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Obama: Nix the Filibuster, Pass Voting Rights Legislation

In first op-ed since leaving office, former president calls on Senate to 'do the right thing'

(Newser) - President Biden recently called for altering Senate rules if necessary to remove the obstacle of the filibuster so that voting rights legislation can be passed. Now, a big voice is joining in that same chorus. In what USA Today says is his first op-ed since leaving office in 2017, former...

Congress Hit by 'Unprecedented' Surge in Cases

Lawmakers urged to meet virtually amid wave of COVID-19 cases

(Newser) - The Capitol physician is warning lawmakers of an "unprecedented" number of cases hitting members of Congress and their staffers. At the on-site testing center, the 7-day positivity rate is higher than 13%, compared to less than 1% before the rise of the omicron variant, Politico reports. Omicron accounts for...

Senator Says He Invited Manchin to Join GOP

Biden still hopes to get Build Back Better done

(Newser) - After delivering a potentially fatal blow to President Biden's Build Back Better plan, Sen. Joe Manchin is not a popular man with his fellow Democrats—but he's gained some Republican fans. Texas GOP Sen. John Cornyn told KXAN Tuesday that he had sent the West Virginia a text...

House Clears Bill to Avert Shutdown
Congress Clears Bill
to Avert Shutdown

Congress Clears Bill to Avert Shutdown

Senate passes stopgap measure shortly after House

(Newser) - Update: Shortly after the House passed a stopgap bill to avert a partial government shutdown, the Senate did the same, by a vote of 69-28. There had been talk of GOP members holding up the measure, but that didn't come to pass. "I am glad that in the...

Voting Rights Bill Hits GOP Wall
GOP Turns Back
Voting Rights Bill

GOP Turns Back Voting Rights Bill

Democrats to lobby each other on changing filibuster rule after another loss

(Newser) - Republican senators put a stop Wednesday to Democratic legislation to overhaul elections. The Freedom to Vote Act needed 60 votes; the count was 49-51, the Hill reports. "For every two steps forward, sometimes there are those who try to pull us one step back," Sen. Chuck Schumer said....

Democrats Say They'll Take Deal on Debt Limit

Mitch McConnell offered short-term extension

(Newser) - Update: Both sides claimed victory Wednesday after Democratic senators agreed to accept Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell's offer of a short-term deal on raising the debt limit, Politico reports. After a closed-door caucus meeting, Senate Democrats said they were prepared to accept the Republican's offer of an emergency...

Biden Surprises Reporters With Remark on Filibuster

He says rule change to raise debt limit is a 'real possibility'

(Newser) - To get around Republican obstruction, President Biden said Tuesday that Democrats are considering a change to the Senate's filibuster rules in order to quickly approve lifting the nation's debt limit and avoid what would be a devastating credit default. "It’s a real possibility," Biden told...

Senate Parliamentarian's Ruling a Big Blow to Dems

In particular, a blow to their immigration push

(Newser) - Democrats can’t use their $3.5 trillion package bolstering social and climate programs for their plan to give millions of immigrants a chance to become citizens, the Senate’s parliamentarian said, a crushing blow to what was the party’s clearest pathway in years to attaining that long-sought goal....

Senate Democrats Hand Biden a Win
Senate Democrats
Hand Biden a Win

Senate Democrats Hand Biden a Win

Budget resolution approved on party-line vote

(Newser) - Democrats pushed a $3.5 trillion framework for bolstering family services, health, and environment programs through the Senate early Wednesday, advancing President Biden’s expansive vision for reshaping federal priorities just hours after handing him a companion triumph on a hefty infrastructure package. Lawmakers approved Democrats’ budget resolution on a...

Senate Launches 'Vote-a-Rama' on $3.5T Budget Blueprint

Amendment against defunding police passes 99-0

(Newser) - Democrats pushed their expansive $3.5 trillion framework for bolstering family services, health, and environment programs toward Senate passage Tuesday, as Republicans unleashed an avalanche of amendments aimed at making their rivals pay a price in next year’s elections. Congressional approval of the budget resolution, which seems assured, would...

Senate Passes Massive Infrastructure Bill, 69-30

It's seen as a bipartisan win for President Biden

(Newser) - With a robust vote after weeks of fits and starts, the Senate approved a $1 trillion bipartisan infrastructure plan on Tuesday, a rare coalition of Democrats and Republicans joining to overcome skeptics and deliver a cornerstone of President Biden's agenda, per the AP . The 69-30 tally provides momentum for...

Old World Meets New in Latest DC Hangup

Infrastructure bill is stalled by disagreement over cryptocurrency

(Newser) - An old-school political issue—infrastructure—is getting bogged down by the most newfangled of topics. Cryptocurrency. It seems that the giant, bipartisan infrastructure bill is hung up because senators can't agree on how much to regulate the burgeoning field, reports the Hill . The details get convoluted, both in terms...

Bipartisan Infrastructure Bill Is In—and It's Massive

Senators unveil $1T package Sunday night

(Newser) - After much delay, senators unveiled a nearly $1 trillion bipartisan infrastructure package, wrapping up days of painstaking work on the inches-thick bill and launching what is certain to be a lengthy debate over President Biden’s big priority. The Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act clocked in at some 2,700...

Senators Vote to Work on $1T Infrastructure Plan

Package passes test vote, 67-32, and moves toward debate

(Newser) - Senators of both parties voted Wednesday night to get started on President Biden's $1 trillion infrastructure plan. The 67-32 vote puts the Senate on schedule to begin debate on the package this week, the Washington Post reports, a full month after Biden had announced that a deal had been...

Top Democrats Push to Legalize Pot at Federal Level

They're calling for an end to prohibition

(Newser) - Top Senate Democrats have unveiled draft legislation to legalize marijuana, remove federal penalties, and erase nonviolent federal cannabis-related criminal records. The proposal from Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, Senate Finance Committee Chairman Ron Wyden, and Sen. Cory Booker, dubbed the Cannabis Administration and Opportunity Act, would remove marijiuana, now fully...

Senate Republicans Block Voting Rights Bill

Vote on For the People Act was 50-50

(Newser) - The biggest voting rights bill in decades met its widely expected fate in the evenly divided Senate Tuesday, with Republicans unified in opposition. Senators voted 50-50 on advancing the For the People Act, the Hill reports. Democrats needed 60 votes to overcome the GOP filibuster and advance the bill to...

Kyrsten Sinema Op-Ed Dooms Chances to Kill Filibuster
Forget About
Killing Filibuster
the rundown

Democrat Sinema: Forget About Killing Filibuster

Senator makes clear she is opposed to the idea

(Newser) - A Democratic effort to pass voting rights legislation was on track to fail in the Senate on Tuesday because it won't get the 60 votes necessary to overcome a Republican filibuster, reports the Hill . The issue is calling new attention to a push from some Democrats to try abolish...

Marco Rubio Gets a High-Profile Challenger

Val Demings enters Florida Senate race

(Newser) - No Republican senator from Florida has ever been elected to a third term—and Rep. Val Demings is going to try to stop Sen. Marco Rubio becoming the first in the 2022 election. The Democrat officially launched her campaign Wednesday, tweeting a video in which she criticized the "same...

GOP Uses Filibuster to Derail Jan. 6 Inquiry

Measures comes up short of necessary 60 votes in the Senate

(Newser) - The bill to create a bipartisan commission to investigate the Jan. 6 attack on the US Capitol attracted the support of six Republican senators Friday, but it wasn't enough. The vote was 54-35, Politico reports. No Democrat was opposed, so the procedural vote would have needed 10 GOP votes...

Army Secretary Confirmed for 2nd Time in 12 Hours

Christine Wormuth had been confirmed, then unconfirmed, for reasons unrelated to her

(Newser) - Christine Wormuth is off the Senate confirmation merry-go-round and ready to start serving as America's first female Army secretary. She was confirmed by the Senate Thursday, having been confirmed and then unconfirmed in the previous 12 hours, reports Politico . The Wednesday night reversal of Wormuth's confirmation, which Senate...

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