The sweeping defeat suffered by Republicans in Virginia last month serves as a warning for the party ahead of the 2014 midterm elections, a top House Republican is warning Saturday.
House Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-Va.), in a speech to be delivered to Virginia Republicans on Saturday afternoon, called on his party to move beyond internal differences that contributed to statewide losses in November and put forward a positive agenda, a message that could also apply to his congressional allies.
Democrats, led by former national party chairman Terry McAuliffe, won all three of Virginia's top state offices in November (a statewide recount will be held in the narrow race for attorney general). The state's U.S. senators are also Democrats. The GOP is shut out of all statewide-elected offices for the first time since 1969 — "the same year Neil Armstrong walked on the moon," Cantor said in excerpts of his speech provided to the Los Angeles Times.
The senator from Kentucky had an important question for Republicans in Michigan.
“How are you supposed to make child support payments if you’ve been in prison, and the best job you can get is $9 an hour?” Sen. Rand Paul asked, wearing a suit and tie at the opening of a new GOP office on Livernois Avenue in Detroit.
Child support, prison and the war on drugs are not usual topics for the GOP senator, who had previously gained media attention for launching a filibuster against President Obama’a nominee to head the CIA because Paul questioned the administration’s use of drones.
“These are things you haven’t heard Republicans talking about,” he said. “So I’m glad to be part of this today, not only just to mean that Republicans are showing up where we haven’t been, but with a new message and policy.”
Minorities shunned the GOP in the 2012 elections, with 93% of African Americans and 71% of Latinos voting for Obama, and...
WASHINGTON -- One of the Senate’s longest-serving Republicans said Friday that he would seek reelection in 2014, setting up another intraparty test between the party’s old guard and tea party forces.
Mississippi Sen. Thad Cochran’s decision to seek a seventh term – revealed on the eve of his 76th birthday -- was something of a surprise. He raised just more than $53,000 in the most recent fundraising period, and has only $800,000 in the bank. Chris McDaniel, a 41-year-old state senator, entered the race in October and has begun actively campaigning and picking up endorsements.
Cochran said in a statement that he would “run hard and be successful so that I can continue to serve the people of Mississippi and our nation effectively."
Only Utah Sen. Orrin Hatch has served longer than Cochran among Republicans. He is fourth overall in seniority in the U.S. Senate, a distinction that no longer carries the importance it once did in the body.
WASHINGTON – After two months of stumbles, pratfalls and intensely negative media scrutiny, overall public opinion on President Obama’s healthcare law has not changed as much as one might expect, but partisan lines have hardened, judging by recent surveys.
The percentage of Americans who view the law unfavorably has increased since its botched rollout in October. In the latest monthly Kaiser Family Foundation poll, 49% of Americans said they viewed the law unfavorably, up from rates in the low 40s that had prevailed for most of the year.
But that increased negativity has not necessarily translated into a change in opinions on the law’s impact or how Congress and the president should respond to it.
The percentage of people who believe the law will change their own family’s healthcare, for example, has barely budged: About 1 in 5 expect the law will make their families better off, 1 in 3 expect their situation will worsen, and about 4 in 10 don’t expect much...
WASHINGTON - Roughly 10% of the enrollment forms the federal health insurance website submits to insurance companies include errors, an administration official said Friday, claiming progress on fixing a critical piece of the troubled online marketplace.
The error rate for the so-called 834 forms, which relay consumers’ personal information to the insurance company they have selected, may have been as high as a quarter of all transactions in October and November, before a flurry of repairs to the HealthCare.gov website, said Julie Bataille, a spokeswoman for the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services.
The problems with transmitting information from the website to insurers raise the prospect that some consumers who believe they are enrolled in coverage will discover that insurers have no record of their application. Insurers have seen various types of errors in the 834 transmissions, including garbled or incorrect information, duplicate forms and, in some cases, missing forms.
WASHINGTON – After saying there was no evidence the two had ever met, the White House acknowledged Thursday that President Obama once lived for a few weeks with his uncle, Onyango Obama, a Kenyan who was in the United States illegally and faced possible deportation.
The president met his father’s half-brother when he moved to the Boston area to attend Harvard Law School and stayed with him until his apartment was ready, White House Press Secretary Jay Carney said. After moving out, Obama saw his uncle, known as Omar, once every few months until he graduated.
“The president has not seen Omar Obama in 20 years and has not spoken with him in a decade,” Carney said.
The update follows Onyango Obama’s statement in court this week that the president had lived with him. The elder Obama was in court for a deportation hearing following a drunken driving arrest. He won status as a legal permanent resident. He came to the United States in 1963 on a student visa that...
WASHINGTON — President Obama has ordered federal agencies to more than double their renewable energy use over the next seven years, part of his ongoing attempt to find ways to cut carbon emissions without cooperation from Congress.
In a presidential memorandum released Thursday, Obama challenged agencies to get 20% of their energy from renewable sources by fiscal year 2020. The memorandum instructed agencies to try to meet that goal by increasing the use of wind, solar, geothermal and other energy sources to the extent that is “economically feasible and technically practicable.”
The new target is an incremental step toward achieving a previous green energy goal. The White House said it would help agencies achieve a 28% cut in greenhouse emissions by 2020, a benchmark Obama set in 2010. Agencies already have reduced their annual greenhouse gas emissions by more than 15% since Obama took office, the White House said. The Department of Defense, the largest single...
WASHINGTON -- For congressional Democrats worried about the toll Obamacare might take on their reelection chances next fall, Kentucky Gov. Steve Beshear delivered a surprising message.
"You know what Democrats ought to run on next November? The idea that we want every American to have affordable healthcare," the two-term Democrat said Thursday.
Beshear spoke to House Democrats in a closed-door meeting about his state's experience with implementation of the Affordable Care Act. The commonwealth has become "the gold standard" for implementation thus far, Beshear said, with heavy interest from residents and 69,000 enrollments so far.
"We showed that the system can work and will work," Beshear said.
With rank-and-file Democrats frustrated at the Obama administration's bungled rollout of the health law, particularly glitches at the federal portal, HealthCare.gov, party leaders invited Beshear to talk about how the law can succeed where implemented successfully.
With the federal health insurance exchange now operating more smoothly for most users, President Obama assembled 160 youth leaders at the White House on Wednesday, enlisting them to help sign up their peers for health insurance — a crucial factor in whether his signature law will succeed.
As the student body presidents and youth activists gathered for an afternoon of seminars with White House officials and leaders of allied groups, a new poll showed that the administration and its allies have their work cut out for them.
LOUISVILLE, Ky. -- An ill-considered tweet and ham-handed bit of Photoshopping illustrate one reason Senate minority leader Mitch McConnell faces the political fight of his life.
Last month, the National Republican Senatorial Committee—a campaign arm of the GOP—tweeted a photo superimposing the head of McConnell’s Democratic opponent, Alison Lundergan Grimes, atop the body of “Obama Girl,” the curvaceous model who shimmied her affection for then-candidate Barack Obama during the 2008 campaign.
This is what’s known as a gift.
Democrat Grimes is waging a tooth-and-nail fight against Republican McConnell in Kentucky in what promises to be a marquee contest of the 2014 midterm elections. Polls suggest the race is exceedingly close. (Complicating things, McConnell also faces a tea party challenger, businessman Matt Bevin, in the May GOP primary.)
McConnell is running with the burden of the GOP’s badly soiled brand and a day job as co-ringleader of...
WASHINGTON — In the clearest sign yet that the federal health insurance website is vastly improved, about 29,000 people enrolled in insurance plans over the first two days of this week, exceeding the number of enrollments on the site in all of October, according to a source familiar with the data.
The 29,000 figure tallies the number of people able to select health plans Sunday and Monday, the 48-hour window after the administration’s deadline for making major repairs to the HealthCare.gov website.
That result is an encouraging sign for administration officials, who claimed over the weekend that they successfully met their goal of getting the troubled shopping portal running smoothly for the vast majority of users by the end of November. Officials said the website was loading faster, handling more users and experiencing fewer errors. But until now enrollment data backing up those claims had not yet been made public.
The 29,000 estimate, first reported by Politico, does not...