WASHINGTON (AP) — Conservatives hated that it's expected to swell federal deficits over the coming decade. Liberals complained that it shortchanged health programs for children and women.
But after years of complaints and failed efforts, huge majorities of lawmakers from both parties banded together and Congress approved legislation permanently recasting how Medicare reimburses physicians.
32. Parade of likely GOP presidential candidates to speak to NRA - Friday, April 10, 2015
NASHVILLE (AP) - The parade of potential Republican presidential candidates speaking at the National Rifle Association's annual convention isn't one to make waves with the powerful gun-rights group. The contenders are sitting pretty in NRA ratings of their positions on gun issues, with scores ranging from A to A-minus.33. Senate OKs Republican balanced-budget plan, following House - Friday, March 27, 2015
WASHINGTON (AP) — Republicans muscled a balanced-budget plan through the Senate early Friday, positioning Congress for months of battling President Barack Obama over the GOP's goals of slicing spending and dismantling his health care law.34. In State of the Union, Obama aims to influence 2016 debate - Friday, January 16, 2015
WASHINGTON (AP) — Key elements of the economic proposals President Barack Obama will outline in his State of the Union address Tuesday appear to be aimed at driving the debate in the 2016 election on income inequality and middle-class economic issues, rather than setting a realistic agenda for Congress.35. US loosens embargo on Cuba, making trade and travel easier - Friday, January 16, 2015
WASHINGTON (AP) — The Obama administration is putting a large dent in the U.S. embargo against Cuba as of Friday, significantly loosening restrictions on American trade and investment.
The new rules also open up the communist island to greater American travel and allow U.S. citizens to start bringing home small amounts of Cuban cigars after more than a half-century ban.36. US loosens embargo on Cuba, making trade and travel easier - Friday, January 09, 2015
WASHINGTON (AP) — The Obama administration is putting a large dent in the U.S. embargo against Cuba as of Friday, significantly loosening restrictions on American trade and investment.
The new rules also open up the communist island to greater American travel and allow U.S. citizens to start bringing home small amounts of Cuban cigars after more than a half-century ban.37. Business group: Cuba deal opens prospects for US companies - Friday, January 09, 2015
WASHINGTON (AP) — The head of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce said Wednesday that U.S. efforts to restore diplomatic ties with Cuba and ease curbs on trade presents American companies with "extraordinary opportunities" to boost business by selling everything from cars to computers.38. US, Cuba patch torn relations in historic accord - Friday, December 12, 2014
WASHINGTON (AP) — President Barack Obama abruptly announced the U.S. is re-establishing long-broken diplomatic relations with Cuba on Wednesday, declaring an end to America's "outdated approach" to the communist island in a historic shift aimed at ending a half-century of Cold War enmity.39. Common Core spawns widespread political fights - Friday, March 21, 2014
NASHVILLE (AP) - More than five years after U.S. governors began a bipartisan effort to set new standards in American schools, the Common Core initiative has morphed into a political tempest fueling division among Republicans.40. Congress skeptical about plan to shrink military - Friday, February 21, 2014
WASHINGTON (AP) — The Obama administration's push for a smaller, nimbler military must now face the scrutiny of a Congress that has spent years battling the Pentagon's vision for a new security strategy.41. Governors: 'Obamacare' here to stay - Friday, February 21, 2014
WASHINGTON (AP) — The explosive politics of health care have divided the nation, but America's governors, Republicans and Democrats alike, suggest that President Barack Obama's health care overhaul is here to stay.42. Widest earnings gap for college grads in 48 years - Friday, February 07, 2014
WASHINGTON (AP) — The earnings gap between young adults with and without bachelor's degrees has stretched to its widest level in nearly half a century. It's a sign of the growing value of a college education despite rising tuition costs, according to an analysis of census data released Tuesday.43. FACT CHECK: Anti-Obamacare chorus is off key - Friday, January 31, 2014
EDITOR'S NOTE _ An occasional look at political claims that take shortcuts with the facts or don't tell the full story
WASHINGTON (AP) — New estimates that President Barack Obama's health care law will encourage millions of Americans to leave the workforce or reduce their work hours have touched off an I-told-you-so chorus from Republicans, who've claimed all along that the law will kill jobs. But some aren't telling it straight.44. Paul Ryan: Immigration legislation unlikely in '14 - Friday, January 31, 2014
WASHINGTON (AP) — Days after House Republicans unveiled a roadmap for an overhaul of the nation's broken immigration system, one of its backers said legislation is unlikely to pass during this election year.45. Republicans blame Obama for stalling immigration - Friday, January 31, 2014
WASHINGTON (AP) — Republicans are starting to lay the blame on President Barack Obama if an overhaul of the nation's broken immigration system fails to become law.
The GOP's emerging plan on immigration is to criticize Obama as an untrustworthy leader and his administration as an unreliable enforcer of any laws that might be passed. Perhaps realizing the odds of finding a consensus on immigration are long, the Republicans have started telling voters that if the GOP-led House doesn't take action this election year, it is Obama's fault.46. State of the Union analysis: A narrow path for Obama's ambitions - Friday, January 24, 2014
WASHINGTON (AP) — President Barack Obama's year of action could amount to a lot of running in place.
The constitutional constraints on his authority and lack of cooperation in Congress are a recipe for low-yield initiatives with limited reach. But limited executive actions, such as the ones he announced Tuesday night, might be all government can bear to do in an election year when Congress' balance of power is on the line.47. Wealth gap: A guide to what it is, why it matters - Friday, January 24, 2014
WASHINGTON (AP) — From the White House to the Vatican to the business elite in Davos, Switzerland, one issue keeps seizing the agenda: the growing gap between the very wealthy and everyone else.
It's "the defining challenge of our time," says President Barack Obama, who will spotlight the issue in his State of the Union address Tuesday night. A Gallup poll finds two-thirds of Americans are unhappy with the nation's distribution of wealth. Experts say it may be slowing the economy.48. Bipartisan budget agreement clears Congress - Friday, December 13, 2013
WASHINGTON (AP) — Congress sent President Barack Obama legislation Wednesday scaling back across-the-board cuts on programs ranging from the Pentagon to the national park system, adding a late dusting of bipartisanship to a year more likely to be remembered for a partial government shutdown and near-perpetual gridlock.49. House Republicans get behind budget agreement - Friday, December 06, 2013
WASHINGTON (AP) — Speaker John Boehner sharply criticized outside conservative groups opposed to year-end budget legislation on Thursday and said the measure "takes great steps in the right direction."50. House Republicans signal support for budget deal - Friday, December 06, 2013
WASHINGTON (AP) — House Republicans signaled support Wednesday for a budget deal worked out a day earlier, a plan narrowly drawn but promoted as a way to stabilize Congress' erratic fiscal efforts, avert another government shutdown and mute some of the partisan rancor that has damaged Americans' attitudes about their lawmakers.51. Lawmakers look to sanctions if Iran deal falters - Friday, November 22, 2013
WASHINGTON (AP) — Lawmakers are making contingency plans for what happens if — or when — the nuclear accord with Iran falls apart.
Congress is out of town through the end of the month, but lawmakers are already weighing their options for how to address the deal with Iran, in which Tehran agrees to a six-month pause in its nuclear program in exchange for eased sanctions worth $7 billion. Lawmakers from both parties are skeptical the agreement will prod Tehran to give up its nuclear ambitions and say they will be waiting with even harsher punishment if Iran proves an untrustworthy partner.52. Senate moves ahead on gay rights bill - Friday, November 01, 2013
WASHINGTON (AP) — The Senate is moving forward on the first major bill barring workplace discrimination against gays in nearly two decades as Americans' shifting views about homosexuality have significantly changed the political dynamic.53. Rubio offers bill to delay health care law penalty - Friday, October 18, 2013
WASHINGTON (AP) — Sen. Marco Rubio says he'll introduce legislation to delay the penalty that can be assessed on individuals who don't buy insurance under the government's new health care law.54. Builders of Obama's health website saw red flags - Friday, October 18, 2013
WASHINGTON (AP) — Crammed into conference rooms with pizza for dinner, some programmers building the Obama administration's showcase health insurance website were growing increasingly stressed. Some worked past 10 p.m., energy drinks in hand. Others rewrote computer code over and over to meet what they considered last-minute requests for changes from the government or other contractors.55. Analysis: Republicans in a risky fight with Obama - Friday, September 20, 2013
WASHINGTON (AP) — Under relentless pressure from their right wing, Republicans are in the midst of a risky fight with President Barack Obama they know they will lose, little more than a year before an election that history says they should win.56. Obama draws contrasts between House, Senate GOP - Friday, July 26, 2013
WASHINGTON (AP) — There's a new cadence to President Barack Obama's musings about Congress: Why can't House Republicans be more like their mates in the Senate?
As Obama presses his economic agenda across the country, he's playing one chamber against the other, hoping Americans will hear his calls for compromise and conclude it's not his fault almost nothing is getting done in Washington.57. Tricky obstacles ahead to averting shutdown - Friday, July 26, 2013
WASHINGTON (AP) — There hasn't been a government shutdown in nearly two decades, but top lawmakers on Capitol Hill are finding trickier-than-usual obstacles in their path as they try to come up with must-do legislation to keep federal agencies running after Sept. 30.58. Dems pin immigration hopes on GOP's Ryan - Friday, July 12, 2013
WASHINGTON (AP) — Democrats doggedly pursuing a far-reaching immigration bill are counting on help from Republican Rep. Paul Ryan, Mitt Romney's running mate last year and an unlikely candidate for delivering the centerpiece of President Barack Obama's second-term agenda.59. Millions more immigrants under the Senate bill - Friday, July 05, 2013
WASHINGTON (AP) — Landmark immigration legislation passed by the Senate would remake America's workforce from the highest rungs to the lowest and bring many more immigrants into the economy, from elite technology companies to restaurant kitchens and rural fields.60. Senate immigration bill would remake economy - Friday, July 05, 2013
WASHINGTON (AP) — Landmark immigration legislation passed by the Senate would remake America's workforce from the highest rungs to the lowest, bringing more immigrants into numerous sectors of the economy, from elite technology companies to restaurant kitchens and rural fields.61. Boehner dances between GOP, Dems on immigration - Friday, June 14, 2013
WASHINGTON (AP) — The immigration protesters advanced on the news conference, poking signs that read "Do Not Reward Criminals" and "No Amnesty!" over the heads of Republicans who had just finished speaking about finding a civilized tone in the year's most difficult debate.62. Immigration bill could decide 2016, senator says - Friday, June 14, 2013
WASHINGTON (AP) — Republicans' hopes to reclaim the White House in the 2016 elections hinge on whether they support — or sabotage — the immigration overhaul being debated in the Senate, two lawmakers who helped write the proposal warn.63. Attention turns to vote-counting on immigration - Friday, June 07, 2013
WASHINGTON (AP) — Backers of far-reaching immigration legislation are turning their attention to courting support and counting votes after the Senate pushed the contentious bill over early procedural hurdles.64. Bipartisan bill would remake immigration system - Friday, April 12, 2013
WASHINGTON (AP) — The U.S. immigration system would undergo dramatic changes under a bipartisan Senate bill that puts a new focus on prospective immigrants' merit and employment potential, while seeking to end illegal immigration once and for all by creating legal avenues for workers to come here.65. Lawmakers ready to unveil immigration deal - Friday, April 12, 2013
WASHINGTON (AP) — A bipartisan group of senators is almost ready to share with colleagues and voters an immigration overhaul crafted over several months.
The so-called Gang of Eight is finishing up the final details and is planning to unveil the proposed legislation on Tuesday. Even before the measure gets its first public airing, its authors were defending the program that would provide a pathway to citizenship for the 11 million individuals in this country who came illegally or overstayed their visit.66. AP source: Immigration bill could exclude many - Friday, April 12, 2013
WASHINGTON (AP) — A bipartisan immigration bill soon to be introduced in the Senate could exclude hundreds of thousands of immigrants here illegally from ever becoming U.S. citizens, according to a Senate aide with knowledge of the proposals.67. Tentative farm workers deal in immigration talks - Friday, April 05, 2013
WASHINGTON (AP) — A tentative deal has been reached between agriculture workers and growers, a key senator said Tuesday, smoothing the way for a landmark immigration bill to be released within a week.68. Senators to add high-tech visas, dispute details - Friday, April 05, 2013
WASHINGTON (AP) — Senators finalizing a massive immigration bill are arguing over plans to boost visas for high-tech workers, Senate aides and industry officials say, with disputes flaring over how best to punish companies that train workers here only to ship them overseas.69. Immigration bill envisions new farm worker program - Friday, March 29, 2013
WASHINGTON (AP) — Sweeping immigration legislation taking shape in the Senate will aim to overhaul the nation's agriculture worker program to create a steady supply of labor for farmers and growers, who rely more than any other industry on workers who have come to the country illegally.70. Immigration deal at hand, focus turns to details - Friday, March 29, 2013
WASHINGTON (AP) — Big business and big labor have settled on a political framework for an immigration overhaul. Now, the lawmakers writing bipartisan legislation need to resolve the nitty-gritty — and keep their parties' political flanks mollified.71. Big spending cuts mark tea party success, and risk - Friday, March 01, 2013
WASHINGTON (AP) — The pending $85 billion in federal spending cuts would seem like a tea partyer's dream. Why, then, are tea party activists and other conservatives so wary on the eve of the big reductions, which Congress and the White House seem unable or unwilling to stop?72. Government downsizes amid GOP demands for more cuts - Friday, February 22, 2013
WASHINGTON (AP) — Republicans and other fiscal conservatives keep insisting on more federal austerity and a smaller government. Without much fanfare or acknowledgement, they've already gotten much of both.73. Labor, business agree to principles on immigration - Friday, February 22, 2013
WASHINGTON (AP) — Business and labor groups announced agreement Thursday on the principles of a key priority for a comprehensive immigration bill: a new system to bring lower-skilled workers to the U.S.74. Obama offering immigration plan as backup - Friday, February 15, 2013
WASHINGTON (AP) — The White House is downplaying its draft immigration proposal as merely a backup plan if lawmakers don't come up with an overhaul of their own. It won't be necessary, Republican and Democratic lawmakers alike are telling the Obama administration.75. Obama, business groups differ on minimum wage plan - Friday, February 08, 2013
WASHINGTON (AP) — President Barack Obama says raising the minimum wage to $9 an hour and tying future increases to inflation will boost the incomes of millions living in poverty and spur job growth by pouring more money into the economy. But business groups are not so sure.76. FACT CHECK: Overreaching in State of Union speech - Friday, February 08, 2013
WASHINGTON (AP) — President Barack Obama did some cherry-picking Tuesday night in defense of his record on jobs and laid out a conditional path to citizenship for illegal immigrants that may be less onerous than he made it sound.77. Obama proposals face quick opposition in Congress - Friday, February 08, 2013
WASHINGTON (AP) — President Barack Obama set up high-stakes clashes over guns, immigration, taxes and climate change in a State of the Union address that showcased a newly re-elected president determined to mark his legacy, facing off against a deeply divided Congress with Republicans eager to rein him in.78. Business, unions negotiating guest worker program - Friday, February 01, 2013
WASHINGTON (AP) — Business leaders and labor union officials are delving into high-stakes negotiations over a particularly contentious element of immigration reform — a guest worker program to ensure future immigrants come here legally.79. Republicans face a balancing act on immigration - Friday, February 01, 2013
WASHINGTON (AP) — Republicans face a delicate balancing act as they embrace an unprecedented shift in their views on immigration reform — and no one better exemplifies the potential risks and rewards than Sen. Marco Rubio of Florida.80. Senators reach agreement on immigration reform - Friday, January 25, 2013
WASHINGTON (AP) — A bipartisan group of leading senators has reached agreement on the principles for a sweeping overhaul of the nation's immigration laws, including a path to citizenship for the 11 million illegal immigrants already in this country.81. US Chamber makes immigration overhaul top priority - Friday, January 11, 2013
WASHINGTON (AP) — The president of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce said Thursday that the "door to the American dream must always remain open" as he announced a broad coalition of business, labor, faith organizations, law enforcement and ethnic groups intent on overhauling the nation's immigration system.82. Faces of the new Congress - Friday, January 04, 2013
WASHINGTON (AP) — Politically, the 213th Congress that was sworn in Thursday won't be much of a change from the less-than-stellar 212th Congress it replaces: Democrats picked up a few seats in the House and Senate, but the balance of power is unchanged, with Republicans controlling the House and Democrats holding a majority in the Senate.83. House re-elects Boehner speaker - Friday, January 04, 2013
WASHINGTON (AP) — The House and Senate ushered in a new Congress Thursday, re-electing embattled Republican John Boehner as speaker and hailing one of their own who returned a year after being felled by a stroke.84. 2016 politics on display as Congress ends term - Friday, December 28, 2012
WASHINGTON (AP) — Rep. Paul Ryan, the GOP's 2012 vice presidential candidate, voted for the "fiscal cliff" compromise that raised taxes on the wealthiest Americans. Republican Sens. Marco Rubio and Rand Paul voted against it. And Vice President Joe Biden helped broker the deal with GOP leaders in the Senate.85. Romney demurs on VP search with Rubio at his side - Friday, April 20, 2012
ASTON, Pa. (AP) — Mitt Romney declined Monday declined to endorse an immigration proposal from potential running mate Marco Rubio. Romney said he's considering the freshman Florida senator's plan to help some young people stay in the country legally while denying them an opportunity to become citizens.86. Jeb Bush says he'd consider vice presidency - Friday, April 20, 2012
WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. (AP) — Former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush says he'd consider running as vice president with Mitt Romney, but doubts he'll ever be asked.
Bush tells the conservative website Newsmax that Florida Sen. Marco Rubio is "probably the best" choice to share the ticket with Romney, the presumptive GOP presidential nominee. Bush said he hopes the freshman senator is offered the No. 2 slot and accepts it.87. GOP's McCain to Santorum: Time for 'graceful exit' - Friday, March 30, 2012
WASHINGTON (AP) — Sen. John McCain says Rick Santorum should recognize "it's time for a graceful exit" from the Republican presidential campaign in the wake of Mitt Romney's sweep of primaries in Wisconsin, Maryland and the District of Columbia.88. Is big GOP money finally flowing to Mitt Romney? - Friday, March 16, 2012
WASHINGTON (AP) — In an indication the GOP establishment may be starting to coalesce behind him, major contributors to a key Republican political organization founded by political strategist Karl Rove have boosted their financial support for front-runner Mitt Romney.89. Obama wants small business tax, investment breaks - Friday, January 27, 2012
WASHINGTON (AP) — Fleshing out a year-old initiative, the Obama administration wants Congress to enact or expand tax breaks for small businesses and remove barriers to startups, seizing on some existing bipartisan proposals that could win support even in the polarized climate of an election year.90. Rubio: Immigration not only issue for Hispanics - Friday, January 20, 2012
WASHINGTON (AP) — A Hispanic-American U.S. senator from Florida who's considered a rising star in the Republican Party says too much is being made of the significance of immigration to his community.