The scramble on Capitol Hill to come up with a solution to the nation’s debt crisis produced a surprise announcement from the White House Wednesday: Contrary to previous statements, President Obama would support a short-term deal to raise the debt ceiling. White House Press Secretary Jay Carney added an important caveat, however. The president would only sign the short-term deal if it was a means to buy time to finalize a longer-term deal without running afoul of the Aug. 2 deadline. Suddenly, Washington is awash in prospects for short term deals. Here are five:
Allegations that the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives allowed US arms to flow to Mexican cartels are now facing congressional scrutiny, including questions about whether that may have contributed to the deaths of a US law enforcement officer and numerous Mexicans.
The US Justice Department has announced plans to cut arms trafficking into Mexico by monitoring the sale of assault rifles in border states in the wake of a scandal over the 'Fast and Furious' gun tracing operation.
Fast and Furious, the Mexico gun-running sting gone bad, may cost the ATF's acting chief his job. A larger concern is that it may undermine efforts to stop the flow of US guns south.
Obama has faced little congressional oversight so far, but with House GOP probing into policies ranging from illegal immigration to health care, the president's oversight holiday may be over.
Now that the Republican party holds a majority in the US House they are likely to become more results-oriented in the lead up to 2012. The 'party of no' may even become the party of compromise and results.
The November election sent a message of no more bailouts. Yet many states could default on debts in 2012, forcing a crisis. What can be done now?
President Obama says the proposed federal pay freeze would save the federal government $2 billion in fiscal year 2011. The federal deficit is expected to be about $1.3 trillion.
Rep. Darrell Issa, who is set to take over the chairmanship of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee, has made no secret of his love of hearings. He wants hundreds of them.