FROM James Oliphant
President Obama Addresses Entitlements Last week the Republicans , and yesterday the President , laid out their long-term plans for reducing the deficit, defining differences that will be crucial in next year's election campaigns. But major decisions are on tap for today and tomorrow before Congress takes off for a two-week recess. We hear about Medicare, taxes, women's rights and deficit reduction.
Is a 'Great Debate' Finally Beginning? Last week, Wisconsin Congressman Paul Ryan said the Republicans' plan to reduce the deficit would restructure entitlement programs and cut taxes. Yesterday, President Obama said he'd reduce the deficit by increasing taxes on the richest Americans and keeping entitlement programs as they are. But each plan carries risks for the author as well as the opposition, and both parties are struggling to maintain a united front. In the last two days before a two-week recess, is Congress setting the stage for compromise or a bloody political battle leading to next year's elections?
Republicans Ready for Vote on Healthcare, Dems Push Back As Republicans prepared for tomorrow's vote to repeal healthcare reform, the Obama Administration released a report on the benefits that would be lost by millions of Americans. As many as 129 Americans under 65 have preexisting medical conditions that could make it hard to get coverage if healthcare reform were repealed. James Oliphant reforms for the Chicago Tribune and the Los Angeles Times.
Despite President's Urging, Congress Lets Wiretapping Shield Expire The Congress has gone on a twelve-day recess without the House agreeing with the Senate to make permanent an electronic surveillance law that expires tomorrow at midnight. President Bush says Democratic leaders are putting the country in danger. Jim Oliphant is national legal affairs correspondent for the Chicago Tribune .
Habeus Corpus Gets Its Day in Court...Again Lawyers for inmates at Guantánamo Bay were back in the US Supreme Court today, demanding that the government provide some basis for their clients' continued imprisonment. That's habeus corpus, guaranteed to every American by the Constitution. James Oliphant is national legal correspondent for the Chicago Tribune .
The longest US war: Will Trump send more troops to Afghanistan? The Trump White House is divided over the Pentagon's request for more troops in Afghanistan—where the US has been fighting for the past 16 years. Is there a formula -- either for "victory" or a political settlement? Is there an end in sight for America's longest war?
Is the threat from Russia missing from the Russia meddling probe? There's much being made about the Trump administration's possible ties with Russia. But the bottom line is Russia's effort to influence American democracy. Do the President and his aides care enough to take action before voters go back to the polls?