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  • Sen. Richard Burr, North Carolina Republican was shocked at the Congressional Budget Office's cost estimate to fix the VA, calling it "grotesquely out of line."

    VA fix could cost billions

    The VA's data on patient wait times is so bad that Congress's official scorekeeper can't even calculate the costs for fixing the agency, and that has become a major hurdle as lawmakers push for a quick fix on Capitol Hill.

  • Stingy Congress finds funds for veterans' health care

    Congress has grown increasingly stingy with its spending, but the Senate didn't hesitate this week to bust the budget by tacking on an extra $35 billion to pay for enhanced health treatment for veterans.

  • Foul play not suspected in Pa. inmate's death

    Authorities say foul play is not suspected in the case of a female inmate found dead in her cell at a suburban Philadelphia prison.

  • Sen. Cory Booker, New Jersey Democrat, says the newest proposed unemployment benefits bill is a step in the right direction in getting people long out of the labor force back to work. (Associated Press)

    Latest unemployment benefits bill fails to satisfy critics

    The new Senate bill to extend unemployment benefits for another five months includes several reforms to the job relief system, but conservative critics say the measure remains a bad trade for Republicans because it doesn't make enough changes to justify the new spending.

  • Illustration by Alexander Hunter/The Washington Times

    BANDOW: It's time to shut down the Transportation Safety Administration

    Any American who travels must deal with the Transportation Safety Administration. The Bush administration made many mistakes in dealing with the attacks of Sept. 11, 2001. Creating a government monopoly to handle transportation safety was one of the worst.

  • Sen. Bernard Sanders, Vermont independent and one of 29 budget negotiators, wants to expand social safety nets and proposes paying for it by taxing stock trades, increasing the estate tax and raising income tax rates for the top 2 percent of earners. (Associated Press)

    Sanders lays out plan to raise taxes to pay for expanded entitlements

    Even as negotiators struggle to write a final fiscal 2014 budget, one of Congress' most liberal lawmakers laid out his own vision for what the government's priorities should be — complete with big jumps in taxes and social spending and cuts at the Pentagon.

  • ** FILE ** Kansas Gov. Sam Brownback. (Associated Press)

    GOP governors ace fiscal exam; report praises executives elected in tea party wave

    Republican governors elected in 2010's tea party wave have generally made good on pledges to cut taxes and limit spending, according to the latest fiscal report card released Tuesday by the Cato Institute think tank, which graded the states' executives on their boldness is reining in government expansion.

  • Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell addresses the Republican National Convention in Tampa, Fla., on Aug. 28, 2012. (Associated Press)

    Convention puts spotlight on GOP governors

    With Democrats ruling Washington, Republican governors have become the GOP's standard-bearers, raising their profiles with their tax-cutting, budget-balancing and hurricane-battling derring-do.

  • President Obama speaks in the East Room the White House in Washington on Wednesday, Sept. 7, 2011. (AP Photo/Charles Dharapak)

    Obama faces skeptics in 3rd try for jobs

    President Obama will reveal his latest jobs plan Thursday night in a high-stakes speech to a joint session of Congress, facing Republicans opposed to more deficit spending and voters who increasingly don't trust him to fix the economy.

  • President Obama speaks from White House briefing room, Sunday, July 31, 2011 in Washington, about a deal being reached to raise the debt limit. (AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster)

    Obama helps ’12 bid with concessions in debt deal

    Political observers could not help but notice that many provisions of the compromise debt deal, such as postponing nearly all spending cuts until 2013 and boosting student aid next year, are tailor-made for President Obama's 2012 re-election campaign.

  • President Obama meets Friday with Democratic governors in the Eisenhower Executive Office Building on the White House complex. (Associated Press)

    Social Security reform looms with or without Obama

    Despite President Obama's promises to lower the deficit and rein in spending, there was a conspicuous omission from his 2012 budget blueprint that many say would go a long way toward easing the nation's financial woes: Social Security reform.

  • ASSOCIATED PRESS Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger discuses the passage of Proposition 14, the open primaries initiative, during a news conference at the Capitol in Sacramento, Calif., Wednesday, June 9, 2010. On Tuesday California voters passed the measure that allows voters to cast ballots for any candidate in a primary election, regardless of party. The top two finishers would move on to the general election. At right is Lt. Gov.Abel Maldonado.

    Unions battle for public job benefits

    Major clashes are breaking out between public-sector unions and state and local governments seeking to steady their wobbly books by scaling back employee benefits, pitting labor's political clout against lawmakers eager to avoid raising taxes or cutting programs.

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