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Posts tagged ‘Washington DC’

Poll: Americans Say 113th Congress is Worst Ever.


Image: Poll: Americans Say 113th Congress is Worst EverSpeaker of the House John Boehner swears in members of the 113th U.S. House of Representatives during the opening session at the U.S. Capitol on January 3, 2013.

By Lisa Barron

An overwhelming majority of Americans say the 113th Congress is the worst in their lifetime, according to a new CNN/ORC International poll released Thursday.

While nearly three quarters of the respondents said this has been a “do-nothing” Congress, two thirds of those surveyed said the current Congress is the worst in their lifetime, with 28 percent disagreeing.

Editor’s Note: Should ObamaCare Be Defunded? Vote in Urgent National Poll 

“That sentiment exists among all demographic and political subgroups. Men, women, rich, poor, young old — all think this year’s Congress has been the worst they can remember,” Keating Holland, CNN polling director, said.

“Older Americans — who have lived through more congresses — hold more negative views of the 113th Congress than younger Americans. Republicans, Democrats and independents also agree that this has been the worst session of Congress in their lifetimes.”

The telephone poll of 1,035 adults nationwide showed that 73 percent say Congress has done nothing to solve the country’s problems, with roughly 25 percent disagreeing.

Indeed, less than 60 bills have been passed and signed into law during the past year, according to CNN, and there is not much optimism that next year will be much better.

Fifty-two percent believe the policies of Democratic leaders in Congress would move the country in the wrong direction, and 54 percent think the policies of the Republican leaders would do the same, the survey found. The poll, conducted Dec. 16-19, had a sampling error of plus or minus three percent.

One of the first tests of where Congress is headed in 2014 will be the fight over the debt ceiling, and analysts are somewhat divided about the prospects, reports The Washington Times.

“I don’t think there’s any political reason why they’ll fight over this, at least not to the degree that they have in the past,” Mark Zandi, chief economist at Moody’s Analytics, said Wednesday on CNN.

But others maintain that could still be gridlock, despite the bipartisan budget dealreached earlier this month.

Urgent: Do You Approve Or Disapprove of President Obama’s Job Performance? Vote Now in Urgent Poll 

“I believe we very quickly began to move away from ‘Kumbaya’ a couple weeks ago,” Jared Bernstein, a senior fellow at the Center for Budget and Policy Priorities, said Tuesday on MSNBC.

“I’m afraid we’re not going to see a lot [of cooperation], but we’ll see some,” he added.

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© 2013 Newsmax. All rights reserved.

Obama Signs up through DC Health Care Exchange.


In a symbolic step, President Barack Obama has signed up for health insurance through the new exchanges created by his health care overhaul.

The White House says Obama signed up through the Washington, D.C., marketplace over the weekend. Because he signed up in private, without reporters present, it was unclear whether Obama encountered any of the website glitches that millions of other Americans have experienced.

Obama, through a staff member, reportedly elected a lower-cost bronze plan offered through an exchange in the District of Columbia. However, technically, the commander-in-chief already has insurance through the military.

On vacation in Hawaii, Obama said he “was pleased to participate in a plan as a show of support for these marketplaces, which are providing quality, affordable healthcare options to more than a million people,” officials said.

According to Politico, a staff member went to an exchange office, in person, to sign up Obama.

“Like some Americans, the complicated nature of the president’s case required an in-person sign up,” the official said. “As you’d expect, the president’s personal information is not readily available in the variety of government databases HealthCare.gov uses to verify identities.”

The president will pay a premium for personal coverage (excluding his family) of less than $400 monthly.

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Information from the Associated Press was used in this report.

© Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Source: Newsmax.com

Boehner’s DC Landlord Lobbies for Tanning Industry.


Image: Boehner's DC Landlord Lobbies for Tanning Industry

By Sandy Fitzgerald

House Speaker John Boehner may be perpetually tan, but he doesn’t have a tanning bed in his Washington D.C. apartment — which he rents from a lobbyist for the American Suntanning Association.

“There is not nor has there ever been a tanning bed in the residence!” Boehner’s landlord, lobbyist John Milne insisted in an email Tuesday to The Daily Caller.

Boehner, who has insisted for years that his healthy hue comes from spending a lot of time outdoors and not baking in a tanning bed, has longtime ties to the tanning industry lobbyist.

He started renting Milne’s apartment in 2006, reports The Washington Post, when he was first elected Speaker of the House, a move that raised some eyebrows because of Milne’s lobbyist career.

When Boehner first started living at the apartment, Milne’s clients included restaurant chains and health insurance companies who hired him to lobby on issues tied closely with Boehner’s House position, including minimum-wage increases, tax breaks for small businesses, and tax-free savings accounts for insurance costs, the Post reported in 2006.

But since then, the American Suntanning Association contracted with lobbying firm mCapitol, where Milne works, for services this year.

Boehner’s camp has denied for years that Milne lobbies him on any issue. However, the Indoor Tanning Association PAC donated $5,000 to Boehner in 2011, according to records.

Several other lawmakers received contributions from the tanning PAC, including one other perpetually suntanned Republican, South Dakota Sen. John Thune, The Daily Caller reports.

The Indoor Tanning Association protested a 10 percent sales tax on tanning bed services that came as part of Obamacare, complaining the tax causes problems for tanning services or companies that offer tanning beds as part of gym memberships.

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© 2013 Newsmax. All rights reserved.

Boehner’s Advice: Begin Your Day With Breakfast at a Diner.


Image: Boehner's Advice: Begin Your Day With Breakfast at a Diner

House Speaker John Boehner suggests to Esquire magazine readers that they have breakfast at a diner.

The men’s magazine asked the Ohio Republican for a recommendation for its readers for January. 

Boehner doesn’t name his favorite diner in the article, but it is well known among Washington politicians as Pete’s.

“Most mornings when I’m in Washington, I have breakfast at the same place,” Boehner said. “It’s a diner.

“I get up early and go for a walk, and then stop by the diner on my way back to my apartment to read the news on my iPad and a stack of memos to prepare for the day,” Boehner said Tuesday. “It’s a comforting ritual, particularly in the dead of winter.”

The diner, the speaker said, reminds him of the bar his father owned while he was growing up in Ohio.

“I’ve been going there for years, and the staff all know me,” Boehner said. “They’re mostly immigrants from China and Vietnam. They don’t make a fuss over me — and they never talk to the reporters who come to snoop around every now and again.

“I sit at the counter in jeans and a ball cap,” he continued, adding that his usual meal is “eggs, and sometimes sausage, but never on Fridays.”

He also doesn’t order the bacon.

“My diner makes lousy bacon. I don’t know why,” he said.

“I’m always looking for new diners, and when I find one I like, I stick with it.

“It’s an anchor to my day, a way to feel like I’m home in Ohio no matter where I am,” the speaker said. “That’s why I endorse breakfast at a diner.”

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© 2013 Newsmax. All rights reserved.

Congressional Staffers Warned Not to Assume They Have Healthcare Coverage.


Senate employees are being cautioned not to take for granted that they have healthcare coverage even if they signed up through the District of Columbia insurance exchange, Fox News reports.

“Please do not assume you are covered unless you have seen the Confirmation Letter from the Disbursing Office!” the Senate Disbursing Office warned in an email Wednesday. The message continued, “Do not rely on your ‘My Account’ page or other correspondence” from the exchange as proof of coverage.

Dan Strodel, the chief administrative officer of the House, said he was also aware of “significant problems” that had prevented enrollment through the DC Health Link exchange. He has asked the Office of Personnel Management to take “immediate steps” to ensure that House lawmakers and staff are able to sign up.

The DC Health Link is not administered by the federal HealthCare.gov website. Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius said Wednesday in testimony on Capitol Hill that the Obamcare site is “working faster, responding more quickly” and handling “larger volumes of concurrent users.”

However, Fox New reported that the cueing system of the federal site briefly crashed on Wednesday.

Congressional Staffers will continue to have their current Federal Employees Health Benefits coverage until the end of January even if they were unable to sign up for new plans under Obamacare that take effect Jan. 1. Other Capitol Hill employees who do not work directly for a lawmaker are able to retain coverage under their old federal benefits package.

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© 2013 Newsmax. All rights reserved.

By Elliot Jager

Congressional Health Plans Extended Due to Obamacare Problems.


Congressional lawmakers and their staff now have until the end of January to sign up for new health coverage due to enrollment problems with the District of Columbia’s healthcare exchange website.

According to House officials, lawmakers and their aides can continue with their current coverage plans until Jan. 31, unless they have already successfully enrolled in Obamacare.

The extension reminder came Thursday, four days before the Dec. 9 Obamacare sign-up deadline for federal employees, The Washington Post reported.

The email from Dan Strodel, chief administrative officer in the House, went out to all House employees reminding them that that they are allowed to stay on the current Federal Employees Health Benefits Program “until you are successfully enrolled in a plan under DC Health Link.” He said the old plans are scheduled to end on Feb. 1.

In his email, Strodel cited “significant problems” with the DC Health Link website that have made it more difficult for many on Capitol Hill to complete the enrollment process. He said he had informed Office of Personnel Management about the issues.

Meanwhile, congressional aides who attended a health benefits fair Thursday were unable to enroll in Obamacare because the D.C. website was either down or producing error messages, Roll Call reported. Some staff members waited in line for more than two hours to use a single computer made available to attendees.

According to the Post, Senate officials have not said if they will offer an extension, as well, but Senate employees have not reported as many problems as their counterparts in the House.

Republican Rep. Candice Miller of Michigan, chairwoman of the House Administration Committee, said in a statement that the D.C. exchange site “is failing as utterly as the nationwide Obamacare website.”

“The House is doing everything possible to assist our employees and their families from losing healthcare coverage because of this deeply flawed enrollment process,” Miller added.

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© 2013 Newsmax. All rights reserved.
By Melissa Clyne

Thousands Of Americans Storm National Mall To Protest Obama’s Treatment Of Veterans.


20131013-131445.jpg

WASHINGTON – Thousands of people converged on the World War II Memorial on the National Mall on Sunday morning and tore down the barricades blocking it off, protesting the closure of the memorial during the federal government shutdown.

Beginning at about 9:30 a.m., Sens. Mike Lee, R-Utah, and Ted Cruz, R-Texas, as well as former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin, were among the luminaries in a crowd that chanted “Tear down these walls!” and sang “God Bless America” as well as other patriotic songs as they entered the memorial, which has been closed since the government shutdown that began Oct. 1.

Tractor-trailers headed down 17th Street toward the Mall, blaring their horns. The Metropolitan Police Department blocked off the street, prompting the crowd to head up the street, shouting at the police to move their vehicles.

Cruz said that President Obama was using veterans as political pawns in the shutdown.

By 11 a.m., the group had headed back to the memorial, and dozens congregated around World War II veterans, shaking their hands and thanking them for their service.

Later in the morning, veteran Mike Lauriente was accepting handshakes from demonstrators. He served in Sicily and French Morocco, and declared the memorial, which he was seeing for the first time, beautiful. “The spirit that I see here is overwhelming.” source – WTOP.

by NTEB News Desk

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