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Editorial Results (free)

1. Alexander, Ball Spar in Lone Tennessee Senate Forum -

COOKEVILLE, Tenn. (AP) – Republican Lamar Alexander and Democrat Gordon Ball in their first and only joint appearance of Tennessee's U.S. Senate race on Thursday attacked each other as unsuited to hold the office.

2. Sen. Alexander Sheds Feel-Good Image in Tennessee Race -

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) – Forget the syrupy, feel-good message so common to Lamar Alexander's past political campaigns. This time, the Tennessee Republican is going into attack mode.

With early voting in the U.S. Senate race set to kick off next week, the two-term incumbent has unleashed two television ads hammering his previously little-known Democratic opponent, Gordon Ball, as a proxy for President Barack Obama and as a "slick-talking personal injury lawyer."

3. Senate Reprieve for Highly Contested Border Bill -

WASHINGTON (AP) — A bill to deal with the immigration surge on the U.S.-Mexico border won a temporary reprieve in the Senate Wednesday as lawmakers maneuvered to offer some response to the crisis before adjourning for the summer.

4. GOP Blocks Tax Hike on Firms Moving Overseas -

WASHINGTON (AP) — Republican senators blocked an election-year bill Wednesday to limit tax breaks for U.S. companies that move operations overseas.

The bill would have prohibited companies from deducting expenses related to moving their operations to a foreign country. It also would have offered tax credits to companies that move operations to the U.S. from a foreign country.

5. Senate Confirms McDonald as Veterans Affairs Secretary -

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Senate on Tuesday unanimously confirmed former Procter & Gamble CEO Robert McDonald as the new Veterans Affairs secretary, with a mission to overhaul an agency beleaguered by long veterans' waits for health care and VA workers falsifying records to cover up delays.

6. Senate Bill Targets Companies That Move Overseas -

WASHINGTON (AP) – The Senate voted Wednesday to advance an election-year bill limiting tax breaks for U.S. companies that move operations overseas. But big hurdles remain.

The Senate voted 93-7 to begin debating the bill, which would prevent companies from deducting expenses related to moving operations to a foreign country. The bill would offer tax credits to companies that move operations to the U.S. from a foreign country.

7. Ex-Senator Baker Remembered for Crossing the Aisle -

HUNTSVILLE, Tenn. (AP) – Former Senate Majority Leader Howard H. Baker Jr. was remembered Tuesday for his ability to bridge political divides in Washington while also establishing the Republican Party as a statewide force in Tennessee.

8. Congress, FBI Moving on Veterans Affairs Health Care -

WASHINGTON (AP) – As Congress moves to help thousands of military veterans enduring long wait times for VA medical care, the FBI said it has opened a criminal investigation into the Department of Veterans Affairs.

9. RNC Changes Debate Rules for 2016 -

MEMPHIS (AP) – Lunging for control of the GOP ahead of high-stakes elections, the Republican National Committee on Friday took steps to end free-for-all presidential debates and vowed to punish potential contenders who participate in rogue forums.

10. GOP Blocks Democrats' Minimum Wage Try in Senate -

WASHINGTON (AP) – Senate Republicans derailed a Democratic drive Wednesday to raise the federal minimum wage, blocking a cornerstone of President Barack Obama's economic plans and ensuring the issue will be a major feature of this fall's congressional elections.

11. Senate Nears Passage of Jobless-Benefits Bill -

WASHINGTON (AP) – Capping a three-month struggle, the Senate closed in Monday on passage of election-year legislation to restore jobless benefits for the long-term unemployed that expired late last year.

12. House Approves Bill to Stop Cut to Medicare Docs -

WASHINGTON (AP) – The House on Thursday passed legislation to give doctors a yearlong reprieve from a looming 24 percent cut in their payments from Medicare.

The bill passed on a surprise voice vote and advanced to the Senate, which hopes to pass it before a Monday deadline. The vote was delayed by an hour amid doubt that the measure could muster the two-thirds vote required under fast-track procedures.

13. Both Sides Pledge New Effort on Jobless Bill -

WASHINGTON (AP) – Republicans and Democrats both pledged Wednesday to renew efforts at resurrecting jobless benefits for the long-term unemployed, but immediate prospects for compromise appeared dim one day after a Senate deadlock.

14. Unemployment Bill Remains Stalled in Senate -

WASHINGTON (AP) — Senate Republicans and Democrats squabbled in public while negotiating in private on Monday on stalled legislation to resurrect unemployment benefits for the long-term jobless.

15. AP Exclusive: New Jobless Benefit Plan Advanced -

WASHINGTON (AP) – Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid expressed optimism Thursday about chances for compromise on jobless legislation, and officials said talks were focused on a scaled-back program that is fully paid for and would provide up to 31 weeks of benefits for the long-term unemployed.

16. Congress OKs New IRS Chief, Ends Turbulent Year -

WASHINGTON (AP) – A cross Congress ended its business for the year Friday as the Senate approved a new boss for the troubled Internal Revenue Service but remained slowed and bitterly riven over majority Democrats' weakening of Republicans' power to filibuster.

17. Fast-Food Protests Return Amid Push for Wage Hikes -

NEW YORK (AP) – Fast-food workers and labor organizers are marching, waving signs and chanting in cities across the country Thursday amid a push for higher wages.

Organizers say employees planned to forgo work in 100 cities, with rallies set for another 100 cities. But it's not clear what the actual turnout has been or how many of the participants are workers. By afternoon, disruptions seemed minimal or temporary at the targeted restaurants.

18. Few Support Delaying Changes in Flood Insurance -

WASHINGTON (AP) – Efforts to delay implementation of changes in the federal flood insurance program have run into roadblocks on both sides of Capitol Hill.

The leaders of the House Financial Services Committee say they are standing behind last year's bipartisan legislation to put the flood insurance program on sounder financial footing even as the implementation of the law has sparked a chorus of complaints from constituents fearing spikes in premiums and plummeting home values.

19. Latest Federal Internet Gambling Bill Proposes Tax -

LAS VEGAS (AP) – If Congress makes no progress on a national framework for online gambling this session, it won't be for a lack of legislation.

Two lawmakers introduced bills over the summer that would legalize some form of Internet gambling nationwide. Last week, Rep. Jim McDermott, a Democrat from Washington, introduced a bill that would tax federally-sanctioned online wagering.

20. In Reversal, Obama to Allow Canceled Health Plans -

WASHINGTON (AP) – His personal and political credibility on the line, President Barack Obama reversed course Thursday and said millions of Americans should be allowed to renew individual coverage plans now ticketed for cancellation under the health care law that is likely to be at the heart of the 2014 elections.

21. Congress Governs Self Under 'Obamacare' -

WASHINGTON (AP) – Think you're confused by "Obamacare"? It's roiling Capitol Hill behind the scenes, too.

Members of Congress are governing themselves under President Barack Obama's signature law, which means they have great leeway in how to apply it to their own staffs.

22. Food Stamps, Milk Prices on Table in Farm Talks -

WASHINGTON (AP) – The fight over renewing the nation's farm bill has centered on cuts to the $80 billion-a-year food stamp program. But there could be unintended consequences if no agreement is reached: higher milk prices.

23. Both Sides Agree: No Major Budget Deal Foreseen -

WASHINGTON (AP) — On this, GOP budget guru Rep. Paul Ryan and top Senate Democrat Harry Reid can agree: There won't be a "grand bargain" on the budget.

24. Shutdown Over, Obama Surveys Damage and Blames GOP -

WASHINGTON (AP) – The government unlocked its doors Thursday after 16 days, with President Barack Obama saluting the resolution of Congress' bitter standoff but lambasting Republicans for the partial shutdown that he said had damaged the U.S. economy and America's credibility around the world.

25. A Deal: Voting to Avoid Default, Open Government -

WASHINGTON (AP) – Up against one last deadline, Congress raced to pass legislation Wednesday avoiding a threatened national default and ending a 16-day partial government shutdown along the strict terms set by President Barack Obama when the twin crises began.

26. New House GOP Plan as Debt-Limit Deadline Nears -

WASHINGTON (AP) – Time growing desperately short, House Republicans pushed for passage of legislation late Tuesday to prevent a threatened Treasury default, end a 15-day partial government shutdown and extricate divided government from its latest brush with a full political meltdown.

27. As Shutdown Drags On, Time to Call in Mediator? -

WASHINGTON (AP) – Maybe it's time to call in a mediator – if there's one not on furlough.

President Barack Obama and congressional Republicans are in stalemate over a partial government shutdown now in its second week. And a looming crisis over the federal debt limit is rapidly approaching, with economists saying that could have a devastating effect on the U.S. economy.

28. Poll: No Heroes in Shutdown, GOP Gets Most Blame -

WASHINGTON (AP) – President Barack Obama and lawmakers must rise above their incessant bickering and do more to end the partial government shutdown, according to a poll Wednesday that places the brunt of the blame on Republicans but finds no one standing tall in Washington.

29. Obama Says Talks OK – After Default Threat Averted -

WASHINGTON (AP) – After weeks of gridlock, House Republicans floated broad hints Tuesday they might be willing to pass short-term legislation re-opening the government and averting a default in exchange for immediate talks with the Obama administration on reducing deficits and changing the three-year-old health care law.

30. Cohen, Fincher Embody Washington Divide -

The two congressmen who represent Shelby County in Washington couldn’t disagree more on the cause of the government shutdown and its coming intersection with the national debt ceiling.

“It’s the Republicans that are the problem,” Democratic U.S. Rep. Steve Cohen said Monday, Oct. 7, before leaving Memphis to catch a flight for Washington. “It’s folly what they are talking about, and they know that now. … They wanted a government shutdown – yippee-ki-yay.”

31. Shutdown in Third Day With Debt Trouble Looming -

WASHINGTON (AP) – Efforts to resolve the government shutdown were at a standstill Thursday as President Barack Obama and House Speaker John Boehner traded barbs, the Treasury warned of a dire risk to the economy ahead and work in the Capitol was briefly halted because of gunshots outside.

32. Boehner: House Won't Pass 'Clean' Spending Bill -

WASHINGTON (AP) – House Republicans will not simply pass a temporary spending bill from the Democratic Senate after it is shorn clean of a tea party plan to "defund Obamacare," House Speaker John Boehner said on Thursday.

33. Senate Clears Hurdle on Stopgap Spending Bill -

WASHINGTON (AP) – The Senate has cleared a hurdle on a stopgap spending bill that would avert a government shutdown and unravel President Barack Obama's health care law.

The vote was 100-0 and came an hour after freshman Sen. Ted Cruz ended his 21-hour, 19-minute filibuster. Cruz supports the bill but used a stalling tactic to postpone the inevitable – Democratic leader Harry Reid has the votes to strip out the defund Obamacare provision and send the spending bill back to the House.

34. One Week to Go Until Government Shutdown Deadline -

WASHINGTON (AP) – With a week left to hammer out a deal to avoid a government shutdown, some lawmakers seem resigned – if not rushing – to that end.

Most say they don't want the first government shutdown since 1996. But if the government happens to shut down, so be it. Republicans say it is part of their effort to dismantle Democrats' health care overhaul, while Democrats defending the law recall that similar standoffs gave them political gains.

35. GOP House: Keep Government Open, Hit 'Obamacare' -

WASHINGTON (AP) – Charting a collision course with the White House, the Republican-controlled House approved legislation Friday to wipe out the three-year-old health care law that President Barack Obama has vowed to preserve – and simultaneously prevent a partial government shutdown that neither party claims to want.

36. Senate, House Ensnared in Health Care Controversy -

WASHINGTON (AP) – Implacable Republican opposition to Obamacare has Congress once more veering closer to gridlock.

In the House, more than 50 conservatives support tacking a one-year delay in implementing the health care law onto a bill needed to prevent a partial government shutdown on Oct. 1.

37. Rising Tax Revenue Eases Pressure for Budget Cuts -

WASHINGTON (AP) – Rising tax receipts are shrinking the federal deficit, and that will shape the budget debate when Congress returns from vacation next month. The big question for lawmakers: Should they renew, end or modify the tens of billions of dollars in "sequester" cuts in government spending that took effect earlier this year?

38. Senate Ready to Confirm New NLRB Members -

WASHINGTON (AP) – The Senate on Tuesday moved a step closer to approving Democratic nominees to the National Labor Relations Board.

Following a script crafted by the two parties, the Senate voted 64-34 to cut off debate and move to a final confirmation vote for Kent Hirozawa. By the end of the day, the Senate could confirm five nominees waiting to join the independent labor agency.

39. Tricky Obstacles Ahead to Averting Shutdown -

WASHINGTON (AP) – Despite pressure from some liberal Democrats for a September showdown in hopes of ending huge automatic, government-shrinking spending cuts, Washington appears on track to avert what would be the first government shutdown in nearly two decades.

40. Senate Moves Forward on Transportation Spending -

WASHINGTON (AP) – A $108 billion measure that would boost funding for infrastructure projects and housing subsidies for the poor is moving ahead in the Senate.

The measure cleared a procedural hurdle by a bipartisan 73-26 vote Tuesday, and that sets up days of debate with the goal of passing the measure next week.

41. Senate Panel OKs Bill Banning Anti-Gay Job Bias -

WASHINGTON (AP) – Gay rights advocates notched another victory Wednesday after a Senate panel approved a bill that would prohibit employers from discriminating against workers on the basis of sexual orientation or gender identity.

42. US Government Collecting Huge Number of Phone Records -

WASHINGTON (AP) – The government is secretly collecting the telephone records of millions of U.S. customers of Verizon under a top-secret court order, according to the chairwoman of the Senate Intelligence Committee. The Obama administration is defending the National Security Agency's need to collect such records, but critics are calling it a huge over-reach.

43. Few Senators Block Vote on Internet Sales Tax Bill -

WASHINGTON (AP) – A handful of senators from states without sales taxes are blocking a bill that would tax Internet purchases.

They don't have enough support to kill the bill, but they can delay a final vote until Friday – or even this weekend – if senators don't reach an agreement to vote earlier.

44. Assault Weapons Ban Won't be in Democrats’ Gun Bill -

WASHINGTON (AP) – Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid has decided that a proposed assault weapons ban won't be part of a gun control bill the Senate plans to debate next month, the sponsor of the ban said Tuesday, a decision that means the ban stands little chance of survival.

45. House Approves Bill Preventing Shutdown March 27 -

WASHINGTON (AP) – The Republican-controlled House approved legislation Wednesday to prevent a government shutdown on March 27 and blunt the impact of newly imposed spending cuts on the Defense Department.

46. Obama, Top Lawmakers to Meet as Cuts Kick In -

WASHINGTON (AP) – The White House conceded Wednesday that efforts to avoid automatic budget cuts are unlikely to succeed before they kick in and is initiating new talks with congressional leaders to confront seemingly intractable tax-and-spend issues.

47. Obama Seeks to Avoid Sequester With Short-Term Fix -

WASHINGTON (AP) – President Barack Obama is asking Congress for a short-term deficit reduction package of spending cuts and tax revenue that will delay the effective date of steeper automatic cuts now scheduled to kick in on March 1. Obama said the looming cuts would be economically damaging and must be avoided.

48. Sheriffs, State Lawmakers Push Back on Gun Control -

GRANTS PASS, Ore. (AP) – From Oregon to Mississippi, President Barack Obama's proposed ban on new assault weapons and large-capacity magazines struck a nerve among rural lawmen and lawmakers, many of whom vowed to ignore any restrictions – and even try to stop federal officials from enforcing gun policy in their jurisdictions.

49. Consumers Lose Confidence as Fiscal Cliff Approaches -

U.S. consumers peering over the “fiscal cliff” don’t like what they see.

Fears of sharp tax increases and government spending cuts set to take effect next week sent consumer confidence tumbling in December to its lowest level since August.

50. No Deal in Sight as Deadline for Fiscal Deal Nears -

WASHINGTON (AP) – A last-gasp effort Thursday to avoid automatic tax increases and spending cuts got off on the same convulsive, partisan tone that marked congressional attempts to resolve the impasse before lawmakers left Washington to go home for Christmas.

51. Fiscal Cliff Efforts Ongoing, Boehner Offers Plan -

WASHINGTON (AP) – President Barack Obama and House Speaker John Boehner pushed ahead on negotiating a broad deal to avert the "fiscal cliff," even as the GOP leader readied a backup plan Tuesday to pressure the White House with little time left to avoid a double hit on the economy.

52. Senate Bill Would Extend Deposit Insurance Program -

WASHINGTON (AP) — To prevent a possible run on banks at the height of the financial crisis four years ago, Congress expanded government insurance for certain bank deposits to include totals above the usual $250,000 limit. Now that the ceiling is about to be re-imposed, community banks fear they'll lose customers to bigger banks and want Congress to come to their rescue.

53. Investment Strategies After the Election -

Status Quo After billions of dollars in campaign costs, thousands of TV and radio advertisements, hundreds of campaign rallies, fundraisers and speeches, the voters spoke on Tuesday. What was the result? We are essentially right back to where we started.

54. Quick Deal Sought on ‘Fiscal Cliff’ -

WASHINGTON (AP) – The top Democrat in Congress called Wednesday for a quick solution to Washington’s “fiscal cliff” in an upcoming post-election session of Congress.

At the same time, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid said that asking wealthier people to pay higher taxes needs to be part of any solution to the government’s budget woes.

55. Reid, Boehner Announce Stopgap Spending Pact -

WASHINGTON (AP) – The top Republican and Democrat on Capitol Hill have announced an agreement to keep the government running on autopilot for six months when the current budget year ends on Sept. 30.

56. Hill Leaders May Punt Spending Bills to Next Year -

WASHINGTON (AP) – With the agenda for a postelection lame duck session of Congress already stacked high, congressional leaders are considering lightening the load by punting much of the remaining budget work of Congress to next year.

57. Senate Passes Cuts for All but Richest Americans -

WASHINGTON (AP) – The Senate has debated, sniped and voted on the politically fraught issue of tax cuts, and next week the House is likely to do it all over again. Still, Americans won't know until after the November elections how much more of their paychecks will go to the government next year.

58. Cohen Talks About Opponents, Schools, Race and His Political Past -

U.S. Rep. Steve Cohen is running for a fourth term in Congress starting with the Aug. 2 primary, in which he is being challenged by countywide school board member Tomeka Hart.

59. Senate Rejects Dem, GOP Business Tax Cut Bills -

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Senate on Thursday rejected rival Democratic and Republican plans for cutting taxes on businesses, with both parties refusing to yield ground in their election-year struggle over how best to spark the economy.

60. Democrats Block Senate Vote on Obama Tax Plan -

WASHINGTON (AP) — Democrats blocked a Senate vote Wednesday on President Barack Obama's plan to extend expiring tax cuts for a year for everyone but the highest-earning Americans as the two parties maneuvered to try embarrassing each other on one of the election year's foremost issues.

61. Lawmakers Try to Save Stalled Transportation Bill -

WASHINGTON (AP) – House and Senate leaders are making a last-ditch effort to revive stalled legislation to overhaul federal transportation programs – Congress' best bet for passage of a major jobs bill this year – but prospects for passage before the November election are dimming.

62. MAAR to Host EDGE/PILOT Forum -

Reid Dulberger and Harry Skefos will present a forum on the new Economic Development Growth Engine (EDGE) and the recent changes to the payment-in-lieu-of-taxes (PILOT) program at the Memphis Area Association of Realtors Martin Edwards Education Center, 6393 Poplar Ave., on Wednesday, June 13, at 3 p.m.

63. Political Battle Over Student Loans Heating Up -

WASHINGTON (AP) – House Speaker John Boehner said Thursday that President Barack Obama was acting "beneath the dignity of the White House" when he traveled around the country this week to pressure Republicans to help keep federal student loan costs from ballooning. Boehner said Obama should reimburse taxpayers for the trips' costs.

64. Senate Democrats Unveil Business Tax Breaks -

WASHINGTON (AP) – Senate Democrats Monday unveiled a $26 billion temporary tax cut for businesses to boost their payrolls and encourage investment in new equipment.

The legislation would award businesses a tax credit of 10 percent on the salaries of new hires or for pay raises given to existing workers. Businesses that make major new capital investments in new equipment and machinery would be able to write off those investments immediately rather than over several years.

65. Popular Small Business Bill Hits Senate Obstacles -

WASHINGTON (AP) – It might seem a recipe for success: Legislation to help small businesses raise capital passed the House last week with 95 percent of lawmakers voting for it and President Barack Obama's support. But in today's Congress, nothing comes easy.

66. Senate Leaders Drop Standoff on Judges, Jobs Bill -

WASHINGTON (AP) – Senate Republican and Democratic leaders ended their standoff Wednesday over President Barack Obama's judicial nominations and agreed to debate a small-business bill that both parties favor in this presidential and congressional election year.

67. Job Creation Driving Highway Bills in Congress -

WASHINGTON (AP) – The lure of roads, bridges, buses and trains isn't enough anymore to drive an expensive transportation bill through Congress. So to round up votes, congressional leaders are pitching the bills as the hottest thing around these days: job generators.

68. Payroll Tax Cut Talks Adrift on Capitol Hill -

WASHINGTON (AP) – The prospects for an extension of President Barack Obama's signature payroll tax cut, once considered a slam dunk on Capitol Hill, now seem far less certain as House-Senate talks have deadlocked over finding ways to pay for it.

69. After Protest, Congress Puts Off Movie Piracy Bill -

WASHINGTON (AP) – Caving to a massive campaign by Internet services and their millions of users, Congress indefinitely postponed legislation Friday to stop online piracy of movies and music costing U.S. companies billions of dollars every year. Critics said the bills would result in censorship and stifle Internet innovation.

70. Tax Cut Lives: Congress Gives Last-Minute Approval -

WASHINGTON (AP) – After weeks of bickering and doubt, Congress delivered a last-minute holiday tax cut extension to 160 million workers Friday along with further unemployment benefits for millions laid off in the nation's fierce recession and weak economic recovery. It was a convincing victory for President Barack Obama, a humbling retreat for House Republicans.

71. McConnell: Extend Tax Cut Short-Term and Long-Term -

WASHINGTON (AP) – The Senate's top Republican on Thursday urged the GOP-led House to pass a short-term renewal of payroll tax cuts and break an impasse that threatens all workers with a Jan. 1 tax increase. Within hours, a House Republican freshman broke ranks and agreed, signaling that fierce pressure from almost every corner of the Republican Party had begun to crack conservative opposition to a short-term fix.

72. Boehner: Obama Should Make Senate Bargain on Taxes -

WASHINGTON (AP) – House Speaker John Boehner says it's time for President Barack Obama to help end Congress' impasse over renewing the payroll tax cut and jobless benefits.

The Ohio Republican said Tuesday that he wants Obama to call on the Democratic-led Senate to return to Washington and bargain with the House over a compromise plan. He said at a news conference, "I need the president to help out."

73. House Republicans Reject 2-Month Payroll Tax Cut -

WASHINGTON (AP) – The House Tuesday rejected legislation to extend a payroll tax cut and jobless benefits for two months, drawing a swift rebuke from President Barack Obama that Republicans were threatening higher taxes on 160 million American workers on Jan. 1.

74. House, Senate at Odds Over Payroll Tax Cut -

WASHINGTON (AP) – The House and Senate barreled toward a collision Monday over some of the chief ingredients of President Barack Obama's recipe for reviving the economy, with tax increases and jobless benefit cuts awaiting millions of Americans on New Year's Day if the dispute is not resolved.

75. House Passes $1T Budget Bill, Avoids Shutdown -

WASHINGTON (AP) – The House has passed a $1 trillion-plus catchall budget bill paying for day-to-day operations of 10 Cabinet departments and averting a government shutdown, while Senate talks on renewing a payroll tax cut and jobless benefits reached a critical phase.

76. Obama: No Reason Government Should Shut Down -

WASHINGTON (AP) – President Barack Obama says there is no reason for the government to shut down over Congress' struggle on how to extend a payroll tax cut.

He said Congress "cannot and should not leave for vacation until they've made sure that a tax increase doesn't happen."

77. Optimism Growing on Deal to Avoid Federal Shutdown -

WASHINGTON (AP) – The endgame at hand, Democratic and Republican congressional leaders expressed optimism Thursday at prospects for swift compromise to extend Social Security tax cuts, keep long-term jobless benefits flowing and avoid a partial government shutdown at midnight Friday.

78. Agreement Near on $1 Trillion Spending Bill -

WASHINGTON (AP) – Bipartisan agreement is near on a massive $1 trillion-plus year-end spending package and should be reached in time avert a possible government shutdown this weekend, lawmakers said Thursday.

79. AP Sources: Dem Lawmakers May Drop Millionaire Tax -

WASHINGTON (AP) – Democratic lawmakers are considering whether to jettison their demand for a millionaires' surtax, which they had hoped to use to cover the cost of a Social Security payroll tax cut extension for millions of wage-earners, officials said Wednesday.

80. Obama Seeks to Leverage $1 Trillion Spending Bill -

WASHINGTON (AP) – President Barack Obama's Democratic allies in the Senate are using a critical year-end spending bill as political leverage to try to force Republicans to negotiate bipartisan legislation to extend payroll tax cuts and unemployment benefits due to expire at the end of the year.

81. Republicans Plan House OK of Payroll Tax Cut Bill -

WASHINGTON (AP) – The White House promised a veto Tuesday for a Republican bill renewing a payroll tax cut next year for 160 million workers, complaining that spending cuts that pay for the measure would whack the middle class and require no sacrifice from the rich.

82. $1T-Plus Spending Bill Taking Shape in Congress -

WASHINGTON (AP) – Weary after a year of partisan bickering, lawmakers tried Monday to wrap up a sprawling $1 trillion-plus spending bill that chips away at military and environmental spending but denies conservatives many of the policy changes they wanted on social issues, government regulations and health care.

83. House GOP Introduces Bill Renewing Payroll Tax Cut -

WASHINGTON (AP) – House Republicans introduced legislation Friday that would extend the Social Security payroll tax cut through 2012 and trim extra benefits for the long-term unemployed.

84. Reid: Senate Not Leaving Till Payroll Tax Cut OK -

WASHINGTON (AP) – Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid says the Senate won't leave town for the Christmas holiday until Congress approves an extension of the payroll tax cut.

85. Senate Democrats Push Obama Payroll Tax Cut -

WASHINGTON (AP) – Senate Democrats are pressing ahead on President Barack Obama's plan to cut in half every worker's payroll taxes next year – paid for by a 3.25 percent tax surcharge on the very wealthy.

86. Defense Hawks Insist on Sparing Military From Cuts -

WASHINGTON (AP) – Congress' defense hawks insist the military should be spared from automatic spending cuts after a special panel failed to reach a deal on reducing the deficit.

No way, says President Barack Obama, who vowed Monday to veto any effort to undo the roughly $1 trillion in across-the-board cuts, half from domestic programs and half from defense.

87. Senate Unveils Next Piece of Obama Jobs Bill -

WASHINGTON (AP) – President Barack Obama's allies in the Senate on Friday unveiled the next piece of his failed $447 billion jobs measure to get a vote in the Senate: an almost $70 investment in infrastructure projects such as roads and bridges.

88. Touring NC, Obama Seeks Jobs Votes, Piece by Piece -

FLETCHER, N.C. (AP) – Railing against Republicans, President Barack Obama on Monday pushed for a jobs package that Congress is splintering into pieces, with Senate Democrats planning to start with a plan to help states hire teachers, police and firefighters. In campaign mode on the road, Obama accused Republicans senators of saying no to helping Americans.

89. Obama to Talk Jobs Bill With Top Senate Dems -

WASHINGTON (AP) – President Barack Obama will meet with top Senate Democrats at the White House Thursday afternoon to discuss his jobs bill.

The White House says Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid and Sens. Dick Durbin, Chuck Schumer and Patty Murray will attend the meeting, scheduled for 5:30 pm EDT.

90. Senate Democrats Add Millionaire Tax to Jobs Bill -

WASHINGTON (AP) – Struggling to deliver the big jobs package proposed by President Barack Obama, Senate Democrats are using the issue to force Republican senators to vote on tax increases for millionaires, picking up on a White House theme that the nation's wealthiest Americans aren't paying their fair share.

91. Obama Admin Approves 2 Solar Loans Worth $1B -

WASHINGTON (AP) – The Energy Department on Wednesday approved two loan guarantees worth more than $1 billion for solar energy projects in Nevada and Arizona, two days before the expiration date of a program that has become a rallying cry for Republican critics of the Obama administration's green energy program.

92. Congress Dodges Shutdown After Disaster Aid Fight -

WASHINGTON (AP) – In agreeing to an emergency spending bill to avoid a government shutdown, Congress achieved the bare minimum while finessing a fight over whether emergency disaster aid ought to be paid for with cuts elsewhere in the budget.

93. Senate Blocks House Disaster Aid Bill -

WASHINGTON (AP) – The Democratic-led Senate blocked a House bill Friday that would provide disaster aid and keep government agencies open, escalating the parties' latest showdown over spending and highlighting the raw partisan rift that has festered all year.

94. House Disaster Vote Sets up Showdown With Senate -

WASHINGTON (AP) – Despite opposition from Democrats and some tea party Republicans, the GOP-controlled House on Wednesday took up $3.7 billion in disaster relief as part of a bill to avert a government shutdown at the end of the month.

95. Disaster Aid Showdown Looms on Capitol Hill -

WASHINGTON (AP) – The Democratic leader of the Senate says he'll try this week to add almost $7 billion in disaster aid to must-pass legislation to avert a government shutdown.

The move by Nevada Democrat Harry Reid would force GOP supporters of a Senate disaster relief bill to choose whether to stick with the Senate disaster package or opt for a less generous House version. The House version is partially "paid for" with a $1.5 billion cut to a federal program that subsidizes low interest loans to car companies to build more fuel efficient vehicles.

96. Senate Procedural Snarl Could Shut Down FAA Again -

WASHINGTON (AP) – A procedural snarl and a single senator's objections could force another partial shutdown of the Federal Aviation Administration.

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid said Wednesday that Senate rules don't allow lawmakers to drop their current consideration of a disaster aid bill and shift to a stopgap funding measure for FAA and highway programs without the consent of all lawmakers.

97. Obama Touts Jobs Bill Benefits for Small Business -

RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) – President Barack Obama urged enthusiastic college students Wednesday to join him in his fight to get Congress to act on his new jobs bill. "Every single one of you can help make this bill a reality," the president called out at a hot and noisy rally at North Carolina State University.

98. Obama to Address Congress Next Week on Jobs -

WASHINGTON (AP) – President Barack Obama will lay out his jobs plan in a prime television time address next week to a rare joint session of Congress, the White House said Wednesday.

Obama sent a letter to House Speaker John Boehner and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid asking to speak to both chambers on Sept. 7 at 8 p.m (midnight GMT).

99. Biden Calls for New Clean Energy Policy for US -

LAS VEGAS (AP) – The United States can't lead the world in the 21st century with its current energy policy, Vice President Joe Biden told alternative technology supporters Tuesday at a clean energy summit in Las Vegas.

100. Pelosi Names Final Members to Debt Supercommittee -

WASHINGTON (AP) – House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi's appointment Thursday of three Democrats to Congress' new debt-reduction supercommittee completes the roster of a panel whose members are already being tugged in competing directions.