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Dec 10, 2013

Senate extends gun ban; rejects bid to address 3-D plastic firearms

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The U.S. Senate gave final approval on Monday to a bill to renew a ban against firearms that can pass undetected through metal detectors, but rejected calls to update the law in response to the advent of plastic guns made with 3-D printers.

On a voice vote, the Democratic-led Senate passed the bill, which would extend for 10 years the Undetectable Firearms Act of 1988.

Dec 6, 2013

Mississippi Republican Senator Cochran to seek seventh term

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Senator Thad Cochran of Mississippi announced on Friday that he will run for re-election next year, ending speculation that one of the longest serving Republicans was ready to retire and avoid a Tea Party-backed primary challenge.

“I will run hard and be successful so that I can continue to serve the people of Mississippi and our nation effectively,” Cochran, who turns 76 on Saturday, said in a statement issued by his office. Cochran first disclosed his decision earlier in the day in an interview with a Mississippi newspaper.

Dec 3, 2013

U.S. House votes to extend ban on undetectable firearms

WASHINGTON, Dec 3 (Reuters) – The U.S. House of
Representatives passed a bill on Tuesday to extend for 10 years
a ban against firearms that cannot be detected with metal
detectors or X-ray scanners.

On a voice vote, the Republican-led House sent the measure
to the Democratic-led Senate, which is expected to consider a
tougher alternative before likely approving it.

Nov 21, 2013

Democrats ditch historic U.S. Senate rule blamed for gridlock

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The Democratic-controlled U.S. Senate, in a historic and bitterly fought rule change, stripped Republicans on Thursday of their ability to block President Barack Obama’s judicial and executive branch nominees.

On a nearly party-line vote of 52-48, Democrats changed the Senate’s balance of power by reducing from 60 to 51 the number of votes needed to end procedural roadblocks known as filibusters against presidential nominees, except those for U.S. Supreme Court judges.

Nov 20, 2013

Senate leader may seek rule change to reduce Republican power

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – U.S. Senate Democratic Leader Harry Reid is again threatening to change the rules to strip Republicans of their ability to block President Barack Obama’s nominees – and this time he may do it, perhaps as early as Thursday, aides said on Wednesday.

To prevail, Reid will need 51 votes in the 100-member Senate, which Obama’s Democrats hold, 55-45.

Nov 20, 2013

Key Republican says supports Yellen for Fed chair

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Janet Yellen picked up some more U.S. Senate support Wednesday on the eve of a vote in the Senate Banking Committee that is expected to approve her nomination to lead the U.S. Federal Reserve.

Bob Corker, a Tennesee Republican and an influential member of the committee, declared his support Wednesday while three other Republicans indicated they were inclined to back her.

Nov 19, 2013

Republicans defy threat, block another Obama judicial pick

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – U.S. Senate Republicans on Monday blocked a fourth nominee by President Barack Obama to a District of Columbia appeals court, defying a threatened rule change by Democrats to strip them of their ability to stop such picks.

On a nearly party-line vote of 53-38, seven short of the needed 60, Democrats failed to end a Republican procedural hurdle known as a filibuster and move forward on the nomination Robert Wilkins.

Nov 14, 2013

U.S. business leader remains confident Boehner will seek immigration reform

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The head of the biggest U.S. business group, a traditional ally of Republicans, said on Thursday that he remains confident that the top Republican in Congress will push to enact comprehensive immigration reform.

U.S. Chamber of Commerce President Thomas Donohue said he is not worried about House of Representatives Speaker John Boehner’s refusal to negotiate with the Senate on its sweeping bipartisan bill.

Nov 13, 2013

Senate Republicans block another Obama judicial nominee

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – U.S. Senate Republicans on Tuesday blocked a third nominee by President Barack Obama to the same federal appeals court, prompting a renewed warning by Democrats of a possible rules change to end such procedural roadblocks.

“I think we are at the point where there will have to be a rules change,” said Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Patrick Leahy, a Vermont Democrat.

Nov 13, 2013

With a nudge from Bill Clinton, Democrats seek to tweak health law

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The growing pressure on President Barack Obama to adjust his problem-plagued healthcare law seemed to boil over on Tuesday, as leaders of Obama’s Democratic Party called on him to allow a change in the law so that Americans who are happy with their health plans could keep them.

In what became the clearest sign yet of Democrats’ increasing anxiety over the troubled rollout of the healthcare law, former President Bill Clinton told the web magazine Ozymandias that Obama should support such a change to fulfill a promise he and his administration have made to Americans for years.

    • 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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