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Oct 31, 2013

Biden urges U.S. lawmakers to hold off on any new Iran sanctions

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.

Oct 31, 2013

Key U.S. senators strongly criticize Obama’s Syria policy

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.

Oct 30, 2013

White House faces tough sell in Congress on delay of Iran sanctions

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.

Oct 30, 2013

Iraqi PM Maliki struggles to convince U.S. lawmakers to back more aid

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.

Oct 30, 2013

Iraqi PM faces criticism over sectarian violence in Washington visit

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.

Oct 29, 2013

U.S. lawmakers criticize Egypt aid cuts, consider changing law

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.

Oct 28, 2013

White House sees need for ‘constraints’ on NSA spying

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
are protected.

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.

Oct 28, 2013

White House official sees need for ‘constraints’ on NSA spying

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.

Oct 25, 2013

Kerry, Lew to brief U.S. senators on Iran nuclear talks

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.

Oct 24, 2013

White House to push Senate to delay new Iran sanctions

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The White House will host a meeting of aides to Senate committee leaders on Thursday seeking to persuade lawmakers to hold off on a package of tough new sanctions against Iran over its nuclear program, a senior Senate aide said.

The White House will press for another delay on a sanctions bill that had been expected to come to a vote in the Senate Banking Committee last month, but was held back after appeals from President Barack Obama’s administration to let negotiations on Iran’s nuclear program get under way.

    • 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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