Entries in Extension (7)


Obama May Veto House-Passed Student Loan Bill Over Funding

Official White House Photo by Pete Souza(WASHINGTON) -- The Obama administration Friday threatened to veto the GOP-proposed House version of a student loan bill because it would repeal a fund for preventive health services.  The House voted Friday afternoon to approve a one-year extension of the student loan interest rates for undergraduate Federal Direct Stafford Loans, much to the dismay of Democrats.

“This is a politically-motivated proposal and not the serious response that the problem facing America’s college students deserves,” the White House said in a statement. “If the president is presented with H.R. 4628, his senior advisers would recommend that he veto the bill.”

The $5.9 billion bill, which the Republican-controlled House passed Friday, would prevent interest rates on student loans from doubling July 1. To pay for it, however, the GOP version would cut the Prevention and Public Health Fund, a program created as part of the president’s health care reform act.

“Women, in particular, will benefit from this Prevention Fund, which would provide for hundreds of thousands of screenings for breast and cervical cancer,” according to the White House.

The veto threat comes after the president spent the week publicly campaigning for Congress to extend a 2007 law that cut student loan rates to 3.4 percent.  If Congress does not act, interest rates will double to 6.8 percent this summer.

Republicans fired back at the veto threat, accusing the president of playing politics. “The president is so desperate to fake a fight that he’s willing to veto a bill to help students over a slush fund that he advocated cutting in his own budget. It’s a simple as this: Republicans are acting to help college students and the president is now getting in the way,” a spokesman for House Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio, said in a statement.

The White House concedes the president is proposing gradual and targeted reductions to the fund, but, according to a White House spokesman “reducing it and gutting it completely are two very different things.”

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


Senate Opts for Three-Month Patriot Act Extension

Photo Courtesy - Getty Images(WASHINGTON) -- The Senate Tuesday night passed a three-month extension of the three provisions in the Patriot Act set to expire at the month’s end. The vote was 86-12.
The 12 senators voting against the extension included two Republicans -- Rand Paul and Mike Lee -- and 10 Democrats -- Max Baucus, Mark Begich, Sherrod Brown, Tom Harkin, Frank Lautenberg, Jeff Merkley, Patty Murray, Bernie Sanders, Jon Tester, and Tom Udall.
On Monday the House had passed an extension until Dec. 8, but the Senate instead opted for a far shorter extension that only runs through May 27. Now the two chambers will have to agree on a time period before the provisions expire on Feb. 28. 

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


On Second Try, House Passes PATRIOT Act Extension

Photo Courtesy - Getty Images(WASHINGTON) -- It took an extra six days, but the House of Representatives passed a measure Monday evening extending three provisions in the PATRIOT Act set to expire at the end of the month.

The vote passed by a final tally of 275-144. Twenty-seven Republicans voted against the measure, while 65 Democrats supported its passage.

The measure extends powers for investigators in national security cases to conduct “roving” wiretaps, to seek certain business records and to gather intelligence on lone terrorists who are not affiliated with a known terrorist group.

The House-passed bill extends the provisions until December 8, 2011, giving Congress more time to review the impact of the legislation before considering a long-term extension. The Senate has yet to act on the measure.

Rep. Lamar Smith, the chairman of the House Judiciary Committee, said that if the House and Senate fail to come to an agreement to extend the expiring provisions, it could prevent the intelligence needed to stop the next attack from being collected.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


House Defeats Extension of PATRIOT Act Provisions

Photo Courtesy - Architect of the Capitol(WASHINGTON) -- The House of Representatives fell a few votes short Tuesday night of passing HR 514 -- the Patriot Act Extension.

The vote, 277-148, failed to get the necessary two-thirds majority it needed to pass under the rules of suspensions. It fell just seven votes short of a two-thirds majority of those voting and present.

In a largely bipartisan vote, 67 House Democrats voted in favor of its passage while 26 Republicans opposed the extension.

The extension would have prevented three provisions of the somewhat controversial law from expiring at the end of the month. The provisions, nearing an expiration deal with court-approved roving wiretaps, grant the FBI access to library archives and anything else considered relevant to a terrorism investigation.

While some Republicans with Tea Party affiliation opposed the bill, its defeat at first glance does not seem to be completely attributable to them. Veteran GOP members like 20-term Rep. Don Young, R-Alaska, and 10-term Rep. Jack Kingston, R-Ga., also voted against the extension.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio 


Score One For Obama, Tax Bill Victory Looks Likely

Photo Courtesy - Getty Images(WASHINGTON) -- After a week of arm twisting, negotiating, endorsement peddling -- and even an impromptu press conference held by former President Bill Clinton -- President Obama looks like he has successfully contained a revolt from within his own party and will get his way on taxes.

Lead House tax negotiator Rep. Chris Van Hollen, D-MD., said on Fox News Sunday the House "will have an opportunity to work its will, and that “we're not going to hold this thing up at the end of the day.”

“The main sticking point,” according to Van Hollen, is the estate tax. Although the estate tax is currently zeroed out, the compromise tax plan would lower what had been a 55 percent tax on estates to 35 percent, a reduction that has been a major source of Democratic complaints.

The Senate is expected to hold its first votes on the tax measure Monday.

During his television appearances over the weekend, White House senior adviser David Axelrod took care to mention that the compromise tax plan now featured a renewable energy tax credit, an incentive pushed for by key Democrats. In short, tweaks like that give Democrats a chance to save face while not making sweeping changes to the deal.

Copyright 2010 ABC News Radio


Senate Votes Down Bills to Extend Tax Cuts

Photo Courtesy - Getty Images(WASHINGTON) -- The showdown over tax cuts stalled in the Senate on Saturday when lawmakers twice voted down bills that would have extended middle class tax cuts.

“We need to redouble our efforts to resolve this impasse in the next few days,” President Obama said, “to give the American people the peace of mind that their taxes will not go up on Jan. 1.”

Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell said that despite the bills’ defeat, this is not the end of the discussion.

“I'm relatively confident that the end of this process will lead us to, I think, a very sensible decision not to raise taxes on anybody in the middle of a recession.”

South Carolina Republican Sen. Lindsey Graham echoed that sentiment Saturday on the Senate floor, saying the Bush-era tax cuts should be extended for all Americans.

“This is not the time for our government to raise taxes on anybody,” Graham said.

One option would have preserved the tax cut for individuals who make $200,000 or less and couples making $250,000 or less; the other would keep the cuts for anyone making $1 million a year or less.

Copyright 2010 ABC News Radio


Biden Urges Senate to Extend Middle Class Tax Cuts

File photo. Photo Courtesy - ABC News(WASHINGTON) -- Vice President Biden made another pitch on Friday for Congress to make the middle-class tax cuts permanent, in light of what he called a "disappointing" jobs report.

"To me, it's unthinkable that we would continue the uncertainty in the job market," Biden said, "that we would risk letting...these middle-class tax credits falter. It would...have a significant economic impact. Our recovery is under way, but it's fragile. It's too slow, especially for the American middle class, and Congress needs to act now -- again, before they leave town -- to make sure taxes do not go up for middle-class Americans. They can't afford it, but the economy cannot afford it either."

Even amid the tax cut negotiations still taking place, the vice president urged the Senate to join the House in voting on the bill passed Thursday in the House.

"There's nothing we do for our economy that's more immediate and more important than ensuring that these tax cuts remain in place," Biden said, "The consequences of letting this aid lapse are, quite frankly, dire."

Copyright 2010 ABC News Radio

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