Senate

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Senate Sends $1.1T Spending Bill to Obama

Would fund government, minus Homeland Security, through September

(Newser) - A $1.1 trillion spending bill is on its way to President Barack Obama for his signature. The Senate voted 56-40 yesterday for the long-term funding bill, the main item left on Congress' year-end agenda. The measure provides money for nearly the entire government through the Sept. 30 end of... More »

Senate Averts Shutdown, Confirms Obama Nominees

Vote on longer-term spending bill due early next week

(Newser) - Their power ebbing, Senate Democrats launched a last-minute drive today to confirm roughly 20 of President Obama's nominees, and several Republicans blamed Tea Party-backed Texas Sen. Ted Cruz for creating an opening for the outgoing majority party to exploit. Lawmakers took a break from their intrigue long enough to... More »

Torture Report's Footnotes Alone Are Frightening

One detainee may have been simply in 'wrong place at wrong time'

(Newser) - If you don't have time to read the 528-page summary of the Senate's findings on interrogation techniques , you can get a sense of its revelations just by reading the footnotes, Vocativ reports. The site offers material from just the first 200 of the report's 38,000 footnotes:... More »

Torture Report: The 13 Key Techniques

Waterboarding, 180-hour sleep deprivation among them

(Newser) - The Senate's newly released report on "enhanced interrogation" points to 13 different techniques used against detainees. They appear in a Justice Department memo to the CIA from May 2005, and the AP recounts them:
  1. Abdominal Slap: The interrogator slaps the detainee's belly with the back of his
... More »

Keystone Vote Fails in Senate

Mary Landrieu falls one vote shy of the necessary 60

(Newser) - President Obama won't have to make a decision about whether to veto the Keystone XL oil pipeline this year. A bill to send the measure to his desk failed to get the necessary 60 votes in the Senate this evening, reports AP . Democrat Mary Landrieu of Louisiana, facing a... More »

How McCain Could Change US Defense

With GOP taking control of Senate, he'll likely chair Armed Services Committee

(Newser) - With Senate leadership changing , John McCain appears poised to be the new head of the Armed Services Committee—and that could have big implications for US defense, Reuters reports. McCain has a history of criticizing what he sees as excessive spending on some weapons programs; as chair of the committee,... More »

Angry Dems Blame Losses on Obama

GOP strategy paid off

(Newser) - As Republicans rejoice after recapturing the Senate , defeated Democrats are blaming the man they tried to distance themselves from. Aides and strategists complain that President Obama nationalized the election despite his low approval ratings, allowing Republicans to make the election all about the president. Obama—who said last month that... More »

GOP Takes Control of Senate; McConnell Wins

Scott Brown fails in upset bid, but Republicans flip at least 7 seats

(Newser) - Election night was a win for Republicans: Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell started things off by defeating Democrat Alison Lundergan Grimes in Kentucky, reports the AP . Hours later, McConnell learned he will be changing his title to majority leader: Republicans needed a net gain of six seats to take the... More »

GOP's Chances of Taking Senate: More Than 70%

McConnell says Obama rollback starts today

(Newser) - It's Election Day, and Democrats' chances of retaining control of the Senate look pretty slim, according to election models at the Washington Post , the New York Times , and FiveThirtyEight, which put the chances of a GOP victory at 96%, 73%, and 76%, respectively. The Post notes that all three... More »

5 Things to Know Before Election Day

We could be in for an early night ... or the total opposite

(Newser) - We're a day away from Election Day. Here are five things to know about what's expected, what to watch, and what's being said.
  1. All eyes are on the Senate, where Republicans need six seats to gain control. USA Today deems 10 races "still close enough to
... More »

Senate Control Is Up to Iowa: Harry Reid

If Bruce Braley doesn't win, Mitch McConnell will be majority leader, says Democrat

(Newser) - If Democrats want to retain control of the Senate, they'll have to win in Iowa, says Harry Reid. Speaking today to progressive activists, Reid said that if Rep. Bruce Braley beats Joni Ernst, Democrats will do "just fine." But if Ernst—who has recently led in polls,... More »

Senate Control Matters, but Not Why You Think

Jonathan Chait: It's not about legislation, it's about presidential nominations

(Newser) - Republicans look poised to take control of the Senate, and there's all kinds of analysis out there about what this means for President Obama and his legislative agenda. You can safely ignore it all, writes Jonathan Chait at New York . The fact is, which party controls the Senate doesn'... More »

This Could Be Priciest Senate Race Ever

Kay Hagan, Thom Tillis face off in $103M campaign

(Newser) - When you're seeing three Senate campaign ads every five minutes, you might guess there's a fair bit of money going into the race—and you'd be right. The race between North Carolina Democratic Sen. Kay Hagan and Republican challenger Thom Tillis could be the priciest Senate campaign... More »

GOP Likely to Win Small Majority in Senate

Though lots can happen in final month, writes Larry Sabato

(Newser) - With a month to go before the midterms, Republicans stand a decent and ever-improving chance of taking control of the Senate, according to respected political prognosticator Larry Sabato. In his Crystal Ball blog, Sabato writes that a one- to three-seat GOP majority is now the mostly likely outcome, a sharp... More »

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 »

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