When it comes to extending the payroll tax cut, Obama and Boehner are sounding more and more like each other. How did the Democrats come to favor tax cuts, and why do Republicans want to see them end?
Speculation has accelerated in the past week. New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie and Rep. Paul Ryan of Wisconsin have gotten the most buzz, but Rudy Giuliani and Sarah Palin get honorable mentions.
Congress has created a special super committee to devise a way to cut at least $1.2 trillion from US spending in coming years. Its real name is the Joint Select Committee on Deficit Reduction, and its deadline is Nov. 23. If a majority of the bipartisan, bicameral committee approves the plan, it goes to the House and Senate for a vote, and they must act by Dec. 23. If the plan is voted down, automatic spending cuts are slated to occur. Here are the 12 lawmakers serving on the super committee.
Amid worries that the economy may be headed into a second recession, both Republicans and Democrats say creating jobs is their top priority. But the two parties are far apart on their approaches. Democrats favor targeted stimulus – investments in infrastructure, clean energy, and education – while hiking taxes on corporations and the rich to fund this jobs spending. Republicans aim to curb government regulation and cut taxes to give businesses and individuals more incentive to invest. Here are the Democrats' top five priorities.
Medicare overhaul is priority of tea party activists planning to make themselves heard at town hall meetings in key battleground states. Supporters want Medicare overhaul along the lines of Rep. Ryan's plan.
Rep. Gabrielle Giffords' (D) of Arizona stands with House Speaker John Boehner (R) of Ohio during a farewell ceremony for Giffords on the floor of the House of Representatives, in this still image taken from video, January 25, 2012. Giffords, wounded a year ago in a deadly Tucson shooting spree, stepped down from the US Congress on Jan. 24 to focus on her recovery.
President Obama wants Congress to come to an agreement by Aug. 2 about raising the $14.3 trillion national debt ceiling so that the US does not default on its debt and other obligations. The president wanted new tax revenues to be part of a 'grand bargain' to shrink the budget deficit; House Republicans did not.
If the moderate Mitt Romney gets the nomination in the GOP 2012 race, the question is whether he could marshall the tea party movement's energy.
On Monday, President Obama and Vice President Joe Biden will hold meetings with Sens. Harry Reid and Mitch McConnell to discuss the status of the debt talks.