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Mar 21, 2013

Insight: Bipartisan Senate group on path to immigration bill

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – In a Congress riven by partisan conflict on deficits and guns, a circle of eight senators from both parties meeting several times a week might be on the cusp of a major legislative breakthrough.

The so-called Gang of Eight – four Democrats and four Republicans – is completing a plan for the biggest overhaul of immigration laws since 1986. The group is not only holding together after four months of intense discussions – an accomplishment in itself in Washington’s brutally partisan atmosphere – it is down to the last sticking points, according to the senators and aides.

Mar 20, 2013

Trafficking crackdown may be Obama’s best chance on gun control

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Winning a crackdown on gun traffickers may be the best that President Barack Obama can get in his faltering efforts to have Congress pass gun control legislation.

Lawmakers are scaling back the White House’s ambitions for sweeping gun control measures after a planned ban on assault weapons was effectively ruled out in the Senate this week.

Mar 20, 2013

Obama’s gun control plans weaken in Senate

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – An assault weapons ban sought by President Barack Obama ran into serious trouble on Tuesday when Majority Leader Harry Reid acknowledged there was not enough support for it in the Senate.

It was the latest blow to the White House’s gun control plans which are fading as Republicans and even some Democrats baulk at taking on the powerful gun lobby.

Mar 19, 2013

Boehner hails emerging bipartisan House immigration plan

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The top Republican in Congress voiced support on Tuesday for an emerging overhaul of immigration laws, which includes a controversial pathway toward U.S. citizenship.

Speaker of the House of Representatives John Boehner said “there are a lot of issues in here that have to be dealt with” but the tentative proposal by a bipartisan group of eight House members “is frankly a pretty responsible solution.”

Mar 15, 2013

Bipartisan immigration reform bill takes shape in House

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – A bipartisan group in the House of Representatives is close to completing work on a comprehensive immigration reform bill that would include a pathway to citizenship for 11 million illegal immigrants living in the United States, according to congressional aides.

Two of the aides confirmed on Friday that the negotiators were still trying to agree on the issue of how to handle temporary laborers coming into the United States.

Mar 14, 2013

Senators aim to reach bipartisan immigration deal next week

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Eight senators aim to cap months of talks next week with a comprehensive deal to overhaul the U.S. immigration system, a member of the bipartisan group said on Thursday.

Democratic Senator Robert Menendez of New Jersey, a longtime reform advocate, said once the agreement is done, aides will draw up legislation that could be considered by the Senate Judiciary Committee in April.

Mar 14, 2013

Senate panel backs Obama bid to renew assault weapons ban

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – President Barack Obama’s bid to renew a ban against military-style assault weapons narrowly won the backing of the Senate Judiciary Committee on Thursday, sending it to the full Senate where bipartisan opposition is expected to kill it.

On a party-line vote of 10-8, the Democratic-led panel approved a bill to outlaw the sale of such weapons. The measure would also limit high-capacity ammunition clips to 10 bullets.

Mar 12, 2013

Divided Senate panel votes for gun background checks

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – A divided Senate Judiciary Committee on Tuesday backed President Barack Obama’s call to require criminal background checks for all gun buyers, yet it remained uncertain if it would become law.

On a party-line vote of 10-8, the Democratic-led panel sent the measure to the full Senate where it faces a possible procedural roadblock that could kill it.

Mar 8, 2013

Senate panel backs crackdown on clandestine gun sales

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The Senate Judiciary Committee on Thursday backed President Barack Obama’s call to crack down on the clandestine trafficking of firearms, marking the first votes in Congress on gun-control since a school massacre last year prompted calls for action.

On a largely party-line vote of 11-7, the Democratic-led committee approved a bill to make it a federal crime to engage in “straw purchasing,” or buying of guns on behalf of those who are prohibited from owning them.

Mar 8, 2013

Democratic Senator Levin won’t seek re-election in 2014

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Democratic Senator Carl Levin of Michigan, a leading voice on national security who opposed the Iraq War and has fought corporate abuse during more than three decades in the chamber, said on Thursday he would not seek re-election next year.

“This decision was extremely difficult because I love representing the people of Michigan in the U.S. Senate and fighting for the things that I believe are important to them,” Levin, 78, said in a statement issued by his office.

    • 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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