Senate Democrats

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Senate Dems Have a New Role for Bernie Sanders

He vows to hold Trump accountable for campaign promises

(Newser) - Bernie Sanders is back on the political scene and he's more powerful than ever. After Chuck Schumer was elected Senate minority leader Wednesday, he announced that the independent Vermont senator will be Senate Democrats' new chair of "outreach." USA Today reports that this will make Sanders the... More »

Chuck Schumer Is Senate's New Minority Leader

And Mitch McConnell wins re-election as majority leader

(Newser) - The pieces are starting to fall into place for a Donald Trump presidency, and on Wednesday that came in the form of two major legislative appointments. New York Sen. Chuck Schumer received a unanimous vote by Senate Democrats during a closed-door meeting to become the minority leader who will succeed... More »

A Democratic Senate Is Looking More and More Likely

Dems need 4 Senate seats; new prediction says they could get 7

(Newser) - With a Hillary Clinton victory looking increasingly imminent, the outlook is getting rosier for a Democratic Senate as well, according to the Cook Political Report . MarketWatch reports that 24 Republican Senate seats are being decided this election. Democrats need to pick up four of those to set up a 50/50... 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 »

Reid Backs Schumer to Replace Him

Jockeying begins to determine who will lead Senate Democrats

(Newser) - Unless Dick Durbin makes a stink about it, it appears that Chuck Schumer will replace Harry Reid as the Senate's Democratic leader come 2016. In an interview after announcing that he would not run for re-election, Reid tells the Washington Post that the New York senator is his pick.... 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 »

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 »

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 »

Battle Over Senate May Not End on Election Day

Louisiana and Georgia likely face runoff elections

(Newser) - Think the Nov. 4 election will determine which party controls the US Senate? Not necessarily: Louisiana and Georgia are facing possible run-offs, while Kansas and South Dakota have strong independent candidates who could become king-makers if either party needs one more to control the 100-member legislative body, Reuters reports. No... 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 »

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 »

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 »

Dems Put Forward Debt Limit Measure

Senators fear White House edging toward negotiations

(Newser) - President Obama and Senate Democrats have put a long-term measure to raise the debt ceiling on the table. The legislation would boost the debt ceiling by $1 trillion, the Washington Post reports—though Dems say in order to avoid default, they might OK a short-term solution instead, even if it... More »

Democrats Did Kill the Filibuster

Wall Street Journal: It lives in theory but is dead in reality

(Newser) - So Harry Reid didn't exercise the "nuclear option" and thus kept intact Republicans' ability to filibuster presidential appointees, right? Wrong, declare the editors at the Wall Street Journal . Consider the filibuster dead in those situations—because what's to stop Democrats from making the same threat to kill... More »

Reid, McConnell Feud Startles Chummy Senate

Senate leaders get personal over filibuster rules, 2014

(Newser) - Harry Reid and Mitch McConnell have spent a combined 60 years in the Senate, and they've generally had an amicable relationship—but no more. Sticking points include the Democrats' attempt to oust McConnell in 2014; a super PAC led by former Reid aides is working against the minority leader... More »

NJ Sen. Lautenberg Dead at 89

Chris Christie will appoint his replacement

(Newser) - Frank Lautenberg, the New Jersey Democrat who was the oldest sitting member of the United States Senate, died this morning of viral pneumonia at the age of 89, reports the Record . Lautenberg, who had been diagnosed with stomach cancer in 2010, had been in ill health since late last year... More »

Karl Rove: GOP Can Retake Senate in 2014

But the party will need 'quality candidates'

(Newser) - If the Todd Akins and Richard Mourdocks of the world keep their distance, Republicans have a chance of retaking the Senate in 2014, writes Karl Rove in the Wall Street Journal . To do so, they would would need a net gain of six seats. It sounds steep, but Max Baucus... More »

Senate Trying to Fix Airport Budget Cut Debacle

Obama administration says it's open to 'Band-Aid measure'

(Newser) - Some Senate Democrats broke rank yesterday and started working on legislation that would provide a quick fix to the rampant flight delays the sequester budget cuts have inflicted on travelers. Right now, the FAA is applying the across-the-board cuts, well, across-the-board, furloughing air traffic controllers at busy and remote airports... More »

Max Baucus to Retire: Report

Powerful Democrat chairs Finance committee

(Newser) - A powerful Senate Democrat is headed for greener pastures, according to a new report from the Washington Post . Max Baucus, the Montana moderate who chairs the Senate Finance Committee, doesn't intend to seek re-election in 2014, strategists tell the paper. Other outlets, including the AP , are now reporting the... More »

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