Ways And Means Committee
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Health care cooperatives that are being launched in eight states announced Tuesday they will receive a total of $638 million in loans from the Obama administration under the federal health insurance law.
After a year of budget-hawking, Congress last week undid much of that progress in one swoop, adding more than $100 billion to the federal deficit in 2012 by extending the payroll tax cut but not paying for it.
Acting with striking bipartisanship, Congress on Friday passed a full-year extension of the payroll tax cut and renewed enhanced unemployment benefits, sending the bill on to the White House and delivering a major victory to President Obama.
Relieved congressional bargainers say they've reached agreement on compromise legislation extending payroll tax cuts and benefits for the long-term unemployed through 2012, edging a white-hot political battle a major step closer to finally being resolved.
When it comes to job creation, President Obama has no clue. Under his leadership, the average amount of time spent in the unemployment lines more than doubled from four to nine months. Rather than push those down on their luck toward new opportunities, Mr. Obama wants to make sure they stay on the government dole for 99 weeks.
President Obama's request for greater power to shrink the size of the federal government is getting mixed reviews in Congress, with even some prominent Democrats opposed to parts of the plan and others warning against handing the executive branch too much power.
Rep. Jerry Lewis, a Republican stalwart who formerly was chairman of the powerful House Appropriations Committee, said Thursday he won't seek an 18th term in office this year.
While the majority party typically hangs on as long as it can in Congress, in California, where redistricting has significantly altered the congressional map, two senior Republican House members in recent days said they're calling it quits, with more reportedly mulling the option.
Congress will begin its work in 2012 right where it left off in 2011 — locked in a partisan, bicameral struggle to hammer out an extension of the expiring payroll-tax holiday.