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Aug 18, 2014

Republican-turned-independent former U.S. Senator Jeffords dies

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – James Jeffords, a soft-spoken Vermonter whose defection from the Republican Party in 2001 created an unprecedented power shift in the U.S. Senate and gave Democrats control of the chamber for 18 months, has died at age 80, U.S. Senator Patrick Leahy said on Monday.

The statement from Leahy, a Democrat from Vermont, did not offer any details about the circumstances of Jeffords’ death.

May 21, 2014

Pelosi inclined to appoint Democrats to Benghazi panel: senior aide

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – U.S. House of Representatives Democratic leader Nancy Pelosi “is now leaning toward” appointing Democratic members to a special panel investigating the 2012 attack on a U.S. diplomatic compound in Benghazi, Libya, a senior Democratic aide said on Wednesday.

The aide stressed to Reuters that no decision had yet been made. Negotiations between Pelosi and House Speaker John Boehner on the operation of the special congressional panel also was still under discussion, the aide said.

May 14, 2014

U.S. Senate Democrats offer student debt refinance bill

WASHINGTON, May 14 (Reuters) – U.S. Senate Democrats
unveiled legislation on Wednesday to allow millions of Americans
with student loan debt to refinance at lower interest rates.

Democrats said their measure would let holders of both
federal and private undergraduate loans – some with rates of 9
percent or higher – to refinance at 3.86 percent.

May 14, 2014

U.S. Senate Democrats offer bill on refinancing of student debt

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – U.S. Senate Democrats unveiled legislation on Wednesday to allow millions of Americans with student loan debt to refinance at lower interest rates.

Democrats said their measure would let holders of both federal and private undergraduate loans – some with rates of up to 8 and 9 percent and more – to refinance at 3.86 percent.

May 12, 2014

U.S. Senate Republicans block energy bill, forfeit Keystone vote

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – U.S. Senate Republicans on Monday blocked an energy-efficiency bill backed by manufacturers and environmentalists, forfeiting a chance to vote on the long-delayed Keystone XL oil pipeline.

On a nearly party-line vote of 55-36, President Barack Obama’s Democrats fell short of the 60 votes needed to advance the bipartisan energy bill supported by the White House.

May 8, 2014

U.S. Senator Landrieu questions Republican commitment to Keystone

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Democratic U.S. Senator Mary Landrieu accused Republicans on Wednesday of being more interested in exploiting the long-delayed Keystone XL oil pipeline project as an election issue than in voting to build it.

In a speech on the Senate floor, Landrieu, who represents the oil-producing state of Louisiana where public support for Keystone runs high, urged Republican leaders to reverse themselves and accept a deal offered by Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid.

Apr 30, 2014

U.S. Senator Reid opens door to Keystone pipeline vote

WASHINGTON, April 29 (Reuters) – U.S. Senate Majority Leader
Harry Reid, in an abrupt election-year shift in strategy, opened
the possibility on Tuesday of allowing a vote on congressional
approval of the long-delayed Keystone XL oil pipeline.

“I’m open to anything that will move energy efficiency,”
Reid, a long-time foe of the project, told reporters.

Apr 9, 2014

Senate Republicans block Obama-backed pay equity bill

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Republicans in the U.S. Senate on Wednesday blocked a Democrat-supported bill aimed at addressing a gap in pay between male and female workers.

On a 53-44 vote, supporters fell short of the 60 votes needed to advance the bill. Republicans called the measure a political ploy whose purpose was to attract women voters to the Democratic side in the November elections.

Apr 9, 2014

Obama to mark U.S. civil rights law that paved way for his presidency

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – President Barack Obama this week celebrates the civil rights advances of 50 years ago which laid the groundwork for him to become the first black president, but his own record in making life better for the African-American community that catalyzed his election is mixed.

Obama will join former presidents Jimmy Carter, Bill Clinton and George W. Bush in speaking at the Lyndon Baines Johnson presidential library in Austin, Texas, this week to mark a half century since Johnson’s landmark 1964 Civil Rights Act.

Apr 7, 2014

U.S. Senate votes to extend jobless benefits, faces divided House

WASHINGTON, April 7 (Reuters) – The Democratic-led U.S.
Senate passed a bill on Monday to restore expired jobless
benefits for 2.4 million Americans who have been out of work for
at least six months.

President Barack Obama responded by urging the
Republican-led House of Representatives to give the measure
final approval so he can sign it into law. But it was unclear if
it would do so.

    • About Thomas

      "Thomas Ferraro joined Reuters in 1998; he has helped cover a number of presidential campaigns and is a veteran of Capitol Hill where he has seen Democratic and Republican majorities rise and fall. He has also covered a number of Supreme Court confirmation battles, including those of four nominees now on the highest U.S. court."
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