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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.

Mar 31, 2014

Tax-reform advocate Camp won’t seek re-election to U.S. Congress

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – U.S. Representative Dave Camp, who tried and failed this year as chairman of the powerful House Ways and Means Committee to initiate an overhaul of the U.S. tax code, said on Monday he would not seek re-election in November.

“This decision was reached after much consideration and discussion with my family,” the 12-term, 60-year-old Michigan Republican said in a statement issued by the committee.

Mar 28, 2014

House Intelligence Committee Chairman Rogers to retire, host U.S. radio show

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Mike Rogers, the chairman of the House Intelligence Committee and an outspoken defender of U.S. surveillance programs, said on Friday he would leave Congress after this year to host a talk radio show for Cumulus Media Inc.

“I had a career before politics and always planned to have one after,” the Michigan Republican said in a statement. Rogers plans to start his Cumulus show in January, the Detroit News reported.

Mar 26, 2014

Congress to act swiftly on bill on doctor pay: Boehner

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Republican House Speaker John Boehner said on Wednesday he expected Congress to act swiftly on legislation to avert looming Medicare pay cuts for doctors after he and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, a Democrat, agreed to the proposal.

The House of Representatives will vote on Thursday on the legislation delaying the cuts for another year, Boehner said, adding he expected the Senate would follow “pretty quickly.”

Mar 16, 2014

Democrats seek ways to limit Obamacare fallout after Florida defeat

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – President Barack Obama and his Democrats face the challenge of limiting fallout from Obamacare and drumming up voter enthusiasm in the November congressional elections, problem areas exposed by the loss of a Florida candidate who had led in the polls.

The defeat of Democrat Alex Sink by Republican David Jolly in a special election last Tuesday has raised anxiety levels for Democrats as they struggle to hold on to control of the Senate in November and pick up seats in the Republican-held House of Representatives.

Mar 13, 2014

Deal reached in Senate to renew jobless benefits

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – A bipartisan deal to renew long-term jobless benefits for more than 2 million Americans was reached on Thursday by a group of 10 U.S. senators, five Democrats and five Republicans.

The measure would extend benefits by five months, dating back to December when the relief began to expire for those who have been out of work for six months or more.

Mar 13, 2014

Congress limits increases in cost of federal flood insurance

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – A bipartisan bill to protect millions of Americans from potentially unaffordable increases in the cost of federal flood insurance won final U.S. congressional approval on Thursday.

On a vote of 72-22, the Democratic-led Senate sent the measure, earlier approved by the Republican-led House of Representatives, to President Barack Obama to sign into law.

Mar 12, 2014

New bipartisan breeze in U.S. Senate, but will it last?

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The normally divided U.S. Senate moved forward on Wednesday with a new, bipartisan agreement designed to ease partisan gridlock.

If lawmakers succeed under the accord in coming days to pass a bill to upgrade a federal child-care program, it could serve as a model to approve other legislation. But it’s unlikely to lead to any sudden deals on stalled major legislation.

    • 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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