As Republicans try to figure out how to defund President Obama's health care law, some members of the party are attacking Obamacare on other fronts, too. For example, one House committee is investigating groups that were contracted to educate people about how to enroll.
As Congress heads toward a showdown over the idea of defunding the Affordable Care Act, of the most powerful players is not even in Congress anymore. Jim DeMint now runs the Heritage Foundation, which has aggressively pushed a conservative agenda since his arrival there at the start of the year, including, most recently, the defund effort. DeMint, in fact, appears to wield far more influence now than he ever did as a South Carolina senator.
With a stopgap spending bill to avert a government shutdown still unsettled, House Republican leaders shifted gears to the next fiscal deadline: the mid-October debt ceiling deadline. Congress must raise the debt ceiling or the Treasury will run out of borrowing authority and default on its obligations. House leaders are putting together a wish list of demands in return for raising the limit.
Another round of talks on Iran's suspect nuclear program took place Thursday, this one at the United Nations and, for the first time, at the ministerial level. Secretary of State Kerry and Iran's new Foreign Minister, Javad Zarif, will be among those in attendance along with their counterparts from the United Kingdom, France, Russia and Germany. No breakthroughs are anticipated in New York but the talks are expected to reconvene a week or so later in Geneva in search of an accord.
Former South Carolina Sen. Jim DeMint, now leading the Heritage Foundation, has been one of the most influential voices in the budget brinksmanship on Capitol Hill. "There's no question in my mind that I have more influence now on public policy than I did as an individual senator," he says.
Some in Congress are raising the possibility of a short-term budget deal to put off a government shutdown by a week... Republicans seem to be shifting the Obamacare fight to the debt-ceiling debate... Sen. Ted Cruz isn't exactly beloved by his fellow Senate Republicans.
Unless Congress and the White House come together on a bill to fund federal agencies, a large part of the government will be closed on Tuesday, Oct. 1. If a shutdown occurs, Social Security checks, food stamps and unemployment insurance will not be affected. But your vacation plans could be disrupted.
The Republican Party in the past has had a close relationship with Wall Street and big business. But lately there's growing tension and disagreement as some Republicans in Congress consider a possible government shutdown. The Tea Party seems to have the strongest criticism of big business.