Inside Politics: Democrats hope to cut into tea party gains in Illinois

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Mr. Duncan says the U.S. is falling behind other nations that are aggressively moving from print to digital for educational materials. He says a small number of American school districts are moving in that direction, but that the country must move faster.

Mr. Duncan’s remarks came during an address to the National Press Club, where he also criticized the Republican-controlled House for failing to adequately invest in education.

Mr. Duncan says nominee Mitt Romney and the Republicans see education as an expense, whereas President Obama sees it as an investment. He says early education and programs for low-income and disabled students could suffer under Republican leadership.

PENTAGON

Budget resolution omits Iraq training authority

The Pentagon says the temporary budget resolution that took effect Monday fails to authorize the U.S. military to continue training Iraqi security forces.

Congress did not include the Iraqi Security Forces Fund in the short-term spending measure it passed last month to fund the government.

Defense officials say none of the military trainers will be called back to the U.S. immediately while the Pentagon works through the issue.

Officials say there are fewer than 200 U.S. troops in Iraq, and fewer than 100 other Defense Department civilians and contractors. They say the Pentagon is exploring ways to possibly continue the training.

The U.S. Embassy’s police training program has been touted as a key effort to continue supporting Iraqi security forces after the American military withdrew from Iraq last year.

CAMPAIGN

Biden says middle class ‘buried’ over past 4 years

Republicans are pouncing on a comment Vice President Joseph R. Biden made Tuesday that the middle class has been “buried” for the past four years, casting it as an admission that average Americans have suffered under Obama administration policies.

Mr. Biden made the remark at a campaign rally in Charlotte, N.C., in the middle of an argument that Republicans would have to raise taxes on the middle class by reducing certain tax breaks they already receive, noting that the tax hike would be particularly hurtful considering what the middle class has experienced over the past four years.

“This is deadly earnest, man. This is deadly earnest,” he said. “How they can justify, how they can justify raising taxes on the middle class that has been buried the last four years — how in Lord’s name can they justify raising their taxes with these tax cuts?”

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