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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.

Mar 18, 2015

Pelosi sees ‘lively discussion’ of Middle East peace after Israel vote

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – U.S. Representative Nancy Pelosi, the top Democrat in the House of Representatives, said on Wednesday she respected the results of Israel’s election and anticipated they would produce a “lively” discussion of the Middle East peace process.

“The people of Israel have spoken,” she said at a news conference. “I respect the results that they have produced. I think that what they have produced will be a continued lively discussion about the peace process.”

Mar 18, 2015

With Israeli vote in, Netanyahu could remain thorn in Obama’s side

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – After six years of testy relations, U.S. President Barack Obama may have to resign himself to the likelihood that he has not seen the last of Benjamin Netanyahu.

A better-than-expected showing by the Israeli prime minister in Tuesday’s closely fought election raises the prospect that he could remain a thorn in Obama’s side, with the two men increasingly at odds over Iran diplomacy and Middle East peacemaking.

Mar 16, 2015

U.S. Senate panel could vote on Iran nuclear bill next week

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The U.S. Senate Foreign Relations Committee could vote as soon as next week on a 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 Monday.

Obama has threatened to veto the bill, saying it impinged on presidential authority and could disrupt the talks.

Mar 16, 2015

May defense bill vote seen in U.S. House, acquisition reform in works

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The U.S. House of Representatives is moving toward a vote in mid-May on the annual half-billion-dollar defense policy bill, U.S. Representative Mac Thornberry, chairman of the House Armed Services Committee, said on Monday.

Thornberry also said he plans to introduce next week legislation to reform the U.S. defense acquisition process. There is no schedule yet for a vote on that bill in the House, he told a news briefing, saying he first wanted to open up the process for comments.

    • 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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