Senate

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Congress Has Rarely Worked a Full Week in 37 Years

Both chambers in session together Monday through Friday just 14% of the time

(Newser) - When you crunch the numbers, Congress looks pretty lazy. The Washington Post finds that both chambers have been in session only about 40% of the time since 1978—the first year for which online records are available—and they've both worked full weeks simultaneously a measly 14% of the... More »

Inside the Senate's Secret Handbook

300-plus pages of rules made public by 'USA Today'

(Newser) - Illinois senators receive six times more sheets of blank paper—that would be about 11.6 million sheets to 1.87 million—than West Virginia senators do. The office paper quota is an actual rule put down in the US Senate Handbook, a 380-page tome that USA Today writes "... More »

Senate Backs ISIS Bill, but Some Big Names Balk

Rand Paul, Elizabeth Warren in the 'no' camp

(Newser) - The Senate today followed the lead of the House and passed a spending bill that gives President Obama the authority to train and arm Syrian rebels in the fight against ISIS. The measure passed easily, 78-22, but the Hill notes that some potential presidential candidates were in the "no"... More »

Big Win for Democrats: Court Orders One Off Kansas Ballot

Decision could hurt GOP chances of retaking control of Senate

(Newser) - On the face of it, a court decision ordering a Democrat's name to be removed from the ballot in a Senate race of huge consequences wouldn't seem to be great news for the party. But it is indeed, thanks to the weird Kansas Senate race of 2014. The... More »

2 Gay Candidates for Congress Hope to Make History

Republicans want to be first in their party to campaign and win seats

(Newser) - Two openly gay GOP candidates are still alive in the midterm congressional elections. One is Richard Tisei of Massachusetts, who ran unopposed in his primary last night and hopes to join the six current LGBT members of the House, all Democrats, reports Mother Jones . No openly gay GOP candidate has... More »

Multistate Senator? Scott Brown Wins NH Primary

Republican will face Jeanne Shaheen this fall

(Newser) - Scott Brown is on the road to becoming the first person since the 19th century to have represented more than one state in the Senate. The former Massachusetts senator comfortably won the Republican primary in New Hampshire yesterday, the AP reports, and will face incumbent Democrat Jeanne Shaheen this fall... More »

Congress' Most Endangered Incumbents

Unpopular President Obama could hurt Democrats

(Newser) - The congressional midterm elections are coming, meaning it's time to mine the tea leaves for potential losers. So, who might be facing the music come November? Of the Senate's 10 most vulnerable, nine are Democrats, according to Roll Call . A sampling from its list:
  • Mary Landrieu—An oddball
... More »

Gillibrand: Colleagues Called Me 'Fat,' 'Porky,' 'Chubby'

Your elected politicians behave badly in her book, 'Off the Sidelines'

(Newser) - New York Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand has a new book, Off the Sidelines , out next month, and it takes a frank look at the reality of being a woman on Capitol Hill. Among the more surprising and perhaps not-so-surprising tidbits:
  • Gillibrand reveals she had lost 50 pounds after giving birth when
... More »

GOP Shouldn't Get Giddy About Senate Control Yet

Forecasters have them taking over after midterms, but two skeptics differ

(Newser) - Republicans have reason to be happy heading into the midterm elections, with forecasts from respected outlets such as the Cook Political Report and FiveThirtyEight.com pointing toward a GOP takeover of the Senate. At the Washington Post , however, Dan Balz isn't quite so convinced. Republicans need to pick up... More »

CIA: Sorry, We Did Snoop on Senate Staffers

Chief John Brennan apologizes for monitoring computers

(Newser) - Back in March, when Sen. Dianne Feinstein accused the CIA of illegally snooping on Senate staffers, agency chief John Brennan said this, recalls the Washington Post :
  • “When the facts come out on this, I think a lot of people who are claiming that there has been this tremendous sort
... More »

Ex-Reebok CEO Wins GOP Senate Primary

Georgia race seen as key to Senate control

(Newser) - Businessman David Perdue has won the GOP nomination for a Senate race the party cannot afford to lose. Perdue, former CEO of Reebok and Dollar General, narrowly beat 11-term Rep. Jack Kingston in a runoff election in Georgia to become the party's Senate nominee, reports the New York Times... More »

Half the Senate Tells NFL to Change Redskins' Name

Just 5 Democratic senators don't take part

(Newser) - Half the US Senate urged NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell today to change the Washington Redskins' name, saying it is a racist slur and the time is ripe to replace it. In one letter, 49 Democratic senators cited the NBA's quick action recently to ban Los Angeles Clippers owner Donald... More »

Senate Republicans Shoot Down Minimum Wage Hike

Vote fails to clear filibuster, 54-42, with all but one Republican dissenting

(Newser) - Senate Republicans today blocked a Democratic bill that would boost the federal minimum wage, handing a defeat to President Obama on a vote that is sure to reverberate in this year's congressional elections. The legislation by Sen. Tom Harkin would have gradually raised the $7.25 hourly minimum to... More »

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 »

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