RICHMOND - Virginia voters overwhelmingly elected Republican Bob McDonnell as their next governor on Tuesday, part of a clean sweep for the GOP that halts nearly a decade of Democratic gains in the state.
McDonnell -- a former state attorney general and a staunch conservative -- overcame rural Democratic legislator Creigh Deeds by about 20 points, an even wider margin than projected by polls. The victory marks the first time a Republican has won election as the state's top executive in a dozen years. Read More
With the clock ticking on a health care overhaul, Democrats in the House worked furiously to win the support of a faction of moderates in their party while Senate Democrats wondered whether they would simply run out of time this year and be forced to wait until 2010 to try to pass a bill.
"We're not going to be bound by any time lines," Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., said Tuesday. "We need to do the best job we can for the American people. We want quality legislation, and we're going to do that." Read More
As Sen. Barbara Boxer, D-Calif., pushes global warming legislation forward, some Democrats were showing a hint of frustration with their party's agenda.
"I just don't think climate change is going to be on the floor this year," Sen. Byron Dorgan, D-N.D., said. "Trying to restart our economic engine and trying to get this country back to work -- to me that is the most important issue."
Republicans boycotted Boxer's Environment and Public Works Committee hearings on the climate bill, authored by Boxer and Sen. John Kerry, D-Mass. Read More
White House visitor logs, dumped at 4:30 last Friday -- a time when they'd get little notice over the Halloween weekend -- provide striking insights into how President Obama, despite his anti-lobbyist rhetoric, works closely with the K Street players who represent the industry giants that he's subsidizing and regulating. Read More
RICHMOND - Polling places across Virginia saw steady -- but far from overwhelming -- voter turnout Tuesday morning, typical for an off-year election day but nevertheless a jarring come-down from last year's surge in voting.
Republicans were showing up alongside Democrats at Northern Virginia precincts, which augers poorly for Democratic gubernatorial candidate Creigh Deeds. Deeds needs a big advantage in the heavily Democratic Washington suburbs to pull off what would be an upset victory over Republican nominee Bob McDonnell. Read More
Buried amid the funding for veterans housing, highway construction and other routine expenditures in the federal government's $787 billion spending package are some surprises.
Federal stimulus spending includes money for pet neutering programs, a study of Facebook use, a tax credit for golf cart purchases and what is emerging as a symbol of the sometimes strange excess of the stimulus program, a $3.4 million "ecopassage" or tunnel allowing turtles to walk under a Florida highway. Read More
- The White House last week announced more than 640,000 jobs were created or saved by spending $159 billion in stimulus funds, but economists question the figure, saying it is impossible to calculate jobs that are saved. ABC News calculated each job cost taxpayers $160,000.
- More than half the jobs were in education, not the private sector, as promised by the Obama administration. Just 80,000 jobs were in construction. Read More
The First-Time Homebuyer Tax Credit aimed at boosting home sales allows low- and middle-income earners to claim a credit of up to $8,000 for a first-time home purchase. The $13.8 billion plan was part of the stimulus package passed in February and so far the Internal Revenue Service has processed 1.5 million claims. Lawmakers are considering a plan to extend the program, set to expire at the end of the month, through March. An audit found widespread mistakes and outright fraud including: Read More