The decision by Sen. Ben Nelson (D) of Nebraska not to run for reelection in 2012 is a 'blow' to Democrats' efforts to retain their Senate majority, analysts say.
The impasse over the payroll tax cut sent the public approval rating for Congress to new depths even as it gave Obama a corresponding boost. But as negotiators reopen discussions for a longer deal, all bets are off.
The Obama Justice Department quietly issued a legal opinion – just before a long Christmas weekend – that allows states to set up nonsports Internet gambling. The opinion upends decades of contrary decisions, but its real effect will be on the poor (and young) who suffer the most from gambling.
The House and Senate approved Friday a two-month extension of the payroll-tax cut, setting up a sequel to the three-month-long battle over one of President Obama's top legislative priorities.
House Speaker John Boehner agreed to let the Senate's payroll-tax deal come to the floor for a vote, where it is expected to pass Friday. It was a rare win in a tough year for Democrats.
Republicans in the House of Representatives don't like a two-month payroll tax cut extension. But American voters aren't thrilled by the resulting payroll tax hike.
A payroll tax extension may be on the way but Republicans like Newt Gingrich insist on a one-year extension. Meanwhile Romney supporters have continued airing ads attacking Gingrich in Iowa. Gingrich tried to take the higher road but Romney says 'if it's too hot for you, get out of the kitchen.'
Democrats are ramping up the pressure on House Republicans over their refusal to pass a payroll tax deal – and some Senate Republicans are not rushing to their colleagues' aid.
The House rejected the Senate's temporary payroll-tax deal Tuesday, leaving no clear way out of the impasse. The House wants more discussions, but the Senate says it's done talking.
The House will vote Tuesday on requiring senators, who have left for the holidays, to negotiate differences in legislation to extend the payroll-tax cut and other measures set to expire on Jan. 1.