June 17, 2015 |
The Obama administration on Monday gave Pennsylvania and Delaware a head start in the scramble to save residents from losing health insurance coverage, the possible result of a U.S. Supreme Court ruling expected this month. The action - conditional approval to establish state-based insurance marketplaces - moves forward both states' efforts to preserve health insurance subsidies for their citizens. Pennsylvania Insurance Commissioner Teresa Miller described it as a "contingency plan" with the potential to help more than 300,000 residents who had bought subsidized insurance.
April 16, 2015 |
WASHINGTON - Tuesday was seemingly made for Sen. Robert Menendez (D., N.J.). Two of the top priorities of his congressional career - U.S. relations with Iran and Cuba - were pushed to the forefront, each reaching a critical decision point. But after years of leading on both fronts, Menendez joined the debate Tuesday from a newly weakened position, having given up his seat as the top Democrat on the Foreign Relations Committee as he faces federal corruption charges. "He's still there, but his wings are clipped," said Peter Feaver, who served in national security posts in the Clinton and George W. Bush administrations.
April 14, 2015 |
U.S. Sen. Robert Menendez (D., N.J.) on Sunday maintained his innocence in the face of federal corruption charges related to a wealthy political donor, telling Chris Wallace on Fox News Sunday he "will be vindicated" in court. "When all the facts are known - of course prosecutors take out snippets of a story to make their case - we will have an opportunity in court to make the entire case," Menendez said. "And when all the facts are known, I know that I will be vindicated, and we will win. " Menendez also rejected suggestions that the charges were retribution for his stark criticism of the Obama administration's warming relations with Cuba and Iran.
November 10, 2014 |
Having famously named his first midterm "shellacking," President Obama declined to offer a similarly punchy description of last week's sequel. For pointed political metaphors, there's always the hog castration that kept coming up in Iowa, where pig gelder turned Republican Sen.-elect Joni Ernst vowed to make Washington "squeal. " The nation's repudiation of the president Tuesday, when it gave the Senate and therefore the whole Congress to the party opposite, was almost as clear as Pennsylvania's verdict on its governor.
September 19, 2014 |
The Obama administration has given Philadelphia $2.5 million to figure out how to finally fix Roosevelt Boulevard, the 12-lane deathtrap that runs through the Northeast. The federal grant, coupled with $2.5 million in local and state funding, is designed to do what all previous efforts have failed to do: Plan a reconstruction that will make the boulevard safe and efficient for motorists, pedestrians, transit riders, and even bicyclists. The 14-mile-long boulevard has a reputation as one of the most dangerous highways in the nation.
August 30, 2014 |
HARRISBURG - Ending a yearlong negotiation, the Obama administration on Thursday approved Gov. Corbett's alternative Medicaid expansion proposal, a step that could extend health-care benefits to roughly 600,000 uninsured Pennsylvanians. In what was described as a five-year demonstration project, Pennsylvania got the go-ahead to use federal money to pay private insurers to provide health care to uninsured individuals - many in low-wage jobs. The Obama administration praised Pennsylvania for joining other states that opted into the program under the Affordable Care Act. Corbett administration officials called the agreement a successful compromise.
July 22, 2014
THERE HAVE been some recent stirrings of reasonableness in Washington over the humanitarian crisis at the Mexican border, stirrings that should be supported and nurtured like, well, a child. But let's not fool ourselves: The proposals being bandied about address current political and bureaucratic problems, but they will do little to resolve the instability and violence propelling tens of thousands of unaccompanied minors out of Central America. Street gangs, drug cartels, ineffectual local government and corruption have destabilized neighborhoods and cities in Honduras, Guatemala and El Salvador.
June 18, 2014
PRESIDENT Obama said last week that the administration was considering "all options," including military action, to help the government of Iraq fend off advancing Sunni Muslim extremists. But we would be surprised - and disappointed - if the administration injected American forces into a conflict from which the U.S. finally extricated itself only three years ago. Ominous as they are, these developments justify neither American boots on the ground nor airstrikes carried out by American pilots.
June 5, 2014
THE RELEASE of Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl, a captive of Islamist extremists for almost five years, is good news not only for his family but for all Americans. But the price the Obama administration paid for the 28-year-old soldier's repatriation was freedom for five detainees at Guantanamo Bay who are hardened Taliban commanders. Critics of the administration say that that price was too high, and they make three other arguments: that the exchange violated a long-standing U.S. policy of refusing to negotiate with terrorists; that this country shouldn't negotiate with the Taliban because it might legitimize the group in Afghanistan; and that the swift release of the detainees violated U.S. law. Most of these arguments are invalid or overstated.
March 14, 2014 |
WASHINGTON - Family members and victims of the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks joined three members of Congress on Wednesday in calling on the Obama administration to declassify portions of a congressional investigation that addresses allegations of possible Saudi Arabian government support of the hijackers. The report, released by a joint panel of the House and Senate Intelligence Committees in December 2002, contains 28 redacted pages that family members and victims say would shed new light on the hijackings.