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Mitch McConnell

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  • *Fast-track legislation faces procedural hurdle in Senate. WASHINGTON, May 12- A first attempt at removing a procedural hurdle on a Pacific trade agreement appeared likely to fail on Tuesday in the U.S. Senate after a leading pro-trade Democrat said he would oppose a bill to grant President Barack Obama the power to negotiate trade deals. The Senate vote was one...

  • Fast-track trade bill faces key test in U.S. Congress Tuesday, 12 May 2015 | 1:00 AM ET

    WASHINGTON, May 12- The Pacific trade agreement faces its first test in the U.S. Senate on Tuesday in a knife-edge vote that may hold the key to President Barack Obama's diplomatic pivot to Asia. The Senate vote is one of a likely series of congressional hurdles to be overcome that will hinge on the support of a handful of Democrats. The White House has launched a...

  • Speaking to reporters, Senator Dick Durbin said, "At this point it's very questionable" that Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, a Republican, can round up the 60 votes needed to limit debate on whether to formally bring "trade promotion authority" legislation onto the Senate floor.

  • WASHINGTON, May 11- The U.S. Congress will face a crush of major bills in the next two weeks on Pacific Rim trade, domestic surveillance, funding the military and transportation, as well as on congressional oversight of a nuclear weapons deal with Iran. Before breaking for Memorial Day on or around May 22, the Senate and House of Representatives will try to deal with:.

  • Senate aides said the deadline could force supporters and opponents of the bulk data collection program to work out a deal before May ends. Senator Mitch McConnell, the Republican Majority Leader, and Richard Burr, the chairman of the Senate Intelligence Committee, defended the data collection shortly after a federal appeals court three-judge panel in New...

  • Insurers step up lobbying to battle U.S. regulators Friday, 8 May 2015 | 5:01 PM ET

    WASHINGTON, May 8- Insurance firms, already among Washington's biggest donors, are securing powerful allies in Congress as the Federal Reserve draws up nationwide capital rules for the $1 trillion industry after years of delay. Two members of the House of Representatives who received large industry donations for their election campaigns and one senator...

  • Senate aides said the deadline could force supporters and opponents of the bulk data collection program to work out a deal before May ends. The measure is expected to pass the House with strong bipartisan support, which bill supporters maintain would increase pressure on McConnell to allow a Senate vote. It is unclear whether it will get the 60 votes needed to...

  • *U.S. appeals court says Congress did not authorize spy program. *White House and Congress work on an alternative program. NEW YORK, May 7- A U.S. spying program that systematically collects millions of Americans' phone records is illegal, a federal appeals court ruled on Thursday, putting pressure on Congress to quickly decide whether to replace or end a...

  • While stopping short of declaring the program unconstitutional, the 2nd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Manhattan said Congress did not authorize the National Security Agency to collect Americans' phone records in bulk. Lynch said it is for Congress to make clear whether it considers the NSA program permissible. Federal appeals courts in Washington, D.C. and...

  • McConnell, speaking on the Senate floor, said that as soon as the Senate finishes work on budget and Iran legislation, he will attempt to bring up a bill to streamline the passage of trade deals through Congress. "Of course we've heard of an attempt to stand in the way of an effort to pass this bipartisan legislation," McConnell said of the trade bill on the Senate floor.

  • WASHINGTON, May 4- U.S. Senate Democratic leader Harry Reid wants to delay legislation granting President Barack Obama "fast-track" trade negotiating authority needed to complete a Pacific Rim deal until bills to authorize highway funding and renew a domestic surveillance program are debated. An aide to Reid said on Monday he would try to delay the " Trade...

  • Representatives Bob Goodlatte and Jim Sensenbrenner and Democrats John Conyers and Jerry Nadler introduced the " USA Freedom Act" in the House of Representatives, seeking to tighten control of a program publicly exposed two years ago by former National Security Agency contractor Edward Snowden. They are supported by privacy groups but will run into...

  • WASHINGTON, April 24- Supporters of the U.S. Export-Import Bank said on Friday they would press ahead with legislation to keep the bank alive despite efforts to shut it down. "The perspective on the other side is not' reform Export Import Bank,' it is' kill it,"' said Oklahoma Republican Frank Lucas, whose support for Ex-Im has made him a target for conservatives...

  • WASHINGTON, April 22- In a move likely to re-ignite public debate in America over electronic spying, Republicans have introduced a bill in the Senate to extend a controversial law empowering the government's bulk collection of U.S. telephone records. President Barack Obama and many in Congress want to retain the mass data-collection program as a national...

  • New trade deal could block generic drugs from US Friday, 17 Apr 2015 | 10:53 AM ET
    Pharmaceuticals

    Consumer advocates worry a new trade deal could could make generic drugs harder to bring to market, reports The Fiscal Times.

  • Obama's professor fights him on climate change Tuesday, 7 Apr 2015 | 10:32 AM ET
    Laurence H. Tribe

    Laurence Tribe has emerged as the leading legal opponent of Obama's ambitious efforts to fight global warming, the NYT reports.

  • President Barack Obama assured Americans on Saturday that a newly negotiated framework for a nuclear pact with Iran was a "good deal" as he sought public support for a diplomatic breakthrough that many in Congress oppose. "It's a good deal, a deal that meets our core objectives, including strict limitations on Iran's program and cutting off every pathway that...

  • WASHINGTON, March 31- The Obama administration's plan for U.N. climate change talks encountered swift opposition after its release Tuesday, with Republican leaders warning other countries to "proceed with caution" in negotiations with Washington because any deal could be later undone. The White House is seeking to enshrine its pledge in a global climate...

  • Senate Democratic leader won’t seek re-election Friday, 27 Mar 2015 | 7:50 AM ET
    Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid

    Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid will not seek re-election next year, the New York Times reports.

  • Senate OKs Republican balanced-budget plan Friday, 27 Mar 2015 | 6:40 AM ET
    A jogger runs past the United States Capitol building at sunrise in Washington, D.C.

    Republicans muscled a balanced-budget plan through the Senate, positioning Congress for months of battling President Barack Obama.