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  • Congress gives final OK to banning local Internet taxes Thursday, 11 Feb 2016 | 3:40 AM ET

    WASHINGTON— Congress voted Thursday to permanently bar state and local governments from taxing access to the Internet, as lawmakers leapt at an election-year chance to demonstrate their opposition to imposing levies on online service. The White House said President Barack Obama will sign it. Since 1998 in the Internet's early days, Congress has passed a...

  • WASHINGTON, Feb 10- A senior House Republican warned on Wednesday that differences among lawmakers over a spending increase could threaten plans for a more orderly budget process under House Speaker Paul Ryan, who has been basking in a honeymoon period. The comments from House Appropriations Chairman Hal Rogers came as Ryan was facing the first big challenge...

  • WASHINGTON— The main thing to know about President Barack Obama's final, $4 trillion budget is that it comes on the same day as the New Hampshire primary, ensuring it gets minimal attention with all the focus on the White House contenders. Typically, the budget is released on a Monday, but White House press secretary Josh Earnest says Tuesday's release allowed...

  • WASHINGTON— President Barack Obama is applauding the signing of an ambitious free trade agreement among 12 countries that he says would support jobs in the United States. The clock on consideration by Congress does not begin until Obama formally submits legislation for lawmakers' consideration. Republican Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell has...

  • WELLINGTON, New Zealand— Trade ministers from 12 Pacific Rim countries including the United States gathered Thursday in New Zealand for the ceremonial signing of a free-trade deal they say will significantly boost trade. Many people in New Zealand remain opposed to the deal, and hundreds protested outside the Auckland venue where it was being signed,...

  • WASHINGTON, Feb 2- Senator Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said on Tuesday he had "some problems" with the Trans-Pacific Partnership trade agreement and told reporters he thought it should not be pursued before the November U.S. presidential election. Speaking after a meeting with President Barack Obama, McConnell, a Republican, said he and the president had...

  • WASHINGTON, Feb 1- Republicans plan to bring a bill addressing Puerto Rico's debt crisis to the floor of the U.S. House of Representatives by the end of March, House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy said on Monday. The U.S. Treasury Department has called on Congress to create a fiscal control board for Puerto Rico. Separately on Monday, White House spokesman Josh...

  • WASHINGTON, Feb 1- President Barack Obama is likely to discuss a range of issues from international trade to Puerto Rico's fiscal crisis when he meets with House Speaker Paul Ryan and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell on Tuesday, White House spokesman Josh Earnest said. Speaking to reporters at a press briefing on Monday, Earnest said the leaders will...

  • UPDATE 1-U.S. Senate starts debate on broad energy bill Wednesday, 27 Jan 2016 | 3:53 PM ET

    Alaska Senator Lisa Murkowski, Republican chair of the Senate energy committee and Washington Senator Maria Cantwell, its ranking Democrat, urged lawmakers not to thwart passage of the bipartisan bill, which cleared their panel in an 18-4 vote. Aides said Democratic Senators Gary Peters and Debbie Stabenow of Michigan plan to offer amendments laying out a...

  • WASHINGTON, Jan 27- U.S. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell on Wednesday said he was weighing options to help deal with Puerto Rico's fiscal crisis but that any move by Congress to help the territorial island cannot cost U.S. taxpayers any money.

  • RPT-U.S. Senate starts debate on broad energy bill Wednesday, 27 Jan 2016 | 2:13 PM ET

    Alaska Senator Lisa Murkowski, Republican chair of the Senate energy committee and Washington Senator Maria Cantwell, its ranking Democrat, urged lawmakers not to thwart passage of the bipartisan bill, which cleared their panel in an 18-4 vote. "Let's show the Senate can work. Let's not go crazy with a bunch of ancillary things, "Cantwell said on the Senate floor.

  • SAN JUAN, Jan 27- U.S. Senate Democrats, in a letter to Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, on Wednesday called for congressional action on Puerto Rico, demanding that legislation to resolve the island's financial crisis include tools to restructure debt. Republican Senators Orrin Hatch of Utah, Lisa Murkowski of Alaska and Chuck Grassley of Iowa last month...

  • SAN JUAN, Jan 27- U.S. Senate Democrats, in a letter to Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, on Wednesday called for congressional action on Puerto Rico, demanding that legislation to resolve the island's financial crisis include tools to restructure debt. Republican Senators Orrin Hatch of Utah, Lisa Murkowski of Alaska and Chuck Grassley of Iowa last month...

  • WASHINGTON, Jan 15- The chairman of a U.S. House committee that oversees child abuse issues opened an inquiry Friday into whether the federal government is failing to enforce a law meant to protect thousands of babies born dependent on drugs each year. The inquiry, launched by Representative John Kline of Minnesota, comes in response to a Reuters investigation...

  • Ronna Rice, CEO of a Greeley, Colorado honey company that ships its sweet product as far as Japan, South Korea and China, will be one of 23 guests in the First Lady's box to hear the speech in person. Inviting Americans whose stories bring to life the priorities of the White House has long been part of the annual State of the Union ritual. As Obama pushes in his last year in...

  • WASHINGTON, Jan 8- The U.S. House of Representatives' top tax writer wants a vote this year on legislation moving the United States to a territorial-style tax system aimed at exempting the earnings of American companies abroad from U.S. taxation. International tax reform should be tackled as the first step toward a bigger rewrite of the U.S. tax code that would...

  • WASHINGTON, Jan 8- The U.S. House of Representatives' top tax writer wants a vote this year on legislation moving the United States to a territorial-style tax system aimed at exempting the earnings of American companies abroad from U.S. taxation. International tax reform should be tackled as the first step toward a bigger rewrite of the U.S. tax code that would...

  • U.S. lawmakers, meanwhile, were uncharacteristically silent about a further deterioration in the value of China's currency, after the yuan fell for an eighth day on investor fears about China's economy. China last year gave markets a greater role in determining the yuan's value, a shift welcomed by the International Monetary Fund and others that have urged the...

  • Long-simmering tension over whether China manipulates its currency for trade advantage could heat up again, but the yuan's slide this week appeared driven by market doubts about Chinese economic growth, not active devaluation by Chinese officials. China last year moved to let markets play a greater role in determining the yuan's value, a policy shift...

  • Senator Robert Casey of Pennsylvania, the top Democrat on the children and families subcommittee, is calling for oversight hearings, in part to understand why a longstanding federal law directing states to safeguard the newborns is not being enforced. Another Democrat, Senator Charles Schumer of New York, wants the Obama Administration to put "an emergency...