Friday, December 19, 2014
FAIRFIELD-SUISUN, CALIFORNIA
99 CENTS

Congress cooperates – and fights – as recess nears

By
From page A12 | July 31, 2014 |

WASHINGTON — Eager to begin a monthlong break, Congress leavened its customary heavy partisanship on Wednesday with a pinch of compromise, advancing legislation to repair the deeply troubled Department of Veterans Affairs and working to clear funds for highway construction at home and missile defense in Israel.

Yet old habits proved unbreakable less than 100 days before elections with control of Congress at stake. On a party-line vote of 225-201 Republicans pushed legislation through the House authorizing an official lawsuit accusing President Barack Obama of failing to enforce the health care law, denying they had impeachment in mind.

And gridlock loomed on the administration’s call for billions to cope with a surge in young immigrants pouring into the U.S. illegally from Central America.

“Stop being mad all the time. Stop just hating all the time,” Obama lectured lawmakers from afar in Kansas City, Missouri, in a speech that was particularly harsh on Republicans. “Come on. Let’s get some work done together.”

There was a modest amount of progress on compromise legislation during the day, and hopes in both parties for considerably more before a scheduled adjournment on Thursday.

On a vote of 420-5, the House overwhelmingly approved a compromise bill to clean up the scandal-soiled VA, where some officials are accused of covering up long delays in patient care. The $16.3 billion measure would allow veterans to get outside care if they live too far from a VA health facility or face a delay of longer than 30 days in getting an appointment.

It also includes money to hire new doctors and allows the fast-track firing of senior officials found to be complicit in hiding agency shortcomings.

The legislation was a compromise between the House and Senate — one of few in the Congress that convened 18 months ago — with less money than Democrats wanted and a significant concession from conservative Republicans as well. It would raise federal deficits by $10 billion, one of very few times since tea party-aligned lawmakers came to power that the House has agreed to new spending without also insisting on offsetting cuts elsewhere in the budget.

Concerns about future costs prompted the conservative Club for Growth to oppose the bill. “It creates an unproven new entitlement that sets taxpayers on a course to spend half a trillion dollars over the next decade,” the organization said.

Even so, a final vote was expected on Thursday in the Senate.

The vote on the veterans bill was sandwiched between chapters of a highly partisan debate on the legislation to authorize a lawsuit against the president financed from public funds. Democrats argued it was prelude to impeachment, a charge Republicans denied despite calls for Obama’s removal from some lawmakers aligned with the tea party.

“Our freedom is in peril, my friends. We cannot stand by and watch the president shred our constitution,” said Rep. Tom Rice, R-S.C..

Hardly, argued Democrats. “It is in fact a veiled attempt at impeachment,” countered Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee of Texas.

The path was bumpy even for one of the items on the bipartisan must-do list.

Legislation to assure uninterrupted funds for highway and bridge construction was stalled at least temporarily in a last-minute dispute between the House and Senate. Aides in both houses expressed confidence it would be resolved in time for final approval on Thursday.

The prospects were far worse for Obama’s call for legislation to address what many lawmakers have called a humanitarian crisis at the border with Mexico.

In the House, Republicans worked to secure the votes for $659 million to cope with the growing influx of young immigrants arriving without parents. Most Democrats are opposed because of a provision allowing rapid deportation of unaccompanied children reaching the United States illegally from El Salvador, Guatemala and Honduras. The White House, which initially agreed to the change, threatened a veto in the unlikely event the legislation reaches Obama’s desk.

A companion bill was being offered to satisfy conservatives eager to see Obama blocked on immigration. It would prevent the president from expanding an existing program that’s granted work permits to more than 500,000 immigrants brought to this country illegally as kids and allowed them to stay here without threat of deportation.

The situation was reversed in the Senate, where Democrat-drafted legislation would provide $2.7 billion to deal with the young immigrants but would omit provisions to ease deportation rules. The measure also includes funds for firefighting efforts at home and for Israel’s Iron Dome missile defense system.

It cleared a Senate procedural hurdle on a vote of 63-33, three more than the 60 required, a roll call that temporarily masked the deeper disagreements over deportation rules. Officials in both parties predicted the measure would soon collapse.

That would clear the way for the Senate to approve $225 million for Israel’s missile defense system, which is credited with intercepting rockets launched from the Gaza Strip during the current three-week war.

The bill is then expected to clear the House easily as lawmakers head out for a round of summer campaigning

 

The Associated Press

The Associated Press

LEAVE A COMMENT

Discussion | No comments

The Daily Republic does not necessarily condone the comments here, nor does it review every post. Read our full policy

.

Solano News

 
Groundbreakings, ribbon-cuttings play role in civic life

By Barry Eberling | From Page: A1, 1 Comment | Gallery

Sondheim’s ‘Woods’ holiday showcase for Missouri Street Theatre

By Amy Maginnis-Honey | From Page: B1 | Gallery

 
Frankye Kelly ready to spread holiday cheer

By Amy Maginnis-Honey | From Page: B1

 
Celebrate the magic of Christmas

By Tony Wade | From Page: A2, 2 Comments

 
 
Safe streets task force work nets 3

By Ryan McCarthy | From Page: A3, 5 Comments

Santas have busy week at schools

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A3, 2 Comments

 
Solano College approves officers, meeting schedule

By Susan Winlow | From Page: A4

Longtime Suisun harbor master to retire

By Ian Thompson | From Page: A4, 2 Comments

 
 
 
Suisun City police log: Dec. 17, 2014

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A12, 1 Comment

 
Fairfield police log: Dec. 17, 2014

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A12

 
.

US / World

Next steps on Cuba: Normalizing could take awhile

By The Associated Press | From Page: A1

 
Sony hacking fallout puts all companies on alert

By The Associated Press | From Page: A1

Sony film took aim at North Korea’s biggest taboo

By The Associated Press | From Page: A1, 4 Comments

 
Timeline of the Sony Pictures Entertainment hack

By The Associated Press | From Page: A1

Digital dilemma: How will US respond to Sony hack?

By The Associated Press | From Page: A1

 
Spy’s parents search for son after Cuba-US deal

By The Associated Press | From Page: A1

 
Hope and some fear in Cuba amid thaw with US

By The Associated Press | From Page: A1

California’s top utility regulator defends record

By The Associated Press | From Page: A5

 
‘Pretty horrible’ scene; car slams into crowd

By The Associated Press | From Page: A5

 
Police: Drunk man shot while entering wrong house

By The Associated Press | From Page: A5, 4 Comments

 
Local emergencies in Northern California counties after rain

By The Associated Press | From Page: A5

Tsarnaev appears in court for 1st time since 2013

By The Associated Press | From Page: A6

 
President signs legislation ending Nazi benefit checks

By The Associated Press | From Page: A7

2 states challenge Colorado marijuana legalization

By The Associated Press | From Page: A8, 3 Comments

 
‘Prison Houdini’ set to make his 1st legal escape

By The Associated Press | From Page: A8

 
Feds sue NYC over Rikers Island jail violence

By The Associated Press | From Page: A8

Russian sailors leaving France without warship

By The Associated Press | From Page: A9, 2 Comments

 
Putin: West wants to defang, declaw Russian bear

By The Associated Press | From Page: A10, 2 Comments

Suspected Islamic extremists kidnap 185 in Nigeria

By The Associated Press | From Page: A13, 2 Comments

 
European court rules obesity can be a disability

By The Associated Press | From Page: A13

.

Opinion

News of the day strikes a chord

By Bud Stevenson | From Page: A11, 10 Comments

 
 
Another look at school bonds

By George Guynn Jr. | From Page: A11, 5 Comments

Editorial Cartoon: Dec. 19, 2014

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A11

 
.

Living

Today in History: Dec. 19, 2014

By The Associated Press | From Page: A2, 1 Comment

 
Community Calendar: Dec. 19, 2014

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A2

Horoscopes: Dec. 19, 2014

By Holiday Mathis | From Page: D8

 
Should I use Child Protective Services threat to get back rent?

By Kathy Mitchell and Marcy Sugar | From Page: D8

.

Entertainment

Week in preview Dec. 19-25, 2014

By Amy Maginnis-Honey | From Page: B1

 
Sweet ‘Night at the Museum’ bids farewell to Robin Williams

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

 
Craig Ferguson to end 10 years as host of ‘Late Late Show’

By The Associated Press | From Page: B3

Eric Idle brings ‘Not the Messiah’ to Carnegie Hall

By The Associated Press | From Page: B3

 
Entertainment calendar Dec. 19, 2014

By Susan Hiland | From Page: B4

.

Sports

Warriors beat Thunder 114-109 after Durant injury

By The Associated Press | From Page: B7

 
A’s acquire lefty De La Rosa from Arizona for cash

By The Associated Press | From Page: B7

 
Raiders defense depleted by injuries

By The Associated Press | From Page: B7

49ers’ Harbaugh mum on reported offer from Michigan

By The Associated Press | From Page: B7

 
49ers’ Aldon Smith hopes to build off tough year

By The Associated Press | From Page: B7

A’s trade All-Star catcher Derek Norris to Padres

By The Associated Press | From Page: B7

 
Celtics trade Rondo to Mavericks

By The Associated Press | From Page: B8

Rodriguez boys open Les Curry Tournament with victory

By Daily Republic staff | From Page: B8

 
39 bowl games and a reason to watch every one

By The Associated Press | From Page: B8

Column: Thaw in US-Cuba relations warms up MLB

By Jim Litke | From Page: B8

 
Rivera: Newton ‘probably’ will start vs. Browns

By The Associated Press | From Page: B8

Bears bench QB Jay Cutler for Clausen

By The Associated Press | From Page: B8

 
‘Hands Up’ players to attend Ferguson Christmas party

By The Associated Press | From Page: B8

Signups for Friday, Dec. 19, 2014

By Paul Farmer | From Page: B9

 
This date in sports history for Friday, Dec. 19, 2014

By The Associated Press | From Page: B11

Sports on TV/Local sports for Friday, Dec. 19, 2014

By Paul Farmer | From Page: B11

 
.

Business

Roomiest Subaru Legacy debuts for 2015

By Ann M. Job | From Page: C1

 
Ford expands drivers air bag recall nationwide

By The Associated Press | From Page: B6

Constantly changing online prices stump shoppers

By The Associated Press | From Page: B6

 
Dow industrials have their best day in three years

By The Associated Press | From Page: B6

.

Obituaries

Lisa Dee McHughes

By Nancy Green | From Page: A4, 1 Comment

 
Travis Curt Price

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A4, 1 Comment

Ernest “Ernie” Moretti

By Nancy Green | From Page: A4

 
Jennie Ponce Reyes

By Nancy Green | From Page: A4

Patricia “Pat” Anne Stringfield-Pierre

By Nancy Green | From Page: A4

 
.

Comics