A U.S. Senate Republican move to block two presidential nominees has revived calls by Democrats for new rules that would make it almost impossible to thwart upcoming picks.
National, International, Election, Political News
Lawmakers hope the move will alleviate the upward pressure on food and fuel prices that are holding back economic recovery in many areas.
President Obama may have promised Americans that they can keep their insurance if they like it, but that's not the case in at least three states where insurance companies are required to discontinue plans that don't meet Obamacare's new coverage standards.
The National Security Agency spied on the future Pope Francis before and during the Vatican conclave at which he was chosen to succeed Benedict XVI, it was claimed on Wednesday.
Lyle Denniston looks at four potentially very significant new challenges under way to Obamacare, including one argument that is growing in popularity with the law’s critics. In a very real sense, a law’s constitutionality is seldom settled once and for all; Americans are very fond of using the courts to go on challenging a law even if it has once been held valid – or more than once. For example, there is still a continuing campaign to overturn at least parts of the Voting Rights Act of 1965, nearly a half century after its enactment. For a more extreme example, there is still a good deal of constitutional doubt hanging over a law that Congress passed in 1867, in the wake of the Civil War, to try to stop fraud by government contractors. If a law is deeply controversial, its critics can be counted upon to try to find ever-new ways to test it. That is the reality today for President Obama’s most important domestic policy program, the overhaul of the nation’s health care system – the Affordable Care Act, or, as it is more widely known, by critics and supporters alike, “Obamacare.” From the very day in March 2010 that the President signed that measure into law, it has been under assault on three fronts: in the courts, in Congress, and in nearly three dozen states. Its central feature is a mandate that individuals obtain health insurance, or pay a penalty to the Internal Revenue Service. Many Americans believe, and even President Obama has been known to say, that the Supreme Court has upheld that mandate. Perhaps only lawyers and judges can draw a point so finely, but the Court last year actually upheld the penalty without explicitly upholding the duty to obtain insurance, and now both are scheduled to go into effect next year.
Sen. Rand Paul said on Tuesday that he plans to place a hold on Janet Yellen’s nomination to be Federal Reserve chair to try and force a vote on a bill he argues would increase transparency at the central bank.
Professional staff members at the National Security Agency and other U.S. intelligence agencies are angry, these officials say, believing the president has cast them adrift as he tries to distance himself from the disclosures by former NSA contractor Edward Snowden that have strained ties with close allies.