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Senate eyes FAA, collective bargaining bills

June 17, 2010 As Senate Democrats struggle to line up votes for the latest iteration of a bill extending tax breaks, unemployment benefits and other programs, the Senate schedule through July 4 remains in flux. In a change of plan, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., is considering a few relatively low-profile measures ...

Nonagenarian senator is helping keep holds alive

June 15, 2010 Democratic efforts to alter Senate rules to reduce filibusters and secret holds are highlighting the continued but often overlooked presence of a top foe of those efforts: Sen. Robert Byrd, D-W.Va. Wheelchair-bound and infrequently in the Senate since giving up the Appropriations chairmanship after the 2008 election and a long ...

Senate Democrats circulate divisive immigration draft

April 29, 2010 Partisan fissures over immigration reform deepened Wednesday as key Senate Democrats circulated a draft for overhauling the nation's immigration laws and border security programs. Republicans immediately attacked the 26-page "Conceptual Proposal for Immigration Reform" as unrealistic and slammed Democrats for taking a partisan approach. The draft was put together by ...

Junior senator becomes latest Republican to reject earmarks

April 15, 2010 Sen. Bob Corker, R-Tenn., withdrew his fiscal 2011 earmark requests Wednesday, highlighting the tension between the efforts of Senate Republicans to denounce what they call excessive government spending and attempts to still deliver funding for projects in their states. "I realize I am one junior senator in the minority, but ...

Parties point fingers over expired programs

April 5, 2010 With unemployment benefits, subsidies for medical insurance for those who lost jobs, flood insurance and a freeze on a reduction in Medicare physician payments expired Monday, congressional Democrats and Republicans are resuming efforts to blame each other for the impasse. Although lawmakers have said they plan to extend the programs ...

Rain gives Dems another shot at GOP

April 1, 2010 Democrats are using flooding in the Northeast to rip Republicans for expiration of a National Flood Insurance Program, one of several programs set to die on Monday because Congress failed to renew them. Republicans last week objected to continuing the programs without offsetting their cost. Senate Democrats and Republicans then ...

Obama signs health care overhaul, but GOP fights on

March 23, 2010 The Senate began wrangling in earnest on Tuesday over reconciliation on healthcare reform, but President Obama's signing of the main bill grabbed the stoplight from the more arcane procedural maneuvers. Obama signed the bill, which topped his agenda for the past year and at many points seemed destined to fail, ...

Senate girds for fight on health care reconciliation

March 22, 2010 While the White House makes plans for President Obama to sign a sweeping healthcare measure passed by the House on Sunday night, the Senate is set to start debate on a reconciliation bill that would make changes in the overhaul legislation. A spokesman for Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., ...

Senate confirms Defense nominees stalled by GOP holds

March 5, 2010 The Senate late Thursday approved three Defense Department nominees whose confirmation had been blocked for weeks by Sen. Richard Shelby, R-Ala., amid concerns about an Air Force contract for aerial refueling tankers. The nominees, confirmed by unanimous consent, are Frank Kendall, to be principal deputy undersecretary of Defense for acquisition, ...

Commerce secretary joins lineup of leaders helping out Reid

March 2, 2010 Commerce Secretary Gary Locke will hold a conference call with Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., on Tuesday to announce stimulus spending in Nevada, the latest in a string of appearances and announcements with the embattled senator by top Obama administration officials. Locke and Reid will use the 1 p.m. ...