Patrick Leahy

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Bill Passes House, but Shutdown Still Looms

Senate Democrats are expected to kill it

(Newser) - A government shutdown starting midnight Friday is looking like a strong possibility: A short-term spending bill to avert a government shutdown was passed by the House Thursday evening, largely along party lines, but the measure appears unlikely to pass the Senate, Reuters reports. After a last-minute deal with the conservative... More »

Analysis: Obama's Transparency Push a Flop

Feds cited national security to withhold information a record 8,496 times

(Newser) - The Obama administration pledged to boost transparency in the White House from the get-go, but it hasn't exactly been a promise kept. In virtually every category, the government's efforts to be more open about its activities in 2013 were their worst since Barack Obama first took office, the... More »

US Secretly Halts Egypt Aid; Saudis Publicly Fill Void

US ally steps up as major donor of $12B package

(Newser) - Amid reports that the White House is quietly halting US military aid to Egypt—at least temporarily—Saudi Arabia is taking the bold step of announcing it will fill any financial void. Gulf countries are planning a $12 billion package for Egypt, and Saudi Arabia is the biggest donor, the... More »

Senate Panel Clears Immigration Reform

Full chamber should vote next month

(Newser) - Far-reaching legislation to grant a chance at citizenship to millions of immigrants living illegally in the United States cleared the Senate Judiciary Committee on a solid bipartisan vote tonight after supporters somberly sidestepped a controversy over the rights of gay spouses. The 13-5 vote cleared the way for an epic... More »

Bipartisan Group Hatches Gun Bill in Senate

Patrick Leahy announces push against 'straw purchasers'

(Newser) - A bipartisan group of senators hatched a bill today that would increase penalties for so-called "straw purchasers" of firearms, the Washington Post reports. Sen. Patrick Leahy, announcing the deal, said anyone who illegally buys a gun for someone else would face up to 20 years in prison; the seller... More »

Giffords: Too Many Children Are Dying

Former rep is passionate, Wayne LaPierre defiant in testimony

(Newser) - Gabrielle Giffords delivered a short, powerful, and somewhat difficult to watch statement on Capitol Hill today to kick off the Senate Judiciary Committee's hearing on gun control. "Speaking is difficult, but I need to say something important," Giffords said in halting tones. "Too many children are... More »

Leahy 3rd in Line to Presidency

He is now president pro tempore of the Senate

(Newser) - The death of Daniel Inouye of Hawaii yesterday has Democrats shuffling committee posts and such, but one change in particular carries some import with the Constitution. Patrick Leahy of Vermont got sworn in as president pro tempore of the Senate, which puts him third in line to the presidency behind... More »

McGovern Was a 'Complicated Person'

President Obama, Mitt Romney among those honoring George McGovern

(Newser) - Tributes are rolling in for George McGovern, the Democrat who served three Senate terms and lost a landslide election to President Richard Nixon in 1972. He died today at age 90.
  • "George actually was a very complicated person," said Newt Gingrich, reports Politico . "He said, 'One
... More »

SOPA Author's Own Website Violated Copyright

Meanwhile, Senate author of piracy bill says it needs 'more study'

(Newser) - SOPA author Lamar Smith is being roundly mocked thanks to Jamie Lee Curtis Taete of VICE , who found that as of July, Smith's own website violated copyright, using a background image without attribution. The photo was under a Creative Commons license, so if Smith had just credited the photographer,... More »

US Changes Tune on Killing Egypt's Aid

Top lawmakers figure out that might not be such a bright idea

(Newser) - Many top US lawmakers are backing off their calls to cut aid flowing to Egypt, as consensus builds that the money offers necessary leverage over the Egyptian military. John McCain, who had previously said that aid cuts were “on the table,” said yesterday that it is “just... More »

Democrats Keep Senate; Harry Reid Beats Angle

Barbara Boxer, Rand Paul win; Christine O'Donnell, Linda McMahon lose

(Newser) - They may have lost the House, but Democrats will keep control of the Senate, barely. In big blue victories to help seal it, Harry Reid held off Sharron Angle in Nevada, while Joe Manchin won in West Virginia and Barbara Boxer in California. Earlier, Rand Paul (Kentucky), Marco Rubio (Florida),... More »

Democrats Confront Pentagon on Afghan War

Violence is up, and so is lawmaker anxiety

(Newser) - A schism deepened yesterday between US war leaders and Congress as top Democrats challenged Pentagon assertions that progress is picking up in Afghanistan. "I wouldn't call it eroding," Carl Levin said of support for the war. "But there's a lot of fair concern." That was especially... More »

Cheney: Dropping F-Bomb Was 'Best Thing I Ever Did'

Not exactly remorseful over telling Leahy to "fuck yourself"

(Newser) - As potty-mouthed vice presidents go, Dick Cheney is utterly unrepentant about his 2004 slip of the F-bomb in which he told Pat Leahy to go "fuck yourself." Dennis Miller on his radio show yesterday thanked the former veep for "almost kicking Patrick Leahy's ass," reports Think... More »

Democrats to Play Offense in Court Fight

Will attack 'conservative judicial activism,' citing Citizens United ruling

(Newser) - “Judicial activism” isn’t just a conservative buzzword anymore. Democrats intend to use the upcoming confirmation battle over John Paul Stevens’ successor to argue that it’s the conservatives on John Roberts’ court who are litigating from the bench, high-ranking Democrats tell Politico . Exhibit A: The wildly unpopular Citizens... More »

Obama: Cut Pork From Health Bill. Senate: Say What?

Prez gets pushback from senators looking to hang on to pet projects

(Newser) - There's $600 million in Medicaid payments to Vermont, $100 million for a Connecticut hospital, and the infamous "Cornhusker Kickback," among others, and President Obama wants to yank those porky projects from the health care bill. Democratic senators, being senators, beg to differ. "We're going to do what... More »

Showdown Looms as Abused Filibuster Frays Senate Tempers

GOB blocks routine nomination, has Dems eying reform options

(Newser) - Last night's GOP filibuster of a routine nomination to the National Labor Relation Board left Democrats livid, and considering reforms to stop a filibuster-happy GOP from crippling the Senate. "I'm in my thirty-sixth year. I've never seen anything like it," Sen. Pat Leahy told the Huffington Post . Leahy... More »

Mexico Drug Aid Delayed Over Rights Concerns

(Newser) - More than $100 million in anti-narcotics aid to Mexico has been delayed because of alleged human rights abuses in the country's war with drug cartels, the Washington Post reports. Sen. Patrick Leahy, chair of a subcommittee that oversees foreign aid spending, blocked plans to release a favorable State Department report... More »

GOP Delays Sotomayor Vote

(Newser) - The Senate Judiciary Committee today put off its vote on Sonia Sotomayor's Supreme Court nomination for one week, to July 28, after Republicans asked for a delay. Chairman Patrick Leahy says he is disappointed the Republicans held up the committee's action, but predicts Sotomayor will join the Supreme Court in... More »

Blame Everyone Involved for Shallow Sotomayor Hearings

Dems go lightly; GOP eyes history outside of court

(Newser) - With Sonia Sotomayor's confirmation a virtual certainty and her appointment unlikely to change the direction of the Supreme Court, last week's toothless hearings held few surprises. Except, that is, for observers who were hoping the Senate Judiciary Committee would press for substantive Q-and-A, Joan Biskupic writes for USA Today. “... More »

Sotomayor: Roe v. Wade Is 'Settled Law'

(Newser) - Questioning is under way on Day 2 of Sonia Sotomayor's confirmation hearings, and there has already been much talk of New Haven firefighters and wise Latina women. Asked about that infamous quote early on, Sotomayor replied, “I want to state upfront, unequivocally… I do not believe that any racial... More »

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