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May 6, 2013

Battle over immigration bill starts in Congress

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The Congress this week opens its first debate in six years on a comprehensive immigration reform bill, testing whether business and labor groups can hold together on a delicately crafted deal that already is under attack.

For 11 million illegal residents, the legislation in the Senate is their best hope of removing the threat of deportation and charting a path to eventual U.S. citizenship after a major push in Congress to reform a 1986 law died in 2007.

May 6, 2013

U.S. think tank says immigrant amnesty would worsen deficits

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Granting legal status to 11 million undocumented foreigners living in the United States would significantly add to government budget deficits, according to a study released on Monday by the conservative Heritage Foundation.

Heritage, a think tank headed by former Senator Jim DeMint, has assumed a leading role in opposition to a bipartisan, comprehensive immigration bill being considered by the U.S. Senate.

Apr 29, 2013

Senate foes of gun bill suffer in polls

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Five senators – four Republicans and one Democrat – could face voter backlash for opposing President Barack Obama’s bid to expand background checks for gun buyers, opinion polls released on Monday showed.

According to the surveys conducted by Public Policy Polling, a private firm based in Raleigh, N.C., respondents said they are more apt to oppose than support these lawmakers for re-election for joining other senators in rejecting a bipartisan background check measure on April 17.

Apr 27, 2013

FBI’s longtime director faces criticism of bureau again

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – As he nears the end of a dozen years as director of the FBI, Robert Mueller finds himself defending the agency over its handling of two high-profile cases. It is a familiar spot for the low-key ex-Marine.

At the request of President Barack Obama, Mueller stayed on for two years beyond the job’s 10-year term to help stabilize law enforcement’s fight against domestic and international threats to U.S. security. Recent events – the bombing at the Boston Marathon and ricin-laced letters sent to Obama and a U.S. senator – have left Mueller dealing with suggestions that agency missteps may have added to the damage.

Apr 25, 2013

Senate foe of Obama’s gun-control bid may face voter backlash

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Republican Senator Kelly Ayotte of New Hampshire faces a possible voter backlash along with critical ads from gun control advocates following her vote against President Barack Obama’s bid to curb gun violence.

According to a survey by Public Policy Polling released Wednesday, Ayotte’s approval rating stands at 44 percent, down 15 points since October when the organization last conducted a poll on her. The poll of 933 New Hampshire voters, from April 19 to April 21, had a margin of error of plus or minus 3.2 percent.

Apr 25, 2013

Key U.S. lawmakers hopeful bipartisan immigration bill will pass

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Two authors of a bipartisan bill to revamp immigration laws said on Thursday they are hopeful most Senate Democrats and Republicans will support their White House-backed measure.

“It is very doable,” Republican Senator John McCain of Arizona said of the prospects of attracting wide bipartisan backing. Democratic Senator Charles Schumer of New York agreed.

Apr 23, 2013

Senate Democrat Baucus to retire, may focus on tax revamp

WASHINGTON, April 23 (Reuters) – Max Baucus, the powerful
Democratic chairman of the U.S. Senate Finance Committee, said
on Tuesday he will not seek re-election next year, improving
Republican chances of capturing his seat and giving him a freer
hand to revamp the tax code.

First elected to the Senate in 1978, Baucus, 71, will become
the eighth senator – six Democrats and two Republicans – to
announce plans to retire at the end of next year.

Apr 23, 2013

Top Democrat Baucus, head of finance panel, to retire: aide

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Max Baucus, the powerful Democratic chairman of the Senate Finance Committee, said on Tuesday he will not seek re-election next year, improving Republican chances of capturing his seat and giving him a freer hand to revamp the tax code.

First elected to the Senate in 1978, Baucus, 71, will become the eighth senator – six Democrats and two Republicans – to announce plans to retire at the end of next year.

Apr 9, 2013

Two senators key to Obama’s push for broader checks of gun buyers

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The fate of one of President Barack Obama’s key gun-control proposals appeared on Monday night to be in the hands of two senators: one Democrat, the other Republican, both of them longtime opponents of restrictions on guns.

Democratic Senator Joe Manchin of West Virginia and Republican Senator Pat Toomey of Pennsylvania are seeking a compromise on expanding background checks for prospective gun buyers. The proposal appears to be Obama’s best hope for meaningful gun-control legislation in the wake of the December massacre of 20 children and six adults at a school in Connecticut, where the president spoke Monday evening to a crowd that included some victims’ families.

Mar 31, 2013

Senate group resolves key issues on immigration reform: lawmakers

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – With U.S. business and labor now in agreement, a bipartisan group of U.S. senators has resolved all major issues in a pending deal to overhaul the U.S. immigration system and aims to unveil it after Congress reconvenes in the second week of April, key lawmakers said on Sunday.

The lawmakers said that while there was no final deal yet, they hope and even expect there to be one soon after the measure is put into legislative language so all eight senators in the bipartisan group can review it.

    • 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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