Senate Republicans

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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 »

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 »

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 »

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 »

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 »

Democratic Rep: 'Not All' in GOP Are Racist

But party has 'elements animated by racism': Steve Israel

(Newser) - Does Democratic Rep. Steve Israel think his "Republican colleagues are racist"? His reply to Candy Crowley's question on CNN yesterday: "Not all of them, no. Of course not," said the head of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee. But "to a significant extent, the Republican... More »

'Ego Trip' by Ted Cruz Costs Republicans

Dana Milbank says he's putting himself above interests of GOP, nation

(Newser) - Ted Cruz has plenty of fervent supporters in the Tea Party movement, but he seems to be emerging as the ultimate villain on Capitol Hill, even among his own party. The latest wave of criticism stems from earlier this week, when Cruz forced a procedural vote on the debt-ceiling hike... 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 »

Dems Raising a Ruckus Over Jobless Benefits

President Obama plans to keep issue in the news

(Newser) - President Obama plans to climb the bully pulpit this week and hammer Congress—but really, just congressional Republicans—for failing to extend long-term unemployment benefits. The White House has concocted a plan to keep the issue in the news on a daily basis, Politico reports. Tomorrow, Obama will invite a... More »

GOP Joins as Budget Clears 1st Senate Vote, 67-33

Deal should pass Senate no later than tomorrow

(Newser) - Conservatives still don't love the bipartisan budget deal passed by the House last week , but as expected, it advanced in the Senate today after a number of Republican senators declared their support. In some cases, their quite tepid support: The deal "isn’t everything I’d hoped it... More »

Senate GOP Blocks Another Obama Appointment

Republicans derail pick for DC court of appeals

(Newser) - Senate Republicans blocked another of President Obama's picks for one of the nation's top courts today, the latest skirmish in a nominations battle that has intensified partisan tensions in the chamber. The vote derailed Obama's selection of Georgetown University law professor Cornelia Pillard to fill one of... More »

GOP Blocks 2 Obama Picks, Sets Up Senate Fight

Democrats threaten to change rules requiring 60 votes

(Newser) - Senate Republicans today blocked President Obama's picks for a powerful federal court and a housing regulatory agency, prompting Democrats to threaten curtailing the GOP's ability to derail nominations. "Something has to change, and I hope we can make the changes necessary through cooperation," Harry Reid said... More »

Obama, GOP Senators Start to 'Jell' in Meeting

Is momentum shifting against House Republicans?

(Newser) - A ray of hope at the White House? Republican senators emerged from a nearly 2-hour meeting with President Obama today saying the two sides are closer to an agreement—or are at least listening to each other, Politico reports. What's more, the Washington Post reports that Obama talked by... More »

Shutdown Deal Near? Tone Still Hopeful

More meetings today amid signs of progress

(Newser) - So will the week end with a Capitol Hill deal to reopen the government and avoid a default, or at least set the stage for a weekend breakthrough? Signs of progress remain promising , but as Politico puts it, "there’s no one dancing in the West Wing end zone"... More »

Government Shutdown Looms Again

Congress grapples with sequester as Washington budget war continues

(Newser) - Ready for another shutdown showdown? Well tough, because Congress seems to be barreling toward yet another irreconcilable budget stalemate, the Washington Post reports. Lawmakers need to reach a deal on the budget and, particularly, the sequester cuts by Oct. 1, which is just three weeks after they return from August... More »

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