The American Taxpayer Relief Act is 157 pages long. It's not all about avoiding impending tax hikes. Some of it has to do with tax benefits for ceiling fans and tuna canneries. NPR's Ari Shapiro is here to explain.
And Ari, in spending bills, little weird provisions like this might be called pork-barrel spending or projects. Are we looking at a kind of earmark?
That squabble over aid related to Hurricane Sandy comes at a critical time for House Speaker John Boehner. Tomorrow, Congress is sworn in on Capitol Hill. And in the House, majority Republicans will decide if Boehner keeps his post.
This is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED, from NPR News. I'm Robert Siegel.
AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:
And I'm Audie Cornish. It's a new year, and on Wall Street and in official Washington, there is the ring of crisis averted. Long threatened across-the-board tax hikes and spending cuts did not materialize, but don't breathe too long a sigh of relief. We're about to look forward to the next few months.
The drama over the fiscal cliff and the familiar up-against-a-deadline dysfunction of Congress have largely overshadowed the leave-taking of some Capitol Hill originals.
So we wanted to remember a few true congressional trailblazers whose long Washington careers are ending. They include the first openly gay member of Congress, a leader of the libertarian movement, the first Jewish candidate to run on a major party presidential ticket, and the most fervent supporter of a U.S. Department of Peace.
Originally published on Wed January 2, 2013 4:03 pm
Credit J. Scott Applewhite / AP
The budget negotiations that led to a frantic New Year's deal on taxes confirmed many lessons about the way Washington works today.
For one thing, many of the most important relationships in the capitol appear to be broken. President Obama and House Speaker John Boehner led negotiations on a budget deal for most of the post-election period, but once again they came up empty.
NPR's Political Junkie Ken Rudin recaps the week in politics from the winners and losers of the 'fiscal cliff' deal to Secretary of State Hillary Clinton's health concerns. Incoming freshman representatives Michelle Lujan Grisham (D-NM), Kyrsten Sinema (D-AZ) and Doug LaMalfa (R-CA) share their expectations as new members of Congress.
"House Speaker John Boehner couldn't hold back when he spotted Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid in the White House lobby last Friday. ... 'Go f— yourself,' Boehner sniped as he pointed his finger at Reid, according to multiple sources present."
The House of Representatives will vote on aid for victims of Superstorm Sandy before Jan. 15, according to promises Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio, made to legislators from the affected areas this afternoon. The speaker met with angry representatives at 3 p.m., seeking to quell their outrage over the postponement of a vote on federal help.