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Sebelius Eyes Run for Senate: Report

Could face friend Pat Roberts in Kansas

(Newser) - She's only just leaving her post as health secretary, and under more than a bit of a cloud, but that doesn't mean Kathleen Sebelius' political career is over. Democratic insiders say her name is coming up quite a bit in discussions of potential Senate candidates in her home... More »

CIA Interrogation Program Saved Lives: Head

Jose Rodriguez responds to Senate report

(Newser) - A Senate panel has voted to release a giant report slamming CIA interrogation methods, the Washington Post reported this week. But regardless of what the Senate report says, the interrogation program saved lives, its former head writes in the Post. "Unlike the committee’s staff, I don’t have... More »

Scott Brown Enters New Hampshire Senate Race

Former Massachusetts senator poised for official announcement

(Newser) - Former Massachusetts senator Scott Brown is officially looking to head back to the Hill—this time representing New Hampshire. During a radio interview with New Hampshire's WGIR , Brown all but said he would run, Talk Radio News Service notes; News 9 has confirmed the news. Brown met with Senate... More »

Long-Term Unemployed May Get Benefits After All

Senators reach compromise on retroactive assistance

(Newser) - Long-term unemployed people who lost their benefits at the end of last year now have hope of getting that money after all. A group of bipartisan senators struck a deal today to extend the benefits for five months, retroactive to December, reports Politico . Because five Republicans already have signed on... More »

CIA Hits Back as Feinstein Says It Spied on Senate

John Brennan denies illegal searches of Intelligence Committee computers

(Newser) - CIA Director John Brennan is hitting back after Sen. Dianne Feinstein confirmed reports that the CIA illegally searched Senate Intelligence Committee computers. "We weren't trying to block anything," Brennan tells NBC . "The CIA was in no way spying on [the committee] or the Senate." Feinstein... More »

Senate OKs Bill to Combat Military Sexual Assault

97-0 vote aims to scrap age-old 'good soldier defense'

(Newser) - The Senate overwhelmingly approved a bill late today making big changes in the military justice system to deal with sexual assault, including scrapping the nearly century-old practice of using a "good soldier defense" to raise doubts that a crime has been committed. On a vote of 97-0, the Senate... More »

Gillibrand's Sex-Assault Bill for Military Fails in Senate

She hoped to remove authority from commanders

(Newser) - New York Democrat Kirsten Gillibrand has lost her fight to dramatically change the way the Pentagon handles sex-assault cases, reports AP . For now, anyway. She needed 60 votes to overcome a filibuster but came up with only 55. And the Hill points out that this wasn't exactly a party-line... More »

CIA Accused of Spying on Senate Staffers

Inspector General looking into clashes over torture report

(Newser) - The CIA's Inspector General is calling for the Justice Department to look into allegations that the agency illegally spied on aides to the Senate Intelligence Committee as they gathered information for a potentially contentious report on the CIA's torture program, McClatchy reports. The CIA had insisted that the... More »

Only 2 Senators Show Up for Seth Rogen Testimony

Comedian names and shames Mark Kirk for bailing on Alzheimer's testimony

(Newser) - Sen. Mark Kirk made a huge mistake yesterday, when he tweeted a picture of himself with Seth Rogen, who was on Capitol Hill to testify about Alzheimer's funding. "Thanks to @Sethrogen for speaking out about efforts to #ENDALZ. RT if you know someone affected by #Alzheimers," Kirk... More »

Bank's 'Spy Novel' Tactics Hid US Tax Dodgers' Billions

And Justice Dept. did little to respond, per Senate report on Credit Suisse

(Newser) - Swiss bank Credit Suisse helped thousands of Americans keep as much as $12 billion in assets tucked away from the eyes of the IRS, a Senate report out yesterday alleges—and the bank used some unconventional techniques in the process, including once hiding bank statements in a copy of Sports ... More »

After Dicey Vote, Senate Clears Hike in Debt Ceiling

Ted Cruz forces McConnell, other Republicans into tough spot

(Newser) - After a dramatic Senate tally in which top GOP leaders cast the crucial votes, legislation to allow the government to borrow money to pay its bills cleared Congress today for President Obama's signature. The Senate approved the measure by a near party-line 55-43 vote. All of those "aye"... More »

Bill to Extend Jobless Benefits Fails in Senate

Republicans insist on offsetting budget cuts

(Newser) - Republicans today blocked legislation from advancing in the Senate to restore benefits for the long-term unemployed. Only four GOP senators voted to advance the legislation, which all 53 Democrats and two independents support. When its fate was sealed, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid switched his vote, which made the final... More »

Sen. Tom Coburn to Step Down Early

Health isn't the only reason, he says

(Newser) - One of the Senate's most conservative Republicans is retiring early—and Tom Coburn says his health problems aren't the only reason. The 65-year-old Oklahoman, a family doctor who earned the nickname "Dr. No" for his firm opposition to all spending he deemed wasteful, says the unhealthy, gridlocked... More »

Senate Sends $1.1T Spending Bill to Obama

No drama: President gets it in plenty of time before Saturday deadline

(Newser) - This budget stuff isn't so hard after all. Congress has easily passed a $1.1 trillion bill easing the harshest effects of last year's automatic spending cuts. The sweeping 72-26 Senate vote today to fund the government through September sends the bill to the White House for President... More »

Bring Back the Bipartisan Senate of Yore: McConnell

Minority leader offers 3 tips for a better chamber

(Newser) - The Senate can be "the greatest legislative tool we have" to resolve partisan feuding: Its rules essentially "require" bipartisanship on major decisions, and we've seen that cooperation throughout the past century, from Medicare to the Americans With Disabilities Act, writes Sen. Mitch McConnell at Politico in a... More »

Today's Supreme Court Case May Reverberate 'Centuries'

Justices consider Obama's recess appointments; weighty decisions loom this term

(Newser) - The Supreme Court isn't taking on a lot of cases over the next 100 days—in fact, this March, it will review just half its usual caseload, the Washington Post reports. But the cases it is examining are big ones. Today, for instance, the court is considering just when... More »

Jobless Bill Clears Key Senate Vote in Squeaker

Republicans cross aisle for unexpected success

(Newser) - A bill to revive extended unemployment benefits squeaked through its first procedural vote 60-37, a narrow win that outlets including Politico are characterizing as a surprise. Six moderate Republican senators voted with Democrats to renew the recently expired benefits: Kelly Ayotte, Susan Collins, Dan Coats, Dean Heller, Lisa Murkowski, and... More »

Harry Reid Out of Hospital for Exhaustion

Senate majority leader, 74, went today as a precaution

(Newser) - Harry Reid is out of the hospital after spending much of the day there suffering from exhaustion. The Senate majority leader finally went home after doctors cleared him to return to work, his spokesman said this evening. Reid was admitted to George Washington University Hospital early in the day after... More »

Senate Passes 2-Year Budget Deal

Bipartisan measure now ready for Obama's signature

(Newser) - It's official: Congress has sent President Obama a bipartisan budget deal that scales back across-the-board spending cuts on programs ranging from the Pentagon to the national park system. The final vote on the two-year measure was 64-36 in the Senate. The House approved the bill last week. The legislation... More »

Senators Clash With CIA Nominee Over Torture

Udall demands classified report

(Newser) - The Senate Intelligence Committee has formally requested a classified internal CIA study on its torture program, which lawmakers believe is deeply unflattering, the New York Times reports. Mark Udall revealed the existence of the report yesterday during a prickly hearing with Caroline Krass, President Obama's nominee for CIA general... More »

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