WASHINGTON (Reuters) – U.S. President Barack Obama proposed spending $1.5 billion next year for the Middle East and North Africa, largely to address the growing humanitarian crisis in Syria as Washington steps up efforts to deal with three-year-long civil war.
Besides funding for Syria, the $1.5 billion is intended to promote reforms and transitions in the Middle East and North Africa, still feeling the effects of the “Arab Spring” revolts of 2011.
WASHINGTON (Reuters) – U.S. lawmakers expressed support on Monday for aid for Ukraine’s new government, as well as sanctions to punish Russia for its military incursion into the neighboring country, but want European nations to step up their involvement in the crisis.
Senators are looking at options such as imposing sanctions on Russia’s banks and freezing assets of Russian public institutions and private investors, Senator Chris Murphy, chairman of the Senate’s Europe subcommittee, told Reuters.
WASHINGTON (Reuters) – U.S. lawmakers are considering options such as imposing sanctions on Russia’s banks, freezing assets of Russian public institutions and private investors and enacting travel bans because of its moves in Ukraine, U.S. Senator Chris Murphy, the chairman of the Senate’s Europe subcommittee, said on Monday.
Murphy told Reuters in a telephone interview that U.S. sanctions against Russia will have little effect if they are not matched by actions from Europe.
WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Tennessee Senator Bob Corker called on federal authorities on Thursday not to muzzle lawmakers who do not support union organizing as they consider the United Auto Workers’ appeal of a failed effort to represent workers at a Volkswagen plant in his state.
Saying Corker and other politicians interfered in the vote, the UAW filed an objection with the National Labor Relations Board to the result of the February 12-14 election, in which workers at VW’s Chattanooga, Tennessee, plant voted 712-625 to reject union representation.
WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The U.S. military’s system for handling sexual assault cases is so inadequate that an Army private had to turn to the Internet to decide what to do after she was raped, the victim testified at an emotional Senate hearing on Wednesday.
“I had to Google what to do when it happened to me,” Jessica Kenyon, a former Army private first class, testified at the hearing on links between military sexual assault, suicide and post-traumatic stress.
WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Senator Robert Menendez is happy to play the role of a U.S. “bad cop” on Iran. Just don’t call him a warmonger.
The Democratic chairman of the influential Senate Foreign Relations Committee upset the White House by leading the push for a bill that would tighten sanctions even further on Tehran, potentially putting at risk nuclear talks between world powers and the Islamic Republic.
WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Republican U.S. senators sought to revive a bill on Tuesday that would impose new sanctions on Iran despite President Barack Obama’s insistence that the measure would endanger delicate negotiations seeking to curb Tehran’s nuclear program.
Senator Mitch McConnell, the party’s leader in the Senate, told reporters Republicans wanted to include the sanctions package as an amendment to a bill expanding healthcare and education programs for veterans of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.
WASHINGTON, Feb 25 (Reuters) – U.S. Senator John McCain said
on Tuesday a proposed agreement to sell 24 Apache attack
helicopters to Iraq should be reconsidered because of a Reuters
report that Iran has signed a deal to sell Iraq arms and
ammunition worth $195 million.
“The Apache sale has got to be on the table. We’ve got to
discuss it,” the Republican Arizona senator said when asked
about whether the arms sale would affect the plan to sell the
Boeing Co. helicopters to Iraq.
WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The leaders of Georgia and Moldova are due to visit Washington in the next two weeks, congressional aides said on Wednesday, in what appears to be an effort to show U.S. support for Russia’s neighbors amid the violent political crisis in Ukraine.
Congressional aides said that Georgian Prime Minister Irakly Garibashvili will be in Washington next week, and Moldovan Prime Minister Iurie Leanca will visit during the first week of March.
WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Republican U.S. Senator Rand Paul and a conservative political group sued President Barack Obama and top U.S. intelligence officials on Wednesday over the National Security Agency’s collection of the telephone records of millions of Americans.
The lawsuit asks for a federal judge to halt the collection of the records and destruction of any now held by the government, arguing that the program violates privacy rights protected by the U.S. Constitution.