Kent Conrad

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GOP: Obama Wants to Sail Right Over Cliff

Barrasso sees political gold at bottom for president

(Newser) - Whether he gets "that for free" or not, President Obama has no interest in averting the fiscal cliff, says the No. 4 Republican in the Senate. "I think he sees a political victory at the bottom of the cliff," Wyoming Sen. John Barrasso told Fox News today,... More »

Adios to the Quirks of the 112th Congress

Say goodbye to this Congress' puppies, purses, and ponytails

(Newser) - As more than 80 members of the legislative branch prepare to pack up their bags and hit the road, the New York Times takes a look at some of the quirky characters and characteristics of the 112th Congress that are leaving us for good:
  • No more fluffy dogs: North Dakota
... More »

Senators Want 'Lunatic' Deleted From Federal Laws

It's an outdated, offensive term, says proposed legislation

(Newser) - Two senators have introduced a bill to erase the word "lunatic" from the federal code because the term is considered outdated and offensive, reports the Los Angeles Times . "Federal law should reflect the 21st century understanding of mental illness and disease," says Kent Conrad of North Dakota,... More »

Geithner: Obama Won't Ask Me to Stay

Treasury secretary says he's done after election

(Newser) - Tim Geithner is pretty sure he's going to be joining the ranks of the jobless after the election: The Treasury secretary—the longest serving member of President Obama's economic team—tells Bloomberg that Obama is "not going to ask me to stay on, I’m pretty confident.... More »

Bachmann: Newt a 'Memory-Challenged Prof'

Candidates begin fight for Cain supporters

(Newser) - Michele Bachmann thinks people "are going to be really sorry" to see the end of Herman Cain, but wasted no time today in courting his Tea Party backers , saying they would "come home," and ripping into current GOP frontrunner Newt Gingrich. "Professors don't like to... More »

Senate's ‘Gang of Six’ Tackles Deficit Head-On

Plan would require core compromises by Democrats and Republicans

(Newser) - The soaring national debt is making strange bedfellows in the Senate: A bipartisan "Gang of Six" has been secretly working for months, and now appears as the leading hope in negotiations, with both sides willing to sacrifice their sacred cows. For Democrats, that means deep cuts to Medicare and... More »

CBO: Deficit to Hit Record $1.5T

Thanks to tax cut, unemployment extensions

(Newser) - New budget estimates released today predict the government's deficit will hit almost $1.5 trillion this year, a new record. The daunting numbers mean that the government will have to borrow 40 cents for every dollar it spends. The latest figures are up from previous estimates because of bipartisan legislation... More »

Sen. Kent Conrad to Retire

North Dakota Democrat doesn't want to be distracted by campaign

(Newser) - Sen. Kent Conrad will not run for re-election in 2012, he announced today, saying he will concentrate instead on reducing the national debt and dependence on foreign oil. "It is more important I spend my time and energy trying to solve these problems than to be distracted by a... More »

Senate Could Kill Obama's Student Loan Fix

Private lenders have friends in the upper chamber of Congress

(Newser) - House Democrats are trying to find a way to pass Barack Obama’s student loan reform plan, but they may be powerless in the face of the Senate's intent to kill it. Because the Senate is full of private lending allies willing to filibuster the bill, Democrats had hoped to... More »

Pelosi: GOP Had a 'Field Day' With Health Care

(Newser) - House Speaker Nancy Pelosi stormed the talk shows today, beating the drum on health care reform on taped interviews on This Week and State of the Union. "The bill can be bipartisan," she said, without a single GOP vote, because current legislation is closely aligned to what Republicans... More »

Senate Dems Cry 'Uncle' on Cap and Trade

Nervous moderates ask White House not to push climate bill

(Newser) - At least half a dozen Senate Democrats have asked the White House to back off on its push for cap-and-trade climate legislation, afraid another bruising partisan battle like health care could wreck their 2010 reelection prospects. “Climate change in an election year has very poor prospects,” says Kent... More »

Ben Nelson Says He's In, Giving Reid His 60 Votes

Reid unveils final version of bill, including concessions on abortion

(Newser) - The last Democratic holdout on health care reform came into the tent this morning, as Ben Nelson said he will vote for the bill. "We're there," Sen. Kent Conrad told the Washington Post as he headed into a meeting to announce the deal, and Nelson, asked if he... More »

Hoyer: US Must Raise Debt Ceiling $1.8T

Not until we have a solution, say moderate Dems and GOP

(Newser) - House Democrats are attempting to raise the national debt ceiling by $1.8 trillion to pay for loans coming due next year, despite strong opposition from Blue Dogs, their brethren in the Senate, and the GOP. House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer said today the move is necessary, and Nancy Pelosi... More »

Senate Bill Likely to Come Down to Reid, Dodd, Baucus

Baucus, Dodd the only senators with secure seats at negotiating table

(Newser) - Every senator worth their salt is salivating for a seat at the table when Harry Reid merges the Senate’s two competing health care bills—but the vast majority will instead have their noses pressed to the glass. Reid hopes to speed things up by keeping the group small, Politico... More »

Senate Finance Panel Agrees at Last—to Fund Abstinence Ed

Conrad, Lincoln, join GOP to pass measure

(Newser) - On the same day it voted to kill Democrats' hopes for a health bill with a public option, the Senate Finance Committee showed the love to abstinence. Committee Republicans displayed a little nostalgia for the Bush administration, voting to restore $50 million a year in federal funding for abstinence-only education... More »

Public Option On Its Death Bed

Liberals panic as president, Sebelius, Conrad downplay expectations

(Newser) - The public option is looking sickly, after a weekend in which Obama and Co. seemed to be backing away from it, and liberals aren’t happy about it, Politico reports. “Public Option, Meet Underside of Bus,” read one Daily Kos headline. Over the weekend, President Obama said the... More »

Sebelius: Public Option Not Essential

Also, Dem sen. calls Obama's health care pitch a 'wasted effort'

(Newser) - Liberal lawmakers are demanding that a public option be included in a final health care reform package, but top Obama administration officials seemed to hedge on the subject today, Politico reports. On Face the Nation, Robert Gibbs said “thus far” President Obama sees a government-funded system as the best... More »

Dodd, Conrad Cleared But Scolded in Mortgage Probe

(Newser) - Chris Dodd and Kent Conrad have been cleared of wrongdoing in taking preferred loans from Countrywide Financial, the Hill reports. But the Senate ethics panel gave both Democrats slaps on the wrist. No “credible evidence” of ethics violations emerged, the committee said in a statement, but two “should... More »

Dodd, Conrad 'Knew They Scored Mortgage Deals'

(Newser) - Democratic Sens. Chris Dodd and Kent Conrad were fully aware they were getting sweetened mortgage deals, the Countrywide Financial exec who handled their loans has told congressional investigators. The testimony from the loan officer to the House Oversight and Senate Ethics committees directly contradicts the senators' assertions that they had... More »

Policymakers Float Federal Sales Tax Idea

American VAT long rejected as politically impossible policy

(Newser) - A federal sales tax has long been seen as politically off-limits, but the massive deficit has some in Washington pushing for it. “It's common to the rest of the world, and we don't have it,” a tax analyst tells the Washington Post. In dire times, “fundamental tax... More »

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