Not much Congress can do about Cuba policy

Not much Congress can do about Cuba policy

Opponents of President Barack Obama’s sudden move to re-establish ties with Cuba have little chance of scuttling his effort in Congress. His initiative faces some strong resistance among lawmakers and opened fissures in both parties. Criticism came mostly from Republicans, who say the new policy rewards Cuba’s decades-long policies of repression, human rights abuses and […]

Congress ends another do-nothing term

Congress ends another do-nothing term

The tempestuous 113th Congress has limped out of Washington for the last time, capping two years of modest and infrequent legislating that was overshadowed by partisan clashes, gridlock and investigations. “Thank God it’s over,” Sen. Joe Manchin, D-W.Va., said as he left the Capitol late Tuesday. How’s this for a legacy? Just over 200 bills […]

Defense, tourism among winners in spending bill

Defense, tourism among winners in spending bill

A Michigan boot-maker, potato farmers and more than 1,200 contractors that supply parts for a next-generation fighter plane are among the many winners in the $1.1 trillion omnibus spending bill passed by Congress. Supporters of manufacturers added a provision that would create public-private partnerships to accelerate the transition of new technologies from basic research to […]

Revived debate on toture, interrogation, CIA

Revived debate on toture, interrogation, CIA

When the CIA sought permission to use harsh interrogation methods on a captured al-Qaida operative, the response from Bush administration lawyers was encouraging, even clinical. In one of several memos forming the legal underpinnings for brutal interrogation techniques, the CIA was told Abu Zubaydah could lawfully be placed in a box with an insect, kept […]

GOP lament: What is Ted Cruz doing?

GOP lament: What is Ted Cruz doing?

One colleague called the tactics of tea party-backed Sen. Ted Cruz on the $1.1 trillion spending bill a painful echo of last year’s 16-day partial government shutdown. Another senator said it was a strategy without an end game. And that sniping came from Cruz’s fellow Republicans. The 43-year-old Texas freshman in a political hurry — […]

$1.1 trillion spending bill finally clears Congress

$1.1 trillion spending bill finally clears Congress

Congress cleared a $1.1 trillion spending bill for President Barack Obama’s signature after a day of Senate intrigue capped by a failed, largely symbolic Republican challenge to the administration’s new immigration policy. The vote late Saturday night was 56-40 in favor of the measure, which funds nearly the entire government through the Sept. 30 end […]

Senate GOP joins anger over spending bill

Senate GOP joins anger over spending bill

First it was objections by House Democrats that stood in the way of passage of a $1.1 trillion catchall spending bill. Now it’s the Senate Republicans’ turn, specifically Ted Cruz of Texas and Mike Lee of Utah. The two lawmakers demanded a vote Friday night on a proposal to cut funds from the bill that […]

Senate: Next stop for spending bill

Senate: Next stop for spending bill

It’s now up to the Senate to pass a huge $1.1 trillion spending bill to keep the government running, but not before a battle between old school veterans and new breed freshmen such as tea partier Ted Cruz and Elizabeth Warren, a liberal with a national following. The smart money’s on old school types such […]

A look at those leaving Congress

A look at those leaving Congress

Congress is saying farewell to its last two veterans of World War II, the member whose lodgings inspired TV’s “Alpha House,” a founding firebrand of the tea party, one of the shorter-term senators and a few dozen others this week as another session of bickering winds down. As they end their careers, many lawmakers of […]

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