Blog Posts by Holly Bailey, Yahoo News

  • Democrats pull tax-cut bill from House floor

    pelosi taxes

    Just hours before a scheduled vote, House Democratic leaders abruptly pulled a bill that would have extended the so-called Bush tax cuts from the House floor.

    Per CNN's Deirdre Walsh, Dem leaders are no longer sure they have the votes to pass the measure, which has been strongly opposed by many Democrats. But Rep. James McGovern, a Democrat on the House Rules Committee, tells Reuters it's a "little bump" and that the bill could come up for consideration later today.

    (Photo of House Speaker Nancy Pelosi:  Brendan Smialowski/Getty Images)

  • Obama insists Afghanistan war is ‘on track’ but warns of ‘difficult days ahead’

    obama afghan

    Citing "significant progress" in disrupting al Qaeda and dismantling the Taliban, President Obama on Thursday said the administration is sticking with its plan to begin withdrawing U.S. troops from Afghanistan next July.

    But Obama somberly warned that the situation in Afghanistan "continues to be a very difficult endeavor" and comes at a "high price" for American troops and their families.

    "The gains we've made are still fragile and reversible," Obama acknowledged in a statement to reporters. "There are more difficult days ahead."

    Read More »from Obama insists Afghanistan war is ‘on track’ but warns of ‘difficult days ahead’
  • Biden trashes the GOP over Christmas comments

    biden startAdd Vice President Joe Biden to the list of people who think Republicans are being whiny about having to work over the Christmas holidays.

    "Don't tell me about Christmas," a clearly miffed Biden told NBC's Andrea Mitchell in an interview Wednesday night. "I understand Christmas.  I have been a senator for a long time. I have been there many years where we go right up to Christmas."

    Biden was responding to comments by Sen. Jon Kyl and other Republicans who suggested that Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid's plan to extend the Senate's lame-duck session into the holidays was not very Christmas-like.

    Yesterday, Reid trashed the GOP for complaining, suggesting their delays were to blame for the incomplete state of the Senate's legislative agenda. "Some of my Republican colleagues have the nerve to whine about having to stay and actually do the work the American people pay us to do," Reid said.

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  • Barbour, Daniels delay 2012 decisions until next spring

    barbour danielsFour years ago, at this stage of preliminary presidential campaign jockeying,  at least two candidates had officially thrown their names into the 2008  race. But on the eve of the 2012 campaign, Republicans looking to challenge President Obama appear to be in no rush to launch their candidacies.

    Two potential GOP contenders—Govs. Mitch Daniel of Indiana and Haley Barbour of Mississippi—indicated Wednesday they aren't likely to make a decision about the 2012 campaign until next spring at the earliest.

    "It's a big big decision," Barbour said in an interview with the Mississippi Clarion Ledger's editorial board.

    At age 63, Barbour noted that running for president would mean choosing to "spend the rest of your productive life doing this" and that the task of campaigning for national office requires a "fire in your belly."  "I'm not in any hurry to make the decision. I've got time," Barbour said. "But I feel like I need to make a decision by this spring, and that's what I intend to do."

    Meanwhile, Daniels told Fort Wayne's WANE-TV that he could wait until next May, when the state's General Assembly concludes, to make a decision about the presidential race.

    Read More »from Barbour, Daniels delay 2012 decisions until next spring
  • LAST TICKET: Obama narrowly leads in 2012; Tom Coburn’s beard gets a Twitter feed

    Here are the stories we took note of today but didn't give the full blog treatment:

    • NBC/Wall Street Journal poll finds President Obama narrowly leading 2012 rivals. (Washington Wire)

    • Just 41 RNC members have endorsed in the party chairman race. (Hotline on Call)

    • Michael Steele didn't register his re-election website until Dec 8th. (CNN Political Ticker)

    • Oklahoma Senator Tom Coburn is going after unemployment aid for the rich. (The Caucus)

    • Meanwhile, Coburn's increasingly bushy beard got its own Twitter feed. (Twitter)

    Read More »from LAST TICKET: Obama narrowly leads in 2012; Tom Coburn’s beard gets a Twitter feed
  • Rick Perry is not running for president in 2012

    rick perry

    After months of dancing around the subject, Texas GOP Gov. Rick Perry has finally issued a firm "no" on the question of whether he'll run for president in 2012.

    "I don't want to be president of the United States. I'm not going to run for the presidency of the United States," Perry said in an interview with Reuters' Ed Stoddard and Chris Baltimore.

    (Photo of Perry: Ben Sklar/Getty Images)

  • Mark Foley decides against a return to politics

    foley wont runFormer Rep. Mark Foley, who resigned from Congress after it was revealed he had sent sexual messages to teenage boys who served as House pages, has decided against a return to politics — at least for now.

    The Florida Republican had been flirting with a run for mayor of West Palm Beach. But last night, Foley told listeners of his weekly radio show that despite his "God-given talents," he didn't want to commit to the time-consuming job. Among other things, the now-openly-gay ex-congressman cited the effects of the job on his partner and his family.

    "My entire political life, my family and partner have been at my side," Foley said, according to the Palm Beach Post's Andrew Abramson. "I'm at a stage where I have to think of him too. This is not just a personal decision. It affects others."

    While he declined to rule out a run in the future, Foley said, "Now is not the time."

    (Photo of Foley:  Joe Raedle/Getty Images)

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  • Coleman again says he won’t challenge Steele for RNC chair

    coleman steeleNorm Coleman is sticking with his promise not to run against Michael Steele for chairman of the Republican National Committee.

    "It's very simple," Coleman tells MinnPost's Derek Wallbank and Cyndy Brucato. "I've said if Steele was running, I wouldn't run against him."

    The former Minnesota senator said last month he would stay out of the race if Steele chose to seek re-election, but left the door open for run if the embattled RNC chair decided against a second term.

    On Monday, amid rumors Steele wouldn't run, Coleman was reportedly feeling out support for a chairman bid among RNC members. But in the wake of Steele's decision to seek another term, Coleman insists he won't backtrack on his promise.

    "He strongly supported me in the past," Coleman said. "I made that commitment to him a number of months ago — if he's in I'm not in."

    Read More »from Coleman again says he won’t challenge Steele for RNC chair
  • Judge says Alaska can certify Senate results by Jan. 3

    ak senate updateAlaska will have a U.S. senator in place when the new Congress convenes Jan. 5, even if the legal wrangling between Joe Miller and Lisa Murkowski isn't over.

    A federal judge ruled late Tuesday that the state can certify the results of the state's hotly contested Senate race by Jan. 3 even if the court battle continues well into the new year, the Associated Press reports.

    Unofficial results released last month found Murkowski, the GOP incumbent who ran as a write-in candidate, leading Miller by 10,328 votes. But Miller has filed suit to hold up certification of the vote, questioning the legitimacy of 8,159 write-in ballots.

    Still, some of Miller's own supporters have questioned the point of his legal challenge. Even if the ballots Miller is challenging are tossed out, Murkowski would still win the race by more than 2,100 votes.

    Read More »from Judge says Alaska can certify Senate results by Jan. 3
  • Donors threaten RNC boycott if Steele wins a second term

    steele mccainIf Michael Steele wins another term as chairman of the Republican National Committee, the RNC might continue to face major cash flow problems in the upcoming 2012 campaign.

    Some of the party's biggest political donors and fundraisers are threatening to continue their unofficial boycott of the RNC if Steele wins, telling Politico's Jonathan Martin they simply don't trust the embattled chairman with their cash.

    "The donor community has virtually no faith or confidence in Michael Steele to be the keeper of the keys," Al Hoffman, former finance chairman of the RNC, told Martin. "I have a hard time finding any major donor who would trust him to straighten out the RNC and run a principled and ethical fundraising operation. … Who's going to give to him as long as he's at the helm? Not me. My own slogan is now 'Anybody but Steele.'"

    Wayne Berman, a top Washington lobbyist who is one of the party's biggest fundraisers, also trashed Steele, saying a second term would alienate the GOP's "major financial supporters and most active fundraisers." "His arrogant style, cult of personality and embarrassing mismanagement are sources of great discontent with major fundraisers of the party," he told Martin.

    Read More »from Donors threaten RNC boycott if Steele wins a second term

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