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Apr 22, 2015

U.S. Republicans move to extend spies’ power to collect phone data

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – In a move likely to re-ignite public debate in America over electronic spying, Republicans have introduced a bill in the Senate to extend a controversial law empowering the government’s bulk collection of U.S. telephone records.

President Barack Obama and many in Congress want to retain the mass data-collection program as a national security tool but want substantial changes in the program, which was secret until disclosed two years ago by former NSA contractor Edward Snowden.

Apr 21, 2015

Senate may face contentious debate on Iran nuclear bill

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The U.S. Senate could plunge into a heated debate on legislation giving Congress the power to review a nuclear deal with Iran as soon as Wednesday, as some Republicans sought to change the bill to take a harder line on any agreement.

The Senate Foreign Relations Committee voted 19-0 last week for a compromise version of the bill, in a rare display of bipartisan unity in the deeply divided Congress.

Apr 21, 2015

U.S. House seen passing cyber threat information bill Wednesday

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The U.S. House of Representatives is expected to consider, and pass, on Wednesday a long-awaited bill that would make it easier for companies to share information about cyber security threats with the government without fear of lawsuits.

Congressional aides said on Tuesday they expected lawmakers would take up the bill during Wednesday’s House session and that it would pass with support from both Republicans and Democrats.

Apr 15, 2015

In setback, Obama concedes Congress role on Iran deal

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – U.S. President Barack Obama conceded on Tuesday that Congress will have the power to review a nuclear deal with Iran, reluctantly giving in to pressure from Republicans and some in his own party after they crafted a rare compromise demanding a say.

The role for the Republican-controlled Congress injects a new element of uncertainty into the delicate final stages of negotiations between major powers and Iran aimed at curbing Tehran’s nuclear programme in exchange for sanctions relief.

Apr 14, 2015

Obama drops objection to letting Congress vote on Iran deal

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – U.S. President Barack Obama dropped his opposition on Tuesday to a bill giving Congress a voice on a nuclear deal with Iran after members of his Democratic Party negotiated changes to the bill that had won strong support from both parties.

White House spokesman Josh Earnest said Obama, who had said he would veto the proposed bill because it could scuttle the emerging Iran deal, could accept compromises that drew bipartisan Senate support.

Apr 14, 2015

U.S. Senate panel takes step toward Congress vote on Iran deal

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Leaders of the U.S. Senate Foreign Relations Committee reached agreement on Tuesday on revisions to a bipartisan bill that would allow Congress to vote on an international agreement to rein in Iran’s nuclear program.

Committee Chairman Bob Corker and the panel’s top Democrat, Senator Ben Cardin, said they had worked out new wording which they hope will attract enough support to overcome a possible veto by President Barack Obama.

Apr 14, 2015

U.S. Senate foreign relations leaders reach deal on Iran bill

WASHINGTON, April 14 (Reuters) – Republican and Democratic
leaders of the U.S. Senate Foreign Relations Committee reached a
compromise agreement that would shorten Congress’ review of any
final Iran nuclear deal to 52 days under an Iran nuclear bill,
the panel’s chairman, Republican Senator Bob Corker, said on
Tuesday.

A Senate aide said the compromise, which will be considered
by the full committee later on Tuesday, would give Congress 30
days to review the deal, 12 days for a possible veto of
congressional action by President Barack Obama and then 10 days
for an override vote.

Apr 14, 2015

Supporters scramble for compromise on U.S. Senate Iran bill

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – U.S. senators scrambled to shore up bipartisan support for a controversial Iran nuclear bill before a committee meeting on Tuesday that could determine whether the legislation will survive President Barack Obama’s promised veto.

The Senate Foreign Relations Committee is scheduled to debate and vote on Tuesday afternoon on the measure put forward by Senator Bob Corker, the panel’s chairman, that would give Congress a vote on any final nuclear agreement with Iran.

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.

    • 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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