negotiations

    by Kara Rowland | Published July 13, 2011 Comments

    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.

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