Congress

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$1.1T Spending Bill Squeaks Through House

Obama helps round up Democratic votes

(Newser) - Swapping crisis for compromise, the House narrowly approved $1.1 trillion in government-wide spending last night after President Obama and Republicans joined forces to override Democratic complaints that the bill would also ease bank regulations imposed after the economy's near-collapse in 2008. The 219-206 vote cleared the way for... More »

Warren Leads Populist Charge Against Big Vote

Says spending bill weakens Wall Street rules, wants Democrats to oppose it

(Newser) - The House and Senate need to pass a spending bill by midnight to avoid a shutdown, and things have gotten more complicated because of opposition by progressives led by Sen. Elizabeth Warren, reports the Hill . Warren says a deal struck by leaders includes a provision that would weaken new rules... More »

Lawmakers Strike Budget Deal to Avoid Shutdown

Congress has to get it passed before midnight Thursday

(Newser) - With time running short, Republicans and Democrats agreed today on a $1.1 trillion spending bill to avoid a government shutdown and delay a fight over President Obama's new immigration policy until the new year. The government will run out of money at midnight Thursday without a new deal... More »

First Part of Boehner's 2-Step Plan Passes

It's a symbolic vote to oppose Obama's immigration plan

(Newser) - John Boehner's two-step strategy to oppose President Obama's immigration plan while at the same avoiding a government shutdown got past step one today. The House easily approved a measure that would prohibit the White House from protecting millions of undocumented immigrants from deportation, reports the Hill . In terms... More »

Obama Calls for $6B to Fight Ebola

President makes plea to Congress for emergency aid to help West Africa

(Newser) - West Africa is still in dire need of international help in fighting Ebola, and President Obama is appealing to Congress to approve $6.2 billion in aid for just that purpose, the AP reports. "We cannot beat Ebola without more funding," he said during a visit yesterday to... More »

Lawmakers Go 'Hands Up' on House Floor

Time for Congress to address the problem: Hakeem Jeffries

(Newser) - On the floor of the House of Representatives last night, lawmakers raised their arms in a gesture of support for Ferguson protesters, Politico reports. "Hands up, don’t shoot. It’s a rallying cry of people all across America who are fed up with police violence … in community,... More »

House Keystone Vote Wasn't Really About Pipeline

Louisiana's Senate runoff could hang in balance

(Newser) - The big news out of Congress today is that the House passed a bill to authorize the building of the Keystone XL oil pipeline. In terms of getting the pipeline built, the vote doesn't mean much, observes the New York Times . But in terms of the Senate runoff in... More »

Congress Moving Keystone; Could Hit Obama Next Week

White House says president has 'dim view' of measure, may veto

(Newser) - A bipartisan effort to advance the Keystone XL pipeline bill picked up steam just a few hours after Congress got back from an extended break yesterday. The House is expected to vote on the measure sometime today, and the bill would then head to the Senate early next week, reports... More »

Congress May Have Won Some New Stars

Some fresh faces, blood headed to Capitol Hill

(Newser) - More than one vaunted member of Congress had his hat handed to him and his seat swiped last night. But as they get ready to pack it in, some interesting potential stars are heading for Capitol Hill. A look at a few, via the Christian Science Monitor :
  • Seth Moulton, D-Mass.
... 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 »

GOP Easily Keeps Control of House

The question is, how much will they extend their margin?

(Newser) - As the night's results filter in, NBC News is projecting early that—surprise, surprise—Republicans will retain control of the House. While the GOP win was a virtual certainty beforehand, the question now is how much the party can pad its margin. By AP's count , Republicans currently control... More »

In Shift, Millennial Voters Want GOP to Run Congress

Harvard poll finds small lead for Republicans

(Newser) - Republicans might find support in an unusual place in next week's election: among millennials. A new poll by Harvard's Institute of Politics shows that 18- to 29-year-olds who will likely vote on Tuesday prefer a GOP-run Congress. The margin is small, with 51% favoring the GOP and 47%... More »

5 Neck-and-Neck House Races

Threats to reporters, alleged earwax-eating take center stage

(Newser) - Given the stakes, you may be tempted to focus more on Senate races next Tuesday than House ones—but there's plenty of political drama to hold your attention in the lower chamber. Among the most interesting races:
  • In New York's 11th district, a man facing a federal indictment
... More »

Obama Could Ease Iran Sanctions— Without Congress

White House points to president's power to 'suspend' them in event of a deal

(Newser) - Iran may be open to a nuclear deal in exchange for the lifting of some sanctions, and President Obama, the Treasury Department says, has the power to take action himself. According to a White House study, Obama doesn't need congressional approval to "suspend" most of the sanctions on... More »

Ralph Hall, Oldest in US House, Hurt in Car Accident

91-year-old in serious condition: report

(Newser) - The oldest-ever serving member of the House of Representatives is in the hospital following a car accident. Rep. Ralph Hall of Texas, 91, is being treated in Plano, WFAA reports. He was reportedly riding in a vehicle when another hit it; afterward, he was airlifted to the hospital, and KXII... 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 »

Ex-Con Former US Rep Dies After Tractor Accident

James Traficant was expelled from Congress in rare move

(Newser) - Former Ohio Congressman James Traficant, who served time in jail on a corruption conviction, has died at 73 after a tractor accident , according to reports. The vehicle flipped over onto him while he was trying to park it, the AP reports. He spent four days in the hospital and died... More »

House OKs US Help for Syrian Rebels Fighting ISIS

Senate expected to pass it tomorrow

(Newser) - The House voted grudgingly today to give the US military the authority to train and arm Syrian rebels fighting ISIS. The 273-156 vote crossed party lines to an unusual degree in a Congress marked by near ceaseless partisanship. Top Republican and Democratic leaders backed the plan seven weeks before midterm... 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 »

Iraq Vet Beats Incumbent in Democratic House Primary

Seth Moulton unseats John Tierney in Massachusetts

(Newser) - For the fourth time this primary season, a House incumbent has been defeated—and there were no Tea Partiers in sight this time. John Tierney, a nine-term Democrat in Massachusetts, was defeated by 35-year-old Iraq veteran Seth Moulton, reports the Wall Street Journal . The former Marine captain had the support... More »

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