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Editorial Results (free)

1. Senate panel approves Trump's pick to run Labor Department -

WASHINGTON (AP) — A Republican-led Senate committee voted along party lines Tuesday to advance the nomination of President Donald Trump's pick to lead the Labor Department.

The Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee approved attorney Eugene Scalia's nomination, 12-11, clearing the way for the full Senate to vote.

2. Labor nominee says he won't be influenced by corporate work -

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Donald Trump's pick to lead Labor Department tried to assure senators Thursday that his years of legal work for corporate clients would not influence his actions as a Cabinet member.

3. GOP rejects cuts to wall funding, Dems threaten filibuster -

WASHINGTON (AP) — A Republican-controlled Senate committee on Thursday rejected Democratic attempts to cut President Donald Trump's latest border wall request and prevent him from again funding the project without congressional approval. Democrats threatened to filibuster a Pentagon spending bill.

4. Trump finds backing from Senate GOP on border wall move -

WASHINGTON (AP) — A Republican-controlled Senate committee approved a Pentagon funding bill on Thursday, rejecting Democratic attempts to cut President Donald Trump's border wall request and his moves to pay for the project without congressional approval.

5. Abortion, border wall put major spending bills into disarray -

WASHINGTON (AP) — Fights over abortion and President Donald Trump's U.S.-Mexico border wall have thrown Senate efforts to advance $1.4 trillion worth of agency spending bills into disarray, threatening one of Washington's few bipartisan accomplishments this year.

6. Democrats will try to block Trump's border wall maneuver -

WASHINGTON (AP) — Senate Democrats are moving on two fronts to block President Donald Trump from using special emergency powers to transfer money from military base construction projects like new schools to pay for new fences along the U.S.-Mexico border.

7. Analysis: Budget deal is epitaph for bid to control spending -

WASHINGTON (AP) — Eight years ago, Washington's power players reluctantly sealed a pact to curtail federal spending and the debt. Now, with help from President Donald Trump, they are writing its epitaph.

8. Top Middle Tennessee commercial sales for May 2019 -

Top commercial real estate sales, May 2019, for Davidson, Williamson, Rutherford, Wilson and Sumner counties, as compiled by Chandler Reports.

9. 1 in 6 ER visits or hospital stays triggers 'surprise' bill -

WASHINGTON (AP) — Roughly one in every six times someone is taken to an emergency room or checks in to the hospital, the treatment is followed by a "surprise" medical bill, according to a study released Thursday. And depending on where you live, the odds can be much higher.

10. 1 in 6 ER visits or hospital stays triggers 'surprise' bill -

WASHINGTON (AP) — Roughly one in every six times someone is taken to an emergency room or checks in to the hospital, the treatment is followed by a "surprise" medical bill, according to a study released Thursday. And depending on where you live, the odds can be much higher.

11. GOP, Dems team to address 'surprise medical bills' -

WASHINGTON (AP) — Senior Republican and Democratic senators are proposing legislation to address the problem of surprise medical bills. Those are the shockingly high charges insured patients can get hit with when a hospital or doctor is not in their insurers' network.

12. Scrap 'Obamacare'? Maybe not all, says Trump administration -

WASHINGTON (AP) — Scrap "Obamacare"? Well, maybe not all of it. The Trump administration is arguing in court that the entire Affordable Care Act should be struck down as unconstitutional. But at the same time, Justice Department lawyers recently suggested that federal judges could salvage its anti-fraud provisions, raising questions about keeping other parts as well.

13. Congress' inaction endangers black lung fund -

COEBURN, Va. (AP) — Former coal miner John Robinson's bills for black lung treatments run $4,000 a month, but the federal fund he depends on to help cover them is being drained of money because of inaction by Congress and the Trump administration.

14. DeVos proposes federal tax credits to advance school choice -

The Trump administration renewed its push for school choice on Thursday with a proposal to provide $5 billion a year in federal tax credits for donations made to groups offering scholarships for private schools, apprenticeships and other educational programs.

15. Dems say DeVos' deputy tried to influence internal inquiry -

BOSTON (AP) — Democrats in Congress are accusing the Education Department of interfering with an investigation by the agency's independent watchdog.

Five lawmakers sent a letter to Secretary Betsy DeVos on Tuesday staying her deputy pressured the department's inspector general on Jan. 3 to drop an internal investigation .

16. Democrats uneasy about potential Howard Schultz bid -

SEATTLE (AP) — For a businessman who grew a small coffee roaster into an inescapable global chain, who ensured that even his part-time workers had benefits and who has given about $150,000 to Democratic campaigns, former Starbucks Chairman Howard Schultz is generating tepid — or even hostile — responses within the party as he weighs a presidential bid in 2020.

17. Alexander won’t seek re-election in 2020 -

NASHVILLE (AP) — Republican U.S. Sen. Lamar Alexander of Tennessee announced Monday that he won't seek re-election in 2020, giving the red state its second open Senate contest in two years.

Alexander said in a news release that he was deeply grateful for being elected to more combined years as governor and senator than anyone else in Tennessee. But the 78-year-old politician said it's now time for someone else to have that privilege. He will serve out his final two years.

18. Top Middle Tennessee residential sales for September 2018 -

Top residential real estate sales, September 2018, for Davidson, Williamson, Rutherford, Wilson and Sumner counties, as compiled by Chandler Reports.

19. GOP lines up Kavanaugh vote plan as showdown hearing nears -

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Donald Trump denounced Democratic efforts to block Brett Kavanaugh's Supreme Court confirmation as a cynical "con job" on Tuesday and launched a dismissive attack on a second woman accusing the nominee of sexual misconduct in the 1980s, asserting she "has nothing."

20. GOP pushing forward for Kavanaugh, accuser wants 'fairness' -

WASHINGTON (AP) — Republicans say they're forging ahead in their drive to push Brett Kavanaugh's Supreme Court nomination through the Senate, even as the woman accusing him of a decades-old sexual attack is threatening to boycott a committee hearing and suggesting she's not being treated with "fairness and respect."

21. Bezos, wife donate $10 million to veterans political group -

SEATTLE (AP) — Amazon founder Jeff Bezos and his wife MacKenzie Bezos have made their largest political donation to date, giving $10 million to a nonpartisan political-action committee devoted to helping military veterans running for Congress.

22. Dems: Novartis deal with Cohen sought access to policymakers -

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Donald Trump's former personal lawyer, Michael Cohen, was in frequent contact with top officials of pharmaceutical giant Novartis as part of a $1.2 million consulting deal, and the Swiss-based company expected him to provide access to Trump administration policymakers, according to a report Friday by a group of Senate Democrats.

23. White House proposes merging education, labor -

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Trump administration proposed a major reorganization of the federal government on Thursday, calling for merging the education and labor departments, moving the federal food stamp program to the Department of Health and Human Services and renaming that agency. The plan represented the latest aspiration of a presidential administration to revamp a sprawling federal government.

24. Lax vetting on Trump nominees begins to frustrate senators -

WASHINGTON (AP) — As President Donald Trump's pick to lead Veterans Affairs skids to a halt, senators from both parties are voicing frustration that the White House is skipping crucial vetting of nominees and leaving lawmakers to clean up the mess.

25. Trump hints VA pick might want to withdraw nomination -

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Donald Trump suggested Tuesday that his pick for Veterans Affairs secretary might want to withdraw after the emergence of allegations about inappropriate workplace behavior, including over-prescribing prescription drugs and drinking on the job.

26. Spending talks nearly done, $1.3T bill soon to be unveiled -

WASHINGTON (AP) — Talks over a $1.3 trillion government spending bill are almost complete as the White House and Capitol Hill Democrats ironed out deals on a first round of funding for President Donald Trump's U.S.-Mexico border wall.

27. Bids to curb health care costs offer little more than talk -

WASHINGTON (AP) — It started as a bipartisan attempt to curb soaring health care premiums.

But Congress' effort to stabilize the nation's insurance markets is faltering amid escalating demands by each party and erratic positions by President Donald Trump. Democrats want bigger federal subsidies for consumers under President Barack Obama's health care law while Republicans, still fighting that statute, aim to relax its coverage requirements and win abortion restrictions.

28. Top Middle Tennessee commercial sales for January 2018 -

Top commercial real estate sales, January 2018, for Davidson, Williamson, Rutherford, Wilson and Sumner counties, as compiled by Chandler Reports.

29. Trump protecting medical providers who oppose abortion -

WASHINGTON (AP) — Moving to solidify its standing with social conservatives, the Trump administration is creating an office to protect the religious rights of medical providers, including those who oppose abortion.

30. Congress deals 2 blows to 'Obamacare' -

WASHINGTON (AP) — Congress dealt a pair of blows to the Obama health care law Wednesday, including a retreat by two senators who were fighting for a provision this year that would help contain premium costs.

31. Franken announces resignation from Senate amid allegations -

WASHINGTON (AP) — Minnesota Sen. Al Franken said Thursday he will resign from Congress in coming weeks following a wave of sexual misconduct allegations and a collapse of support from his Democratic colleagues, a swift political fall for a once-rising Democratic star.

32. Skeptical Democrats to quiz Trump health pick on drug prices -

WASHINGTON (AP) — Skeptical Democratic senators are getting a chance to question President Donald Trump's pick for health secretary about what he'll do about rising drug prices and the future of "Obamacare."

33. 'Obamacare' mandate repeal would remake market for consumers -

WASHINGTON (AP) — Millions are expected to forgo coverage if Congress repeals the unpopular requirement that Americans get health insurance, gambling that they won't get sick and boosting premiums for others in a sharp break with the idea that everyone should contribute toward health care.

34. Trump names former drug exec as new health secretary -

WASHINGTON (AP) — Turning to an industry he's rebuked, President Donald Trump on Monday picked a former top pharmaceutical and government executive to be his health and human services secretary, overseeing a $1 trillion department responsible for major health insurance programs, medical research, food and drug safety, and public health.

35. Study: ACA silver plan premiums up average of 34 percent -

WASHINGTON (AP) — As online window shopping on HealthCare.gov went live Wednesday, an independent analysis found that premiums for the most popular health plans under the Affordable Care Act are rising by an average 34 percent next year.

36. CBO: Bipartisan health care bill would save money -

WASHINGTON (AP) — Congressional budget analysts say a bipartisan health care bill would save the government money and it isn't likely to have much impact — either way — on the number of people with coverage.

37. GOP lawmakers propose new conditions on health bill -

WASHINGTON (AP) — Two top Republicans announced a bill Tuesday restoring federal subsidies to insurers that includes tough conditions sought by the White House. Senate Democrats have enough votes to kill it, but the measure underscores the changes the Trump administration and congressional conservatives say they want in exchange for resuming the payments.

38. Trump tweets that 401(k) tax incentives 'safe' in tax plan -

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Donald Trump promised Monday there will be "no change" to tax incentives for the popular 401(k) retirement programs.

"This has always been a great and popular middle class tax break that works, and it stays!" Trump tweeted.

39. Trump urges House GOP to move quickly on budget, tax cuts -

WASHINGTON, D.C. (AP) — House Republicans, with the urging of President Donald Trump, will strive to pass a budget this week so they can turn their attention to tax reform. Trump warned that action on tax reform is crucial to avoiding political failure in 2018.

40. Alexander criticizes Trump's response on health proposal -

WASHINGTON (AP) — GOP frustration burst into the open Thursday over President Donald Trump's erratic response to a bipartisan health deal, even as the agreement's authors announced a list of co-sponsors in an attempt to win over the president and Senate GOP leaders.

41. Trump kicks issues to Congress, is erratic negotiator -

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Donald Trump is proving to be an erratic negotiating partner as he punts policy issues to Congress and then sends conflicting signals about what he really wants.

His rapid backpedal this week on a short-term health care is the latest example, and it's left Republicans and Democrats scratching their heads.

42. Top Middle Tennessee commercial transactions for September 2017 -

Top residential real estate sales, September 2017, for Davidson, Williamson, Rutherford, Wilson and Sumner counties, as compiled by Chandler Reports. Due to technical issues, Davidson County sales are unavailable for September.

43. Alexander says he'll push health deal, Trump keeps distance -

WASHINGTON (AP) — The authors of a bipartisan plan to calm health insurance markets said Wednesday they'll push the proposal forward, even as President Donald Trump's stance ricocheted from supportive to disdainful to arm's-length and the plan's fate teetered.

44. Alexander, Murray reach deal on resuming payments to health insurers -

WASHINGTON (AP) — Key senators reached a breakthrough deal Tuesday on resuming federal payments to health insurers that President Donald Trump has blocked. Insurers had warned that unless the money is quickly restored, premiums will go up.

45. Collins: Trump should back effort to resume health subsidy -

WASHINGTON (AP) — A key moderate Republican is urging President Donald Trump to support a bipartisan Senate effort to reinstate insurer payments, calling his move to halt the subsidies an immediate threat to millions of Americans who could now face rising premiums and lost health care coverage.

46. Trump to issue stop-payment order on health care subsidies -

WASHINGTON (AP) — In a move likely to roil America's insurance markets, President Donald Trump will "immediately" halt payments to insurers under the Obama-era health care law he has been trying to persuade Congress to unravel for months.

47. State politicians in no hurry to fix health insurance -

We don’t need no stinkin’ special session on Medicaid expansion. That’s pretty much the Republican response to House Democratic Leader Craig Fitzhugh’s call for Gov. Bill Haslam to bring lawmakers back to Nashville after the Graham-Cassidy bill failed in Congress.

48. Ex-Obama officials begin health insurance sign-up campaign -

WASHINGTON (AP) — Former Obama administration officials are undertaking a private campaign to encourage people to sign up for coverage next year under the Affordable Care Act.

With the start of open enrollment on Nov. 1, the Trump administration has slashed the Obama health law's ad budget, as well as grants to outside organizations that are supposed to help people sign up. Although Republican attempts to repeal the law have proven futile so far, President Donald Trump hasn't changed his view that the program is a "disaster."

49. Congress at crossroads after another GOP health care failure -

WASHINGTON (AP) — Congress is at a crossroads after Republicans' stinging failure to repeal Barack Obama's health care law. But what's next — more partisan conflict or a pragmatic shift toward cooperation?

50. Republican leaders: Senate won't vote on Obamacare repeal -

WASHINGTON (AP) — Facing assured defeat, Republican leaders decided Tuesday not to even hold a vote on the GOP's latest attempt to repeal the Obama health care law, surrendering on their last-gasp effort to deliver on the party's banner campaign promise.

51. Trump pressing GOP senators to act on new health proposal -

WASHINGTON (AP) — With time growing short, President Donald Trump and Republican Senate leaders are engaged in a frantic search for votes in a last-ditch effort to repeal and replace the Obama health law. The outcome is uncertain in a Capitol newly engulfed in drama over health care.

52. A last, last chance: Republicans strain for Obamacare repeal -

WASHINGTON (AP) — With time growing short, President Donald Trump and Republican Senate leaders are engaged in a frantic search for votes in a last-ditch effort to repeal and replace "Obamacare." The outcome is uncertain in a Capitol newly engulfed in drama over health care.

53. GOP expresses hope for Obamacare repeal bill, hurdles remain -

WASHINGTON (AP) — Top Senate Republicans say their last-ditch push to uproot former President Barack Obama's health care law is gaining momentum. But they have less than two weeks to succeed and face a tough fight to win enough GOP support to reverse the summer's self-inflicted defeat on the party's high-priority issue.

54. Analysts see Trump threats to insurers boosting premiums -

WASHINGTON (AP) — Average premiums for individually purchased health insurance will grow around 15 percent next year, largely because of marketplace nervousness over whether President Donald Trump will block federal subsidies to insurers, Congress' nonpartisan fiscal analyst projected Thursday.

55. Republicans unveil long-shot effort on health care -

WASHINGTON (AP) — Senators on Wednesday rolled out competing plans for the nation's health care system, with a group of GOP senators making a last, long-shot effort to undo Barack Obama's Affordable Care Act and independent Sen. Bernie Sanders proposing universal government-run coverage.

56. Sanders bill expands Medicare for all, lacks details on cost -

WASHINGTON (AP) — Americans would get health coverage simply by showing a new government-issued card and would no longer owe out-of-pocket expenses like deductibles, according to legislation Sen. Bernie Sanders released Wednesday charting a stem-to-stern reshaping of the country's health care system.

57. Sanders, GOP push banner health care bills -

WASHINGTON (AP) — Liberal Sen. Bernie Sanders is ready to unveil his bill for starkly reshaping the country's current hodge-podge health care system into one where the government provides medical insurance for everybody.

58. Governors back bipartisan Senate bid to control health costs -

WASHINGTON (AP) — A group of Republican and Democratic governors became the latest voices Thursday to endorse a bipartisan Senate drive to control health insurance costs in defiance of President Donald Trump.

59. GOP, Dem senators calmly discuss bolstering Obama health law -

WASHINGTON (AP) — Republicans and Democrats serenely discussed ways to curb premium increases for individual insurance policies on Wednesday at a Senate hearing that veered away from years of fierce partisanship over the failed GOP effort to revoke President Barack Obama's health care law.

60. Alexander: Both parties to blame if no health compromise -

WASHINGTON (AP) — Both parties must give ground to craft a compromise bill shoring up the nation's individual health insurance markets or they'll be blamed for hurting millions of consumers, the chairman of the Senate health committee said Wednesday.

61. Senators seek bipartisan deal to shore up insurance markets -

WASHINGTON (AP) — Senators are launching hearings to help Republicans and Democrats decide if they can forge a modest agreement to shore up the nation's individual insurance markets. The effort will show whether divided Republicans are ready to pivot from trying to obliterate the Obama health care law to helping it survive, and if both parties can overcome lingering raw feelings over that battle.

62. Millions who buy health insurance brace for sharp increases -

WASHINGTON (AP) — Millions of people who buy individual health insurance policies and get no financial help from the Affordable Care Act are bracing for another year of double-digit premium increases, and their frustration is boiling over.

63. Past health chiefs: insurance market stability is the goal -

WASHINGTON (AP) — Don't make things worse. That's the advice of former U.S. health secretaries of both parties to President Donald Trump and the GOP-led Congress, now that "Obamacare" seems here for the foreseeable future. The 2018 sign-up season for subsidized private health plans starts Nov. 1, with about 10 million people currently served through HealthCare.gov and its state counterparts.

64. Report: Higher premiums if Trump halts 'Obamacare' subsidies -

WASHINGTON (AP) — Premiums for a popular type of individual health plan would rise sharply, and more people would be left with no insurance options if President Donald Trump makes good on his threat to stop "Obamacare" payments to insurers, the Congressional Budget Office said Tuesday.

65. Pence: Repealing health care law 'ain't over by a long shot' -

NASHVILLE (AP) — Vice President Mike Pence said Thursday that efforts to repeal and replace former Democratic President Barack Obama's signature health care law "ain't over by a long shot."

66. WH no longer expresses confidence in health vote -

WASHINGTON (AP) — The White House is no longer expressing confidence that the upcoming House vote on health care will be successful.

Instead, spokesman Sean Spicer says President Donald Trump is confident that the White House has done "every single thing possible" to corral the 216 votes needed to pass legislation to repeal the Obama-era health care law.

67. Labor nominee says he won't let politics influence hiring -

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Donald Trump's nominee to lead the Labor Department said Wednesday he won't allow potential political pressure from the administration to influence his hiring decisions and regrets he let that happen on his watch at the Justice Department.

68. Puzder withdrawal stark example of rough start for Trump WH -

WASHINGTON (AP) — The White House is working frantically to find a new secretary of labor candidate after President Donald Trump's original pick, Andrew Puzder, abruptly withdrew from consideration.

69. Trump's labor nominee hired housekeeper in US illegally -

WASHINGTON (AP) — Labor Secretary nominee Andrew Puzder acknowledged Tuesday that he had employed a housekeeper who was in the U.S. illegally, putting him again at odds with President Donald Trump's push to keep jobs in American hands.

70. Nominee Price: Affordability, access key to health care reform -

WASHINGTON (AP) — President-elect Donald Trump's pick for health secretary said Wednesday that access and affordability were his goals for revamping health care, and he offered assurances that the new administration is not planning to launch a Medicare overhaul.

71. $1 million-plus Middle Tennessee residential transactions for 2016 -

Residential real estate sales of $1 million or more for for Davidson (308 total), Williamson (241), Rutherford (4), Wilson (5) and Sumner (3) counties in 2016, as compiled by Chandler Reports.

72. Senate GOP drops push to 'defund Obamacare' -

WASHINGTON (AP) — Republicans controlling the Senate are abandoning an effort to use their power over the federal purse strings to block implementation of the Affordable Care Act.

The more pragmatic approach came Tuesday on a huge $164 billion spending measure and reflects a hope by top Republicans like Majority Leader Mitch McConnell of Kentucky to remove veto bait from must-pass spending bills in hopes of advancing them more easily with Democratic support.

73. Budget Deal winners: Obama, Pentagon while tea partyers lose -

WASHINGTON (AP) — Count President Barack Obama, the Pentagon and new Speaker Paul Ryan as winners in the hard-fought budget deal between congressional leaders and the White House.

The losers are tea partyers and those with an aversion to budget gimmicks.

74. No shutdown, no default: Congress leaders, Obama back deal -

WASHINGTON (AP) — Striving to end a cycle of crisis, congressional leaders and the White House united Tuesday behind an ambitious budget and debt deal aimed at restoring a semblance of order to Capitol Hill and ending the threat of government shutdowns and defaults until well after a new president takes office.

75. Speaker Boehner pushes for budget deal before leaving House -

WASHINGTON (AP) — Speaker John Boehner is trying to make one last deal as he heads for the exits, pushing to finalize a far-reaching, two-year budget agreement before handing Congress' top job over to Paul Ryan this week, congressional officials said Monday.

76. Congress' to-do list grows; misstep could mean govt shutdown -

WASHINGTON (AP) — Congress' midsummer to-do list may take until Christmas to clear.

At the top are maintaining the flow of highway funding, easing automatic budget cuts to the Pentagon and domestic agencies, renewing tax breaks and raising the debt limit. A misstep at any of several points could trigger a partial government shutdown.

77. No Child Left Behind rewrites back up for debate, votes -

WASHINGTON (AP) — With Republican and Democratic lawmakers calling it outdated and unworkable, Congress is set to try again to overhaul the Bush-era No Child Left Behind education law.

The Senate continues debate Wednesday on a bipartisan measure that rewrites the 2002 law, shifting much of the federal oversight of schools to the states and local districts. The House has a GOP-sponsored bill that was pulled abruptly from a floor vote earlier this year, but it's expected to be debated Wednesday in the full chamber.

78. Senate, House look to update Bush-era education law -

WASHINGTON (AP) — It's something most Democrats and Republicans in Congress can agree on — an update to the Bush-era No Child Left Behind education law is much needed and long overdue.

This week, the Senate and House take up rewrites of the 2002 law, with lawmakers seeking to finally resolve a key question they have struggled with for years: how much of a role should the federal government have in ensuring a quality education and boosting achievement for children, poor and affluent alike. Getting enough support to send a bill to President Barack Obama that he'll sign also may be no easy task.

79. Finally, Congress OKs bill reshaping Medicare doctors' fees -

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.

80. Senate Dems, GOP woo female voters for this fall -

WASHINGTON (AP) — Democratic and Republican Senators are pouring significant time and energy into pursuing female voters, a coveted prize in the Nov. 4 elections.

Wednesday's Senate vote on contraception legislation is the latest example of Democrats' win-by-losing strategy, which forces Republicans to vote on sensitive matters that might rile women this fall.

81. Senate panel rolls back housing, Amtrak cuts -

WASHINGTON (AP) — A bipartisan coalition on the Senate Appropriations Committee moved Thursday to roll back House GOP-backed cuts to Amtrak, transportation projects and affordable housing projects, but pressures elsewhere in the budget may make the funding levels unsustainable as the massive $108 billion spending bill moves ahead.

82. House passes Ryan budget with big cuts -

WASHINGTON (AP) — House Republicans rallied behind a slashing budget blueprint on Wednesday, passing a non-binding but politically charged measure that promises a balanced federal ledger in 10 years with sweeping budget cuts and termination of health care coverage under the Affordable Care Act.

83. GOP budget slashes spending, aid to poor -

WASHINGTON (AP) — A budget plan stuffed with familiar proposals to cut across a wide swath of the federal budget breezed through the House Budget Committee on Wednesday, but its sharp cuts to health care coverage for the middle class and the poor, food stamps and popular domestic programs are a nonstarter with President Barack Obama.

84. House GOP plan seeks health cuts to balance budget -

WASHINGTON (AP) — House Republicans are pressing ahead with a slashing plan to try to balance the budget within 10 years, relying on big decreases in health care programs for the middle class and the poor, as well as tax hikes and Medicare cuts engineered by President Barack Obama.

85. Ryan unveils House GOP budget claiming balance -

WASHINGTON (AP) — House Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan unveiled an updated Republican budget plan Tuesday that would slash $5.1 trillion in federal spending over coming decade and promises to balance the government's books with wide-ranging cuts in programs like food stamps and government-paid health care for the poor and working class.

86. Writing a budget might divide House Republicans -

WASHINGTON (AP) — Divisions among Republicans over a budget deal and a shortfall in tax estimates are complicating the House GOP's efforts to advance a spending plan this spring.

Party leaders insist the GOP-controlled House is moving full speed ahead to approve one, but it has fallen behind schedule amid concerns there will be enough votes to pass it.

87. GOP, deficit hawks pan Obama's $3.9T budget -

WASHINGTON (AP) — Republicans are dismissing President Barack Obama's new $3.9 trillion budget as nothing more than a Democratic manifesto for this fall's congressional campaigns, but the fiscal plan is taking hits from another quarter too — anti-deficit groups.

88. Senate clears debt limit measure for Obama -

WASHINGTON (AP) — After a dramatic Senate tally in which top GOP leaders cast the crucial votes, must-pass legislation to allow the government to borrow money to pay its bills cleared Congress Wednesday for President Barack Obama's signature.

89. Dozens of trade-offs in $1.1 trillion budget bill -

WASHINGTON (AP) — A massive $1.1 trillion spending bill to fund the government through October and finally put to rest the bitter budget battles of last year is getting generally positive reviews from House Republicans eager to avoid another shutdown crisis with elections looming in 10 months.

90. Lawmakers put finishing touches on spending bill -

WASHINGTON (AP) — Funding for implementing the new health care law and other sticking points remain, but negotiators reported significant progress Tuesday on a $1.1 trillion spending bill to fund the government through September.

91. Congress sends sweeping defense bill to Obama -

WASHINGTON (AP) — The women of the Senate who led the fight to change how the military deals with sexual assault in its ranks are hailing passage of a comprehensive defense bill that now heads to President Barack Obama for his signature.

92. White House greets budget deal with caution, hope -

WASHINGTON (AP) — There were no champagne corks popping at the White House after Congress passed a two-year budget deal, no declarations of a new era of cooperation in President Barack Obama's second term.

93. Bipartisan budget agreement clears Congress -

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.

94. Budget bill moves toward final passage in Senate -

WASHINGTON (AP) — A bipartisan budget bill that would ease some but not all of painful budget cuts that would otherwise slam the Pentagon and domestic agencies passed a pivotal test in the Senate on Tuesday.

95. House Republicans get behind budget agreement -

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."

96. House Republicans signal support for budget deal -

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.

97. Budget deal? Big obstacles, New Year's deadline -

WASHINGTON (AP) — With hopes of a "grand bargain" long gone, congressional negotiators now are seeking a more modest deal before year-end to ease the automatic spending cuts that are squeezing both the Pentagon and domestic federal programs. But the going is getting rougher.

98. GOP opposes Democratic drive to renew jobless aid -

WASHINGTON (AP) — Republicans controlling the House oppose a drive by Democrats to renew jobless benefits averaging less than $300 a week nationwide for the long-term unemployed, a senior GOP lawmaker said Tuesday.

99. Blue ribbon panels stumble on trimming red ink -

WASHINGTON (AP) — Since the end of World War II, more than a dozen high-profile bipartisan panels have been convened to tackle the nation's thorniest fiscal problems. Seldom have their recommendations spurred congressional action.

100. Democrats launch effort to renew jobless benefits -

WASHINGTON (AP) — Democrats on Capitol Hill have launched a drive to renew jobless benefits averaging less than $300 a week nationwide for people out of work for more than six months.

Benefits for 1.3 million long-term unemployed people expire just three days after Christmas. Lawmakers say another 1.9 million people would miss out on the benefits in the first six months of next year.