Senate rejects proposal to ban earmarks

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The Senate on Tuesday rejected a proposed ban on the pet spending projects known as earmarks that have become a symbol of wasteful spending for many voters. Read more

U.S. regrets leaks, says will tighten security

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The U.S. government said on Monday it deeply regretted the release of any classified information and would tighten security to prevent leaks such as WikiLeaks’ disclosure of a trove of State Department cables. Read more

Obama, Republicans in tax face-off at White House

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – President Barack Obama faces off with Republican congressional leaders over taxes on Tuesday in a test-of-wills that could foreshadow how the White House works with the opposition party in the coming two years. Read more

Obama proposes freeze in federal worker pay

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – President Barack Obama proposed a two-year freeze on Monday on the pay of federal workers and vowed to work with Republicans to cut the ballooning U.S. budget deficit. Read more

U.S. "dismayed" by Egyptian election process

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The United States said on Monday reports of “irregularities” in Egypt’s parliamentary elections raise questions about the “fairness and transparency” of the process. Read more

Democrats press Republicans on START ratification

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – With little time remaining for action by the current Congress, Senate Democrats stepped up pressure on Monday on Republicans to support ratification of the New START nuclear treaty with Russia, saying it was critical for U.S. security. Read more

Republican takes Obama’s former Senate seat

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Republican Mark Kirk was sworn in on Monday to take President Barack Obama’s old U.S. Senate seat from Illinois, cutting Democrats’ majority in the chamber for the final weeks of the year to 58-42. Read more

White House: No deal on taxes expected Tuesday

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – President Barack Obama is not expected to reach a deal with Republican leaders on whether to extend Bush-era tax cuts when he meets them on Tuesday, White House spokesman Robert Gibbs said. Read more

Congress votes to delay pay cut to doctors

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Legislation to postpone for one month a hefty cut in payments to doctors who participate in the U.S. Medicare health insurance program for the elderly and disabled won final U.S. congressional passage on Monday. Read more

Labor Department proposes target date 401(k) rules

NEW YORK (Reuters) – The U.S. Department of Labor on Monday proposed a rule that will require employers to provide more information to their employees about the role of “target date” mutual funds in retirement plans. Read more