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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.

Apr 11, 2013

Senate agrees to open gun-control debate

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The Senate cleared the way on Thursday for an emotional, weeks-long debate on proposals to curb gun violence, rejecting an effort by conservative Republicans to block consideration of gun-control legislation prompted by December’s Connecticut elementary school massacre.

The Senate voted 68-31 to open 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.

Apr 10, 2013

Background checks deal boosts odds for U.S. gun-control bill

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – A breakthrough agreement to expand background checks for gun buyers, announced on Wednesday by two U.S. senators, boosts the prospects the Senate will approve at least some of President Barack Obama’s proposed gun restrictions.

The deal by Democrat Joe Manchin of West Virginia and Republican Pat Toomey of Pennsylvania sets the stage for a Senate debate on a gun-control bill starting on Thursday, when the Democratic-led chamber is expected to defeat conservative Republicans’ efforts to block it from reaching the floor.

Apr 9, 2013

Senate to cast first gun-control votes on Thursday

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The Senate will cast its first vote on President Barack Obama’s gun-control proposals on Thursday, but Democratic Leader Harry Reid said he was unsure if the bill could gain the 60 votes it needs to overcome Republican procedural hurdles.

Reid called on Republicans to drop their attempt to block debate on the gun legislation, but Republican Leader Mitch McConnell said there was no bipartisan support for the effort.

Mar 13, 2013

Club for Growth fuels Republican rift with primary challenges

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The anti-tax advocacy group Club for Growth, an unapologetic purveyor of in-your-face fiscal conservatism, has no time for the Republican hand-wringing that followed November’s bitter election loss.

The combative Club is preparing to spend millions of dollars next year on its latest round of primary challenges to Republican lawmakers who it believes have violated its conservative economic principles.

Mar 10, 2013

Jeb Bush says he is not thinking about presidential bid – yet

WASHINGTON, March 10 (Reuters) – Former Florida Governor Jeb
Bush appeared on five morning talk shows on Sunday to plug his
new book on immigration, but said his heightened visibility does
not mean he is re-entering politics or planning a White House
run – not yet, anyway.

The talk-show marathon capped a busy week of public
appearances for Bush, one of several Republicans seen as
potential contenders for the 2016 presidential nomination. Bush
said it is too early to seriously ponder a bid for the White
House.

Mar 6, 2013

Hopes for a political thaw sprout in wintry Washington

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – A winter storm all but closed down Washington on Wednesday, but hopes for a political thaw sprouted across the U.S. capital.

In a city gripped by partisan gridlock, President Barack Obama’s plans for a private dinner with a small group of Senate Republicans on Wednesday night – and a trip to Capitol Hill next week to speak to their entire caucus – qualified as groundbreaking.

    • 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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