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The Takeaway

This Week's Agenda: GOP Debate, Dems Vegas Summit, Housing Numbers

Monday, October 17, 2011

Republicans will hold their next debate in Las Vegas, Nevada on Tuesday. Maggie Haberman, senior political writer for Politico thinks this is a make or break moment for Rick Perry. "If Perry has a bad performance," Haberman said, "it'll be virtually impossible for him to come back." Herman Cain's performance will also be closely watched as he is running very high right in the polls now. If Perry falters, could Cain be a valid challenger to Romney? In response to the GOP's debate, Democrats began their Project New West summit on Sunday, also in Vegas.

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The Takeaway

Democratic Leaders Propose New Tax on Millionaires

Thursday, October 06, 2011

On Wednesday, Senate Democratic leaders proposed a five percent surtax on Americans with incomes of $1 million or more per year. Senate majority leader Harry Reid said the surtax would raise nearly half of $1 trillion over the next decade, which is the amount necessary to cover President Obama's jobs bill. A recent CBS news poll showed that 64 percent of Americans think that those who earn more than $1 million per year should pay more in taxes, which means the public may be on board for the new tax. Now, Democrats will need to gain Republican support for the measure.

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The Brian Lehrer Show

Democrats Pushing Back on Obama Jobs Plan

Friday, September 16, 2011

Jennifer Steinhauer, New York Times congressional correspondent, discusses why some Congressional Democrats are picking apart the Obama jobs bill. 

→ Add Your Comments, Listen, and Read a Recap at It's A Free Country

The Takeaway

The Political Theater Over Obama's Jobs Speech

Thursday, September 01, 2011

President Obama's jobs speech is already shrouded in partisan controversy, after the president attempted to schedule his talk for 8 p.m. on Wednesday, September 7 — the same date as the second debate for GOP presidential candidates. House Speaker John Boehner asked Obama to reschedule, and Obama complied, changing the date for the speech to September 8. Could this be a preview of future party wars over the jobs agenda?

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The Takeaway

Rep. Jan Schakowsky On Why She Voted Against the Debt Deal

Tuesday, August 02, 2011

After a day of Congressional leaders of both parties courting skeptics in their rank-and-file, the House of Representatives passed a deal to raise the debt ceiling and slash federal spending by a vote of 269-161. The legislation is scheduled to be voted on by the Senate today at noon. Among the 161 "no" votes were both Democrats and many Tea Party Republicans, united in opposition for ideologically different reasons. One of those Democrats who voted against the bill was Congresswoman Jan Schakowsky of Illinois, who is a member of the president's National Commission on Fiscal Responsibility and Reform.

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It's A Free Blog

Opinion: Liberals and Teacher Unions - The End of a Long Romance

Friday, July 01, 2011

It appears that the teachers unions are beginning to lose their grip on the Democrats. A bill making its way through the House Education and the Workforce Committee recently had supringly little pushback

-Solomon Kleinsmith, It's A Free Country blogger.

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Transportation Nation

TN Moving Stories: Montreal Bike Share In Debt; Amtrak to Senate: Gateway Tunnel "Critical" for Region

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Senate Democrats want the Federal Trade Commission to investigate whether the oil industry is fixing gas prices. (Marketplace). Meanwhile, their proposal to strip oil companies of tax breaks failed in the Senate yesterday (New York Times).

Politico writes: "Republicans have a messaging problem on gas prices. More Americans actually believe in UFOs and ghosts than blame President Barack Obama for causing their pain at the pump."

Montreal's Bixi bike share program, losing money and in debt, needs financial backing from the city. (The Globe and Mail)

Auditions for NYC's "Music Under New York" program were held yesterday; WNYC stopped by to take pictures -- and audio -- of the would-be subway performers. Take a listen!

CNN Money profiles the president of Alta Bike Share, the company behind the bike share programs in Boston and DC.

Workers move closer to their jobs, take transit, buy less, as a result of gas prices:  (New York Times)

Loudoun County officials are exploring what would happen if they withdrew funding for the Metrorail extension to Dulles International Airport. (Washington Post)

The Congressional Budget Office floated a mileage tax at a Senate Finance Committee hearing on “Financing 21st Century Infrastructure.” (The Hill)

Meanwhile, at the Senate Appropriations Committee hearing for the Federal Railroad Administration's budget request, Amtrak president Joseph Boardman said the Gateway Tunnel is "critical" to high-speed rail service. He added:  "I think we're out of capacity in the Northeast Corridor...we have no place to put the New Jersey Transit trains that come into Penn Station." (Video below via Senator Lautenberg, YouTube)

The Freedom Rides turn 50 this year, and two original freedom riders talk will about that activism on today's Brian Lehrer Show. (WNYC)

Follow Transportation Nation on Twitter.

In case you missed it on Transportation Nation:

-- high fuel prices squeeze Montana agencies (link)

-- DC wants to impose fees on intercity bus industry (link)

-- DC's mayor will announce new DDOT head today (link)

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The Takeaway

Is a Federal Budget Deal on the Horizon?

Thursday, March 31, 2011

Today, as the Tea Party Patriots rally outside the Capitol Building, lawmakers might actually be close to a compromise on the federal budget. Members of the Senate Appropriations Committee met with their House counterparts last night to see if they could strike a deal to avoid a government shutdown. But the compromise in question would include $33 billion in cuts — $28 billion less than the budget Republicans passed in the House. How will the Tea Party react to a deal with Democrats? What are the implications for Speaker of the House John Boehner?

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It's A Free Country ®

Another Budget Concession for Dems?

Monday, March 28, 2011

WNYC

With less than two weeks left to compromise and avoid a government shutdown, Democrats are assembling another proposal with more concessions.

The Democrats proposal will have approximately $20 billion additional spending cuts that could soon be offered to Republicans, according to the Wall Street Journal. This proposal would come after $10 billion in enacted spending cuts for the year. Republicans are seeking a total of $61 billion in in budget cuts and are under pressure from the Tea Party to get all of these cuts through the gauntlet.

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It's A Free Blog

DLC & CPAC: Intra-Party Divisions a Bi-Partisan Affair

Monday, February 14, 2011

Word that the Democratic Leadership Council (DLC) was closing up shop drew chants akin to “Ding, dong, the witch is dead” from liberals across America. The DLC – a self-styled centrist, pro-business group – has been a bogeyman to the Left, from its successful efforts encouraging Democratic officials to embrace big lobbyists to its high-profile fights with Howard Dean and other progressive leaders. Liberals felt more than a little schadenfreude that this major combatant in intra-party strife was laying down its swords and laying off its staff. However, beyond some playful and pointed posts, liberals aren't really celebrating.

Not that it was a bad week for the Left.  The Republicans were revealing their internal divisions – and their old-fashioned bigotry – as prominent partisans boycotted CPAC, the major conservative conference, over the inclusion of the gay group GOProud. The House Leader John Boehner lost a vote on extending the Patriot Act in a turn that showed insurgent Tea Partiers aren’t ready to play nice with their caucus.  Liberal hero Keith Olbermann will be back and bolder than ever on Current TV.  The purchase of the Huffington Post by AOL showed mainstream affirmation of the value – at least financially – of a liberal-leaning community.  And there was of course a largely-peaceful democratic uprising that toppled a dictator.

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It's A Free Blog

When Democrats Retire

Friday, January 21, 2011

If you’re not willing to go down fighting, then you’re probably not willing to fight in the first place.

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The Takeaway

Congress Tackles Health Care, Obama Appoints Daley

Friday, January 07, 2011

It's been a big week as Washington gets back to work. There are questions about whether the Republican-dominated House can actually repeal the health care plan. Meanwhile, Democrats are finally "finding their voice" on health care, says Takeaway Washington correspondent, Todd Zwillich, as they prepare to counter GOP claims about the bill.

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WQXR News

Gibbs Announces February Departure From White House

Wednesday, January 05, 2011

White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs says he'll continue to advise the president.

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The Takeaway

Politics, Policy and The Tea Party: The Top 5 Things to Look For in the New Congress

Wednesday, January 05, 2011

Lawmakers get back to work as the 112th Congress begins today. Republicans take the majority in the House of Representatives and Rep. John Boehner (R-Ohio), gets sworn in as its new Speaker of the House. At the same time, there is a move in the Senate to change the filibuster rule. The first day of Congress is the only day that lawmakers can change the rules with only 51 votes and some Democrats hope to use this to their advantage. The Takeaway's Washington correspondent, Todd Zwillich, looks at the new Congress and the top five things to watch out for in 2011.

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WQXR News

Obama Signs Tax Bill Into Law

Friday, December 17, 2010

President Barack Obama has signed tax legislation that will maintain current tax rates for everyone, calling it "a substantial victory for middle-class families across the country," in remarks he made just prior to signing it into law.

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WNYC News

US Senate Passes Tax Cut Package

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

The Senate has passed a $858 billion compromise tax plan by a wide margin. The vote was 81 to 19. Thirteen of those voting against the measure were Democrats, who had fought against an extension of tax breaks for the wealthy.

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The Takeaway

Not All Dems in Congress Hate Tax Cuts Deal

Monday, December 13, 2010

The Senate is scheduled to vote on President Obama's tax cuts bill today, most people are confident it will pass. The real battle will then come as the bill heads to the House, where many Democrats have staked out a clear position against the deal.  Some House Democrats support the bill, however, including Rep. Henry Cuellar (D-Texas), who represents the 28th District of Texas. He shares with us his reasons for supporting the bill, and what he thinks is the likelihood of it passing.

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The Takeaway

State Democrats Defect to Republican Party

Wednesday, December 01, 2010

President Obama is reaching out to Republican lawmakers this week in an attempt to foster bipartisanship. However, a growing number of state Democrats are turning their backs on the party and joining Republicans. So far 13 politicians in five states have switched parties. Is the move a reaction to anti-Washington sentiment, an expression of personal political ideology or a reflection of a changing constituency?

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It's A Free Blog

The Next Chapter

Monday, November 08, 2010

When I woke up the day after my primary loss, I was crushed. We had put an enormous amount of energy, passion, and time into the election. I personally had marched all across Queens and put up my posters and signs. I had over 300 voter-hosted house parties.

My life centered on creating a voice in Washington for those who have long been ignored. When I woke up the day after my election, I was devastated; not so much because I lost, but because I wanted to serve. I wanted to use my ideas and passion to help rebuild this nation.

I know so many candidates and incumbents who lost last Tuesday share this feeling with me. 

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WQXR News

Obama Schedules November Meeting for Democrats, Republicans

Thursday, November 04, 2010

President Barack Obama has scheduled a meeting with Republican and Democratic leaders on November 18.

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