Senate

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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 »

This Guy Used an Emoticon on the Senate Floor

And slammed the GOP in the process

(Newser) - What do Republicans plan to do if the Supreme Court strikes a big blow to the Affordable Care Act? In the words, er, meme, of Democratic Sen. Chris Murphy, that would be a bunch of characters (some of them difficult to reproduce) that form an emoticon known as the "... More »

Senate Dems Strike Blow to Obama in Trade Vote

President doesn't get votes needed to move forward on Trans-Pacific Partnership

(Newser) - Senate Democrats have struck down a measure that would have helped President Obama settle a trade pact with Asian countries, the New York Times reports. Sixty votes were needed to pass a measure to launch debate on Obama's "trade promotion authority"—but it was blocked thanks to... More »

98-1: Senate OKs Bill to Review Any Iran Deal

Lone holdout is White House critic Tom Cotton

(Newser) - The Senate overwhelmingly backed legislation today that would let Congress review and possibly reject any final deal with Tehran. The vote was 98-1 for the bill that would give Congress a say on what could be a historic accord that the United States and five other nations are trying to... More »

Senate Will Finally Take Up Loretta Lynch Nomination

Parties reach deal on unrelated bill that was holding things up

(Newser) - She got nominated in November , and the Senate will finally get around to considering Loretta Lynch for the post of attorney general this week. Lynch got caught up in a partisan fight unrelated to her nomination that didn't get resolved until today, reports the Wall Street Journal . But once... More »

'Milestone' Doc Fix Sails Through Senate

Medicare reform passes 92-8, Obama expected to sign

(Newser) - The "doc fix" bill that passed the House last month has now earned the Senate's stamp of approval. The bill—which includes changes to how Medicare pays doctors and extends the Children's Health Insurance Program until 2017—passed with a 92-8 vote yesterday, hours before doctors were... More »

Senate Passes GOP Budget at 3:28am

50-plus amendments passed in all-night 'vote-a-rama'

(Newser) - The Senate powered through an 18-hour session that ended at 3:28am this morning, giving a yea or nay to more than 50 amendments in a "vote-a-rama" marathon and, in a 52-46 vote, approving a budget that looks to pave the way for dumping ObamaCare, Reuters reports. Not one... More »

Kansas Might Make It Easier to Prosecute Teachers

Educators may soon be on the hook for using 'harmful materials' in lesson plans

(Newser) - Kansas Democrats said they were caught "unprepared" by a discussion on a controversial bill, and now it's too late to make any amendments before it goes to a final vote. Senate Bill 56 would make it easier to prosecute teachers and school administrators in Kansas who use "... More »

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