112th Congress : Fact Sheet
Members of Congress leave the U.S. Capitol: The median net worth of House members is $704,500 greater than that of their constituents.

The growing wealth gap between Congress and constituents: By the numbers

According to new data, the median net worth of a House member is 35 times that of an average American

Budget Battles : Analysis
Just as Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell foreshadowed Thursday, the House passed the two-month payroll tax cut extension.

The payroll tax cut deal: 3 reasons the GOP caved

Congress finally agreed on a temporary extension of the tax holiday, just days before it was set to expire

112th Congress : Opinion Brief
Democrats have long charged that Rep. Paul Ryan's (R-Wis.) Medicare voucher plan would "end" the entitlement program, and PolitiFact says that claim is the political world's biggest lie of the year.

Is PolitiFact's 'Lie of the Year' a lie itself?

The Pulitzer-winning fact-checker angers liberals by giving top untruth honors to the Democratic claim that Paul Ryan and Co. voted to "end" Medicare

Budget Battles : The List
The Senate's two-month extension of the payroll tax break is unworkable, says House Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-Va.), whose caucus refuses to go along with the bipartisan plan.

3 reasons why Congress should reject the payroll tax break

A partisan showdown is endangering an effort to extend a tax holiday for the middle class. But not everyone thinks that's a bad thing

Budget Battles : Opinion Brief
Speaker John Boehner won't back a two-month extension of the payroll tax break, and 160 million American workers may see their taxes go up a full two percentage points as a result.

Will the House GOP kill the payroll tax break?

John Boehner and Co. vow not to back the Senate's two-month extension of the popular tax cut — and it may be too late to negotiate a new deal

Budget Battles : Instant Guide
House Democrats Reps. Steny Hoyer (Md.) and Nancy Pelosi (Calif.) hold a news conference on the "Do Nothing" Congress after a last minute deal was brokered to avert a government shutdown.

The deal averting a government shutdown: Who achieved what?

Congress reached an 11th-hour deal to keep federal agencies running. But the horse-trading isn't over

Budget Battles : The List
Republicans, including House Speaker John Boehner, and Democrats remain at an impasse over a deal to extend the payroll tax-cut.

4 ways to avoid a government shutdown

With Congress deadlocked over how to extend a payroll tax break, federal agencies are bracing for the possibility that they'll have to close their doors

Budget Battles : Opinion Brief
Senate Majority Leader Sen. Harry Reid: Though House Republicans approved an extension of the payroll tax-cut, the initiative is likely to stall in the Senate.

Will the payroll tax fight shut down the government?

Democrats and Republicans reach a risky impasse over a popular tax break. And the clock is ticking

Budget Battles : The Bullpen
Paul Brandus

Paul Brandus: Americans don't really want spending cuts

Washington remains hyper-focused on slashing the deficit. But across the country, voters oppose even minor cuts to the federal government's largest programs

112th Congress : Wit
After a tough year, the Senate could use a pick-me-up: Maybe that's why Sen. Al Franken (D-Minn.) helped organize the Senate's first-ever Secret Santa gift exchange.

Secret Santa in the Senate: The wisecracks

A bipartisan gift exchange might not bring Republicans and Democrats any closer together, but it's good for a few laughs

Budget Battles : Analysis
In an apparent win for Democrats, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) said on Wednesday that the GOP would probably support an extension of the payroll tax cut.

Why the GOP caved in the payroll tax fight: 4 theories

Republicans are easing up on their opposition to the Democrats' push to extend a tax break for 160 million Americans. What made the GOP blink?

The National Debt : Opinion Brief
A trader on the New York Stock Exchange floor: Credit rating agency Fitch may be the next to cut America's AAA rating.

Is the U.S. headed for another debt downgrade?

Fitch Ratings warns that it will strip the federal government of its AAA rating unless Congress tackles its nagging deficit problem

Budget Battles : Forecast
Members of Congress before the Thanksgiving recess: The House and Senate are set to battle over a long-term budget, unemployment benefits, and a payroll tax cut before Christmas.

Congress' 'wild final month': 5 predictions for December

A fight over unemployment insurance. Competing jobs bills. Averting a government shutdown. Clearly, Congress has one heck of a month in store

Budget Battles : Opinion Brief
President Obama called on Congressional Republicans to back his jobs plan, which would lower the payroll tax from 4.2 percent to 3.1 percent.

Should the GOP endorse Obama's payroll tax cut?

The president pressures Congress to back a key element of his jobs plan — and warns that failure will cost Americans hundreds of dollars each

Budget Battles : The Bullpen
Edward Morrissey

Edward Morrissey: One cheer for the super committee failure

Sure, the super committee blew it. But maybe now Congress will finally do its job

Budget Battles : The List
The super committee's failure to slash $1.2 trillion from future deficits may become a political advantage for House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi and President Obama, pundits predict.

6 people celebrating the super committee's collapse

Many in Washington emerge red-faced after failing to agree to any plan to cut the federal deficit. So why are some people smiling?

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