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By Matt Kibbe
The short-term deal will assure long-term overspending
Independent voices from the The Washington Times Communities
Topic - Amy Klobuchar
Female senators are being praised for their role in ending the government shutdown.
Two senators working to cobble together a bipartisan budget solution predicted Sunday they will have a deal in place before Thursday's debt-ceiling deadline.
Senate Republicans and Democrats hit an impasse Sunday over spending in their last-ditch struggle to avoid an economy-jarring default in just four days and end a partial government shutdown that enters its third week.
Sports fans would be outraged if a bookie paid a boxer to throw a fight. But major drugmakers are doing something similar, increasingly paying competitors to keep cheaper generic alternatives off the shelves. The practice is costing patients and taxpayers billions of dollars in extra health care spending.
After the intense lobbying of one senator and an hourslong wait for another to fly in from North Dakota, the U.S. Senate voted Wednesday to confirm B. Todd Jones as permanent director of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, fulfilling a major priority for President Obama in his response to the Connecticut school shootings.
The Senate is moving to make metal theft a federal crime, with the Judiciary Committee poised to take action later this week on a bill that would impose a 10-year prison sentence on anyone caught stealing metal from telephone or cell towers, highway equipment or other critical infrastructure.
Small manufacturers and distributors of medical equipment are chafing under the new tax, saying they can no longer invest in their once-innovative firms and may resort to layoffs because of the 2.3 percent tax on everything from pacemakers to artificial joints.
Marking the third anniversary of the health care law's passage in Congress, Republicans and Democrats agreed on one thing Thursday — President Obama's signature legislative achievement could use some changes.
The Senate on Thursday voted to repeal a sales tax on medical devices that is part of President Obama's health-care law, a rare bipartisan attempt to strip away a section of the controversial reforms.
President Obama's health care law passed Congress three years ago and remains almost entirely intact, but Republicans say they are still gathering support to dismantle it, betting that the overhaul will lose its political heft as Americans feel the brunt of its taxes and regulations.
Republicans presented a united front on debt and taxes Sunday, ruling out tax increases as a way of reaching a "grand bargain" on the budget despite President Obama's recent efforts to pour on the charm.
There was more finger-pointing and jostling Sunday over how to avoid the "fiscal cliff," but there was also a growing sense of pessimism over whether a deal can be reached before the year-end deadline.
Guest lineups for the Sunday TV news shows:
Two years after their party made historic inroads in a traditionally deep-blue state, Republicans in Minnesota find themselves again looking at a period of rebuilding.
A severe shortage of a childhood cancer drug should ease before hospitals run out of it in a couple weeks, a top federal regulator said Tuesday. But the companies that make the drug are giving few details about how they will find a long-term solution to end the problem.
Sen. Amy Klobuchar, D-Minn., a participant in the Collins' talks, said she sees the plan and the fact that the Senate leaders are talking as a positive going forward.
While Reid wouldn't accept everything in the Collins proposal, she said Reid "knows there are some positive things in that plan," such as opening the government in a "smart timeframe" not defaulting on debt and doing something in the long term on the budget.