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Sen. McCaskill veterans' event irks legionaires

August 30, 2012 ST. JOSEPH, Mo.—A routine campaign stop by Democratic Sen. Claire McCaskill at an American Legion Hall on Wednesday ultimately irked veterans and forced the McCaskill campaign to apologize after officials from the nonpartisan legion said they did not know beforehand that the event would be political. In one of two...

Senate likely to punt on spending bills until November

July 11, 2012 In February, a bipartisan group of senators congratulated each other on an agreement made among party leaders and top members of the Senate Appropriations Committee. The hope: to pass all 12 fiscal 2013 appropriations bills under regular order. This week, Senate Democrats are acknowledging they will probably not pass any...

Stopgap highway bill leaves pension provisions in limbo

March 29, 2012 The Senate passed a bill on Thursday to extend federal surface transportation authority for 90 days, preventing a shutdown that would have put 130,000 federal highway projects at risk. The bill now goes to President Obama. Passage of the stop-gap measure came after a failed last-ditch effort by Senate Environment...

Congress votes to curb insider trading, require federal employee disclosure

March 22, 2012 The Senate approved a House-passed bill aimed at preventing insider trading by members of Congress and thousands of executive branch officials. The legislation now goes to President Obama for his signature. Senators agreed to discard a more extensive version of the bill they passed last month in favor of the...

House, Senate postpone piracy bills under pressure

January 20, 2012 FROM NEXTGOV arrow Julie Jacobson/AP Capping a dramatic week of protests and legislative maneuvering, leaders in the Senate and the House announced on Friday that they are backing off efforts to pass a pair of controversial bills to crack down on foreign websites that use pirated content. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid ,...

Republicans to ask Justice about Obama's recess appointments

January 5, 2012 Senate Republicans want the legal justification behind President Obama's decision to make appointments despite the Senate remaining in pro forma session, but the White House so far refuses to detail the legal advice Obama received. Senate Judiciary Committee ranking member Charles Grassley, R-Iowa, was set to send a letter as...

Senate strikes deal on short term payroll tax cut package

December 17, 2011 The Senate will approve a two-month extension of a payroll-tax holiday for workers Saturday after talks of a longer extension collapsed Friday night. The bill would also include a short extension of unemployment benefits and a so-called "doc fix" preventing Medicare physicians from taking a 27-percent pay cut next year...

House approves $915 billion spending plan

December 16, 2011 The House voted 296-121 Friday to pass a $915-billion spending package to fund the federal government for the rest of the fiscal year, likely staving off a threatened midnight government shutdown. The vote came after a week of legislative maneuvering had left the bipartisan spending blueprint frozen in the broader...

Deal reached to avert government shutdown

December 16, 2011 After weeks of lurching, Congress moved swiftly on Thursday toward a deal extending the payroll-tax holiday and unemployment benefits, averting a partial government shutdown in the process. An abrupt shift by Democrats ended the stalemate. By late Thursday, congressional leaders had almost resolved how to extend the payroll-tax cut and...

Congress now shooting for weekend wrap-up

December 15, 2011 Congressional leaders made significant progress toward breaking the impasse on year-end measures Thursday and lawmakers are now predicting they will soon wrap up funding for the bulk of government operations. If their optimism proves founded, they will avert a partial government shutdown for the third time this year. Congress needs...

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