Congressional Correspondent
Patricia's Feed
Mar 11, 2015

Senate Democrats oppose ‘blank check’ for Islamic State fight

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – U.S. Senate Democrats made clear on Wednesday they have serious concerns about President Barack Obama’s war authorization request for his campaign against Islamic State, despite appeals from top administration officials for bipartisan support for the plan.

“Democrats are not willing to … give this or any other president an open-ended authorization for war, a blank check,” Senator Robert Menendez, the top Democrat on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, said at a hearing as senators begin considering Obama’s request for a formal authorization for the seven-month-old campaign against Islamic State.

Mar 10, 2015

Obama war request in trouble in Congress, mostly from Democrats

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – U.S. President Barack Obama’s request to authorize military force against Islamic State has made little progress since he sent it to Congress, and it may never pass, due largely to opposition from his fellow Democrats.

Obama asked Congress for an authorization for the use of military force (AUMF) against Islamic State a month ago, after agitation from lawmakers worried that the military campaign he began in August overstepped his constitutional authority.

Mar 10, 2015

Republicans warn Iran nuclear deal with Obama may not last

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Forty-seven Republican U.S. senators warned Iran’s leaders on Monday that any nuclear deal with President Barack Obama could last only as long as he remains in office, an unusual partisan intervention in foreign policy that could undermine delicate international talks with Tehran.

The open letter was signed by all but seven of the Republicans in the Senate and none of Obama’s fellow Democrats, who called it a “stunt.” Iranian Foreign Minister Javad Zarif dismissed it as a “propaganda ploy” from pressure groups he called afraid of diplomatic agreement.

Mar 9, 2015

Republicans warn Iran against nuclear deal with Obama

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Republican U.S. senators warned Iran’s leaders on Monday that any nuclear deal with President Barack Obama could last only as long as he remains in office, an unusual partisan intervention into foreign policy that could undermine delicate international talks with Tehran.

The open letter made public on Monday was signed by 47 senators, all but seven of the Republicans in the Senate, but none of Obama’s fellow Democrats, who called it a “stunt”. It says Congress plays a role in ratifying international agreements and points out that Obama will leave office in January 2017.

Mar 7, 2015

U.S. said to ready criminal charges against Sen. Menendez

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The U.S. Justice Department is preparing criminal corruption charges against New Jersey Democratic Senator Robert Menendez, CNN reported on Friday.

Citing unnamed sources briefed on the case, CNN said the charges center on allegations Menendez used his office to promote the business interests of a Democratic Party donor and friend in exchange for gifts.

Mar 6, 2015

U.S. said to prepare corruption charges against Sen. Menendez

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The U.S. Justice Department is preparing criminal corruption charges against New Jersey Democratic Senator Robert Menendez, CNN reported on Friday.

Citing unnamed sources briefed on the case, CNN said the charges center on allegations that Menendez used his office to promote the business interests of a Democratic donor and friend in exchange for gifts.

Mar 5, 2015

Senate Iran debate postponed after Democrats object

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Republican U.S. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell on Thursday postponed plans to debate and vote next week on a bill requiring President Barack Obama to submit any nuclear agreement with Iran to Congress for approval.

Many Democrats, including the bill’s co-sponsors, had not wanted a vote before an end-March deadline set by international negotiators for reaching a framework agreement to curb Iran’s nuclear program.

Mar 5, 2015

Boehner, other top House members urge weapons for Ukraine

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – U.S. House of Representatives Speaker John Boehner and other senior Republican and Democratic House members urged U.S. President Barack Obama to quickly authorize lethal weapons for Ukraine as it battles Russian-backed separatists, according to a letter released on Thursday.

“We urge you to quickly approve additional efforts to support Ukraine‚Äôs efforts to defend its sovereign territory, including through the transfer of lethal, defensive weapons systems to the Ukrainian military,” they wrote in a letter, dated Wednesday and signed by eight Republicans and three Democrats.

Mar 4, 2015

Analysis – U.S. Congress’ backing of Netanyahu on Iran more show than substance

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – While Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s address to the U.S. Congress generated loud applause and worldwide headlines, it is unlikely to lead to new legislation or a shift in U.S. policy towards Iran.

Although Netanyahu won praise from the Republicans who invited him to speak on Tuesday and who control the U.S. Senate and House of Representatives, he faced fierce criticism from Democrats including Barack Obama whose support is crucial to pushing new legislation through, U.S. lawmakers said.

Mar 4, 2015

U.S. Congress’ backing of Netanyahu on Iran more show than substance

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – While Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s address to the U.S. Congress generated loud applause and worldwide headlines, it is unlikely to lead to new legislation or a shift in U.S. policy toward Iran.

Although Netanyahu won praise from the Republicans who invited him to speak on Tuesday and who control the U.S. Senate and House of Representatives, he faced fierce criticism from Democrats including Barack Obama whose support is crucial to pushing new legislation through, U.S. lawmakers said.

    • 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"
    • More from Patricia

    • Contact Patricia

    • Follow Patricia