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Jun 11, 2015

House rejects measure to force vote on Islamic State fight

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The House of Representatives rejected an amendment to a defense bill on Thursday that would have forced lawmakers to vote on a formal authorization for the use of military force against Islamic State.

The House voted 231 to 196 to defeat the amendment sponsored by Representative Adam Schiff. Republicans, who control a majority of seats in the House, largely voted against the amendment and Schiff’s fellow Democrats generally backed it.

Jun 10, 2015

U.S. senators say OPM data breach appears state-sponsored

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Members of the U.S. Senate Intelligence Committee said on Wednesday that a massive theft of data last week from U.S. government computers appears to have been state-sponsored, although they stopped short of pointing the finger at China.

The breach of Office of Personnel Management (OPM) computers was disclosed on Thursday by the Obama administration, which said records of up to 4 million current and former federal employees may have been compromised.

Jun 9, 2015

U.S. Senate preserves funding plan for Pentagon

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – U.S. Senate Republicans on Tuesday successfully defended their bid to avoid across-the-board budget caps by using some $38 billion in “emergency” war funding to expand military spending.

Senators voted 51-46, along party lines, to defeat an amendment to an annual defense policy bill that would have barred a Republican-led plan to use the special war funds to avoid the spending cap, but only for the Department of Defense.

Jun 4, 2015

U.S. Democrats to block spending bills over Pentagon funds

WASHINGTON, June 4 (Reuters) – Senior U.S. Senate Democrats
said on Thursday they would block spending bills for the fiscal
year starting on Oct. 1 to press their case for scrapping
mandatory spending limits that have been in place for the past
two years.

The move represented an early gambit in what is expected to
be a difficult partisan clash over U.S. budget and tax policy in
the next four to five months. Congress must pass a series of
fiscal 2016 appropriations bills, or a stopgap measure, by Sept.
30, to avoid a government shutdown on Oct. 1.

Jun 3, 2015

Obama signs bill reforming surveillance program

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – President Barack Obama signed into law on Tuesday legislation passed by Congress earlier in the day reforming a government surveillance program that swept up millions of Americans’ telephone records.

Reversing security policy in place since shortly after the Sept. 11, 2001 attacks, the bill ends a system exposed by former National Security Agency contractor Edward Snowden. The spy agency collected and searched records of phone calls looking for terrorism leads but was not allowed to listen to their content.

Jun 2, 2015

U.S. Congress reverses post-Sept. 11 surveillance program

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The U.S. Senate on Tuesday passed
legislation reforming a government surveillance program that
swept up millions of Americans’ telephone records, sending the
bill to the White House for President Barack Obama to sign into
law.

Reversing security policy in place since shortly after the
Sept. 11, 2001 attacks, the bill would end a system exposed by
former National Security Agency contractor Edward Snowden. The
spy agency collected and searched records of phone calls looking
for terrorism leads but was not allowed to listen to their
content.

Jun 2, 2015

Bill to limit domestic spy programs passes U.S. Congress

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The U.S. Senate on Tuesday passed a bill reforming a government domestic spying program that swept up millions of Americans’ telephone records, sending the bill to the White House for President Barack Obama to sign into law.

Reversing U.S. security policy that had been in place since shortly after the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks, the bill would end a system exposed by former National Security Agency contractor Edward Snowden in 2013. The eavesdropping agency collected and searched records of phone calls looking for terrorism leads but it was not allowed to listen to the content of calls.

Jun 2, 2015

Bill to curtail U.S. domestic spying advances but political fight looms

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The U.S. Senate voted to move ahead on Tuesday with a bill that would end the ability of spy agencies to collect Americans’ telephone records in bulk and install a more targeted system, but a political fight loomed over potential changes to the bill.

The procedural vote of 83-14 limited debate on legislation known as the USA Freedom Act but arguments over how to balance Americans’ concerns about privacy and fears of terrorism, which had already held up the bill, could stall it further.

Jun 2, 2015

U.S. lawmakers warn proposed changes could doom spy bill

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – High-ranking members of the U.S. House of Representatives warned the Senate on Monday that proposed changes to the USA Freedom Act, a bill reforming domestic surveillance, were unlikely to pass the House and might doom the contentious spy program.

The renewed tension between the two houses came a day after the Senate failed to pass legislation extending the legal authority for U.S. spy agencies’ collection of American’s phone records in time to keep the program from expiring.

Jun 1, 2015

U.S. Senate to let NSA spy program lapse, at least for now

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The legal authority for U.S. spy agencies’ collection of Americans’ phone records and other data was set to expire at midnight on Sunday after the U.S. Senate failed to pass legislation extending the controversial powers.

After debate pitting Americans’ distrust of intrusive government against fears of terrorist attacks, the Senate voted to move ahead with reform legislation that would replace the bulk phone records program revealed two years ago by former National Security Agency (NSA) contractor Edward Snowden.

    • 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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