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Jan 5, 2015

Boehner faces conservative opposition in speaker vote

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – John Boehner is expected to be re-elected as House of Representatives Speaker on Tuesday, but a vocal and growing pocket of conservative opposition could hamper his ability to pass difficult legislation this year.

Representative Steve King of Iowa and Marlin Stutzman of Indiana on Monday became the latest prominent conservatives to announce they would vote against Boehner for a third term as speaker.

Dec 23, 2014

Exclusive – U.S. Senate Republican leader McConnell opposes Obama on Cuba

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Senate Republican leader Mitch McConnell said on Monday he opposed U.S. President Barack Obama’s plans to normalise relations with Cuba, and spoke of steps lawmakers might take to rein in the new policy.

Interviewed by Reuters, McConnell also said that he and the president, a Democrat, had discussed possible major tax reform legislation and that any effort should not focus on the country’s biggest corporations alone, but also include help for small businesses.

Dec 23, 2014

Senate Republican leader McConnell opposes Obama on Cuba

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Senate Republican leader Mitch McConnell said on Monday he opposed U.S. President Barack Obama’s plans to normalize relations with Cuba, and spoke of steps lawmakers might take to rein in the new policy.

Interviewed by Reuters, McConnell also said that he and the president, a Democrat, had discussed possible major tax reform legislation and that any effort should not focus on the country’s biggest corporations alone, but also include help for small businesses.

Dec 16, 2014

Firebrand Senator Ted Cruz apologizes for U.S. spending bill ruckus

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – U.S. Senator Ted Cruz, the Texas Tea Party firebrand who nearly provoked the second government shutdown in a little over a year, on Tuesday apologized to his fellow Republicans for a strategy that backfired.

A Cruz spokeswoman said the senator apologized to colleagues “for inconveniencing their personal schedules” over the weekend. Cruz still believes, the spokeswoman said, that fighting to stop President Barack Obama’s new program easing deportations for millions of illegal immigrants “was critically important.”

Dec 14, 2014

In U.S. spending bill, a tall tale for fishermen

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The fine print of a massive $1.1 trillion spending bill before the United States Congress includes a passage considered a “high priority” by lawmakers that could resolve a burning issue among the country’s 40 million anglers: does the federal government need to regulate fishing tackle?

The unexpected provision buried in the 1,603-page bill tracks back – as so much legislation does in Washington – to an influential lobbying group, the National Rifle Association.

Dec 14, 2014

Senate moves toward vote on $1.1 trillion spending bill

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The threat of a government shutdown began to lift on Saturday as Democratic and Republican leaders in the Senate struck a deal for a vote on a $1.1 trillion federal spending bill, ending a dispute fueled by Tea Party firebrand Ted Cruz.

A Senate Democratic leadership aide said procedural and final votes on the measure could come in the next few hours.

Dec 13, 2014

Senate passes shutdown reprieve, funding fight drags on

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The Senate passed a five-day extension of federal funding on Saturday, staving off a government shutdown and buying lawmakers more time to resolve a fight over a longer, $1.1 trillion spending bill led by Tea Party firebrand Ted Cruz.

It was the second time in a little over a year that Cruz, the Texas Republican freshman with presidential aspirations, has attempted to stop a key Obama administration initiative by denying government funds. In this case, Cruz was targeting Obama’s executive order that offered millions of undocumented immigrants relief from the threat of deportation.

Dec 13, 2014

U.S. Congress limping to end of raucous post-election session

WASHINGTON, Dec 13 (Reuters) – The U.S. Congress, hobbled
all year by partisan infighting, was struggling to pass basic
measures such as funding the government and extending popular
tax breaks.

With its back up against a midnight Saturday deadline for
paying for government programs for the next nine months,
lawmakers held a rare weekend session to try to advance the
must-do measures.

Dec 13, 2014

U.S. Senate aims to vote Monday on $1.1 trln spending bill

WASHINGTON, Dec 12 (Reuters) – The U.S. Senate on Friday
struggled to pass a $1.1 trillion spending bill that would avert
a looming federal government shutdown, postponing a vote until
Monday when procedural hurdles begin to evaporate.

Negotiations between Democrats and Republicans to speed the
process along collapsed during late-night talks in the nearly
abandoned U.S. Capitol.

Dec 13, 2014

U.S. spending bill likely to pass Senate, may take a few days

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The U.S. Senate looked set to pass a $1.1 trillion spending bill but it might need a few days to overcome procedural hurdles before voting on legislation that averts a government shutdown and ends jitters over major budget standoffs until next fall.

After the House of Representatives narrowly approved the bill late on Thursday following a battle that exposed fraying unity in President Barack Obama’s Democratic Party, Senate Democratic leader Harry Reid hoped the bill would pass on Friday to spare Americans the drama of yet another budget crisis.

    • 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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