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May 17, 2013

Political storm over IRS targeting scandal shifts to Congress

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – A U.S. House of Representatives panel on Friday opens the first in a series of investigative hearings in Congress on the Internal Revenue Service’s targeting of conservative groups for extra tax scrutiny, as the political storm over the scandal shifts to Capitol Hill.

Lawmakers from both parties are expected to grill the outgoing acting head of the agency, Steven Miller, and the Treasury Department inspector general for tax administration, J. Russell George, about the growing scandal that threatens to eclipse President Barack Obama’s second-term agenda.

May 16, 2013

As scandals mount, White House springs into damage control

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – With no sign of an end to three mushrooming scandals, the White House acknowledged the rising political dangers on Wednesday by launching a concerted effort at damage control.

In a whirlwind few hours, the administration moved forcefully to counter criticism of its handling of the deadly attacks in Benghazi, Libya, the seizure of reporters’ phone records in a Justice Department leak investigation, and the Internal Revenue Service’s targeting of conservative groups for extra scrutiny.

May 16, 2013

Analysis: As scandals mount, White House springs into damage control

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – With no sign of an end to three mushrooming scandals, the White House acknowledged the rising political dangers on Wednesday by launching a concerted effort at damage control.

In a whirlwind few hours, the administration moved forcefully to counter criticism of its handling of the deadly attacks in Benghazi, Libya, the seizure of reporters’ phone records in a Justice Department leak investigation, and the Internal Revenue Service’s targeting of conservative groups for extra scrutiny.

May 8, 2013

Comeback complete, Republican Sanford could be wild card in Congress

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Fresh off a redemptive win in South Carolina’s special election, former Governor Mark Sanford’s return to Congress will make him a prominent wild card in an already fractious Republican caucus.

Sanford, whose political career was short-circuited in 2009 by an extramarital affair that marred his last 18 months as governor, earned a political rebirth along with a seat in the U.S. House of Representatives on Tuesday by defeating Democrat Elizabeth Colbert Busch.

Apr 24, 2013

As flight delays increase, so does the finger-pointing in Washington

WASHINGTON, April 23 (Reuters) – Federal officials reported
flight delays at U.S. airports for a third consecutive day on
Tuesday, fueling a political blame game as Republicans and
Democrats accused each other of causing the furloughs of
thousands of air-traffic controllers.

On Capitol Hill and at the White House, the rhetoric over
across-the-board federal budget cuts known as “sequestration”
became increasingly biting. Both sides tried to take political
advantage – and avoid responsibility – for cuts by the Federal
Aviation Administration that officials say could plague the
country’s aviation system during the summer travel season.

Apr 18, 2013

In blow to Obama, U.S. Senate blocks gun-control plan

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – President Barack Obama’s campaign to curb gun violence after the Newtown school massacre was dealt a crippling blow on Wednesday when the U.S. Senate rejected a plan to expand background checks for gun buyers.

Despite emotional pleas from families of victims of the shootings in Newtown, Connecticut, and broad public support, the plan to extend background checks for sales made online and at gun shows failed on a 54-46 vote, six short of the 60 votes it needed to clear a procedural hurdle in the Senate.

Apr 18, 2013

Senate blocks gun-control legislation in blow to Obama

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The Senate on Wednesday rejected a bipartisan plan to expand background checks for gun buyers, dealing a crippling blow to President Barack Obama’s campaign to curb gun violence after the Newtown school massacre.

Despite emotional pleas from families of victims of the Newtown, Connecticut, shootings and broad public support nationwide, the plan to extend background checks to online and gun-show sales failed on a 54-46 vote, six short of the 60-vote hurdle needed to clear the Senate.

Apr 17, 2013

Senate backers of expanded gun background checks scramble for votes

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – A bipartisan proposal to expand background checks for gun buyers appeared on Tuesday to be short of the 60 votes needed to clear the Senate, as supporters scrambled to save the centerpiece of President Barack Obama’s effort to reduce gun violence.

But Senate leaders scheduled a Wednesday vote for the expanded background checks plan forged by Democrat Joe Manchin of West Virginia and Republican Pat Toomey of Pennsylvania, along with eight other amendments ranging from banning assault weapons to expanding permission to carry concealed firearms.

Apr 16, 2013

Senator urges colleagues to stand firm on gun background checks for gun buyers

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Democrat Joe Manchin and Republican Pat Toomey defended their plan to expand background checks for gun buyers on Monday, as Manchin opened the Senate’s debate on the proposal by urging colleagues to “make a difference” and resist political pressure to reject the measure.

Manchin’s call for bipartisanship on one of the nation’s most divisive issues came as the background checks plan that he and Toomey devised was headed to a close vote in the Senate later this week.

Apr 11, 2013

‘Hard work starts now’ as U.S. Senate takes up gun control

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The U.S. Senate cleared the way on Thursday for debate on proposals to curb gun violence, rejecting an effort by conservative Republicans to block consideration of gun-control legislation prompted by the Newtown school massacre.

The Senate voted 68-31 to open what will likely be weeks of emotional debate on President Barack Obama’s proposals to expand background checks for gun buyers, tighten restrictions on gun trafficking and increase funding for school security.

    • About John

      "John Whitesides has covered U.S. politics, elections and Congress for 13 years, based in Washington. He joined Reuters in Asia, where he worked as an editor and correspondent in Hong Kong."
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