The Daily Item, Sunbury, PA

Politics

March 24, 2013

White House's outreach to GOP pays modest dividends

WASHINGTON —  Two weeks after launching a high-profile charm offensive targeting Capitol Hill, President Barack Obama and his aides have taken their effort behind the scenes — quietly pushing for cooperation between the White House and congressional Republicans on key disputes.

Before departing for Israel last Tuesday, for example, Obama called Republican Sens. John McCain of Arizona and Lindsey Graham of South Carolina to discuss immigration reform and other issues. The White House legislative affairs office reached out to Rep. Tom Cole, R-Okla., last week after he spoke of being ignored. And Obama counselor Pete Rouse worked with Sen. Lisa Murkowski, R-Alaska, on resolving the impasse over Sally Jewell's nomination to be secretary of the interior.

Lawmakers and aides say the effort has begun to yield modest dividends. Last week, Congress managed to pass a continuing resolution averting another potential government shutdown.

"It's sort of like the two sides are looking across the table and thinking, 'We really are going to have to live in this house for the next four years. Let's divide up who does the dishes: I'll take Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday,' " said Cole, who has broken ranks with his party on occasion. "I sort of see the CR as a confidence builder."

But diplomacy still has its limits. On Friday, the White House formally withdrew the nomination of Caitlin Halligan to join the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit after Republicans had blocked her appointment for years.

House Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan, R-Wis., had lunch with both Obama and his panel's ranking member, Rep. Chris Van Hollen, D-Md., on March 7. But last week, Ryan's aides had no contact with White House officials as they pushed through their conservative budget plan.

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