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Apr 28, 2015

U.S. lawmakers seek to bar new travel to Cuba

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Members of the U.S. House of Representatives launched an effort on Tuesday to prevent new travel from the United States to Cuba, one of the first legislative efforts in Congress to thwart President Barack Obama’s effort to normalize relations with the Communist-ruled island.

A House Department of Transportation appropriations bill introduced on Tuesday included a provision barring the use of funds to facilitate new scheduled air transportation originating from the United States if any such flights would land on or pass through any property confiscated by the Cuban government.

Apr 27, 2015

Republicans seek new limits on Guantanamo prisoner transfers

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Republican lawmakers have unveiled plans to make it harder to transfer inmates from the Guantanamo Bay Naval Base, stepping up a campaign to slow President Barack Obama’s efforts to close the controversial detention center.

The proposed 2016 National Defense Authorization Act released on Monday renewed an annual ban on spending to transfer prisoners to the United States from the detention center.

Apr 24, 2015

U.S. pro-Israel lobby opposes push to toughen Iran nuclear bill

WASHINGTON, April 24 (Reuters) – An influential pro-Israel
lobbying group is pressuring U.S. lawmakers not to support
amendments to toughen a bill that lets Congress review a nuclear
agreement with Iran, hoping to avoid a partisan battle that
could doom the legislation.

The American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC) has
been urging Republicans not to back amendments that might turn
many Senate Democrats against the “Iran Nuclear Review Act,” or
prompt Democratic President Barack Obama to renew his threat to
veto the legislation.

Apr 23, 2015

U.S. Republicans vow amendments that might risk Iran nuclear bill

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – U.S. Republican senators pledged on Thursday to try to toughen a bill giving Congress the power to review a nuclear agreement with Iran, raising the possibility of a partisan battle that could complicate the measure’s chances of passing.

The Senate’s Republican Majority Leader, Mitch McConnell, said he expected a “vigorous debate” next week.

Apr 22, 2015

House passes cyber-threat information bill

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The U.S. House of Representatives passed a bill on Wednesday that would make it easier for private companies to share information about cybersecurity threats with the government without fear of lawsuits.

The vote was 307-116 in favor of the measure, with strong support from Republicans and Democrats.

Apr 22, 2015

U.S. Republicans move to extend spies’ power to collect phone data

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – In a move likely to re-ignite public debate in America over electronic spying, Republicans have introduced a bill in the Senate to extend a controversial law empowering the government’s bulk collection of U.S. telephone records.

President Barack Obama and many in Congress want to retain the mass data-collection program as a national security tool but want substantial changes in the program, which was secret until disclosed two years ago by former NSA contractor Edward Snowden.

Apr 21, 2015

Senate may face contentious debate on Iran nuclear bill

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The U.S. Senate could plunge into a heated debate on legislation giving Congress the power to review a nuclear deal with Iran as soon as Wednesday, as some Republicans sought to change the bill to take a harder line on any agreement.

The Senate Foreign Relations Committee voted 19-0 last week for a compromise version of the bill, in a rare display of bipartisan unity in the deeply divided Congress.

Apr 21, 2015

U.S. House seen passing cyber threat information bill Wednesday

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The U.S. House of Representatives is expected to consider, and pass, on Wednesday a long-awaited bill that would make it easier for companies to share information about cyber security threats with the government without fear of lawsuits.

Congressional aides said on Tuesday they expected lawmakers would take up the bill during Wednesday’s House session and that it would pass with support from both Republicans and Democrats.

Apr 15, 2015

In setback, Obama concedes Congress role on Iran deal

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – U.S. President Barack Obama conceded on Tuesday that Congress will have the power to review a nuclear deal with Iran, reluctantly giving in to pressure from Republicans and some in his own party after they crafted a rare compromise demanding a say.

The role for the Republican-controlled Congress injects a new element of uncertainty into the delicate final stages of negotiations between major powers and Iran aimed at curbing Tehran’s nuclear programme in exchange for sanctions relief.

Apr 14, 2015

Obama drops objection to letting Congress vote on Iran deal

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – U.S. President Barack Obama dropped his opposition on Tuesday to a bill giving Congress a voice on a nuclear deal with Iran after members of his Democratic Party negotiated changes to the bill that had won strong support from both parties.

White House spokesman Josh Earnest said Obama, who had said he would veto the proposed bill because it could scuttle the emerging Iran deal, could accept compromises that drew bipartisan Senate support.

    • 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"
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