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Sen. Orrin Hatch (Associated Press)

Hatch derides Democrats' 'Thelma and Louise' fiscal strategy

Sen. Orrin Hatch labeled President Obama's proposal to avert the looming fiscal cliff of tax hikes and spending cuts "a classic bait and switch on the American people," saying Mr. Obama and others on the left have shown "an utter lack of leadership" to tackle reform to the country's entitlement programs the Utah Republican says must be part of a deal to work toward curing the nation's financial ills.

President Barack Obama gestures pauses while speaking at The Rodon Group manufacturing facility, Friday, Nov. 30, 2012, in Hatfield, Pa. (AP Photo/Matt Slocum)

Obama pitches middle-class tax plan from the road

Taking the venue for his weekly address on the road, President Obama made a visceral appeal to the American people from the floor of a Pennsylvania factory he visited this week, imploring Congress to approve a plan to extend the Bush-era tax cuts on the first $250,000 of Americans' income.

**FILE** Sen. Benjamin L. Cardin, Maryland Democrat (Associated Press)

Cardin: We should get tax deal done 'before Christmas'

While the White House and congressional Republicans appear nowhere close to a deal that would avoid the economic double whammy of the expiration of the Bush-era tax rates and deep spending cuts scheduled to begin at the start of next year, a Democratic senator said Saturday that the two parties should get a solution on the tax rate issue before Christmas.

Rep. Candice S. Miller, Michigan Republican (Associated Press)

Incoming House gets first woman committee chair

House Speaker John A. Boehner on Friday named Rep. Candice S. Miller of Michigan as chairwoman of the House Administration Committee for the new Congress, after the Republican House majority faced criticism earlier this week for the all-white male lineup of the 19 committee chairmen previously named.

Speaker of the House John Boehner, R-Ohio, talks to reporters after private discussions with Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner on the fiscal cliff negotiations, at the Capitol in Washington, Thursday, Nov. 29, 2012. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)

Boehner: 'Fiscal cliff' talks going nowhere

House Speaker John A. Boehner on Friday said ongoing talks between the White House and Republicans to avoid a "fiscal cliff" at year's end are at a "stalemate," and accused President Obama of failing to negotiate in good faith.

Karl Marx

Gallup: Yes, Democrats, liberals favor socialism

Are Democrats and liberals really socialists? Looks like it. Numbers from a new Gallup Poll provide some backing for claims made by GOP rivals and conservatives over the years: 53 percent of Democrats and 62 percent of liberals give a "positive review of socialism," the pollster found, compared to 23 percent of Republicans and 25 percent of conservatives.

Sen. Joseph I. Lieberman

Lieberman: Benghazi 'outlawed territory'

Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee Chairman Sen. Joseph I. Lieberman said Thursday that Benghazi, Libya was "a kind of outlawed territory" at the time a Sept. 11 attack on the U.S. consulate there claimed the lives of four Americans.

** FILE ** President Barack Obama makes an opening statement during his news conference, Wednesday, Nov. 14, 2012, in the East Room of the White House in Washington. (AP Photo/Charles Dharapak)

White House threatens veto of Democrats' own defense bill

The administration Thursday threatened that President Obama will veto the defense policy bill now being debated in the Democratic-controlled Senate, signaling the potential for another year-end fight between the White House and Congress on what's considered must-pass legislation.