Congress returns to Washington this week after taking most of August off. On tap this week: Twelve budget bills, a possible fight over a roads bill, a meeting of a new "supercommittee" to cut the budget deficit. To start it off: a jobs speech by President Obama to a rare, joint session.
The TV comic's political action committee — Americans For A Better Tomorrow, Tomorrow — is just one of hundreds of outside groups legally allowed to make "unlimited independent expenditures" in the 2012 presidential race. But the people who run those groups are increasingly close to the candidates themselves.
There's a superPAC supporting every major presidential candidate; Texas Gov. Rick Perry has three. Rules from the Federal Election Commission and the Securities and Exchange Commission aim to keep the superPACs operating independently, but the rules' implementation is not clear-cut.
As President Obama prepares to present his plan to boost employment, House GOP leaders are promising a competing jobs program — one that would repeal or weaken what they call job-killing regulations, especially on the environment.
Friday's dismal jobs report raises the stakes for President Obama as he prepares to unveil a new jobs plan next week. So far, Republicans in Congress have shown little interest in the president's proposals. And the economic slowdown suggests that political gridlock has a growing price tag.
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