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Jan 31, 2013

Giffords seeks “bold” action as Congress takes up gun control

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Former congresswoman Gabby Giffords, grievously wounded in a 2011 mass shooting, made an emotional plea on Wednesday for Congress to take action to curb gun violence, but a National Rifle Association executive said new gun laws “have failed in the past and they’ll fail again.”

Speaking haltingly, Giffords implored lawmakers to “be bold, be courageous” as she opened testimony at the first congressional hearing on gun violence since the December 14 massacre in which a gunman shot dead 20 children and six adults at an elementary school in Newtown, Connecticut.

Jan 30, 2013

Giffords’ husband offers senators chilling case for gun control

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Former U.S. astronaut Mark Kelly pushed for gun-control measures on Wednesday by recalling in chilling detail the massacre that nearly killed his wife, former Democratic congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords.

Testifying before the Senate Judiciary Committee just after Giffords called on lawmakers to “be courageous” and do more to reduce gun-related violence, Kelly gave a moment-by-moment account of the mass shooting in a supermarket parking lot near Tucson, Arizona, on January 8, 2011, that left six people dead and 13 wounded.

Jan 30, 2013

Amid questions, Senate begins hearings on gun control

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Six weeks after the massacre of 26 people at a Connecticut school ignited new calls to fight gun-related violence, the issue reaches the U.S. Congress on Wednesday amid questions about whether lawmakers will be able to agree on significant legislation.

In hearings that begin in the Senate Judiciary Committee, President Barack Obama and other Democrats are seeking what would be the most robust gun-control package in decades.

Jan 25, 2013

Senate changes its rules to ease gridlock

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The Democratic-led U.S. Senate changed its rules on Thursday in a bid to ease partisan gridlock blamed for turning the chamber into a legislative graveyard.

Approved on back-to-back votes of 78-16 and 86-9, the changes fell far short, however, of what many of President Barack Obama’s Democrats had wanted.

Jan 24, 2013

Senate leaders reach deal aimed at easing gridlock

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Senate leaders reached a deal on Thursday aimed at easing gridlock by modifying rules that have been blamed for making their bitterly partisan chamber a legislative graveyard.

But the accord falls far short of what some reformers wanted by preserving the right of a minority of senators to stop legislation with procedural roadblocks known as filibusters.

Jan 24, 2013

Push to revive assault weapons ban begins in Congress

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – A top U.S. Democratic lawmaker on Thursday proposed a ban on assault weapons, like those used in a Connecticut school massacre last month, and called on the public to help overcome opposition by the powerful gun lobby.

“Getting this bill signed into law is an uphill battle, I recognize that, but it is a battle worth having,” Senator Dianne Feinstein – flanked by fellow lawmakers, mayors and law enforcement officers – told a packed news conference.

Jan 23, 2013

Ryan blames Republican election loss on poor communication, turnout

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Ending a self-imposed silence about the November election, 2012 Republican vice presidential nominee Paul Ryan said on Wednesday that he and presidential running mate Mitt Romney lost not because of ideas, but due to ineffective communication.

Ryan said Democratic President Barack Obama and Vice President Joe Biden also prevailed because they did a better job with “technology and (voter) turnout.”

Jan 23, 2013

Ryan blames 2012 US Republican loss on poor communication, turnout

WASHINGTON, Jan 23 (Reuters) – Ending a self-imposed silence
about the November election, 2012 Republican vice presidential
nominee Paul Ryan said on Wednesday that he and presidential
running mate Mitt Romney lost not because of ideas, but due to
ineffective communication.

Ryan said Democratic President Barack Obama and Vice
President Joe Biden also prevailed because they did a better job
with “technology and (voter) turnout.”

Jan 23, 2013

Lawmakers touched by gun violence take debate personally

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – They belong to an exclusive group in the U.S. Congress: survivors of gun violence.

They number at least seven. A few were nearly killed. Others lost family members or colleagues before they came to Washington and became players in the national debate on guns.

Jan 22, 2013

Senate leader may allow vote on assault weapons ban

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, a Democrat, signaled on Tuesday that despite earlier indications to the contrary, he may allow a vote on a possible ban on assault weapons.

Reid, a longtime gun-rights advocate from Nevada, recently had indicated he would not permit a vote because the Republican-led House of Representatives likely won’t go along with such a prohibition.

    • 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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