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Politics

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell of Ky., accompanied by Sen. John Thune, R-S.D., right, meets with reporters on Capitol Hill in Washington, Tuesday, Feb. 24, 2015, to talk about his move to disentangle one of two contested immigration measures from the Homeland Security budget and debate the issues separately, as the Senate faces an impasse over provisions attached to the spending bill aimed at blocking President Barack Obama's executive actions on immigration. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)

GOP seeks way out of Homeland Security bind

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

WASHINGTON — A partial agency shutdown looming, Senate Republicans offered Tuesday to permit a vote on Homeland Security funding legislation stripped of immigration provisions backed by conservatives but strongly opposed by President Barack Obama and fellow Democrats. “We could have that vote very quickly,” Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., said as his party struggled to escape a political predicament of …

Hadley election has contests for Select Board, town treasurer

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

HADLEY — There will be a three-way race to fill two seats on the Select Board at the annual town election April 14, and two candidates will vie for the treasurer’s job that opened when longtime town employee Connie Mieczkowski retired. There are two other contested races, and one available seat on the School Committee for which there are no declared candidates. Finance …

Amherst Board of Registrars dismisses complaint about signatures for School Committee candidate

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

AMHERST — An objection to the certification of signatures for a School Committee candidate has been dismissed by the Board of Registrars. The board Tuesday voted unanimously to take no action on the Feb. 12 appeal filed by Town Meeting members Mary Wentworth of Precinct 5 and Vincent O’Connor of Precinct 1 that sought to have Phoebe Hazzard, of 208 Snell St., removed …

Obama touts economic plan in Idaho

Thursday, January 22, 2015

BOISE, Idaho — Prodding the new Republican Congress from a conservative state, President Barack Obama on Wednesday urged GOP lawmakers to work with him on an agenda that helps the middle class and insisted they offer better alternatives …

Senators grapple with student testing

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

WASHINGTON — The federal mandate to test U.S. school kids annually was at the center of a Senate panel’s work on Wednesday to fix the long outdated No Child Left Behind education law. The President George W. Bush-era …

House GOP abruptly backs off abortion bill

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

WASHINGTON — In an embarrassing setback, House Republicans abruptly decided Wednesday to drop planned debate of a bill criminalizing virtually all late-term abortions after objections from GOP women and other lawmakers left them short of votes. The decision …

Boehner asks Netanyahu to press Congress on Iran sanctions

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

WASHINGTON — Defying President Barack Obama, House Speaker John Boehner announced on Wednesday that he’s invited Israel’s prime minister to stand before Congress and push for new sanctions against its archenemy Iran. Boehner’s decision to bring Benjamin Netanyahu …

In State of Union, Obama seeks to hike taxes on capital gains, big banks, renews veto pledge

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

WASHINGTON — Refusing to bend to the new Republican Congress, President Barack Obama unveiled Tuesday night an ambitious State of the Union agenda steeped in Democratic priorities, including tax increases on the wealthy, education and child care help …

Oft-scrutinized Canadian bank to host Clinton talks

Monday, January 19, 2015

WASHINGTON — Hillary Clinton, the presumed frontrunner for the Democratic presidential nomination, will give a pair of speeches Wednesday in Canada hosted by a major bank that has been the subject of several investigations into wrongdoing over the past dozen years. Clinton and the bank refused to say …

GOP divided over using budget process on health care law

Monday, January 19, 2015

WASHINGTON — Republicans running Congress have promised to use every weapon in their arsenal to take down President Barack Obama’s health care law. But now some are questioning whether to use the congressional budget process to derail the 2010 law or save the special step for more traditional …

Pope’s climate-change stand irks conservatives

Monday, January 19, 2015

NEW YORK — Conservative distrust of Pope Francis, which has been building in the U.S. throughout his pontificate, is reaching a boiling point over his plan to urge action on climate change — and to do so through …

Irish politician says he’s gay

Sunday, January 18, 2015

DUBLIN — A senior Cabinet minister in Ireland says he’s gay, becoming the first openly homosexual government figure in the history of the traditionally conservative Catholic country. Sunday’s announcement on state radio by Health Minister Leo Varadkar received …

Obama to pitch tax shift

Sunday, January 18, 2015

WASHINGTON — President Barack Obama is turning to his biggest television audience of the year to pitch tax increases on the wealthiest Americans and put the new Republican Congress in the position of defending top income earners over …