US Senate

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Despite NRA, Senate OKs New Surgeon General

Vivek Murthy is approved in 51-43 vote

(Newser) - The Senate today approved President Obama's nomination of Vivek Murthy to serve as US surgeon general, despite opposition from Republicans and some Democrats over his support for gun control. Murthy, 37, a physician at Boston's Brigham and Women's Hospital and instructor at Harvard Medical School, won confirmation... More »

Senate OKs Bill With $63B for Ongoing Wars

Defense hawks, Western state Republicans carry the day

(Newser) - Congress today sent President Obama a massive defense policy bill that endorses his stepped-up military campaign of air strikes and training of Iraqis and moderate Syrian rebels in the war against Islamic State militants. The Senate overwhelmingly approved the bill that authorizes funds for basic military operations, including construction of... More »

Louisiana Dumps Landrieu

GOP gains 54th Senate seat with Bill Cassidy's win in runoff

(Newser) - In what Politico calls "Dems' final insult" from Election 2014, Mary Landrieu lost her Senate seat last night, in a convincing defeat that denied a Louisiana political scion a fourth term, gave Republicans a 54th seat, and unceremoniously dumped what ABC News terms the "last vestige of Democratic... More »

Get Ready for 'Hell No' Senate Liberals

Dems prepared to fight 'god-awful' Republicans on environment, campaign finance

(Newser) - Yesterday's Keystone pipeline fail in the Senate may have disappointed one notable Democrat—Louisiana's Mary Landrieu —but it appears to have lit a fire under a whole bunch of others. Liberal Democrats are poised to fight "tooth and nail," as Politico puts it, against the... More »

GOP Wave Rolls On: Alaska Dumps Begich

Republican Dan Sullivan defeats first-term senator

(Newser) - Mark Begich couldn't pull off another election surprise as Republican Dan Sullivan, a Marine Corps reservist and assistant secretary of state under President George W. Bush, defeated the first-term incumbent as part of a wave in which Republicans regained control of the Senate. Another Senate race is yet to... More »

McConnell, Boehner: Here's What We're Going to Do

Revive bills that languished, repeal ObamaCare, greenlight Keystone

(Newser) - Come January, Republicans will control both the House and the Senate—and in the Wall Street Journal , House Speaker John Boehner and soon-to-be-Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell offer up a joint column explaining their plans. "For years, the House did its job and produced a steady stream of bills... 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 »

Larry Craig's 'Wide Stance' Just Cost Him $242K

Former senator fined for improperly using campaign funds as legal funds

(Newser) - Ever feel like today's Senate scandals are missing a little je ne sais quoi ? Get ready to rock it like it's 2007 in a men's bathroom stall in the Minneapolis airport, because Larry Craig and his wide stance are back on the scene. As Roll Call... More »

Senator Who Called Kirsten Gillibrand 'Chubby' Revealed

It was Daniel Inouye, sources say

(Newser) - In case you were wondering which senator called Kirsten Gillibrand "chubby," the New York Times has the answer: Daniel Inouye, the Hawaii Democrat who died in 2012 at age 88 . "People with knowledge of the incident" gave away his identity to the Times, which reminds us that... 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 »

Jim Jeffords, Who Flipped Senate Control, Dead at 80

Vermont independent praised for work ethic, patriotism

(Newser) - Former Vermont Sen. Jim Jeffords, who in 2001 tipped control of the Senate when he quit the Republican Party to become an independent, died today in Washington, the AP reports. He was 80. Jeffords served more than 30 years in Washington, having won election to the House in 1974 as... More »

Senate Kills Bill to Reverse Hobby Lobby Ruling

As GOP announces plans to introduce its own contraception bill

(Newser) - Senate Democrats' attempt to nullify the Supreme Court's Hobby Lobby decision has met its end—at least for now. Republicans yesterday blocked the motion, which fell four votes short of the 60 it needed to proceed to the House. The bill, defeated 56-43 on a procedural vote, would have... More »

Senators Blast Dr. Oz for Bogus Diet Claims

He defends right to use 'flowery' language

(Newser) - Celebrity TV doctor Mehmet Oz stuck up for his right to use "flowery" language to praise weight loss products after a Senate panel slammed him for encouraging scammers by endorsing "miracle cures." Sen. Claire McAskill asked him why he "cheapened" his show by saying things he... More »

Senate OKs More Jobless Benefits

But Boehner spokesman says House isn't interested

(Newser) - After months of knocking heads, the US Senate voted today 59-38 to revive jobless benefits for the long-term unemployed—but the bill's fate in the House looks hazy at best, the AP reports. A small group of GOP senators quickly reached out to House Speaker John Boehner, urging him... More »

Senate OKs Janet Yellen to Lead Fed

Brooklyn, NY, native will be first woman to lead the central bank

(Newser) - The Senate has easily approved Janet Yellen's nomination to head the Federal Reserve. Monday's 56-26 vote makes Yellen the first woman to lead the central bank in its century-long history. It puts an economist in the post who has long focused on fighting unemployment and who backed the... More »

Liz Cheney Exits Senate Race

Citing 'serious health issues' in family

(Newser) - Things might now settle down around the Cheney family dinner table: Liz Cheney is dropping her controversial bid for a Senate seat in Wyoming. Cheney announced today she is dropping out of the race that sparked a very public feud with sister Mary and her wife over gay marriage, Politico... More »

Tom Coburn: Harry Reid Is 'an Absolute A--hole'

Comment ignites war of words

(Newser) - So much for playing nice in the Senate sandbox: At a New York Young Republican Club gala on Monday, Tom Coburn reportedly trash-talked Harry Reid. When asked about his relations with opponents in the Senate, the Republican senator replied that some Democrats are easier to get along with than others.... More »

Senate Chaplain's Prayer: 'Deliver Us From Hypocrisy'

Barry C. Black holds nothing back in daily invocations

(Newser) - For at least one minute every morning, the Senate has to listen to Barry C. Black, the Senate chaplain, as he offers up his daily prayer. And Black, a former Navy rear admiral, has been taking advantage of that fact. For the past week, as the government shutdown has dragged... More »

Meet the US Senate's Crime Novelist

Barbara Mikulski's heroine is a crime-fighting senator

(Newser) - If the American electorate ever actually throws the bastards behind the shutdown out, at least one career legislator has a plan B in place. Sen. Barbara Mikulski, the Maryland Democrat who's the Senate's longest-serving woman, is also the published author of a pair of novels, notes Roll Call... More »

Senate Torpedoes House Bid to Defund ObamaCare

Ball back in Boehner's court

(Newser) - The Senate has voted 54 to 46 to reject House amendments to the continuing resolution—including the one that would delay ObamaCare. The vote split evenly along party lines, and increases the odds of a government shutdown, the Washington Post reports. As Slate points out, this is the second time... More »

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