- GOP: Environmental rules keeping agents from accessing border
- John Kerry: Millions displaced by religious fighting in 2013
- Federal appeals court rules against Virginia’s same-sex marriage ban
- White House says Russia ‘losing’ war in Ukraine
- Hamas turns to North Korea for weapons deal, Iran for money
- Syrian casualties surge as jihadis consolidate
- U.N. rights chief: Flight MH17 downing possible war crime
- Attack on park in Gaza war kills 10, mostly children
- Calif. protesters to block Israel-owned ships at Port of Oakland
- Obama to give Africa $38M, but tells young leaders: Stop ‘making excuses’ for economy
Inside Politics: Geithner works to delay hitting borrowing limit
Question of the Day
The Treasury Department will begin taking steps this week to delay hitting the government’s $16.4 trillion borrowing limit. Without doing so, the debt limit would be hit on Dec. 31.
Treasury Secretary Timothy F. Geithner said in a letter to Hill leaders that the department will take several accounting measures to save approximately $200 billion beginning next year. The government borrows about $100 billion a month, so that would keep the government from reaching the limit for two months.
Mr. Geithner says it is harder to predict how long the delay would last because ongoing negotiations over tax and budget policies make it hard to forecast what tax revenue and government spending will be next year.
Starbucks cups to come with a political message
NEW YORK — Starbucks is using its coffee cups to jump into the political fray.
The world’s biggest coffee chain is asking employees at cafes in the Washington, D.C., area to scribble the words “Come Together” on cups for drink orders on Thursday and Friday. CEO Howard Schultz says the words are intended as a message to lawmakers about the damage being caused by the divisive negotiations over the “fiscal cliff.”
It’s the first time employees at Starbucks‘ U.S. cafes have been asked to write anything other than customers’ names on cups.
While companies generally steer clear of politics, the plea to “Come Together” is a sentiment unlikely to cause controversy. If anything, Starbucks could score points with customers and burnish its image as a socially conscious company.
Sotomayor refuses Hobby Lobby bid to delay contraception mandate
Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor on Wednesday denied a request to block part of the federal health care law that requires employee health care plans to provide insurance coverage for the morning-after pill and contraception.
Hobby Lobby Stores and a sister company, Mardel Inc., sued the government, claiming the mandate violates the religious beliefs of its owners.
In an opinion, Justice Sotomayor said the stores fail to satisfy the demanding legal standard for blocking the requirement on an emergency basis. She said the companies may continue their challenge to the regulations in the lower courts.
Company officials say they must decide whether to violate their religion or face a daily $1.3 million fine starting Jan. 1 if they ignore the law. In ruling against the companies last month, U.S. District Judge Joe Heaton, a 2001 appointee of President Bush, said churches have been granted protection from the birth-control provisions but that “Hobby Lobby and Mardel are not religious organizations.”
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