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Dec 18, 2013

U.S. Senator Baucus to be named ambassador to China-aides

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – U.S. Senator Max Baucus, a Montana Democrat who has taken a tough stance against some of China’s trade practices, will be nominated by President Barack Obama to be the next ambassador to Beijing, according to Senate aides.

Baucus, who announced earlier this year his intention to retire from the Senate at the end of next year, currently chairs the powerful Senate Finance Committee, which oversees tax and trade policy. He was first elected to the Senate in 1978.

Dec 18, 2013

U.S. Senate passes budget deal, focus shifts to spending

WASHINGTON, Dec 18 (Reuters) – The U.S. Senate passed a
two-year budget deal on Wednesday to ease automatic spending
cuts and reduce the risk of a government shutdown, but fights
were already breaking out over how to implement the budget pact.

By a vote of 64-36, the Senate sent the measure to President
Barack Obama to be signed into law, an achievement for a divided
Congress that has failed to agree on a budget since 2009.

Dec 17, 2013

Senate Republican leader McConnell to oppose Yellen

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – U.S. Senate Republican leader Mitch McConnell said on Tuesday he will oppose President Barack Obama’s appointment of Janet Yellen as the next head of the Federal Reserve, citing concerns about her willingness to defend the dollar.

Yellen, who nonetheless is expected to win Senate confirmation this week, has stirred McConnell’s concerns “about her commitment to the most important job of the central bank – maintaining the purchasing power of the dollar. After years of federal stimulus, we need a Fed chairman who is unquestionably committed to a strong dollar,” McConnell said in a statement.

Dec 13, 2013

Deal to quell U.S. budget wars sails through House vote

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – A breakthrough budget deal that avoids a government shutdown in January and blunts automatic spending cuts easily won passage in the U.S. House of Representatives on Thursday, setting the stage for nearly two years of fiscal peace in Congress.

The 332-94 bipartisan vote sends the measure to the Senate, which is expected to pass it next week despite the objections of conservative political groups that complain it violates a core goal of cutting government spending.

Dec 11, 2013

U.S. budget deal could usher in new era of cooperation

WASHINGTON, Dec 10 (Reuters) – A bipartisan budget deal
announced in the U.S. Congress on Tuesday, while modest in its
spending cuts, would end nearly three years of partisan
stand-offs between Democrats and Republicans that culminated in
October with a partial government shutdown.

Democratic Senator Patty Murray and Republican
Representative Paul Ryan appeared before reporters to announce
the $85 billion budget accord, which still must be approved by
the full Senate and House of Representatives.

Dec 10, 2013

Budget deal reached amid conservative opposition

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Budget negotiators in the Congress have reached an agreement on Tuesday that, if approved by the House and Senate, could restore some order to the nation’s chaotic budget process and avoid another government shutdown on January 15.

The chief negotiators, Democratic Senator Patty Murray and Republican Representative Paul Ryan, were to announce details at a news conference at 6 p.m. ET (2300 GMT).

Dec 10, 2013

U.S. budget deal nears amid conservative opposition

WASHINGTON, Dec 10 (Reuters) – Budget negotiators in the
U.S. Congress on Tuesday were wrapping up a tentative deal on a
budget plan to avoid a Jan. 15 government shutdown, amid
warnings from conservative groups that they would oppose it.

The plan does not purport to be any “grand bargain” that
would slash the federal deficit.

Dec 10, 2013

Conservative groups line up against emerging U.S. budget deal

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – As budget negotiators in the U.S. Congress tried to close a deal on Tuesday that would avoid a January 15 government shutdown, conservative groups were lining up in opposition to the measure, anticipating an uptick in federal spending.

Democratic Senator Patty Murray and Republican Representative Paul Ryan have been meeting in private for weeks in an attempt to sketch out overall federal spending for the rest of the fiscal year that began on October 1 and for the one that begins on October 1, 2014.

Dec 9, 2013

U.S. Congress budget talks could produce Tuesday deal, aides say

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – A budget deal aimed at avoiding a U.S. government shutdown on January 15 and relieving federal agencies of some indiscriminate spending cuts that are set to begin with the new year could emerge in Congress on Tuesday, congressional aides said on Monday.

Democratic Senator Patty Murray and Republican Representative Paul Ryan are scheduled to meet on Tuesday with the goal of finalizing a deal, according to aides who asked not to be identified.

Dec 8, 2013

Analysis: U.S. budget deal could bring truce, minimize shutdown threats

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – A minimalist U.S. budget deal that congressional negotiators hope to reach in coming days will do almost nothing to tame rising federal debt, but it could usher in a nearly two-year fiscal truce, minimizing the risk of future funding crises and government shutdowns.

If the accord comes together, it would blunt some of the automatic “sequester” spending cuts and set funding levels at around $1 trillion for fiscal 2014 and 2015 for government agencies and programs from the military to national parks.

    • 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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