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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.

Mar 7, 2013

Gun-control drive to get first votes in Congress

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Less than three months after the Connecticut school shooting, a campaign to tighten gun laws that is backed by President Barack Obama will go to its first votes in Congress on Thursday when a Senate panel meets.

The Democrat-controlled Senate Judiciary Committee is expected to approve the four bills that make up the gun-control package in voting over the next day or so.

Mar 6, 2013

Key Republican says he may back two gun-control bills

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The top Republican on the Democrat-led U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee said on Tuesday that he may back at least two of the four gun-control bills that the panel will consider this week.

Iowa Senator Charles Grassley’s support could help both measures – one aimed at cracking down on illegal gun trafficking, the other designed to bolster security at schools – pass the Senate.

Mar 2, 2013

Big cuts spur calls to Congress from irate constituents

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The Congress is getting an earful about the big spending cuts beginning to hit government services from worried and irate constituents, including one senator’s own spouse.

Democratic Senator Thomas Carper of Delaware said his wife, “my most important constituent,” asked him, “Why can’t you guys get your act together? Do you know what people think of you guys?”

Feb 28, 2013

Senate panel delays action on gun control bills

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The Senate Judiciary Committee on Thursday postponed consideration of four bills to curb gun violence after Republicans said they needed more time to study the proposed ban on military-style assault weapons.

The one-week delay by the Democratic-led committee appears unlikely to change the fate of the bills, all of which appear headed to the full Senate for a vote.

Feb 28, 2013

House gives final OK to bipartisan domestic abuse bill

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The House of Representatives gave final approval on Thursday to a bipartisan bill to renew the landmark 1994 Violence Against Women Act, after rejecting as inadequate an alternative version offered by its Republican leaders.

On a vote of 286-138, the House sent the bill, earlier approved by the Democratic-led Senate, 78-22, to President Barack Obama to sign into law.

Feb 27, 2013

Victim’s father makes case for U.S. assault weapons ban

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The father of a 6-year-old boy who was killed in the shooting massacre at a Connecticut school made a dramatic appeal on Wednesday for President Barack Obama’s uphill bid to ban sales of military-style assault weapons and high-capacity ammunition magazines.

Testifying before a divided U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee, Neil Heslin, whose son Jesse Lewis was murdered in the December 14 shootings that killed 20 children and six adults, joined an emergency room doctor in recalling the damage done by such a weapon. Heslin held up a picture of his son during his testimony and at times his voice choked with emotion.

Feb 26, 2013

In separating gun-control bills, Democrats reveal strategy

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – President Barack Obama’s fellow Democrats in the Senate have spread his gun-control proposals across four bills in an effort to get at least some of the less controversial measures – such as expanded background checks for gun buyers – passed into law.

The Senate Judiciary Committee will vote as early as Thursday on the bills, which together amount to an acknowledgement by Democrats that a ban on military-style “assault” weapons is unlikely to clear Congress.

Feb 14, 2013

U.S. Senate Democratic leader says Republicans blocking Hagel

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – U.S. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid accused Republicans on Thursday of putting the country at risk by trying to delay a vote to confirm Chuck Hagel as President Barack Obama’s new secretary of defense.

“For the sake of our national security it is time for us to put aside political theater,” Reid said.

Feb 12, 2013

Senate votes to renew, expand Violence Against Women Act

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – With strong bipartisan support, the Democratic-led Senate on Tuesday passed a White House-backed bill to expand and renew a landmark 1994 law to combat domestic violence.

On a 78-22 vote – with 23 Republicans joining 53 Democrats and two independents – the Senate sent the measure to reauthorize the Violence Against Women Act to the Republican-led House of Representative for consideration.

    • 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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