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Sep 22, 2013

Democrats, Republicans expect to avert U.S. government shutdown

WASHINGTON, Sept 22 (Reuters) – Key Democrats and
Republicans said on Sunday that they expect a bitterly divided
Congress to somehow come together and avert a U.S. government
shutdown in eight days.

But it remained unclear how they would do it and, more
importantly, who will blink over Republican demands to defund
President Barack Obama’s landmark overhaul of the U.S.
healthcare system, commonly known as Obamacare.

Sep 20, 2013

U.S. House taunts Democrats with anti-Obamacare spending bill

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – A familiar Washington melodrama – will they or won’t they shut down the government – took center stage on Friday when the Republican-controlled House of Representatives passed a bill to fund the government but only if President Barack Obama’s landmark healthcare law is ransacked.

Notching its 42nd vote against Obamacare and knowing full well that the Democratic Senate will reject it, Republicans in the House cast their vote, staged a noisy celebration in front of a placard declaring “SenateMustAct,” and then left town for several days to give time for the Senate to demolish its work.

Sep 20, 2013

Obama, Boehner locked in another budget battle as deadlines loom

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – President Barack Obama and House of Representatives Speaker John Boehner are gripped in another budget battle, but so far the two are shouting at each other from a distance instead of sitting down and negotiating as crucial deadlines rapidly approach.

While they might be playing a waiting game, the fact that they are not talking in a meaningful way – as they have during previous showdowns on fiscal issues – is itself becoming a side issue.

Sep 10, 2013

Russian proposal opens new U.S. options in Syria strike debate

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – President Barack Obama said on Monday the United States would explore Russia’s potential “breakthrough” plan to put Syria’s chemical weapons under international control but would keep the pressure on Damascus by asking Congress to authorize U.S. military strikes.

In a series of television interviews designed to persuade Congress and the American public of the need for intervention, Obama said he would pause any military action if Syria would relinquish control of its chemical weapons arsenal.

Sep 9, 2013

Russian proposal complicates U.S. Syria strike debate

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – President Barack Obama, struggling to gain support for U.S. military action in Syria, called Russia’s proposal on Monday to put Syria’s chemical weapons under international control a “potentially positive” move that should be viewed skeptically.

Democratic Senate leader Harry Reid pushed back a Senate test vote on whether to authorize military strikes against Syria that had been scheduled for Wednesday as lawmakers evaluate the Russian plan. The vote is still expected this week.

Sep 7, 2013

Big question on Syria vote: What will Senate Republican leader do?

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – What will Mitch do?

That’s a big question in the U.S. Capitol, where so far Senate Republican leader Mitch McConnell is the only one of the “Big Four” congressional leaders who has not backed President Barack Obama’s call for military strikes against Syria.

What McConnell will do is an even bigger question back home in Kentucky, where he is in a tough re-election campaign and under fire on this and other issues from the political right and left.

Sep 6, 2013

Obama’s plan on Syria hinges on undecided U.S. lawmakers

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The fate of a congressional resolution to authorize President Barack Obama’s planned military strikes on Syria hinged on Thursday on scores of undecided U.S. lawmakers, with party loyalty appearing increasingly irrelevant.

Even after congressional hearings featuring Obama’s secretaries of state and defense, a half dozen closed-door briefings and phone calls from Obama himself, it was too close to call on whether Congress will authorize military force.

Sep 5, 2013

Obama’s plan on Syria hinges on ‘undecideds’ in Congress

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The fate of a U.S. congressional resolution to authorize a military strike against Syria is in the hands of dozens of lawmakers from both parties who are so far publicly undecided on how they will vote.

With many Democrats non-committal, it could come down to President Barack Obama’s ability to persuade normally loyal liberals in his own party to stick with him.

Sep 4, 2013

Red-stained hands wave in protest at U.S. hearing on Syria

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Red-stained hands of anti-war protesters waved sporadically for hours on Wednesday behind Obama administration officials urging lawmakers to authorize military strikes against Syria.

The silent demonstration, led by the anti-war group Code Pink, involved about 10 activists. But an untold number of people worldwide saw it because the protest took place during a televised congressional hearing.

Sep 3, 2013

As Obama pushes to punish Syria, lawmakers fear deep U.S. involvement

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – President Barack Obama’s efforts to persuade the U.S. Congress to back his plan to attack Syria met with skepticism on Monday from lawmakers in his own Democratic Party who expressed concern the United States would be dragged into a new Middle East conflict.

“There is a lot of skepticism,” said Representative Jim Moran after taking part in a 70-minute phone briefing for Democratic lawmakers by Obama’s top national security aides about the response to a chemical weapons attack that U.S. officials say killed 1,429 people on the outskirts of Damascus.

    • 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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