Almost every tax cut enacted at the federal level since 2001 is set to expire at the end of this year. According to a new report from the Tax Policy Center, nearly 90 percent of Americans would see their taxes rise if federal lawmakers don't act to renew the tax cuts.
House Speaker John Boehner bought stock in two health care companies this year, while third-ranking House
Republican Kevin McCarthy bought and sold Apple stock within a few days. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid bought two government bonds and sold two others.
A frustrated Congress has quit the nation's capital with at least one hope -- that the stark choice in the upcoming election will give lawmakers some clarity about what Americans want from their government.
House Republicans and Democrats have come to agree on at least one way to reduce government spending, by ending federal assistance for the two parties' increasingly expensive and stage-managed presidential conventions.
The House overwhelmingly has renewed a surveillance law that allows the government to monitor conversations of foreign spies and terrorist suspects abroad, while requiring approval from a secret court when Americans are targeted -- no matter where they are.
The consequences could be severe, according to the Congressional Budget Office, if Congress can't find a way to keep tax cuts from expiring and to keep automatic spending cuts from taking effect in January.
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