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Jan 7, 2015

Republicans target security funding to fight Obama on immigration

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Republicans in the House of Representatives are pursuing a strategy to choke off funding for President Barack Obama’s recent immigration order that could force a shutdown for parts of the Department of Homeland Security.

Republican lawmakers and aides said on Wednesday that a funding measure for DHS, which secures U.S. borders, airports, coastal waters and other critical facilities, as well as controlling the agencies that are to implement Obama’s immigration order, could be introduced by Friday and ready for a vote next week.

Jan 7, 2015

Exclusive: Cuba resists release of several detainees – U.S. congressional source

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The Cuban government is resisting the release of several of the 53 people the U.S. government has said were to be freed as part of a thaw in relations, linking them to acts of violence, a congressional aide told Reuters.

“We’ve been told that the Cuban government has agreed to release all but several of the political prisoners on the list,” the aide said.

Jan 6, 2015

U.S. senator wants Cuba talks canceled over prisoners’ fate

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – U.S. Senator Marco Rubio, a leading opponent of President Barack Obama’s restoration of ties to Cuba, called on the administration on Tuesday to cancel upcoming talks with Havana at least until dozens of detainees are released.

The promised release of 53 people Washington considers political prisoners was part of Obama’s Dec. 17 announcement that he planned to normalize relations with Cuba after decades of hostile relations with the island.

Jan 6, 2015

Corrected – Obama’s Cuba opening hits early obstacles, faces struggle with Congress

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – (Corrects time element to “half-century” from “half-decade” in 3rd paragraph)

Only two-and-a-half weeks after U.S. President Barack Obama announced a historic prisoner exchange and re-establishment of long-broken ties with Cuba, his new policy is encountering obstacles that threaten to flare up when Congress returns next week.

Jan 4, 2015

Republicans look to challenge Obama on energy, Cuba, immigration

WASHINGTON/HONOLULU, Jan 4 (Reuters) – Republicans take full
control of the U.S. Congress this week with an agenda of trying
to force approval of the Keystone XL oil pipeline and push back
on President Barack Obama’s sweeping policy shifts on Cuba and
immigration.

After years of battles over the budget and other issues,
further clashes loom as Republicans who already control the
House of Representatives take over the Senate majority on
Tuesday after wins against Obama’s Democrats in November’s
midterm elections. Angry over the president’s moves last year to
bypass Congress on issues such as immigration, Republicans have
promised to fight him on a range of issues.

Jan 3, 2015

Obama’s Cuba opening hits early obstacles, faces struggle with Congress

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Only two-and-a-half weeks after U.S. President Barack Obama announced a historic prisoner exchange and re-establishment of long-broken ties with Cuba, his new policy is encountering obstacles that threaten to flare up when Congress returns next week.

Questions surrounding Havana’s human rights record and the promised release of Cuban detainees have the potential to inflame anti-Havana passions on Capitol Hill, where the House and Senate are expected to hold hearings soon after they resume on Tuesday.

Dec 18, 2014

U.S. Republicans look for ways to block normal ties with Cuba

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Republicans in Congress searched on Thursday for a strategy to sink or at least slow President Barack Obama’s plan to normalize U.S. relations with Cuba, drawing a shrug from the White House.

They floated ideas to fight the Democrat Obama’s moves to forge ties and expand commercial ties with the communist-led island after half a century of hostility. Their ideas included denying funds to reopen a Havana embassy and blocking the confirmation of a U.S. ambassador.

Dec 16, 2014

Obama to sign new Russia sanctions bill by end of week

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – U.S. President Barack Obama will sign legislation authorizing new sanctions on Russia over its activities in Ukraine and providing weapons to the Kiev government by the end of the week, the White House said on Tuesday.

White House spokesman Josh Earnest said the White House had continuing concerns about the legislation, because it “includes some sanctions language that does not reflect the consultations that are ongoing.”

Dec 15, 2014

White House has not yet decided on Russia sanctions bill

WASHINGTON, Dec 15 (Reuters) – The Obama administration has
not yet made a decision on whether the president will sign a
bill authorizing new sanctions against Russia over its
activities in Ukraine, a senior administration official said on
Monday.

“We are looking at the bill now,” the official said in an
email. The official, who declined to be identified, said the
administration “remains deeply concerned about the aggressive
actions of Russia in Ukraine.”

Dec 12, 2014

U.S. seeks to defuse tensions over Israeli-Palestinian resolutions

BOGOTA (Reuters) – U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry said on Friday the United States was seeking to defuse tensions over proposed U.N. resolutions to end the Israeli-Palestinian conflict during talks in Europe next week.

Kerry will meet Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in Rome on Monday and senior European officials to discuss possible resolutions, which would require a vote in the U.N. Security Council where the United States holds a veto.

    • 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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