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OPINION
March 27, 2014 | By The Times editorial board
Maybe it was too good to be true. A rare bipartisan healthcare reform proposal backed by leaders of three major House and Senate committees is foundering because Republicans and Democrats can't agree on how to pay for it. The irony is that the measure, which would change the way Medicare reimburses doctors, would slow the growth of healthcare spending and taxpayers' costs. Lawmakers should stop the partisan bickering and start working in good faith to find a way to enact the long-overdue and much-needed reform.
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CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
March 26, 2014 | By Patrick McGreevy and Melanie Mason
SACRAMENTO - State Sen. Leland Yee, a child psychologist and veteran lawmaker, was a visible member of the Capitol's Democratic majority who most recently has done much of his work out of the spotlight. He focused on issues involving mental health, open government and the protection of minors. He was involved in efforts to regulate guns, particularly after the 2012 mass murder of children at a Connecticut elementary school, a tragedy that Yee said touched him. "As a father," he said then, "I have wept for the parents and families who lost their precious children.
NEWS
March 19, 2014 | By Doyle McManus
In a column last weekend, I warned that the Democrats' chances of keeping control of the Senate this year look increasingly bleak. That wasn't a value judgment on my part, merely an assessment of the political landscape. Some readers were pleased, others weren't. On Wednesday, the Cook Political Report , a widely respected firm that forecasts congressional elections for a living, issued a new outlook for the Senate - and for Democrats, the verdict was even bleaker than before.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
March 17, 2014 | By Patrick McGreevy and Melanie Mason
SACRAMENTO - The Democrats' loss of a legislative supermajority stifled their push to change California's campaign finance and affirmative action laws Monday, potentially foreshadowing a return to partisan battles over their other priorities, such as property taxes, water policy and a rainy-day fund. Monday's losses come less than two years after Democrats won a historic two-thirds control over both the state Senate and Assembly, eliminating the need for a single Republican vote on any bill.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
March 17, 2014 | By Patrick McGreevy
SACRAMENTO - Republican state Senators on Monday blocked a bill that would require more disclosure of those who contribute money through nonprofit groups to affect California elections, the first legislative setback for Democrats since they lost their supermajority two weeks ago. With all Republicans either voting against the bill or withholding a vote, the tally was 26 to 4, one vote short of the two-thirds majority to approve SB 27 as an urgency...
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
March 16, 2014 | By Patrick McGreevy and Melanie Mason
SACRAMENTO - An attempt by California lawmakers to curb anonymous political donations, sometimes hidden behind secretive out-of-state groups, will test Democrats' ability to have their way without a supermajority. Dark money, as such contributions are known, roiled California's 2012 election when a web of organizations tied to conservative billionaires Charles and David Koch poured $15 million into the state to fight Gov. Jerry Brown's tax hike and support an ultimately unsuccessful move to curtail unions' political power.
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.
WORLD
March 15, 2014 | By Lisa Mascaro
WASHINGTON -   A delegation of eight U.S. senators met in Kiev, Ukraine,  with recently installed interim Ukrainian government leaders on the eve of a controversial Russian-supported secession vote in the Crimea region and discussed providing assistance. Sen. Richard Durbin (D-Ill.), the assistant minority leader, said Saturday that the United States is expected to respond to the Ukrainians' request for basic military items -   including fuel, tires, food and sleeping bags -   to support its troops.
NATIONAL
March 15, 2014 | By Lisa Mascaro
WASHINGTON - Intense opposition from the National Rifle Assn. has all but doomed prospects for President Obama's nominee for surgeon general, officials said Saturday as pro-gun Senate Democrats peeled away from the White House on a volatile issue in an election year. Facing a potential high-profile setback for the president, the White House is not pushing for a vote to confirm Dr. Vivek Hallegere Murthy, a Harvard- and Yale-educated internist and former emergency room doctor who has advocated for stricter gun control laws, the officials said.
NEWS
March 14, 2014 | By Michael A. Memoli
WASHINGTON -- Scott Brown finally took the plunge. And this time he kept his shirt on. The former senator from Massachusetts, after keeping politicos in Washington and his newly adopted home state of New Hampshire guessing for months, announced Friday that he had formed an exploratory committee to run for U.S. Senate in the Granite State this year. The step -- he called it the start of a "Main Streets & Living Rooms Tour" -- is short of a full commitment to run for the seat held by first-term Democrat Jeanne Shaheen.
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