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Senate Dems lose vote on 'don't ask' repeal

December 9, 2010 Senate Democrats Thursday failed on a 57-40 vote to overcome a Republican filibuster of the 2011 defense authorization bill that includes a provision repealing the 1993 exclusion of openly homosexual men and women from military service. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., abruptly called for the floor vote to invoke ...

Senate will consider 'don't ask, don’t tell' tonight

December 8, 2010 Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., will offer a motion to reconsider a Defense Authorization bill that includes a repeal of "don't ask, don't tell" this evening, Reid said Wednesday morning. That bill appears likely to be successfully filibustered by Senate Republicans, however, several congressional aides said. GOP moderates have ...

House, Senate eye short-term funding extensions

November 29, 2010 Facing a December 3 deadline, the House and Senate this week will take up a short-term continuing resolution to keep the government funded through about December 17, increasing odds the lame-duck session will spill into the week before Christmas. The Senate will take up a two-week CR after completing action ...

Senate approves Native American, black farmer settlements

November 22, 2010 In an unusual Friday afternoon move, the Senate unanimously passed two long-delayed, multi-billion dollar federal settlements, the Pigford II black-farmer discrimination case and the Cobell Native American case. The $1.15 billion black farmers' settlement funds an agreement reached between the Agriculture Department and minority farmers in 1999. The Cobell settlement-reached ...

Senate confirms Lew as OMB director

November 19, 2010 The Senate confirmed Jack Lew as director of the Office of Management and Budget by unanimous consent late Thursday after Sen. Mary Landrieu, D-La., lifted a hold that had stalled the nomination since September. Landrieu's hold was a protest against the White House's moratorium on deep-water oil and gas drilling ...

Senate minority leader effectively scuttles omnibus plan

November 18, 2010 Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., has effectively killed any hopes of passing an omnibus appropriations bill in the lame duck, announcing Thursday that he is opposed to such a measure. Congress will be forced to keep the government operating through a continuing resolution. "If this election showed us anything, ...

Senate minority leader will back earmark ban

November 15, 2010 Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., announced Monday that he will back a moratorium on earmarks, a sharp reversal of his recent opposition to such a ban. "I will join the Republican leadership in the House in support of a moratorium on earmarks in the 112th Congress," McConnell said in ...

Drug enforcement nomination gets back on track

November 11, 2010 After a seven-month wait, the Senate Judiciary Committee has set a November 17 hearing on the nomination of Michele Leonhart as head of the Drug Enforcement Administration. Groups advocating for medicinal marijuana have waged a spirited campaign to derail Leonhart's confirmation. In a July letter to President Obama, several pro-marijuana ...

Senate battle over earmark moratorium heats up

November 11, 2010 An earmark moratorium fight pitting Senate Republican leaders against earmark opponents led by Sen. Jim DeMint, R-S.C., is heating up as the factions have begun touting dueling whip lists showing they hold an advantage. One earmark advocate on Wednesday cited a tally showing Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., who ...

House-Senate talks on Defense policy bill collapse

November 10, 2010 Members of the House and Senate Armed Services committees have suspended unofficial talks aimed at hammering out a compromise fiscal 2011 defense authorization bill -- an unusually bitter breakdown that raises the odds the annual Pentagon policy bill will fail to pass Congress for the first time in more than ...