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NEWS
October 13, 2011 | By Kathleen Hennessey
A large group of Senate Republicans unveiled a jobs bill Thursday, saying they were tired of hearing President Obama assert they had not put forward a plan to spur hiring and jump-start the economy. The bill is something of a greatest hits of Republican economic proposals. It calls for tax reform that lowers tax rates, repeal of the new healthcare law, a balance budget amendment to the Constitution and expansion of offshore oil drilling. Republicans said their bill would create jobs over time rather than aiming for immediate job growth through government spending.
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NEWS
April 21, 2014 | By Timothy M. Phelps
WASHINGTON -- President Obama is turning to Neil Eggleston, a veteran of the Whitewater and Iran-Contra confrontations between Capitol Hill and the White House, to help guide his administration through what could be stormy years ahead with Congress. Obama on Monday named Eggleston, a Washington lawyer who specializes in representing high-profile public figures in government investigations, as the next White House counsel. He replaces Kathryn Ruemmler, who has been seeking to vacate the White House hot seat for months.
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NEWS
March 6, 2012 | By Richard Simon and Lisa Mascaro
In a sign of just how bad congressional dysfunction has gotten, Senate Republicans on Tuesday blocked the advancement of a transportation bill, a piece of legislation that traditionally has enjoyed broad bipartisan support. The vote was 52-44, short of the 60 needed to take up the bill.  "I don't know why everything we do has to be a fight," lamented Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.). Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell of Kentucky said that the parties are close to an agreement on amendments that would be brought up for consideration.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
April 10, 2014 | By Robin Abcarian
As Republicans and Democrats jockey for advantage months before the fall elections that could swing control of the U.S. Senate back to the GOP, both sides are honing the messages they think will spark the best turnout. For Republicans, it's Obamacare. For Democrats, it's economic equality. (Continued Republican control of the House is probably a foregone conclusion, thanks to smart maneuvering by Republicans. As the Associated Press reported last month, “Gerrymandering has a long history in the United States, pursued enthusiastically by both Democrats and Republicans.
NEWS
December 4, 2012 | By Morgan Little, This post has been updated, as indicated below.
The Senate rejected a United Nations treaty aimed at banning discrimination against individuals with disabilities Tuesday, falling five votes short of the two-thirds needed in a 61-38 vote. The U.N. Convention on the Rights of Persons With Disabilities calls on participating countries to work to attain equality in access to education, healthcare and more, and was based largely on the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990. It was negotiated by President George W. Bush's administration in 2006 and has since been signed by President Obama.
NEWS
April 9, 2014 | By Lisa Mascaro, This post has been corrected, as indicated below.
WASHINGTON - With sought-after women voters at stake, Senate Republicans blocked election-year legislation Wednesday aimed at ensuring that female workers receive equal pay for doing the same work as men. A high-profile campaign for the Paycheck Fairness Act, orchestrated by the Democratic-controlled Senate and the White House, did little to motivate Republicans in a mid-term election year when both parties are seeking women voters. Republican senators blocked the bill on a party-line filibuster, 53-44, with many waging a protest vote over party leaders' refusal to allow amendments.
BUSINESS
February 4, 2013 | By Jim Puzzanghera
WASHINGTON -- Nearly all Senate Republicans have pledged to block the confirmation of Richard Cordray to head the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, adding to the uncertainty about the agency's leadership after a recent court ruling threatening his recess appointment to the position. "Far too much power is vested in the sole CFPB director without any meaningful checks and balances," the senators wrote to President Obama on Friday. The letter was signed by Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.)
NEWS
September 26, 2013 | By Michael A. Memoli
WASHINGTON - Growing tensions within the Republican Party over the influence of tea party groups boiled over on the Senate floor Thursday as a leading GOP senator accused two conservative colleagues of letting their personal ambitions stand in the way of achieving the party's goals. The angry exchange marked an extraordinary departure from the elaborate courtesies that usually cloak Senate debate. It began with an effort by Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.)
NEWS
October 31, 2013 | By Michael A. Memoli
WASHINGTON - Senate Republicans ' rejection Thursday of two key nominations by President Obama revived a battle over filibuster rules and opened a new partisan front just as congressional leaders and the White House are searching for a budget compromise to avert another government shutdown. Democrats in the Senate immediately renewed a threat to use their majority to impose the so-called nuclear option, making a historic change to long-standing Senate rules that would prevent a minority party - currently Republicans - from blocking such nominations through filibuster.
NEWS
October 11, 2013 | By Lisa Mascaro and Michael A. Memoli
WASHINGTON - Even as White House negotiators continue to wrangle with House Republican negotiators, separate discussions with GOP senators appear to be picking up steam after a meeting with President Obama. Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) called the meeting “very useful.” "We're back here to actually work on trying to get a solution on a bipartisan basis,” McConnell said. “Hopefully we can find a way forward. " "It did not lead to a specific course of action,” Sen. Susan Collins (R-Maine)
NEWS
April 9, 2014 | By Lisa Mascaro, This post has been corrected, as indicated below.
WASHINGTON - With sought-after women voters at stake, Senate Republicans blocked election-year legislation Wednesday aimed at ensuring that female workers receive equal pay for doing the same work as men. A high-profile campaign for the Paycheck Fairness Act, orchestrated by the Democratic-controlled Senate and the White House, did little to motivate Republicans in a mid-term election year when both parties are seeking women voters. Republican senators blocked the bill on a party-line filibuster, 53-44, with many waging a protest vote over party leaders' refusal to allow amendments.
OPINION
March 16, 2014 | Doyle McManus
This year was always going to be a difficult one for Democrats, as they battle to keep their five-seat majority in the Senate. But in recent months, the political landscape has grown bleaker. Let's start with the basics: Democrats have more seats at risk this year than Republicans do. Of the 36 Senate seats up for election (including three midterm vacancies), 21 are held by Democrats. And seven of those Democratic seats are in Republican-leaning "red states" that Mitt Romney won in 2012: Alaska, Arkansas, Louisiana, Montana, North Carolina, South Dakota and West Virginia.
OPINION
March 11, 2014
Re "The president's power grab," Opinion, March 9 President Obama's allies in Congress applauded his promise to legislate from the Oval Office because they share his ideology and consider their own relevance a fair price to pay for advancing it. Their disdain for process comes naturally in a system built to discourage concentrated power; in their view, concentrated power is exactly what society needs. Acquiescing to Obama's impromptu lawmaking, like invoking the "nuclear option" to deprive Senate Republicans of the filibuster for most confirmations, makes tactical sense today but raises obvious questions for tomorrow.
NEWS
March 4, 2014 | By Evan Halper
WASHINGTON -   As Senate Majority Leader  Harry Reid resumed his polemic against the Koch brothers Tuesday, Republicans were quick to respond, noting they are not the only ones with a generous billionaire in their corner. The debate on the Senate floor quickly turned to Tom Steyer, the former San Francisco hedge fund manager who is seizing on the same loose campaign finance laws as Charles and David Koch to funnel millions of dollars into campaigns. Only in the case of Steyer, profiled recently in The Times as the emerging liberal counterweight to the Kochs, the spending is geared toward defeating candidates skeptical of global warming.
NATIONAL
January 14, 2014 | By Lisa Mascaro
WASHINGTON - A $1-trillion spending bill was headed for swift approval in the House by Wednesday, but legislation to extend unemployment insurance stalled in the Senate amid partisan bickering, dashing hopes for a quick deal to resume jobless benefits. Though negotiations continue, it appears increasingly unlikely that a compromise will be reached quickly to help the more than 1.4 million Americans who have been cut off from their unemployment benefits. An additional 72,000 Americans lose their insurance every week.
NATIONAL
December 16, 2013 | By Lisa Mascaro
WASHINGTON - The Senate appeared set to approve a budget deal this week after a handful of Republicans announced they would vote to advance the bill, which has deeply divided the party. Their backing, along with that of most Democrats, would be enough to break a tea-party-backed filibuster during a crucial vote Tuesday and boost the package across the 60-vote threshold needed for consideration. Final passage could come as soon as Wednesday. But the sharp Republican divisions over the $85-billion deal, which was approved last week by the House with a robust bipartisan majority, has turned the Senate procedural vote into a high-stakes battle between the Republican tea party wing and establishment conservatives.
NATIONAL
December 16, 2013 | By Michael A. Memoli
WASHINGTON - The Senate confirmed Jeh Johnson as the next secretary of Homeland Security on Monday, capping a smooth approval process for the high-profile post. The former Pentagon general counsel will take office this week after a 78-16 vote, succeeding Janet Napolitano, who left in September to become president of the University of California system. An array of former officials from Democratic and Republican administrations, including all three former department secretaries, endorsed Johnson.
BUSINESS
December 10, 2013 | By Jim Puzzanghera
WASHINGTON -- The Senate voted 57-41 on Tuesday to confirm Rep. Mel Watt to head the agency overseeing Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, ending a long battle by President Obama to install a regulator open to more aggressive action to help struggling homeowners. Watt, a longtime Democratic congressman from North Carolina, will replace Edward J. DeMarco as director of the Federal Housing Finance Agency. President Obama nominated Watt in May. "He's the right person to protect Americans who work hard and play by the rules every day, and he'll be the right regulator to make sure the kind of crisis we just went through never happens again," Obama said.
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