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Jun 7, 2013

Long debate over immigration begins in Senate

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.

Jun 5, 2013

Senate Republicans push tougher border plans in U.S. immigration bill

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.

Jun 3, 2013

Democratic Senator Lautenberg of New Jersey dies at 89

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.

May 26, 2013

Will immigration reform get killed in Republican-led House?

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.

May 16, 2013

Obama picks temporary IRS head as Tea Party rallies on scandal

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.

May 16, 2013

Obama vows to fix IRS as Tea Party rallies on Capitol Hill

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.

May 14, 2013

McConnell tells Obama ‘no more stonewalling’ in IRS scandal

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.”

May 13, 2013

Obama slams IRS actions, calls Benghazi probe a ‘sideshow’

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.

May 13, 2013

Obama calls IRS actions outrageous, seeks to neutralize crises

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – President Barack Obama sought on Monday to neutralize two crises that threatened his second term agenda, calling the apparent targeting of conservative groups by tax officials “outrageous” and an uproar over his response to American deaths in Libya a “sideshow.”

At a news conference with visiting British Prime Minister David Cameron, Obama tried to put his stamp on the two issues, which are overshadowing other policy priorities just months after he took the oath of office.

May 10, 2013

U.S. IRS singling out of ‘Tea Party’ being investigated

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – An investigation of the U.S. Internal Revenue Service was launched on Friday after a senior IRS official publicly apologized for subjecting conservative political groups to “inappropriate” scrutiny.

In a practice that drew complaints during the 2012 election campaign, groups with the words “Tea Party” or “patriots” in their names were flagged for closer IRS review when they applied to the agency for tax-exempt status.

    • 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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