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May 18, 2015

U.S. Republican leader intends to extend surveillance plan

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – U.S. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said on Monday he intends to “responsibly extend” this week the provisions of the USA Patriot Act due to expire on June 1.

The provisions underpin the program in which U.S. spy agencies collect vast amount of data about Americans’ phone calls. Members of Congress have been debating whether to extend the program for two months or five years, allow it to expire or pass reforms.

May 14, 2015

U.S. House passes Iran nuclear review legislation

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The U.S. House of Representatives voted overwhelmingly on Thursday to pass legislation giving Congress the right to review, and possibly reject, an international nuclear agreement with Iran.

The 400-25 vote sends the legislation to the White House, where administration officials have said President Barack Obama will sign it into law.

May 14, 2015

U.S. surveillance reform bill faces uncertain Senate fate

WASHINGTON, May 14 (Reuters) – A bill to narrow spy
agencies’ power to collect Americans’ electronic data and
business records faced an uncertain fate in the Senate on
Thursday, even though it passed the U.S. House of
Representatives by an overwhelming majority.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and a group of
defense hawks want to renew provisions of the USA Patriot Act
that allowed the bulk collection of Americans’ data, rather than
approve a new law that would allow this, the USA Freedom Act
passed by the House on Wednesday.

May 13, 2015

House votes to end spy agencies’ bulk collection of phone data

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The U.S. House of Representatives approved a bill on Wednesday that would end spy agencies’ bulk collection of Americans’ telephone data, setting up a potential showdown with the U.S. Senate over the program, which expires on June 1.

The House voted 338-88 for the USA Freedom Act, which would end the bulk collection and instead give intelligence agencies access to telephone data and other records only when a court finds there is reasonable suspicion about a link to international terrorism.

May 8, 2015

Deadline may force compromise on U.S. surveillance law

WASHINGTON, May 8 (Reuters) – U.S. Senate Republican leaders
insist that spy agencies continue to have access to data on
Americans’ telephone calls despite a court ruling that the
practice is illegal, but aides said on Friday they may have to
compromise on proposed reforms of the program before it expires
on June 1.

Senate aides said the deadline could force supporters and
opponents of the bulk data collection program to work out a deal
before May ends. In practice the date may be even earlier as
Congress leaves Washington on May 22 for a Memorial Day recess.

May 7, 2015

U.S. Senate passes Iran nuclear review bill, House up next

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The U.S. Senate voted overwhelmingly on Thursday to pass a bill giving Congress the right to review, and potentially reject, an international nuclear agreement with Iran.

The 98-1 vote sent the measure to the House of Representatives, which is expected to consider it as soon as next week. The White House has said President Barack Obama would sign it into law if it also passes the House, as expected.

May 5, 2015

Senator says sees Iran nuclear bill vote as soon as Thursday

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The Republican leader of the U.S. Senate cleared the way on Tuesday for a vote on a bill that would give Congress the power to review an international nuclear agreement with Iran, ending debate over efforts to use the measure to impose more conditions on Tehran.

Republican Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said he had filed a “cloture” motion to begin the process of formally ending debate. Both Democrats and Republicans said they expected the Iran Nuclear Review Act would pass with strong support in the vote scheduled for Thursday.

Apr 30, 2015

Republican amendment fight threatens Iran bill in U.S. Senate

WASHINGTON, April 30 (Reuters) – A dispute among Republican
senators over changes to an Iran nuclear review bill on Thursday
threatened the measure’s chances of being passed by the U.S.
Congress, leaving Senate leaders scrambling for a way to advance
the legislation.

Two Republican senators, Tom Cotton and Marco Rubio, used an
unorthodox procedural move to try to force the Senate to vote on
their amendments to a bill authored by another Republican
senator, Bob Corker, that would give Congress the right to
review an international nuclear agreement with Iran.

Apr 30, 2015

U.S. senator and Iran foreign minister face off on Twitter

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Amid heated debate over Iran policy in the U.S. Senate, one of the leading congressional critics of the international negotiations with Tehran squared off with the country’s foreign minister on Twitter.

U.S. Senator Tom Cotton used the social media service to challenge Iranian Foreign Minister Javad Zarif to come to Washington for a debate on Iran’s “record of tyranny, treachery and terror” after Zarif mentioned Cotton in remarks at New York Univesity on Wednesday.

Apr 29, 2015

Senate rejects tying terrorism support to Iran sanctions relief

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The U.S. Senate rejected an effort on Wednesday to tie sanctions relief for Iran under an international nuclear agreement to a requirement that President Barack Obama certify that Tehran is not supporting acts of terrorism against Americans.

A handful of Republicans joined Senate Democrats to reject by a 54-45 vote a proposed amendment offered by Republican Senator John Barrasso that would have added the terrorism clause to a bill subjecting an international nuclear agreement to review by the U.S. Congress.

    • 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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