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Mar 31, 2015

Congress, Obama head for Iran showdown, regardless of talks outcome

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – U.S. Republicans will push ahead with legislation reflecting their deep mistrust of a nuclear deal with Iran whatever the outcome of talks between Tehran and major powers in Switzerland, setting up further confrontation with President Barack Obama.

Just what action they will take – and how much support they get from Democrats – depends on the details agreed by negotiators from United States, Britain, France, Germany, Russia and China in Lausanne who are edging toward a preliminary deal due by the end of Tuesday.

Mar 27, 2015

Japan PM Abe to address joint session of Congress

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe will address a joint meeting of the U.S. Senate and House of Representatives on April 29, becoming the first Japanese leader to do so.

Abe will spend eight days on a state visit expected to focus on joint responses to growing Chinese assertiveness in Asia, including his moves to loosen the constraints of Japan’s pacifist, postwar constitution on the military.

Mar 26, 2015

Japanese PM Abe invited to address U.S. Congress on April 29

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe has been invited to address a joint meeting of the U.S. Senate and House of Representatives on April 29, during a visit to Washington, becoming the first Japanese leader to make such an address.

U.S. Speaker of the House John Boehner said Abe’s speech will provide an opportunity for Americans to hear from a close ally about ways to expand cooperation on economic and security priorities.

Mar 26, 2015

U.S. House committee advances ‘threat-sharing’ cybersecurity bill

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The U.S. House of Representatives Intelligence Committee voted unanimously on Thursday to advance a long-awaited bill that would make it easier for companies to share information about cybersecurity threats with the government without the fear of lawsuits.

A committee spokesman said the panel approved the measure unanimously, by voice vote, during a closed meeting. The legislation is expected to come before the full House as soon as late April, after lawmakers return from a two-week early April recess.

Mar 25, 2015

New Afghan president warns of ‘terrible threat’ from Islamic State

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Afghanistan’s new president, Ashraf Ghani, warned U.S. lawmakers on Wednesday of the “terrible threat” the Islamic State poses in central and western Asia, and said the militant group is already sending fighters to his country.

In a speech to a joint meeting of the U.S. Senate and House of Representatives, Ghani said Afghanistan owes a “profound debt” to the 2,315 U.S. troops killed and the more than 20,000 wounded in the war that began after the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks.

Mar 24, 2015

‘Threat-sharing’ cybersecurity bill introduced in House

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The U.S. House of Representatives Intelligence Committee introduced on Tuesday its version of long-awaited legislation intended to enhance information sharing between private companies and intelligence agencies about cybersecurity threats.

Prompted in part by a wave of high-profile attacks on corporations by hackers, the Protecting Cyber Networks Act is intended to make it easier for companies to share data with the government to help prevent and respond to cyberattacks.

Mar 20, 2015

U.S. House Speaker Boehner to visit Israel

JERUSALEM/WASHINGTON (Reuters) – John Boehner, Republican speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives at the center of a political furor in Washington over relations with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, will visit Israel in coming weeks, his office said on Friday.

The trip, Boehner’s first to Israel in seven years, follows Netanyahu’s surprise election victory on Tuesday and his March 3 speech to Congress criticizing President Barack Obama’s Iran policy at Boehner’s invitation, an event that angered the White House.

Mar 19, 2015

Democrats, Republicans agree to delay committee’s Iran bill vote

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – U.S. Senate Democrats and Republicans agreed on Thursday to delay until April 14 the Senate Foreign Relations Committee’s vote on legislation that would force President Barack Obama to submit any nuclear agreement with Iran for Congress’ approval.

The announcement, which came after an intense lobbying push by Obama and administration officials, gives international negotiators more breathing room as they attempt to meet a late-March deadline for a framework agreement.

Mar 19, 2015

Senate panel likely to vote on Iran bill next Thursday

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The U.S. Senate Foreign Relations Committee will likely vote next Thursday on a closely watched 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 Thursday.

If the committee approves the bill, as expected, it would advance legislation the Obama administration has said could endanger delicate nuclear talks with Iran, just as negotiators rush to meet a late-March deadline for a framework agreement.

Mar 18, 2015

U.S. rebukes Israel’s victorious Netanyahu on Mideast policy

CLEVELAND/WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The White House on Wednesday scolded Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu following his re-election victory for abandoning his commitment to negotiate for a Palestinian state and for what it called “divisive” campaign rhetoric toward Israel’s minority Arab voters.

Even as U.S. President Barack Obama’s administration congratulated Netanyahu for his party’s decisive win in Tuesday’s ballot, the White House signaled its deep disagreements – and thorny relationship – with Netanyahu will persist on issues ranging from Middle East peacemaking to Iran nuclear diplomacy.

    • 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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