- - Thursday, January 12, 2012

WHITE HOUSE

Obama requests $1.2T hike in borrowing limit

President Obama is asking Congress for another $1.2 trillion increase in the nation’s debt limit.

The request is largely a formality. It’s the third and final request the president is allowed under a deal the White House and lawmakers reached in August to prevent a government default.

But Republicans are likely to use the election-year request as an opportunity to criticize the president’s spending policies.

Congress has 15 days to reject the president’s request. The White House says Mr. Obama would veto any objections in order to avoid a default.

Mr. Obama originally planned to make this request in late December. But with Congress on vacation until mid-January, lawmakers asked Mr. Obama to delay his request so they could vote on the matter when they return.

SOUTH DAKOTA

Former congressman Janklow dead at 72

PIERRE — As governor of South Dakota for 16 years, Bill Janklow was always in a hurry pushing lawmakers to approve his proposals and racing to disaster sites to take charge. His need for speed also may have played a role in his one regret: the 2003 fatal traffic accident that landed him in jail and ended his political career.

As South Dakota’s attorney general, governor and congressman, the colorful politician dominated the state’s political landscape for more than a quarter century, changing the face of the state’s economy, education system and tax structure. Even his enemies — and there were many — acknowledged the Republican had a talent for getting things done, even as they complained that he ran roughshod over his opponents.

Mr. Janklow died shortly before 11 a.m. Thursday of brain cancer after being moved to hospice care in Sioux Falls earlier in the week, his son Russ Janklow said. He was 72.

“My dad loved this state,” Russ Janklow said. “You know that.”

At a final news conference in November, Mr. Janklow announced he had inoperable cancer and said his only regret was running a stop sign and killing a motorcyclist. The accident happened less than a year after Mr. Janklow was elected to the U.S. House.

“If I had it to do over, I’d do everything I did, but I’d stop at a stop sign,” Mr. Janklow said.

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