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Mar 26, 2015

Boehner, Pelosi show gridlock is not U.S. Congress’s only option

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Maybe it was the kiss that John Boehner planted on Nancy Pelosi’s cheek that early January day in front of the entire House of Representatives that should have provided a clue.

Not long afterward, Boehner, the Republican Speaker of the House, dispatched a top healthcare adviser to a secret meeting with his counterpart working for Pelosi, the Democratic leader.

Mar 26, 2015

Schock leaves U.S. Congress, notes Abe Lincoln had troubles too

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – U.S. Representative Aaron Schock, who became more famous for his abdominal muscles and “Downton Abbey”-style office decor than for his legislative accomplishments, on Thursday cited God, the Bible and Abraham Lincoln in his farewell to Congress.

The 33-year-old Illinois Republican, first elected to the U.S. House of Representatives in 2008, had just cast his final vote as he resigns from Congress, ending – at least for now – what had been called a promising political career.

Mar 23, 2015

U.S. attorney general nominee seen on hold until at least mid-April

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – President Barack Obama’s nomination
of Loretta Lynch to become the next attorney general is likely
to be put on hold in the U.S. Senate until at least mid-April,
congressional aides said on Monday, as Republicans and Democrats
squabble over unrelated legislation.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell is insisting that a
bill clamping down on domestic human trafficking be passed
before a vote is held on confirming Lynch to the top law
enforcement job.

Mar 19, 2015

Defense hawks in U.S. Congress move to boost military budgets

WASHINGTON, March 19 (Reuters) – Republican defense hawks in
the U.S. Congress moved on Thursday to boost military funding in
their budget plans, setting up a clash with fiscal conservatives
in their party as the spending blueprints head to crucial votes
next week.

The Republican-controlled Senate Budget Committee approved
its plan with an amendment to add $38 billion to an off-budget
war funding account to boost military spending for fiscal 2016.

Mar 19, 2015

House budget debate could set off defense battle

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Defense hawks in the U.S. House of Representatives will push for more robust 2016 military spending next week, Speaker John Boehner said on Thursday, setting the stage for a potentially contentious debate as the House lays out its budget blueprint.

“There is overwhelming support in our conference for providing additional resources to protect our national security,” Boehner told reporters.

Mar 18, 2015

Senate paralyzed over human trafficking, Lynch nomination

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – For the second time in two days, the U.S. Senate on Wednesday failed to break a legislative deadlock that has left the fate of a human trafficking bill in doubt and put U.S. attorney general nominee Loretta Lynch in limbo.

By a vote of 57-41, three short of the minimum needed, the bill cracking down on domestic human trafficking failed to clear a procedural hurdle.

Mar 12, 2015

Child illegal migration to U.S. slows but still flowing

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The rush of Central American children entering the United States illegally has eased from last year’s crisis levels but remains brisk, according to new government data, and immigration experts fear the onset of warm weather could bring another surge.

More than 68,000 children traveling without parents, mainly from Honduras, Guatemala and El Salvador, were detained last year for entering the United States without immigration documents.

Mar 12, 2015

Obama briefed on latest Secret Service scandal – White House

By Roberta Rampton and Richard Cowan

(Reuters) – President Barack Obama has been briefed on an
incident in which two Secret Service officers are alleged to
have driven a government-issued car into White House barricades
last week after a party, a White House official said on
Thursday.

The incident, which is under investigation, comes on the
heels of a series of scandals about the conduct and leadership
of the agency that protects the president and his family.

Mar 6, 2015

House freshmen Republicans vow to press conservative demands

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Bruised but undeterred, some of the far-right Republicans who picked a fight in Congress and lost this week over funding the U.S. domestic security agency say they’re just getting started.

The views of a handful of first-term conservatives who spoke with Reuters after the Department of Homeland Security battle suggest more conflict among Republicans lies ahead.

Mar 4, 2015

Lawmakers gear up for Supreme Court Obamacare fray

By Richard Cowan

WASHINGTON(Reuters) – War rooms of lawmakers and their aides in the U.S. Congress are working furiously to try to influence the Supreme Court’s nine justices who will hear arguments on Wednesday on the future of President Barack Obama’s landmark healthcare law.

These informal working groups, staffed by Republican and Democratic members of Congress, have gone into high gear in recent days.

    • About Richard

      "I have been a Washington correspondent for Reuters since 2001. I have written about climate change and the environment, the U.S. Congress, politics, economic issues and agricultural trade disputes."
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