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'Worst Crisis': Brazil Senate Poised to Decide Rousseff's Fate

Impeachment proceedings could result in Dilma Rousseff's suspension and trial

(Newser) - Last month, Brazil's Congress voted to start impeachment proceedings against its beleaguered president, Dilma Rousseff. It's now come down to the country's Senate, which will decide Wednesday if she'll be suspended and put on trial in what the New York Times calls a "watershed" vote... More »

Only Women Show Up to Senate After Blizzard

It speaks to women's 'hardiness,' says Sen. Lisa Murkowski

(Newser) - For what might be the first time in history, the United States Senate held only women on Tuesday. Only Republican Sens. Susan Collins of Maine and Lisa Murkowski of Alaska took to the Senate floor after the weekend blizzard and were tasked with delaying Senate business, reports ABC News . Then... More »

Senate Rejects Additional Gun Control Measures

The polarizing vote came one day after a shooting in California left 14 people dead

(Newser) - A polarized Senate voted Thursday against expanding background checks for more gun purchases, rejecting the proposal a day after the latest US mass shooting left 14 people dead in California. Thursday's mostly party-line 50-48 vote, which followed the Senate's defeat of other firearms curbs, underscored that political gridlock... More »

Senate Defunds Planned Parenthood With 'Symbolic' Vote

Planned Parenthood says the vote's timing is 'unconscionable'

(Newser) - Republicans in the Senate voted Thursday to defund Planned Parenthood in a move the Huffington Post calls "symbolic" and Democratic Sen. Dick Durbin—as quoted by Vice —calls a "waste of the time of the Senate." According to the Hill , the measure takes one year of... More »

Al Franken Isn't Joking About Retaking Senate

He's good enough. He's smart enough. And doggone it, he raises a lot of money

(Newser) - In 1995, Stuart saved his family . Twenty years later, he's hoping he can do the same for Senate Democrats. Politico reports Saturday Night Live alumnus and current senator Al Franken is using his celebrity status to a greater extent than ever before to help Democrats retake the Senate in... More »

Senate OKs Deal to End Budget Fights

2-year deal is on its way to Obama's desk

(Newser) - Early on Friday, Congress sent President Obama an ambitious budget and debt measure that averts a catastrophic national default and sets spending priorities for the next two years. The Senate voted 64-35 to approve the bill just after 3am EDT, with Democrats and Republican defense hawks uniting to overcome opposition... More »

Obama's Iran Deal Prevails in Senate

Democrats block disapproval vote by Republicans

(Newser) - Senate Democrats voted to uphold the hard-fought nuclear accord with Iran today, overcoming ferocious GOP opposition and delivering President Obama a legacy-making victory on his top foreign policy priority. A disapproval resolution for the agreement fell two votes short of the 60 needed to move forward as most Democratic and... More »

Republicans Finally Stand Up to Ted Cruz

And find out he's a 'paper tiger,' writes Dana Milbank

(Newser) - Ted Cruz was in classic form last week when he took to the Senate floor, thumbed his nose at decorum, and called his own majority leader a liar . Was that the last straw for his fellow Republicans? Dana Milbank at the Washington Post thinks it might be. "Finally, Senate... More »

Ted Cruz Defies Decorum, Calls McConnell a Liar

Surprising attack comes on the Senate floor

(Newser) - Ted Cruz stood on the Senate floor today and called his own party leader a liar, a move so unusual that it had both Politico and the Washington Post quoting an old Senate rule that's supposed to forbid such things. The 2016 candidate said this of Mitch McConnell:
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... More »

Obama Gets His Coveted Fast-Track Authority

Thanks to his Republican allies

(Newser) - This might be why President Obama didn't seem overly concerned earlier this month when his bid for fast-track authority—seen as a major goal of his second term— seemed to be dead : It's not only not dead, it is now heading to the president's desk for his... More »

Senate Gives Obama His 60 Votes

Fast-track trade measure will almost certainly pass tomorrow

(Newser) - President Obama's trade agenda lives to fight another day. The Senate this morning handed him the 60 votes he needed, voting 60-37 to end debate on his request for fast-track negotiating authority. It'll vote on final passage for fast-track tomorrow, which the New York Times sees as "... More »

Obama Faces a Really, Really Huge Vote Today

Senate to hold procedural vote that would grant him fast-track authority

(Newser) - It's phoenix-from-the-ashes time for President Obama: The Senate will today hold a key procedural vote that would grant the president "fast track" authority to negotiate a trade deal with 11 Pacific Rim nations. For the measure to clear a procedural hurdle, at least 60 senators need to support... More »

Senator Sorry About 'Bro With No Ho' Joke

Mark Kirk was talking about pal Lindsey Graham

(Newser) - The latest adventure in hot mics involves Sen. Mark Kirk, who got caught joking to a colleague that fellow Republican senator Lindsey Graham is a "bro with no ho," reports the Huffington Post . "That's what we'd say on the South Side," said the Illinois... More »

Gitmo Inmate: I Wished the CIA Had Killed Me

Majid Khan says he was dunked in ice water, kept in total darkness for a year

(Newser) - "I wished they had killed me," detainee Majid Khan told lawyers of abuse he suffered at the hands of the CIA at Guantanamo Bay, per Reuters . The mistreatment that the former Maryland resident says he endured went beyond the methods described in the Senate's December report : According... More »

Senate Curbs NSA Surveillance Powers

Bill goes to Obama after amendments to water it down fail

(Newser) - Congress has sent legislation to the president remaking a disputed post-9/11 surveillance program two days after letting it temporarily expire. The vote in the Senate today was 67-32. The House already has passed the bill, and President Obama plans to sign it. The legislation will phase out, over six months,... More »

Surveillance Bill Heads for Showdown Today

Supporters of USA Freedom Act say no amendments are needed

(Newser) - The Senate is set today to tackle the USA Freedom Act —which would end the NSA's bulk collection of phone records—but the bill's House backers are warning senators to leave the bill alone. "The House is not likely to accept the changes," several members... More »

Patriot Act Spy Powers Expire

Fellow Republicans slam Rand Paul for blocking vote

(Newser) - A huge victory for Sen. Rand Paul, but at what cost? Key parts of the Patriot Act, including the NSA's bulk collection of phone records, expired at midnight after the Republican senator blocked plans to vote on an extension before the deadline, NBC News reports. He admitted that the... More »

Rand Paul: I'm Going to Let Patriot Act Expire

His move tomorrow means bulk collection of data will likely halt temporarily

(Newser) - It's all but guaranteed now: The NSA's authorization to collect telephone data on Americans is going to end tomorrow—at least for a few days. That became clear when Rand Paul told Politico that he will block an extension the Patriot Act as well as progress on a... More »

Senator Marries Aide a Year After Denying Affair

Kay Webber a common sight on Thad Cochran's taxpayer-funded trips

(Newser) - Thad Cochran's camp batted down rumors last year of a romance between the senator and longtime aide Kay Webber, the New York Times reports, amid criticism that Webber had joined Cochran on 28 taxpayer-funded trips to 45 countries costing more than $150,000. Now, in a one-sentence statement, his... More »

Surveillance Programs in Jeopardy After Senate Drama

After reform measure fails, Rand Paul blocks Patriot Act extensions

(Newser) - Things got dramatic in the wee hours last night in the Senate, the result being that the Patriot Act—and, specifically, the government's ability to collect bulk surveillance—is now "on life support," reports Politico . Once again, Rand Paul is at the center of things, with Paul... More »

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