Senate confirmation hearings for Supreme Court nominee Sonia Sotomayor will start on July 13, a top Democrat announced on Tuesday, and a Republican predicted she would be easily confirmed as the first Hispanic on the highest court in the United States.
Rejecting calls by other Republicans for more time to review her record, Judiciary Committee Chairman Patrick Leahy made a Senate speech announcing the date for his panel to begin publicly questioning the nominee under oath.
Despite a less-than-rousing reaction from the Obama administration, House Democrats are considering a new tax on employer-provided health benefits to help pay for expanding coverage to the uninsured.
Several officials also said an outline of emerging legislation envisions a requirement for all individuals to purchase affordable coverage, with an unspecified penalty for those who refuse and a waiver for those who cannot cover the cost.
The Alabama senator leading the GOP's vetting of Supreme Court nominee Sonia Sotomayor said the American tradition of impartial courts is "under attack" and the pivotal question in her nomination should be whether she allows personal views to color her decisions as a judge.
Delivering the Republican Party's weekly radio and Internet address Saturday, Sen. Jeff Sessions didn't say if he thinks Sotomayor crosses that line. But he raised questions that reflect a growing chorus of GOP criticism that Sotomayor sees her role as something more than an impartial umpire.
President Barack Obama's hopes for a bipartisan health deal seemed in jeopardy Thursday as GOP senators protested his renewed support for a new public health insurance plan, and a key Democratic chairman declared that such a plan would likely be in the Senate's bill.
A public plan that would compete with private insurers is opposed by nearly all Republicans. Obama long has supported it, but he had avoided going into detail about his health goals, leaving the specifics to Congress and emphasizing hopes for a bipartisan bill.
That changed when Obama released a letter Wednesday to two Senate Democrats saying he believed strongly in the need for a new public plan.
Lawmakers Thursday dealt another blow to President Barack Obama's plans to close the Guantanamo Bay prison, denying a request for extra funds and restricting the transfer and release of detainees.
The House Appropriations subcommittee, tasked with funding the Justice Department and other agencies, threw out a request for 60 million dollars to help the department shutter the prison on the US naval base in southern Cuba.
Congress will closely monitor the role played by the federal government during its management of insolvent auto giants General Motors and Chrysler, a top House Democrat said Wednesday.
"Obviously the committees of jurisdiction will be exercising oversight," said Democratic Majority Leader Steny Hoyer, at a press conference.
Responding to a challenge from President Barack Obama, House GOP leaders are offering up a roster of more than $23 billion in spending cuts over the next five years.
The proposed cuts, which were to be sent to the White House on Thursday, bear little resemblance to the dramatic proposals Republicans unfurled when they took over Congress 14 years ago.
Judge Sonia Sotomayor on Tuesday countered Republican charges that she would let her background dictate her rulings as Americans signaled a favorable first impression of President Barack Obama's first Supreme Court choice. A new Associated Press-GfK poll suggested that Americans have a more positive view of her than they did of any of former President George W. Bush's nominees to the high court. Half backed her confirmation.
Top House and Senate Democrats reached a tentative agreement on an almost $100 billion war funding bill Monday, including a generous new line of credit for the International Monetary Fund.
At the core of the measure is President Barack Obama's war funding request, which included $76 billion for Pentagon operations. But the IMF funding is a top priority of Obama, who pledged the $100 billion line of credit at April's G-20 summit in London to help developing countries deal with the troubled global economy.
The actual U.S. costs for the IMF contribution are far less — $5 billion is the Congressional Budget Office estimate — since the U.S. government is given interest-bearing assets in return.
Appeals court judge Sonia Sotomayor is getting her first chance to make an impression on senators who will vote on her nomination to the Supreme Court, with a marathon set of Capitol Hill meet-and-greets that kicks off what could be a long debate.
Sotomayor's schedule Tuesday is packed with roughly half-hour meetings — known as "courtesy calls" — that are as important for the courtly tone they set for the debate as they are for offering a few moments of candid conversation with the nominee.