A 1.1 trillion dollar spending bill has been put forward by congressional negotiators in a bid to prevent another government shutdown. A government shutdown could occur at midnight tonight if a deal is not made quickly within government, with the shutdown potentially lasting until February. Problems that have led to the potential shutdown stem from the controversial immigration reform that has been put forward by President Obama. Members of the Republican party are vehemently opposed to the immigration plans but negotiations are going to avoid the shutdown with the Republicans negotiating  many elements including the environment and financial derivatives trading. According to Reuters, the measure was expected to be put to a House of Representatives vote today. But to enable Senate passage, a short-term extension of one or two days was being prepared, congressional aides said. "This bill will allow us to fulfil our constitutional duty to responsibly fund the federal government and avoid a ...

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Republican Darrell Issa will be questioning witnesses regarding the new overhaul of the health system in the US as part of the House Oversight Committee, including questioning about the remark from a former supervisor who called said voters has acted with “stupidity” over the health care reforms. The committee, which has been overseen by Darrell Issa for four years, is used to question the government over acts and reactions and in the past has been used as a way to probe issues such as the IRS scandal and deaths of US citizens in Libya. It is hoped that the committee will reveal a broad spectrum of opinions and delve deeper into specific issues relating to the health care reform. Issa will be leading the questioning of the former health adviser Jonathan Gruber. Gruber, has become infamous for his comments regarding voters on health reform and recently said sorry for saying Americans' "stupidity" was ...

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The hostage policy of the American government has come into the spotlight once again following the failed attempt to rescue Luke Somers.  But what can the government do to counter the hostage takers and should their policy change? The increasingly difficult political terrain around the world has led to a resurgence in American and western hostages being taken by various militant groups around the world.  This has meant that governments, and particularly the US government, have had to devise new strategies to combat hostage takers. Whenever there is a very public hostage rescue failure then governments are questioned about their policy. The latest failed rescue attempt saw the American photo journalist Luke Somers and the South African teacher Pierre Korkie being killed by their captures after a rescue attempt failed to yield results in a remote part of Yemen. But President Barack Obama is adamant that he will not be changing his hostage policy ...

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The Mayor of Chicago, Rahm Emanuel, has formally announced that he will be standing for re-election as protestors demonstrate outside. Mayor Emanuel will be standing for a second term and has announced his intentions with a speech drawing attention to the success he has already managed to achieve in pushing through minimum wage increases across the city. During his speech Emanuel did not highlight any specific achievements of his first term but instead focused heavily on the wage increases which were passed only this week and sees minimum wage workers benefiting from a boost in what they will be taking home which will be up to $13 an hour in 2019, up from the current $8.25 an hour. "Washington wouldn't do it. Springfield couldn’t do it. But here in Chicago, we did it," he said. Rahm Emanuel is a former White House chief of staff under President Barack Obama and he will be hopping that ...

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The Republican party continue to see their success in the polls with another win for the party in Louisiana. Republican Congressman Bill Cassidy has won the Louisiana U.S. Senate runoff, with the win marking another achievement for the Republicans since the mid term elections in November. While it is time for celebration for the Republicans, the win in Louisiana means that the Democrats lost their last remaining southern party member. Bill Cassidy beat Mary Landrieu and sees the number of Republicans in the Senate now rise to 54. Mary Landrieu was a three term incumbent who ran her campaign on pushing for the Keystone XL pipeline to be approved. Bill Cassidy employed the clearly successful tactic of linking his opponent directly to President Obama who is massively unpopular with white members of the Louisiana voters.  In the end Cassidy was able to take the seat by 12 percentage points to leave the Democrats with another ...

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The release of a highly anticipated report detailing the activity of the CIA and their possible involvement in torture is causing Secretary of State John Kerry concern according to a report by Reuters which said that he has privately expressed concern about the timing of the release of a long-awaited Congressional report. According to Reuters Kerry's spokeswoman said he called Senator Dianne Feinstein, chairwoman of the Intelligence Committee, to urge her to take foreign policy considerations into account when choosing when to publish the report which is expected to contain information which shows that the CIA employed “harsh” practices. In a statement, Jen Psaki said that Joh Kerry had repeated his support for the release of the findings which critics have claimed the government are keen not to divulge and "made clear that the timing is of course her choice." The report is said to be a 500 page summary which contains information ...

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A group of 17 different US states have begun procedures to sue the Obama administration over plans to change immigration laws in the country. The basic premise of the action comes down to the states claiming that President Obama and his administration have acted illegally to alter immigration laws which would ease the threat of the deportation of millions of illegal immigrants from America. The people who would be immediately effected by the change in the law would see their status as an illegal immigrant without the correct paper work becoming legal within the country and able to work and pay taxes like other US citizens. The case against the Obama administration is being led by the state of Texas and the paper work for the case has been filed at the Federal Court in the Southern District of Texas. It is being claimed that the executive order announced by Obama last month violated ...

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The so called “Tea Party Republicans” who were responsible for leading the way to the 16 day government shutdown which occurred last year are now said to be taking a more pragmatic approach according to Reuters. The group are said to be looking at weighing up different options in a response to fight the immigration bill being pushed by President Obama without leading to a total government shut down again. So far the Tea Party Republicans have moved to block government funding in September 2013 in their bid to stop the Obama health care reforms and while they intend to do their best to stop the immigration plans it looks unlikely that they will go as far as to shut down government to do so. While many people in the US may have agreed with the Republicans in wanting to halt the health care reform, the shut down of the government because of ...

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President Obama is expected to push for the former Pentagon official Ashton Carter, to replace Chuck Hagel. According to a report by Reuters, Ashton Carter has emerged as the front runner for the job of U.S. defense secretary, following the resignation of Chuck Hagel. Ashton Carter is already well versed in all things defense after working as a former deputy secretary at the Department of Defense.  However, while his knowledge of the subject may be extensive he will still have to work to break into the tightknit circle at the White House. Currently the United States has many international issues of defense to deal with including dealings with Russia over various points, the need for action against the growing threat of Islamic State and the return of involvement in the US within Afghanistan. According to Reuters a variety of sources inside and outside the administration said Carter was the front-runner and was expected to ...

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Republican Senator Rob Portman has stated that he will not be running for the White House in 2016. The former White House budget chief and trade representative, is known for breaking with the views of the Republican party when he backed gay marriage. Instead of running for the White House Rob Portman will be looking to secure a second term as a senator. According to a statement seen by Reuters, the Ohio lawmaker said he could not be an effective senator and campaign for the White House at the same time, and sees potential in the new Republican majority in Congress to tackle issues such as revamping the tax code, overhauling the nation's energy sector and boosting exports. The decision of Portman not to stand for the White House in 2016 comes as members of the Republican party prepare to take over the Senate in January.  The shift in the dynamic in the Senate ...

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