Confrontation. Gridlock. A nation divided. Conventional wisdom tells us to expect a contentious stalemate in the wake of the 2010 midterm elections. But walk up the steps to the Senate Dirksen Office Building, hang a right, and you'll hear a different message: "I'm going to find Democrats who'll come along," declares Tennessee Republican Bob Corker. The Chattanooga real estate mogul-turned-senator is hoping to cajole folks from across the aisle to embrace his plan to reduce federal spending from 24% to 18% of gross domestic product -- in line with federal revenue.
"This committee doesn't function well on a partisan basis, and in the 22 months that I've been chairman of it we've never acted that way." That was Senate Banking Committee Chairman Chris Dodd speaking in December of 2008, when American voters had the audacity to believe a new President's promise to rise above the short-sightedness of partisan Washington and unite most Americans around solving big problems.
Adm. Michael Mullen, the highest-ranking man in the U.S. military, said the situation in Afghanistan is getting worse, as fresh indications emerge that President Obama soon could be asked to commit more American troops.
As Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner's reputation rose from the ash heap on Wall Street yesterday, he also made headway with harsh critics in his other important audience - Congress. "This could be the beginning of a very constructive improvement in capital flows," Georgia Senator Johnny Isakson told Fortune.
The Senate moved closer Thursday night to voting on an amended proposal to bail out the U.S. auto industry with $14 billion in loans, after Democratic Majority Leader Harry Reid praised a compromise proposed by a Republican critic of the industry.
The White House and congressional Democratic negotiators have reached a conceptual agreement on a proposed $15 billion automakers bailout package, according to senior administration officials and a Senate Democratic aide.
With a week to go before voters cast their midterm election ballots, four key Senate races remain statistical dead heats, and Republican Sen. Mike DeWine faces uphill sledding in his re-election battle in Ohio, according to new CNN polls released Tuesday.