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Mar 18, 2015

With Israeli vote in, Netanyahu could remain thorn in Obama’s side

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – After six years of testy relations, U.S. President Barack Obama may have to resign himself to the likelihood that he has not seen the last of Benjamin Netanyahu.

A better-than-expected showing by the Israeli prime minister in Tuesday’s closely fought election raises the prospect that he could remain a thorn in Obama’s side, with the two men increasingly at odds over Iran diplomacy and Middle East peacemaking.

Mar 16, 2015

U.S. Senate panel could vote on Iran nuclear bill next week

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The U.S. Senate Foreign Relations Committee could vote as soon as next week on a bill requiring President Barack Obama to submit any nuclear agreement with Iran for Congress’ approval, the panel’s chairman, Republican Senator Bob Corker, said on Monday.

Obama has threatened to veto the bill, saying it impinged on presidential authority and could disrupt the talks.

Mar 16, 2015

May defense bill vote seen in U.S. House, acquisition reform in works

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The U.S. House of Representatives is moving toward a vote in mid-May on the annual half-billion-dollar defense policy bill, U.S. Representative Mac Thornberry, chairman of the House Armed Services Committee, said on Monday.

Thornberry also said he plans to introduce next week legislation to reform the U.S. defense acquisition process. There is no schedule yet for a vote on that bill in the House, he told a news briefing, saying he first wanted to open up the process for comments.

Mar 12, 2015

Senate committee advances ‘threat-sharing’ cybersecurity bill

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The U.S. Senate Intelligence Committee voted 14-1 on Thursday to approve a bill intended to enhance information sharing between private companies and intelligence agencies about cybersecurity threats.

The panel’s approval cleared the way for a vote in the full Senate on the measure, which would extend some legal liability protection to companies to make it easier for them to share data with the government to help prevent and respond to cyberattacks.

Mar 12, 2015

Republicans stand by Iran letter, despite furor

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – U.S. Senator John McCain said on Thursday that Republicans stood behind a letter to Iran’s leaders threatening to undo any nuclear deal despite an outpouring of criticism from the White House, U.S. allies and Democrats.

He said the Republican senators could have taken more time to talk about it, but he had no remorse.

Mar 12, 2015

U.S. Republicans stand by Iran letter, despite furore

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – U.S. Senator John McCain said on Thursday that Republicans stood behind a letter to Iran’s leaders threatening to undo any nuclear deal despite an outpouring of criticism from the White House, U.S. allies and Democrats.

He said the Republican senators could have taken more time to talk about it, but he had no remorse.

Mar 11, 2015

U.S. may be unable to defend its Syria recruits against Assad

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The United States does not appear to have clear-cut legal authority to protect Syrian rebels it trains from attack by forces loyal to Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, even under new war powers, U.S. Defense Secretary Ash Carter said on Wednesday.

Still, Carter told Congress, a final determination had not yet been made.

The remarks underscore the deep uncertainty surrounding a fledgling U.S. military-led training program expected to get under way in the coming weeks, first in Jordan, then at training sites in Turkey, Saudi Arabia and, later, Qatar, with the goal of training upwards of 5,000 fighters a year.

Mar 11, 2015

Senate Democrats oppose ‘blank check’ for Islamic State fight

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – U.S. Senate Democrats made clear on Wednesday they have serious concerns about President Barack Obama’s war authorization request for his campaign against Islamic State, despite appeals from top administration officials for bipartisan support for the plan.

“Democrats are not willing to … give this or any other president an open-ended authorization for war, a blank check,” Senator Robert Menendez, the top Democrat on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, said at a hearing as senators begin considering Obama’s request for a formal authorization for the seven-month-old campaign against Islamic State.

Mar 10, 2015

Obama war request in trouble in Congress, mostly from Democrats

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – U.S. President Barack Obama’s request to authorize military force against Islamic State has made little progress since he sent it to Congress, and it may never pass, due largely to opposition from his fellow Democrats.

Obama asked Congress for an authorization for the use of military force (AUMF) against Islamic State a month ago, after agitation from lawmakers worried that the military campaign he began in August overstepped his constitutional authority.

Mar 10, 2015

Republicans warn Iran nuclear deal with Obama may not last

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Forty-seven Republican U.S. senators warned Iran’s leaders on Monday that any nuclear deal with President Barack Obama could last only as long as he remains in office, an unusual partisan intervention in foreign policy that could undermine delicate international talks with Tehran.

The open letter was signed by all but seven of the Republicans in the Senate and none of Obama’s fellow Democrats, who called it a “stunt.” Iranian Foreign Minister Javad Zarif dismissed it as a “propaganda ploy” from pressure groups he called afraid of diplomatic agreement.

    • 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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