congressional correspondent
Thomas's Feed
Jul 16, 2013

U.S. senators fail to cut deal, head for showdown on filibuster

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – U.S. senators failed to reach a deal on Monday to avert a showdown over President Barack Obama’s executive-branch nominees and threats by Democrats to strip Republicans of their power to block such nominations with procedural hurdles known as filibusters.

Emerging from a meeting of all 100 senators that lasted more than three hours, Majority Leader Harry Reid, a Nevada Democrat, said talks would go on. But it was unclear if the two sides would find common ground before Tuesday’s scheduled votes on seven nominees.

Jul 15, 2013

Reid warns of using Senate ‘nuclear option’ on filibusters

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid warned Republicans on Monday that if they do not permit seven of President Barack Obama’s executive-branch nominees to be confirmed, he would move to strip the Republicans of their power to stop such nominations using the procedural hurdle called a filibuster.

Reid, the top Democrat in the Congress, threatened to invoke a procedural power play known as the “nuclear option” to change the Senate rules so that a filibuster in the 100-member chamber could be ended with a simple majority vote rather than the current requirement of 60 votes.

Jul 14, 2013

Reid, McConnell yield no ground in U.S. filibuster showdown

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The U.S. Senate’s top Democrat and Republican yielded no ground on Sunday as they neared a showdown over President Barack Obama’s executive-branch nominees that could dramatically change how the Senate operates.

Appearing on NBC’s “Meet the Press,” Senate Democratic Leader Harry Reid charged that Republican obstructionism has prevented Obama from getting much of his second-term team in place.

Jul 11, 2013

Senate heads toward showdown on Obama nominees

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid on Thursday said he will schedule votes next week on a number of President Barack Obama’s embattled executive-branch nominees, setting up a showdown with Republicans over rules used to block confirmations.

Unless Republicans permit them all to be confirmed, Reid, a Nevada Democrat, may move to strip Republicans of their ability to block nominees with procedural hurdles known as filibusters, Democratic aides said.

Jul 11, 2013

U.S. House Republicans divided on immigration reform

WASHINGTON, July 10 (Reuters) – Republicans in the U.S.
House of Representatives emerged from an immigration meeting on
Wednesday divided over whether to help the 11 million
undocumented people living in the United States, but eager to
bolster border security.

Several lawmakers said there appeared to be no consensus
over calls for granting legal status to the 11 million, many of
whom have lived in the United States for years, after a 2
1/2-hour closed-door session.

Jul 10, 2013

Obama pushes House Republicans on immigration

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – President Barack Obama jumped into the immigration debate on Wednesday, releasing a report touting economic benefits from reforms and meeting with Hispanic lawmakers, as House of Representatives Republicans gathered to try to craft their response.

The release of the White House report signaled a new outspokenness by Obama, who made immigration a top legislative priority but stayed on the sidelines of the debate that raged in the Senate in May and June. The report said passing reforms would grow the economy by 3.3 percent by 2023 and reduce the deficit by almost $850 billion over 20 years.

Jul 9, 2013

Obama’s Democrats threaten to end filibusters in Senate

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, frustrated by a dysfunctional and unpopular Congress that has been unable to perform basic tasks such as agreeing on a federal budget, may soon seek an unprecedented rules change in the Senate.

The Nevada Democrat’s aim would be to strip Republicans of their ability to stop President Barack Obama’s judicial and executive branch nominees with procedural roadblocks known as filibusters, which also have been used to halt much of the president’s legislative agenda.

Jun 28, 2013

Senate passes sweeping immigration legislation

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The U.S. Senate approved a landmark immigration bill on Thursday that would provide millions of undocumented immigrants a chance to become citizens, but the leader of the House of Representatives said the measure was dead on arrival in the House.

In a rare show of bipartisanship, the Democratic-controlled Senate passed the bill by a vote of 68-32, with 14 of the Senate’s 46 Republicans joining all 52 Democrats and two independents in support of the bill.

Jun 26, 2013

Senate backs border amendment to immigration bill

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – About $46 billion in border security was added on Wednesday to a comprehensive immigration bill headed toward bipartisan passage in the U.S. Senate, but Republicans in the House of Representatives voiced strong opposition.

The Democratic-led Senate is expected to approve the White House-backed bill on Thursday or Friday and send it to the House, which likely will not even bring it up for a vote, largely because of resistance to a proposed pathway to citizenship for up to 11 million undocumented immigrants in the United States.

Jun 25, 2013

Obama, Democrats vow to act on voter rights after ruling

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – President Barack Obama and Democrats in Congress on Tuesday promised to act swiftly to restore protections for the voting rights of African Americans and other minorities after the Supreme Court struck down a core provision of the 1965 Voting Rights Act.

It was unclear whether Republicans, who control the House of Representatives, would provide the support needed for any legislative effort to offset the high-court ruling, which was denounced by critics as a setback for civil rights.

    • 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