Originally published on Thu January 16, 2014 3:36 pm
For President Obama and Senate Democrats, who gathered in a White House meeting Wednesday, it's all about mutual aid at this point.
If Obama is to maintain any leverage in Congress, he needs Democrats to keep control of the Senate since the House appears likely to remain in Republican hands. And if his second term agenda has any hope of being achieved — such as tackling income inequality, overhauling immigration or reaching a durable nuclear deal with Iran — he'll need a Democratic Senate majority working side-by-side with him.
The Revenue Estimating Conference, which crunches the numbers on the state’s income every year, announced on Wednesday that revenues are $35 million short of what was expected for 2013-2014. But for the first time since Gov. Bobby Jindal took office, there should be no mid-year cuts to Louisiana's budget.
A bipartisan group of lawmakers took the first step Thursday to patch a gaping hole in the 1965 Voting Rights Act after the Supreme Court eviscerated a key part of the law that allowed for federal oversight of states with a history of ballot box discrimination.
Gov. Bobby Jindal made an appearance at the Baton Rouge Press Club on Wednesday. He announced a business trip to Asia and then took questions from reporters for an hour. A rare event for this governor, it has implications for his presidential ambitions and the upcoming legislative session.
Originally published on Wed January 8, 2014 5:38 pm
A record-high percentage of Americans identified as political independents last year, according to a Gallup poll released Monday.
The survey, based on more than 18,000 interviews conducted throughout the year, found that 42 percent identified as independent, the highest figure since the polling firm began conducting interviews by telephone 25 years ago.
In 2013, 31 percent identified as Democrats, while 25 percent identified as Republican.
In other Senate business, the Judiciary Committee today considers President Obama's nominee to lead the Civil Rights Division of the Justice Department. That nomination could not have come at a more challenging time. Last year, the Supreme Court overturned a key part of the 1965 Voting Rights Act.
Now, government lawyers are trying to find another way to protect minorities at the ballot box. But NPR's Carrie Johnson reports the president's nominee could get bogged down in something else - battles over his record.
The Senate surprised quite a few people in Washington today when it voted to proceed on a bill to temporarily extend emergency unemployment benefits. Six Republicans joined Democrats in voting to get the measure over a key procedural hurdle.
But it was only the first step, and the president is applying pressure to keep it moving.