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July 7, 2008, 8:28 PM EDT
(CNSNews.com) - Passing the six-month mark in his presidency last week, President Bush said Thursday that his is "one of the most constructive first six months of any presidency." Bush cited his $1.35 trillion tax cut, greater bipartisanship and an impending compromise on the patient's bill of rights as reasons for giving himself high marks. The president's comments come at a time when many believe his agenda is in jeopardy, and much criticism is coming from both Democrat and Republican Congressmen, forcing him to compromise on several issues.
July 7, 2008, 8:28 PM EDT
(CNSNews.com) - Consumers could be in for an early Christmas this year if retailers have their way. With an economic stimulus package weighing in the Senate, retailers are pushing for a 10-day nationwide sales tax moratorium to begin the day after Thanksgiving.Last week, the House Ways and Means Committee passed an economic stimulus package that would speed up the reduction of tax rates, repeal the corporate alternative minimum tax and give low-income Americans tax rebates. But retailers said the House bill would not provide the sufficient boost the economy needs.
July 7, 2008, 8:28 PM EDT
(CNSNews.com) - Buried in recently approved Justice Department appropriations bill is legislation granting $50,000 in federal taxpayer money to San Luis Obispo County, Calif. for a tattoo removal program.The sponsor of the bill, Rep. Lois Capps (D-Calif.), said the program would help former gang members "erase" the social stigma associated with a tattoo. But, a spokesman for a Washington watchdog group says it's another example of "how the federal government is so quick to spend money pretty much on anything."
July 7, 2008, 8:28 PM EDT
(CNSNews.com) - Some Senate Democrats are attempting to outlaw the rights of an employer to insert binding arbitration provisions into contracts with employees, in an effort, they say, to protect employees' civil rights. However, a former trial lawyer, now representing the National Arbitration Forum, says lawyers, not employees, would benefit from such a law.
July 7, 2008, 8:28 PM EDT
(CNSNews.com) - The Senate Commerce Committee Thursday will likely become the first panel under the new Democratic-controlled Senate to reject one of President Bush's nominations. That opposition, according to a presidential historian from the Heritage Foundation, appears to be an attempt "to blackmail the administration."Although she is not a member of the Commerce Committee, Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton (D-N.Y.) has led the fight against the nomination of Mary Sheila Gall to chair the Consumer Product Safety Commission.
July 7, 2008, 8:28 PM EDT
(CNSNews.com) - Despite increasing pressure to pass an airport security bill, the House Republican leadership is holding firm in its opposition to any legislation that would federalize government workers because of the likelihood that those workers would become unionized.The Senate passed its version of the airport security bill last week by a rare 100-0 vote that included a provision to federalize most airport security workers, stabilize cockpit doors, and put sky marshals on more flights.
July 7, 2008, 8:28 PM EDT
(CNSNews.com) - Taking up where they left off before the Senate's Christmas recess, members of the Bush administration and the Teamsters union met Thursday to renew their call to Senate Majority Leader Tom Daschle (D-S.D.) to bring a vote on whether or not to open the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge (ANWR) for oil exploration.Republican attempts in 2000 began to lose steam after Democrats took the majority in May, and fizzled out at the end of the year when Daschle refused to bring the legislation up for a vote.
July 7, 2008, 8:28 PM EDT
(CNSNews.com) - Louisiana Democratic Sen. John Breaux could make or break Republican hopes of opening up the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge (ANWR) to oil exploration when Senate and House negotiators begin compromising different versions of the energy bill in the coming weeks.Breaux supported the ANWR provision during Senate debate over the energy bill, but the oil drilling measure was eventually defeated in that chamber last month against the backdrop of a threatened filibuster by Democrats John Kerry of Massachusetts and Joseph Lieberman of Connecticut.
July 7, 2008, 8:28 PM EDT
(CNSNews.com) - While more than half of Americans polled consistently express approval of the overall job President Bush has done so far, Europeans overwhelmingly give Bush low marks in a recent poll for his handling of international policy, claiming he knows less about Europe than his predecessors and all decisions made are based on U.S. interests only.
July 7, 2008, 8:28 PM EDT
(CNSNews.com) - According to a proclamation released by the White House Wednesday, Oct. 24, 2001, was recognized as United Nations Day, a day to celebrate the U.S. relationship with the U.N.But, not everyone was celebrating, especially some conservatives who believe that in light of U.N. treatment of the U.S., America should sever all ties with the organization.
July 7, 2008, 8:28 PM EDT
(CNSNews.com) - U.S. funding for a United Nations population control program remains up in the air, with the Bush Administration under pressure from both pro-life and abortion rights activists to make a decision soon on whether to release the money - or block it instead.Congress recently approved $34 million for the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA), but President Bush has the authority to determine how much, if any, of the money will be allocated.As of last week, the White House gave no indication of what President Bush would decide.
July 7, 2008, 8:28 PM EDT
(CNSNews.com) - Far from its Texas headquarters, the bankrupt energy giant Enron finds itself linked to a political slugfest in Democratic-controlled Bayonne, N.J. It involves the incumbent mayor, a candidate for city council and the local newspaper that refused to run a campaign ad urging the mayor to return more than $30,000 in Enron campaign contributions.
July 7, 2008, 8:28 PM EDT
(CNSNews.com) - If Al Gore decides to launch another bid for the White House, he should not expect other Democratic hopefuls to step aside and make it easy for him to obtain the party's nomination, Democratic officials say.
July 7, 2008, 8:28 PM EDT
(CNSNews.com) - Senate Republicans, along with Interior Secretary Gale Norton, turned up the heat on Senate Majority Leader Tom Daschle Thursday, repeating their call for Senate vote on a comprehensive energy bill for the Christmas recess.Tuesday, Daschle said the development of an energy policy bill will be a "long, hard fight" and might have to wait until next year, but he was hopeful that the Senate would finish its work, which includes an energy bill, by Thanksgiving. But there are no guarantees, he said.
July 7, 2008, 8:28 PM EDT
(CNSNews.com) - The Bush administration Thursday reclassified fetuses to the status of "unborn children," making them eligible for government health care.The decision gives low-income women access to prenatal care, but abortion rights advocates believe the decision could be a step closer to overturning the Supreme Court's Roe v. Wade decision that legalized abortion.
July 7, 2008, 8:28 PM EDT
(CNSNews.com) - President Bush lashed out at a network reporter in Paris Sunday, challenging press claims of increasing anti-America sentiment throughout Europe. NBC's David Gregory asked Bush at a joint press conference with French President Jacques Chirac about why "there are such strong sentiments in Europe against you and against this administration."
July 7, 2008, 8:28 PM EDT
(CNSNews.com) - Florida's House Speaker Thursday defended the state's election reforms package against charges that it will intimidate poor voters and those from minority groups. The reforms were hammered out by the state legislature following Florida's presidential ballot controversy in 2000.
July 7, 2008, 8:28 PM EDT
Capitol Hill (CNSNews.com) - A Republican energy bill that allows oil exploration in Alaska's Arctic National Wildlife Refuge is only a few votes shy of overcoming a promised Democratic filibuster, says one of the nation's largest labor unions.Teamsters spokesman Jerry Hood said that almost enough support has been garnered to get the 60 votes necessary to beat a filibuster.
July 7, 2008, 8:28 PM EDT
(CNSNews.com) - The last time Hillary Clinton visited Israel and the Middle East, as America's first lady, she became involved in a public relations nightmare. This weekend, she visits Israel for the first time as a U.S. senator.
July 7, 2008, 8:28 PM EDT
(CNSNews.com) - Rep. Pete Hoekstra, a Michigan Republican, was one of the harshest critics of the Americorps national service program when it was created by then-President Bill Clinton in the mid-1990s. However, Hoekstra is now the primary sponsor of legislation that would devote an extra quarter of a billion dollars to the Bush administration's version of Americorps.