Showing Archived Posts

Yet Another Budget Battle Looms

Posted March 5th, 2013 at 9:35 pm (UTC+0)
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Government Shutdown at Stake With the budget sequester spending cuts now slowly taking effect, the next big date on Washington’s calendar is March 27th.   That’s the day the current U.S. government funding bill expires and Congress will have to act to either renew the funding measure or reach agreement on an alternative. The big question […]

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The Budget Mess

Posted February 25th, 2013 at 8:26 pm (UTC+0)
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  Chaos Ahead or Political Dud? Welcome to “Sequesterville,” also known as Washington, D.C.  What was once unthinkable, and intentionally so, is about to become a reality.  Unless Congress and the president act soon, $85 billion worth of so-called “sequester” cuts take effect on March 1st affecting both domestic and military spending. It wasn’t supposed […]

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Budget Showdown Looming

Posted February 19th, 2013 at 8:00 pm (UTC+0)
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Major Stakes for Both Parties Shakespeare once noted that Julius Caesar should beware the Ides of March, but this year it looks like March 1st  —  not the 15th — is the date to be reckoned with.  That’s when the so-called budget sequester cuts go into effect unless Congress and President Barack Obama can agree […]

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State of the Union Preview

Posted February 8th, 2013 at 9:11 pm (UTC+0)
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Obama’s Pitch on Guns and Immigration President Barack Obama gets down to business with Congress Tuesday night as he delivers the annual State of the Union message before a joint congressional session in Washington.  The president’s speech is expected to focus on his legislative priorities for this year, especially his push for new gun control […]

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Immigration Fast Track

Posted January 30th, 2013 at 9:13 pm (UTC+0)
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Some Republicans Push New Approach The stars may be aligning for some sort of comprehensive immigration reform this year.  Remember, I said maybe.  The focus is on a plan coming from Senate Democrats and Republicans that would offer a path to citizenship for the 11 million or so illegal immigrants currently in the United States. […]

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Obama: Full Steam Ahead

Posted January 23rd, 2013 at 8:19 pm (UTC+0)
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Big Agenda but Time is Fleeting If you look at Washington politics as a poker game, President Obama went all in this week.  His second inaugural address caught some by surprise with a more edgy, partisan vibe that runs counter to the tradition that the president’s maiden speech be full of lofty rhetoric and vague […]

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Inauguration Preview

Posted January 18th, 2013 at 9:31 pm (UTC+0)
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Obama’s Second Term Challenge  It sure does feel different than four years ago.  Remember the crowds, the excitement and the sense that history was being made in 2009 with the inauguration of the country’s first African-American president?  There is definitely a different feel to this second inauguration.  More tempered, I guess.   It seems less about […]

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Confirmation Battles to Come

Posted January 9th, 2013 at 8:18 pm (UTC+0)
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Hagel in the Crosshairs The conventional wisdom in Washington is that while there will be a fight in the Senate, Chuck Hagel will win Senate confirmation as President Obama’s new Secretary of Defense.  But the battle is shaping up as a contentious one right from the start.   Some Republicans began squawking even before the Hagel […]

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Cliff Averted but Quicksand Ahead

Posted January 3rd, 2013 at 9:46 pm (UTC+0)
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Spending Clash Coming In the end, the best Congress could do was a narrow compromise to avoid everybody’s taxes from going up.  In the modern polarized political age, I guess that constitutes some sort of victory.  But any true deficit reduction — and remember this is supposed to be about cutting the deficit — will […]

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Political Battle Lines for 2013

Posted December 31st, 2012 at 6:59 pm (UTC+0)
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Spending Issues Will Be Key As we head into 2013 it, already seems apparent that presidential elections don’t mean as much as they used.  President Barack Obama won a second term in November and Democrats gained seats in both the Senate and House of Representatives.  In the old days, say 30 or 40 years ago, […]

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Jim Malone

Jim Malone

After a stint in the Peace Corps in Swaziland, Jim joined VOA in 1983 as a reporter and anchor on English broadcasts to Africa.  He served as East Africa correspondent, then covered Congress in the early 1990’s.   Since 1995, Jim has served as VOA national correspondent responsible for coverage of U.S. politics, elections, the Supreme Court and Justice Department.  Jim has been involved in VOA’s election coverage since the 1984 presidential campaign and has co-anchored live VOA broadcasts of numerous national political conventions, candidate debates and election night coverage.

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