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Mar 12, 2014

U.S. Republicans take aim at Obamacare to fund Medicare fix

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – U.S. House Republicans said on Wednesday that they are pushing a plan to delay for five years the penalties for failing to buy health insurance under Obamacare, and to use the savings to spare doctors from a steep cut in Medicare payments.

Delaying until 2019 the financial penalty for not signing up for health insurance would slow down Obamacare signups and save the government billions of dollars that would otherwise be paid out in taxpayer subsidies to enrollees, the Republicans say, citing Congressional Budget Office (CBO) estimates.

Mar 9, 2014

Michigan race highlights Tea Party versus Establishment struggle

GRAND RAPIDS, Michigan (Reuters) – Over cocktails and chocolate-covered strawberries, a group of west Michigan Republicans gathered at a Tudor-style home in Grand Rapids and vented frustrations with Congressman Justin Amash and his Tea Party tactics that they blame for Washington’s gridlock.

“The Republican establishment has lost confidence in Justin,” said Mark Bissell, chief executive of vacuum manufacturer Bissell Inc.

Feb 13, 2014

U.S. Congress approves debt limit increase after Senate drama

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The U.S. Congress approved an increase in the country’s debt limit through March 2015, bowing to President Barack Obama’s demands to extend federal borrowing authority without conditions, but only after a dramatic Senate vote on Wednesday.

Final action in the Senate followed an hour-long nail-biting procedural tally forced by the objections of Republican Ted Cruz, a conservative Tea Party favorite. It appeared at first there would not be enough Republicans to join the Democratic majority and advance the bill.

Feb 12, 2014

Congress votes to repeal military pension cuts

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Democrats and Republicans in the U.S. Congress joined together on Wednesday to reverse a cut in pensions for working-age military retirees, as lawmakers yielded to election-year pressure to scrap a deficit reduction measure they approved only two months ago.

Final action came when the Senate voted 95-3 in favor of a measure that had been overwhelmingly embraced by the House a day earlier.

Feb 12, 2014

U.S. Congress approves debt limit hike after Senate drama

WASHINGTON, Feb 12 (Reuters) – The U.S. Congress approved
legislation on Wednesday to extend U.S. federal borrowing
authority for a year, bowing to President Barack Obama’s
demands for a debt limit increase without any conditions.

But final action in the Senate came only after an hour-long
nail-biting procedural vote forced by the objections of
Republican Ted Cruz, a conservative Tea Party favorite, in which
it appeared at first there would not be enough Republicans to
join the Democratic majority and advance the bill.

Feb 10, 2014

U.S. Senator Cruz urges broad Republican focus on energy

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Republicans should think beyond their support of the Keystone XL pipeline for other ways to encourage U.S. energy production, Republican Senator Ted Cruz, a potential 2016 White House contender and Tea Party favorite, said on Monday.

Cruz, who has been criticized by some Republicans for the role he played in last year’s government shutdown battle, appeared to be trying to expand his focus beyond U.S. government debt and problems with President Obama’s healthcare law to take on energy as a signature issue.

Feb 10, 2014

Debt limit rise should be tied to budget cuts: Senator Cruz

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Senator Ted Cruz, the Tea Party firebrand who egged on Republicans in the House of Representatives during last year’s government shutdown battle, said on Monday it would be “irresponsible” for Congress to grant President Barack Obama a debt limit increase without spending reforms.

Cruz, who spoke to reporters after remarks at the Heritage Foundation think tank, said he hoped the House would not “go down that road” of agreeing to an increase in the government’s borrowing authority without demanding measures to rein in long-term deficits.

Feb 10, 2014

Debt limit rise should be tied to budget cuts -U.S. Senator Cruz

WASHINGTON, Feb 10 (Reuters) – U.S. Senator Ted Cruz, the
Tea Party firebrand who egged on Republicans in the House of
Representatives during last year’s government shutdown battle,
said on Monday it would be “irresponsible” for Congress to grant
President Barack Obama a debt limit increase without spending
reforms.

Cruz, who spoke to reporters after remarks at the Heritage
Foundation think tank, said he hoped the House would not “go
down that road” of agreeing to an increase in the government’s
borrowing authority without demanding measures to rein in
long-term deficits.

Feb 5, 2014

Conservative lawmakers split on debt limit increase

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Conservative Republicans differed on Wednesday over their party’s approach to raising the U.S. debt ceiling, underscoring the challenges faced by House Speaker John Boehner as Congress considers the Obama administration’s request for an increase in the federal government’s borrowing authority.

At a question-and-answer session with reporters, Representative Joe Barton said Republicans should push for deficit reduction in exchange for a debt-limit increase.

Feb 1, 2014

Republicans, eyeing elections, paper over divisions

CAMBRIDGE, Maryland (Reuters) – Republican lawmakers, hoping to ride the disastrous rollout of President Barack Obama’s healthcare law to victory in the November congressional elections, are trying to put internal fights behind them and unify around a proposed Obamacare replacement.

During a two-day retreat on Maryland’s frozen eastern shore, Republicans in the U.S. House of Representatives also sought to shed the image they acquired during last October’s government shutdown as a cantankerous opposition party.