Susan's Feed
Aug 2, 2012

Senator breaks with no tax pledge in hunt for budget deal

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Republican Senator Lindsey Graham said on Thursday his party’s anti-tax orthodoxy needed to be revisited, sparking interest from a senior Democrat who pledged to work with him to try to avoid deep automatic budget cuts set for early next year.

Graham, a conservative Republican, said he did not agree with fellow Republicans who thought any money saved by closing tax loopholes and eliminating tax deductions must go toward lowering tax rates, as opposed to using the savings for deficit reduction.

Jul 17, 2012

U.S. House urges adding Haqqani group to terrorist list

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The U.S. House of Representatives on Tuesday urged the State Department to designate the Pakistan-based Haqqani network as a foreign terrorist group, pressing the Obama administration to get tougher on an issue that already has strained ties with Islamabad.

On a voice vote, lawmakers approved a bill that referred to the Haqqani network as “the most dangerous of Afghan insurgent groups battling U.S.-led forces in eastern Afghanistan.”

Jul 17, 2012

Senators gird for fight over U.S. Navy’s “Green Fleet”

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Senators who support the Pentagon’s push to expand its use of biofuels said they have a plan to answer critics who argue the fuel is far too expensive to help develop at a time when the military faces massive cuts.

The battle on Capitol Hill comes as the Navy’s “Great Green Fleet” prepares to run military exercises in the central Pacific that will, on Thursday, feature its first operational test of biofuels.

Jul 12, 2012

Russian delegation hits Washington to lobby against “Magnitsky” sanctions

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The Russians are coming to Washington; in fact, they are already here. But they aren’t happy.

A Russian parliamentary delegation is in the U.S. capital to lobby American lawmakers against a bill sanctioning Russian officials implicated in human rights abuses — a move Moscow considers offensive outside interference in its affairs.

Jun 26, 2012

Senate panel approves “Magnitsky” sanctions on Russia

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – A U.S. Senate panel on Tuesday unanimously approved a bill that would penalize Russian officials for human rights abuses, a measure with broad support in Congress that Russia protests would be an unwarranted intrusion into its internal affairs.

The Senate Foreign Relations Committee passed the “Sergei Magnitsky Rule of Law Accountability Act,” named after an anti-corruption lawyer who died in 2009 after a year in Russian jails. It is sponsored by Democratic Senator Ben Cardin.

Jun 19, 2012

US Senate panel delays vote on “Magnitsky” sanctions on Russia

WASHINGTON, June 19 (Reuters) – A Senate panel on Tuesday
postponed by one week a vote on a measure to penalize Russian
officials for human rights abuses, a bipartisan bill opposed by
Russia and facing resistance from the Obama administration.

The Senate Foreign Relations Committee had been scheduled to
vote on the “Sergei Magnitsky Rule of Law Accountability Act”
at a meeting on Tuesday afternoon. But the bill was taken off
the agenda after Democratic Senator Jim Webb requested a delay.

Jun 19, 2012

Senate’s “Magnitsky” bill could keep names secret

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – A draft proposal to penalize Russian officials for human rights abuses has been rewritten in the Senate to let the U.S. government keep secret some names on the list of abusers, congressional aides said on Monday.

The reworked Senate version, which could still change, upset some supporters of the legislation to create what is known as the “Magnitsky list.” They said that keeping part of the proposed list secret would neuter the effect of the bill, which is aimed at exposing human rights violators in Russia.

Jun 11, 2012

U.S. to exempt India, not China, from Iran sanctions

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The United States extended exemptions from its tough, new sanctions on Iran’s oil trade to seven more economies on Monday, leaving China the last remaining major importer exposed to possible penalties at the end of the month.

In the latest sign Washington is working with other countries to pressure Iran’s nuclear program, India, South Korea, Turkey and four more economies will receive waivers from financial sanctions in return for significantly cutting purchases of Iranian oil, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said.

Jun 8, 2012

Obama says he’s offended by charges of purposeful leaking

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – U.S. President Barack Obama said on Friday he was offended by allegations that his White House had leaked classified national security information to embellish his record as he seeks re-election in November.

At a news conference, Obama said he had zero tolerance for such leaks and would root out those responsible for the recent revelations, because “in some cases it’s criminal – these are criminal acts when they release information like this.”

Jun 7, 2012

Calls grow for outside probe of U.S. national security leaks

WASHINGTON, June 7 (Reuters) – Congressional intelligence
committee leaders turned up the heat on the White House over
alleged national security leaks on Thursday, with the head of
the Senate Intelligence Committee suggesting she might be
willing to join Republican demands for an investigation by a
special counsel.

Senator Dianne Feinstein, the committee’s Democratic
chairwoman, told reporters she needed more time to consider
Republican demands – voiced earlier this week by Senator John
McCain and committee vice chair Saxby Chambliss – for a special
counsel to probe how highly sensitive secrets were disclosed to
news media.