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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.

Mar 12, 2015

Senate committee advances ‘threat-sharing’ cybersecurity bill

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The U.S. Senate Intelligence Committee voted 14-1 on Thursday to approve a bill intended to enhance information sharing between private companies and intelligence agencies about cybersecurity threats.

The panel’s approval cleared the way for a vote in the full Senate on the measure, which would extend some legal liability protection to companies to make it easier for them to share data with the government to help prevent and respond to cyberattacks.

Mar 12, 2015

Republicans stand by Iran letter, despite furor

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – U.S. Senator John McCain said on Thursday that Republicans stood behind a letter to Iran’s leaders threatening to undo any nuclear deal despite an outpouring of criticism from the White House, U.S. allies and Democrats.

He said the Republican senators could have taken more time to talk about it, but he had no remorse.

Mar 12, 2015

U.S. Republicans stand by Iran letter, despite furore

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – U.S. Senator John McCain said on Thursday that Republicans stood behind a letter to Iran’s leaders threatening to undo any nuclear deal despite an outpouring of criticism from the White House, U.S. allies and Democrats.

He said the Republican senators could have taken more time to talk about it, but he had no remorse.

Mar 11, 2015

U.S. may be unable to defend its Syria recruits against Assad

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The United States does not appear to have clear-cut legal authority to protect Syrian rebels it trains from attack by forces loyal to Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, even under new war powers, U.S. Defense Secretary Ash Carter said on Wednesday.

Still, Carter told Congress, a final determination had not yet been made.

The remarks underscore the deep uncertainty surrounding a fledgling U.S. military-led training program expected to get under way in the coming weeks, first in Jordan, then at training sites in Turkey, Saudi Arabia and, later, Qatar, with the goal of training upwards of 5,000 fighters a year.

    • 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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