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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.

Jan 30, 2014

Republicans wary as they weigh immigration reforms

CAMBRIDGE, Maryland (Reuters) – U.S. House of Representatives Republicans began two days of meetings on Thursday ready to discuss immigration reforms amid doubts among some lawmakers that they would be able to advance significant legislation in this mid-term election year.

Speaker John Boehner told reporters at the start of the closed-door conference that there would be discussions on immigration and on a series of Republican “principles” developed by leaders of the party, which controls the House.

Jan 24, 2014

Republicans seek own policy cure to replace Obamacare

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Top Republicans are saying they can no longer just be the party of “No” on Obamacare: They need to come up with an alternative healthcare policy.

While many Americans are skeptical of President Barack Obama’s healthcare overhaul, they also tell lawmakers they worry about keeping their costs from getting out of control. For those voters, a party that offers a platform to repeal the 2010 law without anything to replace it may not be very attractive.

Jan 10, 2014

Many Democrats support House Obamacare security proposal

WASHINGTON, Jan 10 (Reuters) – A bill targeting potential
security problems with the Obamacare website passed the
Republican-controlled House of Representatives on Friday with
the support of dozens of Democrats, despite opposition from the
White House.

The House voted 291-122 to approve legislation by Republican
Representative Joe Pitts that would require the government to
notify Americans within two days if their personal information
has been compromised on the federal website, HealthCare.gov,
where consumers can shop and buy health insurance.

Jan 6, 2014

U.S. senator sues over healthcare subsidy for Congress

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – U.S. Senator Ron Johnson filed a lawsuit on Monday challenging the way President Barack Obama’s healthcare law is being applied to Congress, part of a larger Republican strategy to draw attention to what they see as critical flaws in Obama’s signature domestic policy.

Johnson, of Wisconsin, is challenging a U.S. agency decision allowing the federal government to keep paying part of the costs of health insurance for U.S. lawmakers and their staffs who must buy coverage through the Obamacare marketplaces.

Dec 31, 2013

Over 2 million have signed up for Obamacare: U.S. officials

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Over 2 million people have enrolled in health insurance plans through the federally run HealthCare.gov and state healthcare websites since enrollment began in October, U.S. officials said on Tuesday.

HealthCare.gov covers 36 states; another 14 states have their own websites. While short of the 3.3 million enrollees the Obama administration was hoping for by now, the number of enrollees is a dramatic improvement from the early weeks of the program when barely 150,000 signed up for coverage through HealthCare.gov because of a series of technical problems.

Dec 30, 2013

Official who oversaw building of Obamacare website retires

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – U.S. health official Michelle Snyder, who oversaw the building of the troubled Obamacare website, HealthCare.gov, is retiring from her job as chief operating officer at the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS).

CMS chief Marilyn Tavenner announced Snyder’s departure to senior staff last week in a statement viewed by Reuters on Monday. The statement said Snyder had originally planned to retire at the end of 2012, but stayed on at Tavenner’s request to, “help me with the challenges facing CMS in 2013.”