Richard Shelby

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Obama: ‘I've Never Seen Devastation Like This’

President tours tornado-ravaged Alabama

(Newser) - Barack Obama toured the tornado-ravaged town of Tuscaloosa, Alabama, today, expressing amazement at the wreckage and promising help for those left rebuilding. "I've never seen devastation like this," the president said. "We're going to make sure you're not forgotten." Obama has declared a... More »

GOP Drops Filibuster on Financial Reform

They agree to allow the bill onto the floor for debate

(Newser) - The three-day standoff over the financial reform bill is over in the Senate. Now the real fight begins. Republicans dropped their filibuster and allowed the bill to proceed to the floor for debate instead of blocking it a fourth time. Talks to forge a bipartisan deal behind closed doors apparently... More »

Voinovich to Break GOP's Finance Filibuster

And he expects 'a whole bunch' of Republicans to join him

(Newser) - If Senate Republicans don't strike a deal with Democrats on financial reform soon, George Voinovich is going to cross party lines to insist on a floor debate—and he expects “a whole bunch” of other Republicans to make the same decision, he said yesterday. The American people “want... More »

Clock Ticking, but No Deal Yet

Test vote on financial reform expected tomorrow

(Newser) - Harry Reid still plans an important test vote on financial reform tomorrow, but there's no bipartisan deal yet. Lead negotiators Chris Dodd and Richard Shelby said on Meet the Press they'll keep working on it today, reports CNN , while Mitch McConnell is sending filibuster signals. "It’s my expectation... More »

Financial Reform: 'Punks' Take on Plutocrats

GOP argument against reform is upside-down, writes Paul Krugman

(Newser) - With financial reform on deck, Senate Republicans are busily figuring out how many "can get away with claiming that war is peace and regulating big banks is doing those big banks a favor," writes Paul Krugman in the New York Times . Alabama's Richard Shelby is portraying efforts to... More »

Republicans Say Financial Reform Will Pass

'This is so unlike the health care debate,' says Bob Corker

(Newser) - Two top Republican Senators say Barack Obama’s bid to overhaul the financial regulatory system is sure to get through the upper chamber. “This is so unlike the health care debate,” Bob Corker told Politico , saying Republicans had made a “major strategic error” by refusing to negotiate... More »

Female Shooter Slays 3 on Alabama Campus

Alleged shooter is staff member at Huntsville college

(Newser) - A female employee allegedly opened fire today on the University of Alabama campus in Huntsville, killing three and injuring three others. The suspect, who works in the biology department, had just been told she would not receive tenure, reports WAFF , the NBC affiliate in Huntsville. She is in custody and... More »

Shelby Drops Holds on Obama Nominees

Alabama Republican says he was just trying to get the president's attention

(Newser) - Richard Shelby has decided to release the holds he's been using to block more than 70 Obama nominees in hopes of scoring two lucrative projects for his home state. The Alabama senator, who was hammered by Democrats for obstructionism, said he used the holds "to get the White House's... More »

Mighty America Descends Into Farce

Paralyzing GOP tactics make us look like 18th-century Poland

(Newser) - When Richard Shelby put a hold on all outstanding Obama nominees last week, it reminded Paul Krugman of 18th-century Poland. Back then, the country’s legislature was run by unanimous consent, so anyone could block any legislation by shouting, “I do not allow!” Sound familiar? The US Senate,... More »

Harry Reid Changes Tune on Recess Appointments

Urges Obama to skirt GOP holds

(Newser) - Harry Reid thinks its time for Barack Obama to make some recess appointments, a procedural move the majority leader vehemently opposed when George Bush was in power. “What alternative do we have?” Reid said last week, exasperated over Richard Shelby’s move to place a hold on all of... More »

Dodd, Shelby at 'Impasse' Over Financial Reform

Prospect of bipartisan deal fades

(Newser) - Attempts to craft a bipartisan financial regulatory overhaul have broken down, Chris Dodd announced today, raising the possibility of another partisan brawl like the health care debate. “Last night, Senator Shelby assured me that he is still committed to finding a consensus,” the Senate Banking Committee chairman said... More »

GOP Sen. Shelby Blocks 70 Obama Nominations

Extraordinary 'blanket hold' over earmarks for Alabama

(Newser) - Richard Shelby, the GOP senator from Alabama, is holding all of President Obama's pending nominations—at least 70—hostage until a couple of programs benefiting his home state get favorable treatment, Talking Points Memo reports. Shelby has put an extraordinary blanket hold on all the nominations the White House has... More »

Bank Risk Rules Could Die in Senate

Retiring Dodd wants GOP support, Obama be damned

(Newser) - President Obama’s plan to limit the amount of risk big US banks can take could well die in the Senate if the measure isn’t seen as bipartisan enough by Chris Dodd, the retiring Banking Committee chair, and Senate Republicans. “He wants to end his career with an... More »

Shelby, Dodd Expect Bipartisan Financial Reform

January markup possible as fears of a partisan battle fade

(Newser) - Hoping to avoid a repeat of the health care dogfight, Chris Dodd and Richard Shelby think they’ve made “meaningful progress” on a bipartisan deal on financial regulatory reform. Dodd’s initial solo draft of the bill drew Republican jeers asked top members of his Senate Banking committee to... More »

Senate Sends Obama $1.1T Spending Bill

3 Republicans vote yea, 3 Dems vote nay

(Newser) - Working on a second consecutive weekend, the Senate passed a $1.1 trillion omnibus spending bill today, with the support of three Republicans but the opposition of three Democrats. The measure has already cleared the House and now advances to President Obama, who is expected to sign it. With pressing... More »

Bernanke on Defensive in Confirmation Hearing

Senators full of criticisms for the Fed

(Newser) - Ben Bernanke was forced to play defense in his confirmation hearing today, as the Senate Banking Committee rained down criticism on the Fed and its chairman. Some, like Chris Dodd, signaled approval of Bernanke’s leadership but not of the Fed’s bid for increased regulatory control. “Why should... More »

Wall Street Doing Its Best to Buy Schumer

Hands NY Dem $1.65M as vote looms on new financial regulations

(Newser) - With a vote looming on Barack Obama’s plan to revamp financial regulations, Wall Street has shoveled $10.6 million into Senate campaign chests this year. Most of that money, $7.7 million, has gone to Democrats, and more than 15% has gone to one man: Chuck Schumer. Schumer’s... More »

Meet the Birthers in Congress

Salon calls out lawmakers reluctant to admit Obama's a citizen

(Newser) - The “birther” movement isn’t relegated to backwoods crazies—many members of Congress are perfectly willing to throw fuel on the fire. Salon calls out the Hill’s known birthers:
  • Rep. Bill Posey: Congress’ first birther, the Florida Republican is the sponsor of a bill requiring presidents to submit
... More »

Congress Wary of Fed's Growing Power

After decades of deference, legislators turn on central bank

(Newser) - Tim Geithner testified before the Senate Banking Committee yesterday, but as the Washington Post reports, it's not the Treasury but the Fed whose growing powers most worry legislators. Republicans and Democrats are both venting that Ben Bernanke's office did little to stop the excesses of the boom years, only to... More »

Hillary: Obama 'Absolutely' Able to Handle 3am Call

Secretary of state puts Iran, N. Korea on notice

(Newser) - Hillary Clinton made her first Sunday show appearance as secretary of state today, vowing “there would be retaliation” against Iran if it attacked Israel, and that Washington might return North Korea to its state terror list. Clinton, speaking on This Week a year to the day after she ceded... More »

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