Category Archives: public policy

Senior House Republican says housing finance reform ‘huge priority’

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – A top U.S. Republican lawmaker will revisit a plan to reduce government involvement in the country’s housing finance system, and expects Senate colleagues to be receptive to potential changes, according to an interview aired on C-SPAN on Sunday. Congressman Jeb Hensarling, who chairs the House Committee on Financial Services, said shepherding legislation to remove a government backstop for Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac would be a “huge priority,” adding that he is willing to compromise to get a bill passed Continue reading

Unique hurdles facing legal pot in live-and-let-live Alaska

By Steve Quinn By Steve Quinn JUNEAU, Alaska (Reuters) – Presiding over busy waterways and airspace that serve as unofficial highways of an inhospitable state twice the size of Texas, the federal government has a looming presence over Alaska and its famously live-and-let-live residents. Continue reading

Lawmakers look at how Airbnb affects NYC housing, economy

By JENNIFER PELTZ, Associated Press NEW YORK (AP) — With home-as-hotel sites like Airbnb doing booming business, New York City lawmakers are scrutinizing how the trend affects the housing market and economy. A City Council hearing Tuesday is shaping up to be a wide-ranging faceoff over the pros and cons of short-term apartment rentals, which have come under scrutiny in New York and other cities around the country Continue reading

Maryland man freed from Cuba to attend State of Union

By DARLENE SUPERVILLE, Associated Press WASHINGTON (AP) — A Maryland man who returned home last month after spending five years imprisoned in Cuba will have a prime viewing spot for President Barack Obama’s State of the Union address: a seat near first lady Michelle Obama. Alan Gross and his wife, Judy, are among 22 special guests the White House invited to Tuesday night’s speech Continue reading

Fight Over 20-Week Abortion Ban Shapes Up in Congress

Abortion foes, encouraged by GOP control of the House and now also the Senate, are rallying behind a bill they believe will be the first step in a new campaign against the procedure. Congressional Republicans are fast-tracking legislation that would prohibit abortion 20 weeks after fertilization, with the House likely to bring the Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act up for a vote on Jan Continue reading

Medicare chief steps down, took part health care roll-out

By RICARDO ALONSO-ZALDIVAR, Associated Press WASHINGTON (AP) — Medicare chief Marilyn Tavenner — who oversaw the rocky rollout of the president’s health care law — says she’s stepping down at the end of February. In an email Friday to staff at the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, Tavenner says she’s leaving with “sadness and mixed emotions.” Tavenner survived the 2013 technology meltdown of HealthCare.gov, but was embarrassed last fall when she testified to Congress that 7.3 million people were enrolled for coverage. That turned out to be an overcount that exaggerated the total by about 400,000. Continue reading

Rethinking the big speech that isn’t so big anymore

By JULIE PACE and NANCY BENAC, Associated Press WASHINGTON (AP) — The State of the Union just isn’t what it used to be. Sure, the pageantry and theatrics of the annual presidential address will all be there. The stem-winder of a speech from President Barack Obama Continue reading

White House says it will veto bill to approve oil pipeline

By DINA CAPPIELLO WASHINGTON (AP) — The White House on Tuesday threatened to veto the first piece of legislation introduced in the Republican-controlled Senate, a bill approving the much-delayed Keystone XL oil pipeline, in what was expected to the first in many confrontations over energy and environmental policy. Hours after supporters of the bipartisan bill, sponsored by all 54 Republicans and six Democrats, announced its introduction, the White House said for the first time that President Barack Obama would veto it. White House press secretary Josh Earnest said Tuesday he does not expect Obama would sign any Keystone legislation that reaches his desk. Continue reading

New York Governor Mario Cuomo remembered as humble despite successes

By Laila Kearney By Laila Kearney NEW YORK (Reuters) – Former New York Governor Mario Cuomo was memorialized on Tuesday as a humble man of simple taste who adored his family at a funeral ceremony that drew political luminaries from around the United States. Continue reading

Ex-Gov. Bob McDonnell faces possible jail time

By LARRY O’DELL and ALAN SUDERMAN RICHMOND, Va. (AP) — Former Virginia Gov. Continue reading