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Obama rejects Republican plan on debt ceiling deal



House Republicans blamed President Barack Obama on Saturday for the collapse of a deal on extending US borrowing authority as the country crept closer to a debt default.

The Republicans met behind closed doors on Capitol Hill on the 12th day of a US government shutdown following a bitter budget dispute and an October 17 deadline to raise the debt ceiling.

Earlier this week, Republican had suggested a six-week extension to US borrowing authority — without which Washington could begin to default on its obligations for the first time in history.

But, despite previous comments the White House would be open to such a plan, Obama said Saturday he wanted a long-term deal.

“It wouldn’t be wise, as some suggest, to just kick the debt ceiling can down the road for a couple of months, and flirt with a first-ever intentional default right in the middle of the holiday shopping season,” Obama said in his weekly radio and video address.

Damage “to America’s sterling credit rating wouldn’t just cause global markets to go haywire; it would become more expensive for everyone in America to borrow money.”


The remarks prompted frustration from Republicans and suggested optimism for a deal, which had risen on Friday, were perhaps premature.

“The president is freezing out America, and we’ll do everything we can to make the point that we went to negotiate and he took no offer,” Republican Congressman Darrell Issa told reporters after the meeting.

“The president rejected our deal,” Congressman Raul Labrador had said earlier.

“It’s now up to Senate Republicans to stand up,” he added.


Eric Cantor, Republican majority leader in the House of Representatives, also looked to the Senate for the next move, saying, “Right now I’m hoping the Senate is standing strong, and then we as Republicans can speak with one voice.”

“We’re trying to see a resolution as quickly as possible,” he said.

House Republicans have argued for any budget deal to include concessions on funding Obama’s healthcare reforms, while Republicans in the Senate have been more willing to re-open the government without such conditions.

The Senate will move to vote Saturday on a 15-month extension of the debt ceiling, to take the issue off the table until after the mid-term congressional elections next year.


While the measure is unlikely to become law because it needs House support, it could provide a template for an eventual solution in the event of a longer term fiscal deal between Obama and Republicans.

Amid multiple tracks of dialogue Friday, the main principles of a compromise had seemed to emerge in public statements from both sides.

The government, shuttered since October 1, would be fully reopened, possibly on an interim basis, and there would be some kind of commitment from both sides to work towards an elusive deal to tackle the deficit, rein in spending and possibly reform social programs and some aspects of the tax code.

But, perhaps sensing that it now has the upper hand in the fight, the White House now appears to be looking for an extension of borrowing authority from the current $16.7 trillion level for a longer duration.


On Friday, White House spokesman Jay Carney said that a rise in the debt ceiling could not be linked to long-term fiscal talks with Republicans, because it could set up repeated threats of default in the coming months.

One possible compromise plan is being offered by Republican Senator Susan Collins.

The measure would raise borrowing authority for up to a year, fund the government and repeal a tax on medical devices introduced under Obama’s healthcare law — as an incentive to get conservative Republicans on board.

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Progressive reformer claims victory in fiercely-contested Queens DA race



Progressive reformer Tiffany Cabán has declared victory in her campaign versus Melinda Katz in the Queens District Attorney race.

With 99% of precincts reporting, Cabán held a lead of 1,090 votes, The New York Times reports.

Cabán was backed by Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY) and Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT).

Katz was backed by Rep. Gregory Meeks (D-NY), who chairs the Queens Democratic Party, and Rep. Hakeem Jeffries (D-NY)



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2020 Election

New 2020 poll shows Trump trailing all Democrats — some by double-digits



President Donald Trump trails all of his Democratic rivals in hypothetical matchups of the 2020 presidential race, according to the result of a new poll released Tuesday.

This article originally appeared on Salon.

The survey, conducted by Emerson Polling, found that the president lags behind former vice president Joe Biden and Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., by 10 points nationally — 45 percent to 55 percent. He also trails Sen. Elizabeth Warren by six points — 47 percent to 53 percent —and Sen. Kamala Harris, D-Calif., and South Bend, Ind. Mayor Pete Buttigieg by four points — 48 percent to 52 percent.

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Beto O’Rourke’s ‘war tax’ policy proposal is straight out of ‘Starship Troopers’



Amid an overcrowded Democratic presidential candidate field, it's hard to distinguish yourself from the pack if you don't slot easily into the scale that runs from "pro-corporate centrist" to "left-populist." If you're former Texas congressman Beto O'Rourke —  who falls somewhere in the middle, politically, and somewhere towards the top, looks-wise — you pull a militaristic policy proposal out of your hat that recalls some of the most campy pseudo-fascist sci-fi ever written.

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Trump endorses killing journalists, like Washington Post columnist Jamal Khashoggi. Online ad networks are now targeting sites that cover acts of violence against dissidents, LGBTQ people and people of color.

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