The Washington Post reports President Barack Obama, who is struggling with low approval ratings, conceded in private remarks that some fellow Democrats may not want his help in this fall’s midterm elections. “He said he knew he is not popular in some of the states so he would not be offended if he were not invited to visit them this year,” one senator who met with Obama Wednesday told the Post. “But he said he could be helpful in some parts of some states.”
Lawmakers could release as early as Thursday a bipartisan measure to permanently solve one of the most nettlesome issues in the country’s health-care system, Fox News reports. Members of Congress are crafting permanent “doc-fix” legislation that would create a so-called patch to prevent doctors who treat Medicare patients from seeing steep cuts to their reimbursement payments.
Sen. Tom Coburn, an Oklahoma Republican, lists in Politico “the 10 most outrageous government boondoggles I ever saw.” They include a museum dedicated to the Woodstock music festival, an “adult baby” who relied on Social Security and unemployment payments to millionaires.
The Hill reports the IRS is showing renewed signs of confidence some nine months after the agency apologized for its singling out of tea-party groups. The agency’s new commissioner, John Koskinen, is shifting its focus to other issues including taxpayer services, implementing Obamacare and even handing out bonuses to IRS employees.
Quartz asks, “Is this the end of America’s debt ceiling wars?” Its piece says it looks more likely now that the issue of increasing the debt ceiling “may be returning to normal: Democrats in the Senate will take the lead in raising the debt ceiling, and Republican leadership will let such a bill come to the floor for a ‘clean’ increase.” The debt ceiling is suspended through Friday, and the Treasury says it can borrow through the end of February by using so-called extraordinary measures.
[by Robert Schroeder, writing for MARKETWATCH]
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