Sep 23, 2011, 5:22 p.m.

Four governors urge Washington against politics on disaster aid

PHILADELPHIA (Reuters) - The governors of four East Coast states -- two Democrats and two Republicans -- issued a joint statement on Friday imploring the federal government to "put aside politics on disaster issues." They pleaded to clear away any partisan barriers that might interfere with emergency aid promised in the wake of Hurricane Irene and Tropical Storm Lee.

Congress delays budget fight until Monday

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The Congress set the stage for another last-minute budget showdown as lawmakers delayed action on a broad spending bill until Monday, shortly before disaster relief funds will run out completely. This time, the brinkmanship threatens to disrupt assistance to victims of floods, wildfires and other natural disasters in one of the most extreme years for weather in U.S. history.

Senator McCain offers postal bill, mirrors House

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Senator John McCain unveiled a bill on Friday to revamp the U.S. Postal Service, including an end to Saturday mail delivery, the latest of a series of legislative proposals to shore up the financially shaky mail service. The proposal, which would also create advisory groups to reduce the number of post offices and cut costs, is based on Republican Representative Darrell Issa's bill in the House of Representatives, a McCain spokesman said.

Obama to loosen education law, cites flaws

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - President Barack Obama on Friday announced steps to roll back key provisions of "No Child Left Behind," calling the decade-old U.S. education law admirable but flawed. The law, signed by President George W. Bush in 2002, was intended to hold schools and states accountable for students' performance, as measured by annual testing.

U.S. sees China fallout from Taiwan arms, no breach

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The United States expects some fraying of relations with China over its $5.3 billion plan to upgrade Taiwan's F-16 fleet but not as "shrill" a reaction as if it had met the request for new fighter jets, the top U.S. military commander in the region told Reuters on Friday. China has condemned the planned retrofit of Taiwan's 145 F-16 A/B fighters sold in 1992. But it has not yet announced any retaliatory steps.

Romney sees weak spot in Perry record, pounces

ORLANDO, Florida (Reuters) - Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney on Friday exploited a potential weak spot in front-runner Rick Perry's conservative credentials, aiming to weaken his rival's lead by focusing on his immigration record. A day after a debate in Orlando among the Republicans seeking their party's 2012 presidential nomination, Romney pounded again on Perry's policy as Texas governor which allows the children of illegal immigrants to pay in-state tuition rates at Texas colleges.

Daniels urges Republican field: Don't play it safe

ORLANDO, Fla (Reuters) - Indiana Governor Mitch Daniels opted to stay out of the 2012 Republican presidential campaign but has some advice for those who are in it: Don't play it safe. Daniels told Reuters on Friday he was not hearing enough detailed economic proposals from Republican candidates on how they would rebuild the economy.

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