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Jun 16, 2011

House Democrats push for vote on China currency

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Democratic leaders in the House of Representatives on Thursday said they would try to force a vote on a China currency bill that House members overwhelmingly approved last year but that died in the Senate.

House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi said party members were circulating a “discharge petition” to force Republicans who control the chamber to bring the bill to pressure China to let its currency rise faster in value to the floor. That would require 218 signatures, she said.

Jun 15, 2011
via Tales from the Trail

House lawmakers tussle over Medicare mailings

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House Democrats are accusing the Republican majority of censoring language in mailings to constituents about a Republican plan to privatize Medicare for future retirees.

At issue is official mail that goes to constituents with taxpayers picking up the cost of postage. Any materials mailed at taxpayer expense have to have bipartisan approval.

Jun 8, 2011

Republicans push Medicare fix in Biden debt talks

WASHINGTON, June 8 (Reuters) – Republicans are pushing
Democrats to accept some cuts to Medicare during talks over the
U.S. deficit as a way to neutralize the political fallout from
their unpopular plan to privatize the healthcare program.

Medicare is one of the two main stumbling blocks in
negotiations between the White House and Congress over spending
cuts needed to reduce America’s $1.4 trillion deficit.

Jun 3, 2011

Moody’s sounds alarm over U.S. debt limit and deficits

NEW YORK/WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Ratings agency Moody’s warned on Thursday it would consider cutting the United States’ coveted top-notch credit rating if the White House and Congress do not make progress by mid-July in talks to raise the debt limit.

Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner, seeking to convince Congress to increase his borrowing authority and prevent a government default, went to Capitol Hill to press his case in a 45-minute meeting with first-term lawmakers.

Jun 2, 2011

Moody’s sounds alarm over US debt limit, deficits

NEW YORK/WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Ratings agency Moody’s warned on Thursday it would consider cutting the United States’ coveted top-notch credit rating if the White House and Congress do not make progress by mid-July in talks to raise the debt limit.

Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner, seeking to convince Congress to increase his borrowing authority and prevent a government default, went to Capitol Hill to press his case in a 45-minute meeting with first-term lawmakers.

May 25, 2011

Republicans stick to plan to privatize Medicare

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Republicans on Wednesday stuck by their plan to privatize the Medicare federal health insurance program for the elderly despite a rebuke from voters in a special congressional election in New York state.

“We can no longer let politicians in Washington deny the danger to Medicare — the danger is all too real, and the health of our nation’s seniors is far too important,” Paul Ryan, the Republican chairman of the House of Representatives Budget Committee, said in an Internet video.

May 23, 2011

U.S. Democrats sharpen attack on Medicare overhaul

WASHINGTON, May 23 (Reuters) – U.S. Democrats sharpened
their attack on Monday against a Republican plan to overhaul
Medicare as they prepared to force their opponents to vote on
the unpopular proposal to privatize the health program for the
elderly.

Senate Democratic leader Harry Reid plans a vote this week
on the Republican budget proposal, which would end traditional
fee-for-service Medicare for future retirees and instead
provide them with a voucher to purchase federally subsidized
medical plans from private insurers.

May 16, 2011

Republican rift widens over Medicare cuts

WASHINGTON/CHICAGO (Reuters) – A Republican rift over the government health program for older Americans widened Monday as Congressman Paul Ryan hit back at criticism of his Medicare overhaul plan from within his own party.

In a speech to the Economic Club of Chicago, Ryan said Republican presidential hopeful Newt Gingrich was “missing the mark” on what the proposed cost-cutting revamp does.

May 12, 2011

New assessment of Medicare to fuel budget debate

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – A financial assessment of two popular government programs for the elderly on Friday will likely reflect the impact of aging baby boomers and a slow economy, fueling debate over how they can be sustained.

The report on the Medicare healthcare and Social Security retirement programs will show the recession and job losses hit the two programs hard and that will likely be reflected in key dates showing when the trust funds, particularly for Medicare, become exhausted.

May 11, 2011

Sebelius upbeat on health exchanges

NEW YORK/WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Most states likely will run their own medical insurance marketplaces or partner with neighbors to help expand coverage under the federal health overhaul, U.S. Health Secretary Kathleen Sebelius said on Wednesday.

The health insurance exchanges are a centerpiece of Democratic President Barack Obama’s healthcare law. While Republican governors have objected to the law, Sebelius said she expected most states to opt to join the program.

    • About Donna

      "Washington congressional correspondent specializing in economics, taxes and budget issues. Covered the healthcare reform legislation and President George W. Bush's push to overhaul Social Security. Also covered the savings and loan crisis and spent time covering the White House during President Bill Clinton's administration. Covered trade and Federal Reserve policy as well."
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