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Apr 17, 2015

Clinton faces early test on U.S.-Pacific Rim trade deal fight

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Less than a week after formally launching her presidential campaign, Hillary Clinton is already being tested on a thorny issue for Democrats: free-trade deals and their impact on workers.

The issue is a backdrop for almost any global economic affairs debate in Washington, with many Democrats and their backers arguing that free-trade deals help big corporations, but drive American jobs abroad to cheaper labor markets.

Apr 15, 2015

Back-to-back victories buck up U.S. Congress, tough tests ahead

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The “do-nothing” U.S. Congress may actually be starting to do things.

One-hundred days into the Republican takeover of Capitol Hill, even some hard-bitten politicians are musing hopefully over the prospect of getting work done in an institution that is now synonymous with gridlock and a frequent source of nationwide angst and ire over the state of American politics.

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

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 1, 2015

Menendez’s fate could sharpen Republicans’ edge in U.S. Senate

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Reports that Democratic U.S. Senator Robert Menendez could face corruption charges raised the possibility on Wednesday of Republicans gaining a 55th Senate seat to strengthen their hand in policy fights with Democratic President Barack Obama.

The New Jersey senator is likely to face charges soon related to his dealings with a donor and friend, Florida-based opthalmologist Salomon Melgen, according to a source and media reports on Tuesday.

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.

    • 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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