Susan's Feed
Jun 12, 2015

Obama drops in at congressional ball game on eve of trade vote

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – On the eve of a vote in Congress that could determine the fate of his Pacific Rim trade pact, President Barack Obama put in a surprise appearance on Thursday night at the annual congressional ball game between Republicans and Democrats.

Obama brought along beer to be awarded to the winning team and watched part of the contest on a muggy night at the ballpark that is home to Major League Baseball’s Washington Nationals.

Jun 11, 2015

As Congress debates, annual baseball game awaits

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Democrats and Republicans take their age-old rivalry from the halls of Capitol Hill to the open air of a professional sports stadium on Thursday for an annual congressional baseball game whose stakes could hardly be higher.

Since 1909, when Democrats and Republicans began a tradition of donning gloves and playing each other once a year, the two sides have won an equal number of games, the organizers’ website says.

Jun 10, 2015

Congress must fix Obamacare if court guts it: U.S. official

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The U.S. Congress and states would have to fix Obamacare if the Supreme Court disallows its tax subsidies that help people pay for insurance coverage, U.S. Health and Human Services Secretary Sylvia Burwell said on Wednesday.

Anti-Obamacare libertarian activists are fighting to strip the subsidies from 6.4 million Americans in 34 states who use the plan and a ruling in their favor would mark a significant setback for President Barack Obama’s signature healthcare law.

Jun 10, 2015

U.S.’ Burwell defends Obamacare ahead of Court decision

WASHINGTON, June 10 (Reuters) – U.S. Health and Human
Services Secretary Sylvia Burwell on Wednesday defended
President Barack Obama’s signature health care law to
congressional critics ahead of a Supreme Court decision expected
later this month that could cripple the program.

“Today, thanks to the Affordable Care Act (ACA), middle
class families have more security, and many of those who already
had insurance now have better coverage,” Burwell said in
prepared remarks to the House of Representatives Ways and Means

Jun 9, 2015

Whistleblower faults U.S. agency for lax airport screening

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The U.S. agency that screens passengers for explosives and weapons at airport checkpoints has been handing out passes for expedited screening “like Halloween candy,” a whistleblower told a U.S. Senate committee on Tuesday.

Becky Roering, a security official at the Minneapolis-St. Paul airport, testified about the “PreCheck” program run by the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) at a hearing of the Senate Homeland Security Committee.

Jun 5, 2015

U.S. lawmakers urge action on cyber bill after latest hacking

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – U.S. lawmakers urged Congress on Friday to pass legislation permitting sharing of cyber threat information between companies and the government, after one of the largest known cyber attacks on federal networks.

“It’s impossible to overstate this threat … We need to act quickly,” said Senator Dianne Feinstein, a co-sponsor of the “Cybersecurity Information Sharing Act” and the leading Democrat on the Senate Intelligence Committee.

Jun 4, 2015

As Supreme Court Obamacare case looms, Republicans split on response

WASHINGTON/NEW YORK (Reuters) – U.S. Republicans face a potential political backlash from voters if the Supreme Court rules soon against President Barack Obama’s healthcare law, and are split over what to do about it, with some calling on the Obama administration for help.

But the White House, perhaps sensing a chance to blame Republicans for trouble, is showing no outward signs of crafting a contingency plan in case of an adverse outcome in King v. Burwell, expected to be ruled on by the end of this month.

May 15, 2015

U.S. Congress better when political ‘extremists’ are weak: poll

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The U.S. Congress is more effective when political “extremists” have less clout, most Americans said in a Reuters-Ipsos poll that also showed the public still has a dim view of Congress, despite a run of legislative achievements this year.

Reinforcing the idea that the November 2014 elections were about Americans wanting more effective government, the poll found that 57 percent of those surveyed said Congress is more effective “when the extremists on either side don’t have as much leverage,” while 22 percent disagreed with this.

May 12, 2015

Obama, McConnell missteps undercut trade pact in U.S. Senate

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – President Barack Obama and Senator Mitch McConnell have seldom worked together and it showed on Tuesday, when the political odd couple failed to persuade the U.S. Senate to move forward with a Pacific Rim trade treaty they both favor.

By hitting the brakes, at least for now, on the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) at the center of Obama’s legacy-defining foreign policy pivot to Asia, Senate Democrats put the president and Senate Republican Leader McConnell on notice.

May 8, 2015

Democrats suspect Benghazi panel delaying Clinton appearance

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Democrats complained on Friday that a congressional panel probing the 2012 attack on U.S. diplomatic facilities in Benghazi, Libya, appeared to be putting off calling Hillary Clinton to testify, prolonging a partisan attack on her.

Former Secretary of State Clinton has been hounded by the Benghazi inquiry. A Republican-led House of Representatives investigatory panel set up last year is digging deeper as Clinton ramps up her 2016 campaign for the White House.