congressional correspondent
Thomas's Feed
Jan 29, 2014

Republicans respond and respond to Obama State of Union

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Republicans in the U.S. Congress responded in competing voices on Tuesday to President Barack Obama’s annual State of the Union address as various wings of the party vied to advance their prescriptions for the country’s best way forward.

Representative Cathy McMorris Rodgers, who was set to deliver the sanctioned Republican response to Obama, will queue up long-held party doctrine that “champions free markets and trusts people to make their own decisions, not a government that decides for you.”

Jan 27, 2014

Bipartisan flood Insurance bill clears Senate hurdle

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – A bipartisan bill to delay dramatic increases in federal flood insurance premiums for millions of American homeowners and small businesses cleared a Republican procedural roadblock in the U.S. Senate on Monday.

On a vote of 86-13, the Senate agreed to advance the Homeowners Flood Insurance Affordability Act, which would postpone for four years rate hikes of up to 10 fold and more.

Jan 17, 2014

Senator Coburn leaving Congress as he battles cancer

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Republican Senator Tom Coburn of Oklahoma, who crossed the aisle in 2005 became friends with a newly elected colleague named Barack Obama, says he will leave office in December, two years before his term ends. He is battling cancer.

In a brief statement issued by his office late on Thursday, Coburn, 65, a medical doctor, said: “This decision isn’t about my health, my prognosis or even my hopes and desires.”

Jan 16, 2014

Bill offered in U.S. Congress to modernize Voting Rights Act

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The Voting Rights Act of 1965 would be modernized under a bipartisan bill introduced in the U.S. Congress on Thursday in response to the U.S. Supreme Court ruling last year that gutted a core part of the landmark law.

The legislation would provide a new formula to determine if any state or locality – not just those with a history of racial discrimination – should be required to obtain prior federal approval to changes in its election rules.

Jan 15, 2014

Democratic lawmaker Moran to retire after 12 terms

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Democratic U.S. Representative Jim Moran, a 12-term Virginia liberal, became on Wednesday the third member of his party this week to announce he will not seek re-election in November.

The announcements came amid growing signs that President Barack Obama’s party faces a steep climb in its bid to win control of the House of Representatives from Republicans in this year’s elections.

Jan 14, 2014

Senate confirms previously blocked Obama judicial nominee

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – U.S. District Judge Robert Wilkins won Senate confirmation to a key federal appeals court on Monday, two months after Republicans initially blocked President Barack Obama’s nomination of the Harvard-educated jurist.

Wilkins prevailed on this second try after Obama’s Democrats changed the Senate rules last month to strip Republicans of their power to stop most of his picks with procedural roadblocks known as filibusters.

Jan 7, 2014

Obama-backed jobless bill clears Republican roadblock

WASHINGTON, Jan 7 (Reuters) – A White House-backed bill to
renew jobless benefits for 1.3 million Americans narrowly
cleared a U.S. Senate Republican procedural roadblock on

On a largely party-line vote of 60-37 – 60 were needed to
prevail – the Democratic-led Senate agreed to begin
consideration of the measure, which would extend recently ended
benefits for three months at a cost of $6 billion.

Jan 7, 2014

Senate delays vote on jobless bill until Tuesday

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – With many lawmakers unable to get to Washington because of record freezing temperatures, the U.S. Senate abruptly postponed until Tuesday a vote on a White House-backed bill to extend jobless benefits for 1.3 million Americans.

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid obtained the surprise delay on Monday just as the chamber was expected to begin a roll-call vote on whether to start consideration of the measure.

Jan 7, 2014

Yellen punches through ‘glass ceiling’ at U.S. Fed

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Janet Yellen – a skilled economist who likes to hike and cook – made history on Monday as the U.S. Senate confirmed her to be the first woman to lead the Federal Reserve in its 100-year history.

Yellen, 67, the central bank’s No. 2 since 2010, will take over as chair of the Fed after Ben Bernanke’s term comes to a close at the end of this month. In doing so, she will take the reins of the world’s largest economy and become the most powerful person in the world of finance.

Jan 7, 2014

Yellen approved to head Fed; only Republicans vote ‘no’

WASHINGTON, Jan 6 (Reuters) – Janet Yellen, a key force
behind the Federal Reserve’s unprecedented and controversial
efforts to boost the U.S. economy, was confirmed by the Senate
on Monday to lead the central bank just as it begins to unwind
that stimulus.

When she succeeds Ben Bernanke, whose second four-year term
as Fed chairman expires on Jan. 31, Yellen will become the first
woman to run the Fed in its 100-year history and just one of a
handful of women heading central banks globally. She is
currently the Fed’s vice chair.

    • 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."
    • Follow Thomas