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Jan 5, 2014

U.S. Congress to begin 2014 with jobless benefits battle

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The U.S. Congress begins what promises to be another highly combative year on Monday with a showdown over a White House-backed bid to renew unemployment benefits for 1.3 million Americans.

The battle will kick off a 2014 drive by President Barack Obama and fellow Democrats to stem a growing gap between rich and poor.

Dec 20, 2013

Yellen takes big step toward taking reins at Fed

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Janet Yellen, an unwavering advocate of the Federal Reserve’s aggressive steps to boost the U.S. economy, on Friday took a big step toward becoming the first woman to chair the central bank as her nomination cleared a Senate procedural hurdle.

The Senate voted 59-34 to move forward with the nomination, indicating ample support for her confirmation. A final vote is set for January 6 when the Senate returns after a holiday break.

Dec 20, 2013

Yellen expected to win U.S. Senate test vote Friday to head Fed

WASHINGTON, Dec 20 (Reuters) – The Democratic-led U.S.
Senate is expected to wrap up its work for the year on Friday by
moving to clear President Barack Obama’s nomination of Janet
Yellen to head the Federal Reserve.

But under a bipartisan agreement reached on Thursday, the
Senate will not vote to confirm Yellen, now the Fed’s vice
chair, until Jan. 6, the day it returns for the new year. She
would replace Ben Bernanke, whose term ends in late January.

Dec 20, 2013

Fed chair pick Yellen faces Senate test vote on Friday

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The Democratic-led U.S. Senate reset a test vote for Friday on President Barack Obama’s nomination of Janet Yellen to head the Federal Reserve, with her confirmation expected on January 6.

Senate Democratic leader Harry Reid announced the dates late on Thursday as part of an end-of-year agreement with Republicans on a number of Obama’s pending nominees.

Dec 19, 2013

U.S. Senate sets rare Saturday vote on Fed pick Yellen

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The Democratic-led U.S. Senate set debate to begin on Friday on President Barack Obama’s nomination of Janet Yellen to head the Federal Reserve, with confirmation expected on Saturday.

Democrats had hoped to confirm on Yellen on Thursday or Friday, and then adjourn for the year. But they failed to get a time agreement with Republicans to speed up the process.

Dec 16, 2013

U.S. Senate approval of two-year budget deal likely this week

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Conservatives in the U.S. Senate are unlikely to stop passage of a two-year budget bill this week, with some Republicans expected to join Democrats in the Senate in voting for the measure.

Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell and a number Tea Party-backed members, including Senators Ted Cruz of Texas, Marco Rubio of Florida and Rand Paul of Kentucky, are all likely to fight the deal, which was approved in a bipartisan vote of the U.S. House of Representatives last week.

Dec 12, 2013

U.S. Senate in around-the-clock session to confirm Obama nominees

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The Democratic-led U.S. Senate approved four of President Barack Obama’s nominees on Thursday as an around-the-clock, confirmation merry-go-round entered its second day with Republicans unable to stop it because of a recent rule change.

The Democratic show of force is expected to come to a close on Saturday with the anticipated confirmation of a 10th Obama nominee in three days – Jeh Johnson to serve as secretary of the Department of Homeland Security.

Dec 12, 2013

Budget deal headed to vote in U.S. House, passage predicted

WASHINGTON, Dec 11 (Reuters) – Republicans in the U.S. House
of Representatives on Wednesday were falling in line behind a
bipartisan two-year budget deal, indicating that the normally
rambunctious group of lawmakers is not spoiling for a year-end
fiscal fight.

Despite conservative groups’ denunciation of the plan and
public opposition from some members associated with the
conservative Tea Party movement, the Republican-controlled House
was planning to vote on Thursday to pass the deal,
Representative Kevin McCarthy, the third-ranking Republican told
Reuters.

Dec 11, 2013

U.S. House Republicans voice support for budget deal

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Republicans in the U.S. House of Representatives on Wednesday were falling in line behind a two-year budget deal negotiated behind closed doors, indicating that this normally rambunctious group of lawmakers is not spoiling for a year-end fiscal fight.

Despite conservative groups denouncing the $85 billion plan, the Republican-controlled House could vote as early as Thursday to lock into place a measure that would minimize chances of any further government shutdowns at least until October, 2015.

Dec 10, 2013

First Obama nominee confirmed since end of filibuster power

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The Democratic-led U.S. Senate on Tuesday confirmed the first of President Barack Obama’s stalled judicial nominees since it stripped Republicans last month of their power to stop them with procedural roadblocks known as filibusters.

On a mostly party-line vote of 56-38, the Senate approved Patricia Millett, a private lawyer who earlier served in the administrations of Democratic President Bill Clinton and Republican President George W. Bush, for a seat on the U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia.

    • 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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