Susan's Feed
Feb 1, 2013

Defense industry in late surge to stop spending cuts

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – An anxious U.S. defense industry has launched a new push to galvanize lawmakers who are doing little to stop the massive federal spending cuts due to kick in on March 1.

Defense contractors started a fresh surge of letter-writing campaigns and meetings with U.S. officials to plead their case about why the billions of dollars in cuts known as sequestration would harm not only the defense sector but the larger economy.

Jan 31, 2013

Republican maverick Hagel forged bond with Obama over Iraq

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – From his lonely position as an early Republican critic of the Iraq war, former Nebraska Senator Chuck Hagel sometimes lectured his more timid Senate colleagues. “If you wanted a safe job, go sell shoes,” he told them.

President Barack Obama’s nominee for defense secretary began a Senate confirmation process on Thursday that revived the contentious relations the fiercely independent Vietnam war veteran had with fellow Republicans over his political career.

Jan 30, 2013

Some lawmakers on panel reviewing gun control are gun owners

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Republican Senator Lindsey Graham keeps an AR-15 at home, a semi-automatic rifle similar to the weapon used recently in the mass shooting at a Newtown, Connecticut, school. But he is far from the only U.S. lawmaker who has a gun.

At least seven of the 18 members of the Senate Judiciary Committee, which is considering gun-control legislation, own firearms, according to senators and their staffs.

Jan 29, 2013

NRA head to Congress: Don’t blame gun owners for violence

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The National Rifle Association will argue that greater restrictions are not the answer to gun violence at a Senate hearing on Wednesday, which is likely to stoke skepticism that legislation to tighten controls will advance very far this year.

NRA Executive Vice President Wayne LaPierre, in testimony released on Tuesday on the eve of the Senate Judiciary Committee hearing, showed no signs of backing down from opposition to gun controls advocated by President Barack Obama and Democratic lawmakers after a mass shooting at a Connecticut elementary school in December.

Jan 25, 2013

Exclusive: NRA senior lobbyist says attack ad was “ill-advised”

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – One of the National Rifle Association’s senior lobbyists said an ad by the nation’s leading gun-rights group after a school shooting in Connecticut that refers to President Barack Obama’s children was “ill-advised.”

Jim Baker, head of the federal affairs division at the NRA’s Institute for Legislative Action, said he had made his views known to others at the powerful gun-rights organization.

Jan 17, 2013

Thwarted before, advocates of gun background checks now hopeful

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The last time the U.S. Congress took a good look at toughening gun laws, in 2010, it was standing room only in a Capitol Hill committee room as Colin Goddard, a survivor of the mass shooting at Virginia Tech, urged lawmakers to act.

They didn’t. And Goddard, who was shot four times but survived the 2007 university massacre in which 32 people were killed, says he believes that lawmakers were intimidated by the U.S. gun rights lobby.

Jan 8, 2013

In ‘fiscal cliff’ bill, White House was key to corporate tax breaks

WASHINGTON, Jan 7 (Reuters) – As the U.S. Congress rushed
last week to approve a “fiscal cliff” tax bill that raised
income taxes on the wealthy, Washington lobbyists were fretting
over a drama that was playing out within the negotiations:
whether the bill would include about $64 billion in tax breaks
for businesses.

The bill extended several tax breaks backed by both parties,
including $14.3 billion in credits for research and development
projects for thousands of U.S. businesses. But it also had other
provisions – breaks for companies involved in wind energy, auto
racing, rum, Hollywood films and much more.

Jan 6, 2013

Newsmaker: Republican maverick Hagel forged bond with Obama over Iraq

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – From his lonely position as an early Republican critic of the Iraq war, former Nebraska Senator Chuck Hagel sometimes lectured his more timid Senate colleagues. “If you wanted a safe job, go sell shoes,” he told them.

Now Democratic President Barack Obama, putting together his team for his second term, is poised to chose the intensely independent thinker to run the Pentagon. If Hagel is confirmed by the Senate, he will have to oversee the withdrawal of U.S. troops from another war zone – Afghanistan – and grapple with spending cuts.

Jan 6, 2013

Republican maverick Hagel forged bond with Obama over Iraq

WASHINGTON, Jan 6 (Reuters) – From his lonely position as an
early Republican critic of the Iraq war, former Nebraska Senator
Chuck Hagel sometimes lectured his more timid Senate colleagues.
“If you wanted a safe job, go sell shoes,” he told them.

Now Democratic President Barack Obama, putting together his
team for his second term, is poised to chose the intensely
independent thinker to run the Pentagon. If Hagel is confirmed
by the Senate, he will have to oversee the withdrawal of U.S.
troops from another war zone – Afghanistan – and grapple with
spending cuts.

Dec 20, 2012

State Department seeks more money, vows reforms after Benghazi

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The U.S. State Department will seek billions of dollars in new funds and revamp security procedures around the globe in response to a critical independent probe into the September 11 attack on the U.S. mission in Benghazi, Libya, senior State Department officials said on Thursday.

U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s two top deputies appeared at a Senate hearing and conceded that U.S. officials had failed to “connect the dots” ahead of the attack, which killed U.S. Ambassador to Libya Christopher Stevens and three other Americans.