Senate

In 2007, Sen. Obama (D-IL) missed two votes on the student loan interest bill that he now wants Congress to extend

April 24, 2012

“The bill, introduced by Rep. George Miller (D-Calif.) and signed into law by President George W. Bush, first cleared the Senate in July on a 78 to 18 vote, with Obama as one of only four senators who didn’t cast a ballot. Obama did not cast a vote again in September, after the House and Senate had ironed out different versions of the bill.”

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Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-IA): The Colombian prostitutes could have been Russian spies

April 24, 2012

“The Colombian prostitutes entangled in the Secret Service sex scandal could have been Russian spies, Sen. Chuck Grassley suggested Tuesday.”

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Report: Secret Service Colombian prostitution scandal spreads to a second hotel

April 24, 2012

“Until now, the Hotel Caribe had been the focus of the scandal, where the other 22 members of the Secret Service and military accused of inappropriate behavior were checked in.”

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Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-IA) is questioning the U.S. Secret Service about possible involvement of White House staff in the Colombian prostitution scandal

April 22, 2012

“Given the close working relationship among members of the Secret Service and other White House advance teams, Mr. Grassley wants to know whether Secret Service Director Mark Sullivan and Acting Inspector General Charles Edwards is investigating the possibility that staff from the White House Communications Agencyand White House Office of Advance also may be involved in the scandal.”

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President Obama to re-nominate Republican Kristine Svinicki as the Nuclear Regulatory Commission Chief despite opposition from 2 top Senate Democrats

April 21, 2012

“White House press secretary Jay Carney said Obama believes the country needs a functioning commission to oversee nuclear safety and does not want to risk a vacancy that could occur if Svinicki is not reconfirmed before the end of June.”

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TransCanada’s new proposed route for the Keystone XL pipeline would still cross the Ogallala aquifer but avoid the Sand Hills

April 21, 2012

“Critics of the plan say the new route still winds its way perilously close to, and across, sensitive aquifer areas and would receive only a cursory review under the new state law. What’s needed, they contend, is a thorough environmental impact study in accord with federal law.”

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Senate Republicans opt to not hallenge federal spending levels set in last summer’s debt-limit deal

April 19, 2012

“[This] sets up a September clash with the House of Representatives that heightens chances of a government shutdown”

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Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-CA) trying to block votes on bills requiring states to honor concealed gun permits from other states

April 19, 2012

“The California Democrat wrote Majority Leader Harry Reid and Judiciary Committee Chairman Patrick Leahy, requesting that no votes be scheduled on two concealed weapons “reciprocity” bills.”

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House of Representatives votes to pass the Republican Small-Business Tax Cut Bill

April 19, 2012

“The tax cut would only be available to businesses with fewer than 500 workers. It would take the form of deduction of 20% of domestic business income. Only companies that pay out wages would be eligible for the tax break, with the amount limited to half of the amount of wages paid.”

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Vice President Biden urges Congress to reauthorize the 1994 Violence Against Women Act

April 19, 2012

“Sen. Chuck Grassley, R-Iowa, said Wednesday if Democratic leaders allow a vote on a GOP alternative, Republicans won’t filibuster the Democratic bill, which has 61 sponsors.”

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Senate Budget Committee Chairman Kent Conrad (D-ND) cancels this week’s votes on a 2013 budget plan

April 18, 2012

“Mr. Conrad said he wasn’t going to be able to reach a bipartisan agreement on a budget plan and he decided instead to try to kick-start a longer-term debate.”

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The U.S. Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works to hold a hearing on the GSA scandal Wednesday at 10 a.m.

April 18, 2012

“It’s the third consecutive day lawmakers have taken a crack at the agency in the cross hairs of a government investigation. The House Oversight and Transportation committees took their shots on Monday and Tuesday.”

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Senate Budget Committee Chairman to introduce the blueprint of President Obama’s bipartisan deficit reduction panel to his committee

April 18, 2012

“The committee chairman, Senator Kent Conrad, Democrat of North Dakota, made it clear that he would not push the committee to vote on amendments to the plan from the Bowles-Simpson commission or on a final version until a bipartisan consensus was reached.”

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President Obama asks Congress for help in policing oil markets to prevent price manipulation by speculators

April 18, 2012

“The president wants six times more staff at the Commodity Futures Trading Commission to supervise the market. He also wants to raise penalties for market manipulation and give regulators the ability to require more money to back up speculative trades.”

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Senate Majority Leader Reid (D-NV): Congress should pass a proposed package of new oil- and banking-related sanctions against Iran

April 17, 2012

“Last month, Reid had insisted that a package of penalties developed by the Senate Banking Committee should advance without amendments to speed its passage.”

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