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Obama agenda goes on

Published: Sun, May 19, 2013 @ 12:00 a.m.

Associated Press


Despite Democratic fears, predictions of the demise of President Barack Obama’s agenda appear exaggerated after a week of cascading controversies, political triage by the administration and party leaders in Congress and lack of evidence to date of wrongdoing close to the Oval Office.

“Absolutely not,” Steven Miller, the resigned acting head of the Internal Revenue Service, responded Friday when asked if he had any contact with the White House about targeting conservative groups seeking tax-exempt status for special treatment.

The hearing took place at the end of a week in which Republicans assailed Obama and were attacked by Democrats in turn — yet sweeping immigration legislation advanced toward bipartisan approval in the Senate Judiciary Committee.

Across the Capitol, a bipartisan House group reported agreement in principle toward a compromise on the issue, which looms as Obama’s best chance for a signature second-term domestic achievement.

Obama’s nominee to become energy secretary, Ernest Moniz, won Senate confirmation, 97-0.

A House committee approved legislation to prevent a spike in interest rates on student loans July 1. It moves in the direction of a White House-backed proposal for future rate changes to be based on private markets.

Long-term budget issues have receded as projected deficits fall in the wake of an improving economy and recent spending cuts and tax increases.

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