The Daily Item, Sunbury, PA

Politics

April 5, 2013

The summer question: Can Washington govern?

(Continued)

Republicans staunchly oppose any new taxes as part of a budget agreement. That was made clear again Friday morning, when Boehner dismissed the president's forthcoming budget because it includes new taxes. Boehner's statement was neither a surprise nor likely the last word on this. Obama's audience for now is not the House but the Senate, where bipartisan discussions about the budget continue.

Both the president and congressional Republicans have incentives to make the most of the time between now and the August recess to turn hopeful words into productive results. There may be few better opportunities for the rest of Obama's presidency than now.

The president knows he has limited time to produce results on big issues before the 2014 elections and eventual lame duck status get in the way of serious bargaining. Republicans, with their approval ratings still dreadfully low and having lost the popular vote in five of the last six elections, have more than enough reasons to show they are more than the party of "no."

However, the prospects for a flurry of legislative deal-making between now and the summer recess remain questionable. Obama's gun-control package has run into stiff opposition, despite public support for many of the measures he has advocated. Guns were not part of his second-term agenda until the tragedy of Newtown, Conn. Obama gambled that he could take advantage of the moment. He had no choice but to move as swiftly as possible, but he may have to settle for far less than he hoped.

Immigration is another matter. Nowhere do Republicans have greater self-interest to enact legislation than on immigration. The party's deficit with Hispanic voters, which was reinforced by Mitt Romney's dismal performance last November, has prompted many Republican leaders to embrace a path to citizenship or legal status as part of comprehensive reform.

Text Only
Politics
  • With 1 week to go, Sanford subject of attacks

    CHARLESTON, S.C. — Former South Carolina Gov. Mark Sanford can’t seem to escape attacks on the extramarital affair that derailed his political career, which he hopes to revive in a special congressional election that is now a week away.

    May 1, 2013

  • Bombing shifts Mass. Senate race before primaries

    BOSTON — Even before the explosions, polling suggested that Massachusetts voters weren’t excited about the looming special election to replace former U.S. Sen. John Kerry.

    April 28, 2013

  • In a first, black voter turnout rate passes whites

    WASHINGTON — America’s blacks voted at a higher rate than other minority groups in 2012 and by most measures surpassed the white turnout for the first time, reflecting a deeply polarized presidential election in which blacks strongly supported Barack Obama while many whites stayed home.

    April 28, 2013

  • Senate Democrats put off vote on Labor nominee

    WASHINGTON — Senate Democrats have delayed a confirmation vote on Labor Secretary-nominee Thomas Perez after Republicans threatened to use a separate hearing to criticize his handling of a whistleblower case.

    April 24, 2013

  • Sen. Baucus' decision to retire sets stage for majorlegislative changes

     Sen. Max Baucus, D-Mont., one of the most influential congressional figures of his era, announced his intention Tuesday to retire, a move that could produce sweeping changes in the political and legislative landscape over the next two years.

    April 24, 2013

  • Senate friendship born of tragedy beat partisanship

    These days, most dispatches from Washington focus on petty partisanship, posturing, impasses and a political culture that rewards confrontation.

    April 22, 2013

  • Rubio rising

    If Marco Rubio helps pass comprehensive immigration reform, he will have accomplished more as a senator than Barack Obama did.

    April 22, 2013

  • Gun Bill's Failure May Help Immigration Legislation

    WASHINGTON — Here's an odd political reality: The collapse of the gun bill in the Senate last week may well make the passage of immigration reform legislation slightly easier.

    April 21, 2013

  • Senate Planning Vote on Internet Sales Tax

    WASHINGTON — The days of tax-free online shopping could finally be numbered.

    April 21, 2013

  • Advocates of Immigration Reform Fight Back Against Push for Delay

    WASHINGTON — The Senate's leading supporters of overhauling the nation's immigration system sought Sunday to blunt a conservative effort to slow the pace of debate over their bill, saying the Boston Marathon bombings are a reason to move quickly to make changes.

    April 21, 2013

Featured Ads
Politics Video