By David Espo
The Associated Press
WASHINGTON — 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 recently 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 president’s re-election campaign?” persisted Rep. Devin Nunes, R-Calif.
“No,” Miller said.
The hearing took place at the end of a week in which Republicans repeatedly assailed Obama and were attacked by Democrats in turn — yet sweeping immigration legislation advanced methodically toward bipartisan approval in the Senate Judiciary Committee.
The measure “has strong support of its own in the Senate,” said Sen. Amy Klobuchar, D-Minn., a member of the panel.
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.
The president’s nominee to become energy secretary, Ernest Moniz, won Senate confirmation, 97-0. And there were signs that Republicans might allow confirmation of Sri Srinivasan to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit, sometimes a stepping stone to the Supreme Court.