WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The Senate Intelligence Committee approved legislation on Thursday to tighten controls on the government’s sweeping electronic eavesdropping programs, but allows them to continue.
In a classified hearing, the panel voted 11-4 for a measure that puts new limits on what intelligence agencies can do with bulk communications records and imposes a five-year limit on how long they can be retained.
WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Vice President Joe Biden led a high-powered delegation to Capitol Hill on Thursday to try to persuade U.S. lawmakers to hold off on any more sanctions against Iran and let delicate diplomatic talks over Tehran’s nuclear program unfold.
President Barack Obama is convinced that there is the potential for an international deal to prevent Iran from developing a nuclear weapon but worries that congressional pressure for additional sanctions could complicate negotiations.
WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Democratic and Republican members of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee strongly criticized the Obama administration on Thursday for lacking a plan to resolve the war in Syria.
“I just don’t get a sense that we have a strategy,” said Democratic Senator Robert Menendez, the panel’s chairman, during a contentious hearing on Syria policy.
WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Top Obama administration officials have been pushing U.S. lawmakers hard to hold off on new sanctions over Iran’s nuclear program, but some key lawmakers said on Wednesday they had not yet been convinced to support a delay.
Senator Bob Corker, the top Republican on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee and a member of the Senate Banking Committee, which is considering the sanctions package, said lawmakers were skeptical because they felt they had to push the White House to back strict sanctions on Tehran.
WASHINGTON (Reuters) – U.S. lawmakers had tough criticism for Iraq’s government after meeting with Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki on Wednesday, saying they were open to meeting his request for military assistance only if Baghdad made significant changes.
Maliki is on his first visit to Washington in two years, urgently seeking U.S. Apache attack helicopters and other military supplies to fight militant groups such as al Qaeda in Iraq as sectarian violence spills over the border from Syria.
WASHINGTON, Oct 30 (Reuters) – Iraqi Prime Minister Nuri
al-Maliki was due to meet with members of Congress on Wednesday
as he seeks increased military aid to fight sectarian violence
amid criticism from U.S. lawmakers that his government has
contributed to the divisions.
As he traveled to Washington on Tuesday, six influential
U.S. senators took a hard line against Maliki in a letter to
President Barack Obama.
WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Some U.S. lawmakers said on Tuesday they were unhappy about cuts in Washington’s aid to Egypt announced earlier this month after authorities in Cairo used violence to put down protests.
They also said they were considering changes to a U.S. law that bars sending assistance to governments that have been deemed to have seized power through a coup.
WASHINGTON, Oct 28 (Reuters) – The White House moved to
reassure U.S. allies and Americans concerned about the sweeping
nature of U.S. surveillance practices on Monday by acknowledging
that more constraints are needed to assure that privacy rights
Amid a growing uproar in Europe and protest from a key U.S.
lawmaker, officials said they would review intelligence
collection programs with an eye to narrowing their scope.
WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The White House said on Monday that some constraints are needed in U.S. surveillance practices in the wake of embarrassing revelations about the sweeping nature of U.S. spying.
The comment came a week after President Barack Obama drew heavy criticism over accusations that the National Security Agency had tapped the mobile phone of German Chancellor Angela Merkel and conducted widespread electronic snooping in France and Italy.
WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Secretary of State John Kerry and Treasury Secretary Jack Lew will hold a briefing on Thursday on the status of nuclear talks with Iran for members of a U.S. Senate committee considering tough new sanctions on Tehran, Senate aides said on Friday.
President Barack Obama’s administration has been pushing the Senate Banking Committee to hold off on the new sanctions in order to give negotiations with Tehran over its nuclear program a chance.