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Jul 28, 2015

U.S. Congress moves to 3-month highway extension; trade bank stays idled

WASHINGTON, July 28 (Reuters) – In a rapidly shifting
battle, Republican leaders in the U.S. Congress on Tuesday
prepared to pass a three-month highway funding extension while
leaving the idled Export-Import Bank’s fate hanging at least
into September.

With the House of Representatives and Senate rushing toward
a five-week summer recess, Republican leaders in both chambers
embraced the newest version of a bill to temporarily fund road
and mass transit construction projects.

Jul 28, 2015

U.S. Senate aims to vote on defunding Planned Parenthood

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – U.S. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell is planning a vote in coming days on Republican legislation halting federal funding for Planned Parenthood, following the release of secretly recorded videos about its role in supplying aborted fetal tissue for medical research.

“The leader is working with his members to address this horrific issue and intends to have a vote before we leave” for a five-week summer recess, said McConnell spokesman Michael Brumas.

Jul 24, 2015

Republican White House hopeful Cruz calls McConnell a liar

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Republican presidential candidate Ted Cruz ripped into his party’s establishment on Friday, calling Senate Republican leader Mitch McConnell a liar during an unusual public attack on the floor of the Senate.

Amid intense maneuvering over an ambitious $340 billion transportation bill, Cruz railed that McConnell and the Senate’s new Republican majority were serving the interests of big money lobbyists and corporations, because of a move to offer an amendment to reauthorize the U.S. Export-Import Bank.

Jul 24, 2015

U.S. probing possible price-gouging by airlines after rail crash

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – U.S. authorities are investigating
possible price gouging by four U.S. airlines while train service
was disabled between New York and Washington after a deadly
Amtrak crash in Philadelphia in May, the Transportation
Department said on Friday.

Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx said the investigation
involved Delta Air Lines Inc, American Airlines Group
Inc, Southwest Airlines Co and JetBlue Airways
Corp in the Northeast Corridor.

Jul 23, 2015

Fiscal issues to haunt U.S. Congress after its August recess

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – After notching a few legislative accomplishments this year, the U.S. Congress is fast approaching a test of its core ability to govern, with the convergence of a series of fiscal challenges that if botched could lead to a government shutdown and even default.

In September, lawmakers must agree on funding levels for the Oct. 1 start to the next fiscal year or face agency shutdowns like those that vexed Washington and unnerved financial markets for more than two weeks in October 2013.

Jul 22, 2015

Iran pushes nuclear deal as U.S. lawmaker aims to stop it

DUBAI/WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Iran’s pragmatist government tried on Wednesday to sell its nuclear agreement with world powers to hardliners at home, just as a U.S. Congressional leader promised to do “everything possible” to sink the deal.

With both Tehran and Washington facing stiff opposition to the accord, U.S. Defense Secretary Ash Carter arrived in Saudi Arabia in the hope of reassuring leaders there who fear their arch-rival Iran will make major mischief in the region.

Jul 15, 2015

U.S. senators introduce bankruptcy bill for Puerto Rico

NEW YORK/WASHINGTON, July 15 (Reuters) – U.S. Democratic
senators introduced on Wednesday a bill to allow Puerto Rico’s
public entities to file for bankruptcy under federal laws as the
U.S. territory starts negotiations with creditors to restructure
$72 billion in debt.

Puerto Rico’s public entities currently cannot make use of
Chapter 9 bankruptcy laws as entities in U.S. states can and
instead have to renegotiate their debts with creditors.

Jul 14, 2015

Pro-Israel groups in U.S. waste no time attacking Iran deal

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Within hours of the unveiling on Tuesday of a nuclear pact between Iran and six world powers, the loudest pro-Israel voice in Washington was warning the U.S. Congress of problems, marking the onset of what promises to be a furious lobbying campaign.

The American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC) said in a statement it was “deeply concerned” that the deal “would fail to block Iran’s path to a nuclear weapon and further entrench and empower the leading state sponsor of terror.”

Jul 12, 2015

Senate leader says Congress will block some Obama moves on Cuba

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The top Senate Republican said on Sunday that Congress is likely to block any nominee that President Barack Obama names as ambassador to Cuba and retain broad economic sanctions, even as Obama moves to establish diplomatic and economic ties with the Communist-run island.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, interviewed on the “Fox News Sunday” television program, said the Senate is unlikely to confirm any U.S. ambassador to Havana nominated by Obama.

Jul 12, 2015

Congress promises rough ride for any nuclear deal with Iran

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The top Republican in the U.S. Senate cast doubt on Sunday on whether President Barack Obama would be able to win approval in Congress for any nuclear deal with Iran, and some Democrats also expressed reservations.

“I think it’s going to be a very hard sell, if it’s completed, in Congress,” Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell told “Fox News Sunday”. “We already know it’s going to leave Iran as a threshold nuclear state.”

    • 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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