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Jun 27, 2014

Calls in U.S. Congress for refugee status for Central American kids

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Some leading members of the U.S. Congress are calling on the Obama administration to consider launching an emergency refugee program for Central American children as one way to address a rapidly escalating humanitarian crisis at the southern border with Mexico.

Tens of thousands of children from Guatemala, El Salvador and Honduras are showing up illegally, often without any parents or relatives, at the Texas border. Their numbers could reach 90,000 this year and grow to 150,000 next year – up from only about 6,000 in 2011, according to government estimates.

Jun 16, 2014

White House moves on funding for possible Iraq action: congressional aides

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The White House is putting together a proposal to shift some money that had been designated for use in Afghanistan for possible military operations in Iraq, congressional aides said on Monday.

As they formulate a response to the Iraq crisis, White House officials have told lawmakers they will submit this week or next a request to Congress for “Overseas Contingency Operations” funding, carving out some money for Iraq that had previously been anticipated for use in Afghanistan.

Jun 15, 2014

Defeated U.S. Congress leader Cantor leaves political options open

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – U.S. congressional leader Eric Cantor took to the airwaves on Sunday to try to rebuild his political reputation after a stunning primary election loss that has shaken the Republican Party, and refused to rule out a future run for public office.

The House of Representatives majority leader, who since 2011 has held the No. 2 job in the 435-member chamber, will step down on July 31 after losing his bid to be his party’s candidate for an eighth two-year term as a congressman from Virginia.

Jun 12, 2014

House Republican No. 2 Cantor to step down after election shock

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – A shock primary election defeat for Eric Cantor, the No. 2 Republican in the U.S. House of Representatives, left his political party in chaos on Wednesday as financial markets worried the shakeup might renew budget fights that in the past have caused government shutdowns and near credit defaults.

Cantor, who has served as House Majority Leader since 2011, unexpectedly lost in Tuesday’s vote to college economics professor David Brat, an activist in the Tea Party movement, which wants to reduce federal government spending and taxes and advocates for a smaller government.

Jun 11, 2014

U.S. Republicans in leadership scramble after shock election loss

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Republican lawmakers are scrambling to identify the party’s future leaders after the shock primary election defeat of Eric Cantor, the No. 2 Republican in the House of Representatives, by an upstart candidate from the Tea Party movement.

House Majority Leader Cantor was defeated on Tuesday in a primary race in his Virginia district by a political rookie backed by the conservative Tea Party, which will see the result as an opportunity to increase its influence in Congress.

Jun 10, 2014

Senate panel seeks $2.28 billion to aid immigrant children

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – A Senate panel, responding to what President Barack Obama calls an “urgent humanitarian situation,” on Tuesday advanced legislation significantly increasing funds to handle a surge of foreign children entering the United States illegally.

Democratic Senator Barbara Mikulski, who chairs the Senate Appropriations Committee, included up to $2.28 billion for the Department of Health and Human Services to feed and shelter the estimated 130,000 minors expected to arrive in the fiscal year that begins on Oct. 1.

Jun 2, 2014

Obama creates group to handle children entering U.S. illegally

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – President Barack Obama established an interagency group on Monday to handle the growing influx of children coming to the United States illegally without parents or relatives accompanying them.

In a memo that describes an “urgent humanitarian situation,” Obama has put the Federal Emergency Management Agency in charge of coordinating humanitarian relief to the children, including housing, care, medical treatment and transportation.

May 28, 2014

Waves of immigrant minors present crisis for Obama, Congress

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Tens of thousands of children unaccompanied by parents or relatives are flooding across the southern U.S. border illegally, forcing the Obama administration and Congress to grapple with both a humanitarian crisis and a budget dilemma.

An estimated 60,000 such children will pour into the United States this year, according to the administration, up from about 6,000 in 2011. Now, Washington is trying to figure out how to pay for their food, housing and transportation once they are taken into custody.

May 22, 2014

U.S. Senate eyes early June vote on nominees for swaps regulator

WASHINGTON, May 22 (Reuters) – The U.S. Senate aims to vote
to confirm three candidates to the Commodity Futures Trading
Commission in early June, a senior Democratic aide said on
Thursday, to fill a leadership gap at the futures and swaps

The agency played a crucial role in reforming financial
markets after the 2007-2009 credit crisis, bringing largely
unregulated swaps trading by Wall Street giants such as Bank of
America and JPMorgan under its control.

May 21, 2014

GM adds 284,000 older cars as number of U.S. recalls this year hits 29

DETROIT/WASHINGTON (Reuters) – General Motors Co is recalling more than 284,000 older Chevrolet small cars in the United States and other markets because of a potential fire hazard, bringing U.S. recalls at the automaker this year to 29 and a record number of vehicles.

The two recalls are the latest announced by GM, the largest U.S. automaker. The recall with the highest profile was of cars with defective ignition switches linked to at least 13 deaths. The Detroit company has been criticized by safety advocates and fined by U.S. safety regulators for its delayed response in catching the faulty switch.

    • 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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