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Nov 19, 2013

U.S. Senate votes to extend worldwide anti-AIDS program

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The U.S. Senate passed legislation on Monday to extend for another five years a successful and popular program to combat AIDS worldwide started 10 years ago by former President George W. Bush.

The 100-member Senate approved the measure by unanimous voice vote. It is expected to be considered – and passed – by the House of Representatives as soon as Tuesday before going to President Barack Obama for his signature.

Nov 19, 2013

U.S. congressional action on Iran sanctions unlikely this month

WASHINGTON, Nov 18 (Reuters) – Legislation to impose tough
new sanctions on Iran is not expected to come to a vote in the
Senate before December, after the end of the next round of
negotiations over Tehran’s nuclear program, U.S. lawmakers and
congressional aides said on Monday.

As diplomats headed to Geneva for a third round of talks
this week, members of Congress have been debating behind closed
doors whether to go ahead with the new set of stricter economic
sanctions on Iran relating to its nuclear program.

Nov 15, 2013

Bid for more sanctions on Iran could reach Senate next week

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Legislation to impose tough new sanctions on Iran could come to the Senate floor next week, just as diplomats head to Geneva for a third round of talks aimed at curbing Tehran’s suspected nuclear weapons work.

President Barack Obama has appealed to Congress to hold off on new sanctions to allow time to pursue a diplomatic deal. But Congress is generally more hawkish about Iran than the administration, and both Republicans and some of Obama’s fellow Democrats have balked at any further delay.

Nov 14, 2013

U.S. lawmakers question Obama’s plea for Iran sanctions pause

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Senior U.S. lawmakers expressed sharp frustration with the Obama administration’s call to delay new sanctions against Iran on Wednesday, underscoring the difficult sales job the Democratic president has as he pursues a rapprochement with Tehran.

Vice President Joe Biden, Secretary of State John Kerry and other top officials visited Capitol Hill to warn senators that implementing the new measures could scuttle delicate talks between Iran and world powers over Tehran’s nuclear program.

Nov 13, 2013

Kerry warns that new U.S. sanctions could torpedo Iran talks

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – If the Congress imposes new sanctions against Iran, it could scuttle ongoing international negotiations aimed at curbing Tehran’s suspected nuclear weapons work, Secretary of State John Kerry said on Wednesday.

“The risk is that if Congress were to unilaterally move to raise sanctions it could break faith in those negotiations and actually stop them and break them apart,” Kerry told reporters before a meeting with U.S. senators on the matter.

Nov 13, 2013

U.S. designates Nigeria militant groups as terrorists

WASHINGTON, Nov 13 (Reuters) – The United States formally
designated the Nigerian Islamist militant groups Boko Haram and
Ansaru as foreign terrorist organizations on Wednesday, making
it a crime to provide them with material support.

The White House directed U.S. agencies to block financial
transactions with the two groups, which it blamed for thousands
of deaths in northeast and central Nigeria, including attacks on
churches and mosques and a 2011 suicide bombing of the United
Nations building in Abuja.

Nov 11, 2013

U.S. Senate will wait before moving on Iran sanctions: aides

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – U.S. lawmakers will wait until after a briefing by Secretary of State John Kerry this week before deciding whether to impose tough new sanctions on Iran because of its nuclear program, Senate aides said on Monday.

Kerry will brief the Senate Banking Committee on Wednesday on the status of negotiations for a deal on the nuclear program, State Department spokeswoman Jen Psaki told reporters as Kerry returned from a trip that included a stop at the Iran negotiations in Geneva.

Nov 7, 2013

U.S. sanctions threat hangs over Iran talks in Geneva

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – A threat by the U.S. Congress to slap tough new sanctions on Iran hung over negotiations on Tehran’s nuclear program on Thursday, even as diplomats at talks in Geneva voiced optimism an agreement was close.

A package of tighter sanctions on Iran has been making its way through Congress but was held up after President Barack Obama’s administration asked for a delay to let the delicate diplomatic talks over Tehran’s nuclear program unfold.

Nov 7, 2013

U.S. Senate panel will move ahead on new Iran sanctions

WASHINGTON, Nov 7 (Reuters) – The U.S. Senate Banking
Committee will move ahead with a package of tough new sanctions
on Iran after the negotiating session over its nuclear program
ends in Geneva on Friday, the committee’s chairman said on
Thursday.

Senator Tim Johnson, a Democrat, said Senate Majority Leader
Harry Reid told him to go ahead with the mark-up – or
consideration – of the bill, a step toward bringing it to the
full Senate for a vote.

Nov 6, 2013

Tough road ahead for change in U.S. military sex assault rules

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – U.S. lawmakers announced a renewed push on Wednesday to make sweeping changes in the way the military handles complaints of sexual assault, but they face a tough fight attracting the 60 votes they will likely need to get their plan through the Senate.

Democratic Senator Kirsten Gillibrand of New York said 46 senators – 38 Democrats and eight Republicans – support her proposal to remove responsibility for prosecuting cases of unwanted sexual conduct from the military chain of command and put it in the hand of an independent judge.

    • 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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