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Apr 20, 2013

NRA ardour, clout overwhelm U.S. gun-control groups, for now

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – As lawmakers gathered in the U.S. Senate on Wednesday to vote on a plan to expand background checks for gun buyers, staffers in the office of Alaska Democratic Senator Mark Begich fielded a steady stream of calls urging him to break with his party and vote against the measure.

Those callers got what they wanted: Begich voted no – one of four Democrats from gun-friendly states to do so – and the most ambitious gun-control push in two decades went down to defeat.

Apr 12, 2013

New state laws illustrate America’s stark divide on gun control

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – While Washington politicians battle over new gun-control measures, state legislators have already passed dozens of new firearms laws since the Newtown school massacre ignited a national debate in December.

The new state laws, a small fraction of the 1,500 or so gun-related bills that have been proposed at state level, reflect the vast political and ideological differences in the debate over gun rights – a gulf that helps explain why lawmakers in Washington find it so difficult to reach a consensus on the issue.

Apr 10, 2013

Obama budget makes cybersecurity a growing U.S. priority

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – President Barack Obama proposed on Wednesday increased spending to protect U.S. computer networks from Internet-based attacks in a sign that the government aims to put more resources into the emerging global cyber arms race.

Obama’s budget proposal for the 2014 fiscal year, which begins October 1, calls for more military “hackers” to head off escalating cyber threats from China, Iran, Russia and other countries. It would also bolster defenses for government and private-sector computer networks.

Apr 10, 2013

Obama budget would increase U.S. clean-energy spending

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – President Barack Obama proposed a dramatic increase in clean-energy spending on Wednesday as he sought to expand U.S. government support for electric cars, wind power and other “green” technology despite persistent Republican criticism.

The president would pay for the expansion in part by eliminating tax breaks and subsidies for oil, gas and coal industries. Previous efforts by Obama’s fellow Democrats to repeal the $4 billion worth of fossil-fuel subsidies have fallen short.

Apr 5, 2013

FAA says will delay planned closure of air traffic towers

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The Federal Aviation Administration said on Friday that it will delay its planned closure of control towers at 149 smaller airports until June 15 in order to resolve several legal challenges.

The closures, which were due to begin as early as Sunday, were one of the most visible signs of the broad “sequester” budget cuts that kicked in on March 1.

Mar 24, 2013

NY Mayor Bloomberg predicts success for expanded U.S. gun checks

WASHINGTON, March 24 (Reuters) – New York Mayor Michael
Bloomberg predicted on Sunday that pressure from the American
public would eventually force the U.S. Congress to expand
background checks for gun buyers, even though the measure faces
an uncertain fate in the Senate.

As Bloomberg launched a $12 million national advertising
campaign aimed at prodding members of the Senate to support
expanded background checks, he said the measure’s widespread
popularity would trump gun-rights groups like the powerful
National Rifle Association that oppose it.

Mar 22, 2013

Lawmakers try to shield U.S. Army Corps of Engineers from cuts

WASHINGTON, March 22 (Reuters) – As the U.S. government
prepares for years of austerity, a bipartisan group of senators
is aiming to give the agency that maintains ports and waterways
extraordinary protection from budget cuts.

The Army Corps of Engineers, best known for its
flood-protection role in hurricane-prone areas such as
Louisiana, is also responsible for keeping the nation’s ports
and rivers open for cargo traffic.

Mar 20, 2013

Insight: In heartland, Obama’s move against jet loophole hits turbulence

WICHITA, Kansas (Reuters) – First came the recession, throwing thousands out of work. Then came the drought, choking crops and draining reservoirs. Then came the president, arguing that the private-plane buyers who fuel this city’s economy benefit from an unfair tax break.

President Barack Obama’s proposal to reduce that tax break has won wide support among Democrats who see it as an example of how the U.S. tax code is too generous to the wealthy.

Mar 20, 2013

In heartland, Obama’s move against jet loophole hits turbulence

WICHITA, Kansas, March 20 (Reuters) – First came the
recession, throwing thousands out of work. Then came the
drought, choking crops and draining reservoirs. Then came the
president, arguing that the private-plane buyers who fuel this
city’s economy benefit from an unfair tax break.

President Barack Obama’s proposal to reduce that tax break
has won wide support among Democrats who see it as an example of
how the U.S. tax code is too generous to the wealthy.

Mar 10, 2013

Ryan says budget deal possible as he readies his own plan

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The Republicans’ point person on fiscal issues in Congress said on Sunday that compromise with President Barack Obama is possible on taxes and spending even though his soon-to-be-unveiled budget plan faces certain rejection from Obama’s Democrats.

Representative Paul Ryan, the chairman of the House of Representatives Budget Committee, acknowledged that Democrats who control the Senate are likely to defeat his proposal to repeal Obama’s signature healthcare law and other elements of his plan to balance the budget within 10 years.

    • About Andy

      "As a politics and general-news correspondent, I’ve covered four budget crises, three presidential elections, two hurricanes and one exploding bridge since joining Reuters in 2000. One of my stories in the 2012 election inspired a spoof on “Saturday Night Life.” I’m a native of Cape Elizabeth, Maine and in my free time I play guitar in several rock bands around Washington, D.C."
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