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Apr 13, 2015

Kerry to ask Congress for more time and space on Iran deal

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry will make the case this week to skeptical Republicans and Democrats that the U.S. Congress should give him another two and a half months to secure a final nuclear deal with Iran.

In closed briefings with the full House of Representatives on Monday and the Senate on Tuesday, the chief U.S. diplomat also hopes to blunt legislation that would giving Congress the opportunity to approve or reject sanctions relief in the deal.

Apr 10, 2015

U.S. State Dept. recommends removing Cuba from terrorism list: Senate source

WASHINGTON/KINGSTON, Jamaica (Reuters) – The U.S. State Department has recommended that President Barack Obama remove Cuba from the U.S. list of state sponsors of terrorism, a U.S. Senate Foreign Relations Committee aide said on Thursday.

Obama, speaking while on a short visit to Jamaica, said only that the State Department had completed its review but that he was waiting for a recommendation from his advisers and would not announce a decision on Thursday.

Apr 9, 2015

U.S. liberal groups push congressional Democrats on Iran nuclear bills

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – U.S. progressive groups rallied on Thursday to persuade Democratic senators not to support a bill giving Congress a vote on a nuclear deal with Iran, echoing the White House’s insistence that the measure could blow up delicate negotiations.

Five groups – CREDO, Daily Kos, Democracy for America, Political Action and USAction – sent a letter warning Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid, Minority Whip Richard Durbin and seven other Democratic U.S. Senate leaders that they would hold them accountable if they backed legislation seen as detrimental to the talks.

Apr 1, 2015

Menendez stepping aside as top Democrat on U.S. Senate panel

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – U.S. Senator Robert Menendez will temporarily step aside as ranking member, or top Democrat, on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, in the wake of his indictment on corruption charges, two Senate aides said on Wednesday.

Democratic Senators Barbara Boxer and Benjamin Cardin are the next most senior Democrats on the influential panel.

Apr 1, 2015

Menendez’s fate could sharpen Republicans’ edge in U.S. Senate

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Reports that Democratic U.S. Senator Robert Menendez could face corruption charges raised the possibility on Wednesday of Republicans gaining a 55th Senate seat to strengthen their hand in policy fights with Democratic President Barack Obama.

The New Jersey senator is likely to face charges soon related to his dealings with a donor and friend, Florida-based opthalmologist Salomon Melgen, according to a source and media reports on Tuesday.

Mar 31, 2015

Congress, Obama head for Iran showdown, regardless of talks outcome

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – U.S. Republicans will push ahead with legislation reflecting their deep mistrust of a nuclear deal with Iran whatever the outcome of talks between Tehran and major powers in Switzerland, setting up further confrontation with President Barack Obama.

Just what action they will take – and how much support they get from Democrats – depends on the details agreed by negotiators from United States, Britain, France, Germany, Russia and China in Lausanne who are edging toward a preliminary deal due by the end of Tuesday.

Mar 27, 2015

Japan PM Abe to address joint session of Congress

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe will address a joint meeting of the U.S. Senate and House of Representatives on April 29, becoming the first Japanese leader to do so.

Abe will spend eight days on a state visit expected to focus on joint responses to growing Chinese assertiveness in Asia, including his moves to loosen the constraints of Japan’s pacifist, postwar constitution on the military.

Mar 26, 2015

Japanese PM Abe invited to address U.S. Congress on April 29

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe has been invited to address a joint meeting of the U.S. Senate and House of Representatives on April 29, during a visit to Washington, becoming the first Japanese leader to make such an address.

U.S. Speaker of the House John Boehner said Abe’s speech will provide an opportunity for Americans to hear from a close ally about ways to expand cooperation on economic and security priorities.

Mar 26, 2015

U.S. House committee advances ‘threat-sharing’ cybersecurity bill

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The U.S. House of Representatives Intelligence Committee voted unanimously on Thursday to advance a long-awaited bill that would make it easier for companies to share information about cybersecurity threats with the government without the fear of lawsuits.

A committee spokesman said the panel approved the measure unanimously, by voice vote, during a closed meeting. The legislation is expected to come before the full House as soon as late April, after lawmakers return from a two-week early April recess.

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.

    • 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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