congressional correspondent
Thomas's Feed
Aug 30, 2013

White House gives Congress new evidence of chemical arms use in Syria

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The Obama administration on Thursday gave American lawmakers what it called fresh evidence that Syria’s government was behind a chemical weapons attack, but faced strong resistance to military action from both U.S. political parties and a stinging rejection from Britain, a key ally.

During a conference call at the end of a difficult day for the White House, U.S. officials told members of Congress there was “no doubt” that chemical weapons were used in Syria last week. Obama aides cited intercepted communications of Syrian officials and evidence of movements by Syria’s military around Damascus before the attack that killed more than 300 people, said U.S. Representative Eliot Engel, the top Democrat on the House Foreign Affairs Committee.

Aug 2, 2013

McCain’s deals and ‘wacko-bird’ barbs are priceless for Obama

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Republican U.S. Senator John McCain accidentally walked in on President Barack Obama this week when he was addressing a Democrats-only meeting of senators.

“Come on in, John,” Obama shouted.

A red-faced McCain turned around and headed out to chuckles and then applause from the Democrats. “My mistake,” McCain said.

Aug 2, 2013

Analysis: McCain’s deals and ‘wacko-bird’ barbs are priceless for Obama

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Republican U.S. Senator John McCain accidentally walked in on President Barack Obama this week when he was addressing a Democrats-only meeting of senators.

“Come on in, John,” Obama shouted.

A red-faced McCain turned around and headed out to chuckles and then applause from the Democrats. “My mistake,” McCain said.

Jul 31, 2013

Obama mulls Fed pick, defends Summers on 2009 stimulus

WASHINGTON, July 31 (Reuters) – U.S. President Barack Obama
pushed back on Wednesday against criticism of his former
economic adviser, Lawrence Summers, who is seen as a leading
candidate to become the new chairman of the Federal Reserve,
Democratic lawmakers said.

Obama rejected recent complaints, largely from liberals,
that Summers had not been aggressive enough in seeking
economic-stimulus funds from Congress in 2009, lawmakers said.

Jul 29, 2013

Senate confirms Comey to be next FBI director

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Former Deputy U.S. Attorney General James Comey, a Republican who gained fame when he refused to sanction a government surveillance initiative in 2004, won Senate confirmation on Monday as President Barack Obama’s pick to head the FBI. The vote was 93-1.

Comey, 52, will replace Robert Mueller, who has led the bureau since shortly before the September 11, 2001, attacks on the United States.

Jul 18, 2013

McCain: ‘We are not winning’ push for immigration reform

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Senator John McCain admitted on Thursday that he and other backers of immigration reform “are not winning,” and must boost efforts to get the House of Representatives to pass such a bill.

McCain said proponents – who include businesses, churches and labor – will wage an aggressive campaign in selective congressional districts next month to make the case for a comprehensive overhaul of U.S. immigration laws.

Jul 18, 2013

U.S. Senate panel approves Comey to be next FBI director

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee on Thursday unanimously approved President Barack Obama’s nomination of James Comey, a Republican who earlier served as an independent-minded official in the Justice Department, as FBI director.

The nomination now goes to the full Senate, which is expected to confirm Comey to replace Robert Mueller, who has led the bureau since shortly before the September 11, 2001 attacks on the United States.

Jul 17, 2013

Obama submits new labor board nominees to Senate

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – As part of its bargain to avert a Senate battle over procedural rules, the White House on Tuesday nominated two labor lawyers for the National Labor Relations Board, replacing two previous nominees.

President Barack Obama named Nancy Schiffer and Kent Hirozawa as nominees to the five-member board, which oversees union elections and enforces labor laws, the aide said.

Jul 17, 2013

Senate reaches deal on Obama nominees, filibusters

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Senate Democrats backed away on Tuesday from a possible historic crackdown on filibusters in exchange for a Republican commitment not to use the procedural hurdles to stop some of President Barack Obama’s long-stalled nominations.

The bipartisan agreement, reached after days of talks and jockeying for political position, will allow Obama to fill out his second-term team with top administrators overseeing efforts to protect workers, consumers and the environment.

Jul 16, 2013

Obama to submit new labor board nominees to Senate: aide

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – As part of its bargain to avert a Senate battle over procedural rules, the White House will nominate two labor lawyers for the National Labor Relations Board, replacing two previous nominees, a senior Democratic aide said on Tuesday.

Nancy Schiffer and Kent Hirozawa will be named by President Barack Obama as nominees to the five-member board, which oversees union elections and enforces labor laws, the aide said.

    • 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."
    • Follow Thomas