WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Some members of the Congress say that getting straight answers from intelligence agencies about top-secret surveillance is like playing the game “20 Questions,” where answers come only if a questioner knows exactly what to ask.
They say quality of closed briefings depends largely on who conducts the sessions and whether members go in with a working knowledge of programs and pointed questions.
WASHINGTON, June 13 (Reuters) – Some members of the U.S.
Congress say that getting straight answers from intelligence
agencies about top-secret surveillance is like playing the game
“20 Questions,” where answers come only if a questioner knows
exactly what to ask.
They say quality of closed briefings depends largely on who
conducts the sessions and whether members go in with a working
knowledge of programs and pointed questions.
WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The Senate on Friday plunged into a spirited debate on overhauling the country’s immigration rules, with a verdict likely by the end of June on legislation that could define President Barack Obama’s final years in office.
The “Border Security, Economic Opportunity and Immigration Modernization Act,” a nearly 900-page reworking of the nation’s 27-year-old immigration law, faces a tough fight in the Democratic-held Senate and an even harder battle in the more conservative House of Representatives later this year.
WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Two leading Republican senators on Wednesday unveiled proposals requiring much tighter security on the U.S.-Mexico border before undocumented immigrants could gain legal status under the broad immigration bill the Senate is considering.
The two separate amendments by John Cornyn, the second-ranking Senate Republican, and Rand Paul, a potential 2016 presidential contender, are likely to draw fire from many Democrats who have said such provisions would erode the path to citizenship at the heart of the White House-backed bill.
WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Senator Frank Lautenberg of New Jersey, a liberal Democrat and the Senate’s last surviving World War II veteran, died on Monday from complications of viral pneumonia, his office said. He was 89 and will likely be temporarily replaced by a Republican.
President Barack Obama’s Democrats will retain control of the Senate, but they will have one less vote next week when the sharply divided chamber begins consideration of Obama’s top legislative priority, overhaul of the U.S. immigration system.
WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The biggest overhaul of U.S. immigration laws in a generation won bipartisan approval from a powerful U.S. Senate committee last week, but there is a strong chance that Republicans in the House of Representatives will end up killing it.
The problem: House Republicans are far from convinced by arguments from party leaders that passage of the bill would help Republicans draw support from Hispanic voters. Many also believe any kind of amnesty for the estimated 11 million immigrants who are in the United States illegally is just plain wrong.
WASHINGTON (Reuters) – U.S. President Barack Obama on Thursday chose a White House budget official to lead the beleaguered Internal Revenue Service temporarily and vowed to ensure that the tax-collection agency will not single out any more groups based on their political beliefs.
Danny Werfel, the controller of the Office of Management and Budget who served as a point man on the controversial automatic spending cuts known as “sequestration,” will start in the new post on May 22.
WASHINGTON (Reuters) – U.S. President Barack Obama said on Thursday he would install new leadership at the Internal Revenue Service and vowed to ensure that the tax-collection agency will not single out any more groups based on their political beliefs.
As Republicans and conservative groups accused Obama’s administration of using the levers of power to persecute political enemies, Obama raced to get out in front of a scandal that threatens to derail his second-term agenda.
WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Senate Republican leader Mitch McConnell called on President Barack Obama on Tuesday to make available for questioning everyone who knew about the Internal Revenue Service’s targeting of conservative groups, and demanded “no more stonewalling.”
With Congress preparing to hold hearings on the IRS’s holding conservative groups to extra scrutiny, McConnell said he was “calling on the president to make available, completely and without restriction, everyone who can answer the questions we have as to what was going on at the IRS, who knew about it, and how high it went.”
WASHINGTON (Reuters) – President Barack Obama on Monday called the targeting of conservative groups by U.S. tax officials “outrageous” and said that any Internal Revenue Service employees involved would be held accountable.
Obama’s comments, during a news conference with visiting British Prime Minister David Cameron, marked the first time the president had spoken publicly about the IRS scandal.