Congressional Correspondent
Patricia's Feed
Jan 29, 2014

U.S. spy chiefs say number of foreign militants in Syria rises

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – More than 7,000 foreign militants are fighting for the rebels in Syria’s civil war and some are being trained to return home and conduct attacks, U.S. spy chiefs told lawmakers on Wednesday.

The estimate, given at a Senate intelligence hearing, was much higher than earlier figures of 3,000 to 4,000 foreign fighters in Syria, and came after news emerged this week that Congress had secretly approved more funding to send weapons to “moderate” rebels.

Jan 29, 2014

Obama takes tough line against Iran sanctions to Congress

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – President Barack Obama took his hard line against new sanctions over Iran’s nuclear program directly to U.S. lawmakers on Tuesday by pledging in his annual State of the Union address to veto any legislation that threatens talks with Tehran.

Obama said an interim agreement seeking to curb Iran’s nuclear program was already taking effect, as he pressed for time to allow negotiations on a final agreement to go ahead, saying the ongoing diplomacy was important for U.S. safety.

Jan 28, 2014

U.S. senators urge nominee for Beijing ambassador to be tough on China

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – U.S. lawmakers expressed concern about China’s territorial ambitions at a confirmation hearing on Tuesday for the next American ambassador to China, and they urged him to take a tough line with Beijing.

Senator Max Baucus, President Barack Obama’s nominee for the ambassador’s post, told a Senate hearing he would do all he could to reduce tensions between China and its neighbors and said he would follow a “cautious” approach with Beijing.

Jan 27, 2014

Iran sanctions push stalls, U.S. lawmakers mull weaker measure

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – An attempt to impose new sanctions on Iran over its nuclear program has stalled in the U.S. Congress and lawmakers are discussing whether to introduce a much weaker measure, congressional aides said on Monday.

Members of the Senate and House of Representatives are considering a non-binding resolution that expresses concern about Iran’s nuclear ambitions and calls for negotiators to set strict conditions in talks between Tehran and world powers.

Jan 17, 2014

Exclusive: Senior U.S. senators push South Sudan leaders on violence

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Senior members of the influential U.S. Senate Foreign Relations Committee urged South Sudan’s leaders on Friday to stop violence threatening to spiral into civil war in a country that has received billions of dollars in U.S. taxpayer funds.

In letters obtained by Reuters, Democratic Senators Robert Menendez, chairman of the committee, and Chris Coons, chairman of the Africa subcommittee, wrote to South Sudanese President Salva Kiir and former Vice President Riek Machar expressing deep concern about the turmoil.

Jan 17, 2014

Senior U.S. senators push South Sudan leaders on violence

WASHINGTON, Jan 17 (Reuters) – Senior members of the
influential U.S. Senate Foreign Relations Committee urged South
Sudan’s leaders on Friday to stop violence threatening to spiral
into civil war in a country that has received billions of
dollars in U.S. taxpayer funds.

In letters obtained by Reuters, Democratic Senators Robert
Menendez, chairman of the committee, and Chris Coons, chairman
of the Africa subcommittee, wrote to South Sudanese President
Salva Kiir and former Vice President Riek Machar expressing deep
concern about the turmoil.

Jan 17, 2014

White House releases summary of six-month Iran nuclear plan

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The White House on Thursday released a summary of the deal reached between six major world powers and Iran to curb its nuclear program, responding to calls from the U.S. Congress and other groups for more transparency about what the agreement entails.

Iran has denied it wants to use the program to eventually build nuclear weapons but agreed to scale it back after the international community applied strict financial and oil sanctions.

Jan 16, 2014

U.S. lawmakers seek to broaden scope of human rights act from Russia to world

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Two senior U.S. lawmakers introduced legislation on Thursday that would expand to all countries the “Magnitsky” act passed in late 2012 to penalize Russia for alleged human rights abuses.

Democratic Senator Ben Cardin of Maryland, who championed the original law, and Republican Senator John McCain of Arizona said their “Global Human Rights Accountability Act” would ensure human rights abusers from anywhere in the world are denied entry to the United States and barred from using U.S. financial institutions.

Jan 15, 2014

U.S. lawmakers, frustrated by South Sudan violence, question aid

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – U.S. lawmakers expressed deep frustration on Wednesday over the wave of violence in South Sudan, questioning whether it made sense for Washington to continue sending hundreds of millions of dollars in aid to the fledgling democracy.

Four weeks of fighting, often along ethnic lines, has been ringing alarm bells in Washington over the prospect that the conflict could spiral into full-blown civil war, spawning atrocities or making South Sudan the world’s next failed state.

Jan 14, 2014

No sign yet Iran sanctions bill will come to U.S. Senate vote

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid made clear on Tuesday he has no immediate plan to allow a vote on a bill that would slap new sanctions on Iran over its nuclear program, even as backers promised to keep up their efforts to win more support.

Fifty-nine of the 100 senators – including 16 of President Barack Obama’s fellow Democrats – support the bill, despite Obama’s warning that its passage could jeopardize delicate international negotiations to curb Iran’s nuclear program.

    • About Patricia

      "Patricia Zengerle covers foreign policy and national security on Capitol Hill for Reuters. She recently covered the 2012 campaign and the White House and had been an editor in Washington, D.C., an editor in London, and a correspondent in Miami, Pittsburgh and New York. You can follow her on Twitter @ReutersZengerle"
    • More from Patricia

    • Contact Patricia

    • Follow Patricia