Reid "confident" Senate to consider START soon

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Majority Leader Harry Reid expressed confidence on Thursday the U.S. Senate would debate the New START nuclear treaty with Russia this year, as he gave no sign of yielding to Republican pressure to scale back his agenda for the coming weeks. Read more

Republicans cool to "do not track" Web plan

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Republicans, who will control the House of Representatives in January, greeted the idea of Internet “do not track” legislation coolly on Thursday, expressing concern that hindering advertiser access to consumers web browsing habits would slow innovation. Read more

Senator McCain says too soon to end military ban on gays

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – A top Republican warned on Thursday it might be too soon to end the U.S. military’s ban on gays, as the party geared up to block President Barack Obama’s bid to repeal the “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” policy this year. Read more

Deficit panel plan gains support

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – A far-reaching plan to cut U.S. deficits and slow the growth of long-term debt gained crucial support from two key Republican senators on Thursday but remained short of votes needed to trigger congressional action. Read more

U.S., South Korea trade talks stretch into 3rd day

COLUMBIA, Maryland (Reuters) – Talks between the United States and South Korea on politically difficult beef and auto trade issues that are key to U.S. approval of a bilateral free-trade agreement stretched into a third day on Thursday. Read more

Warren downplays role of rules in consumer agency

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The goal of the new U.S. consumer protection agency should be to make financial products easier to understand rather than to restrict specific business practices through regulations, President Barack Obama’s top consumer adviser said on Thursday. Read more

Former top U.S. diplomats urge support for START

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Former secretaries of state for five Republican presidents urged Senate Republicans to back the New START nuclear treaty with Russia, suggesting failure to do so could affect Moscow’s role on Iran, North Korea and Afghanistan. Read more