John's Feed
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.

Mar 6, 2013

In Louisiana, a conservative backlash against gun control

BATON ROUGE, Louisiana (Reuters) – In the gun-friendly state of Louisiana, the backlash against President Barack Obama’s proposed restrictions on firearms seems to be everywhere.

It can be seen in the frenzied sales and empty racks at Jim’s Firearms store in the state capital, Baton Rouge, where customers have rushed to make purchases as Congress weighs several gun-control bills.

Mar 3, 2013

A reflective Romney emerges from seclusion, rips Obama

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Four months after his bitter election defeat, a reflective Mitt Romney said it “kills” him not to be president and admitted mistakes were made in his losing White House campaign – particularly his failure to win over minority voters.

In his first television interview since November’s loss to President Barack Obama, Romney leveled a fresh blast of criticism at Obama for failing to lead and putting politics ahead of results in the confrontation with congressional Republicans over the budget and spending cuts.

Feb 27, 2013

Here, there and everywhere, Republican Senator Graham gets around

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Lindsey Graham isn’t everywhere in Washington these days. It just seems that way.

In a politically divided town where compromise can be fleeting and partisanship is the norm, the Republican senator from South Carolina has become a leading voice on nearly every major issue before Congress this year – partly because he has not always followed his party’s official stances.

Feb 14, 2013

New Texas Senator Ted Cruz blazing a trail in Washington

WASHINGTON, Feb 14 (Reuters) – For new U.S. senators, the
drill typically goes something like this: Keep quiet once you
arrive in Washington, learn how things work and then begin
asserting yourself.

That is not exactly the path Ted Cruz is taking.

He has been in office for barely six weeks, but already the
senator from Texas, a favorite of the conservative Tea Party
movement, has shown a provocative, in-your-face style that has
won him criticism and praise.

Jan 31, 2013

Giffords seeks ‘bold’ action as U.S. Congress takes up gun control

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Former congresswoman Gabby Giffords, grievously wounded in a 2011 mass shooting, made an emotional plea on Wednesday for Congress to take action to curb U.S. gun violence, but a National Rifle Association executive said new gun laws “have failed in the past and they’ll fail again.”

Speaking haltingly, Giffords implored lawmakers to “be bold, be courageous” as she opened testimony at the first congressional hearing on gun violence since the December 14 massacre in which a gunman shot dead 20 children and six adults at an elementary school in Newtown, Connecticut.

    • 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."
    • Follow John