Senate

Senate finally passes unemployment benefits extension

Senate finally passes unemployment benefits extension

With a GOP filibuster safely broken, the Senate is poised to pass legislation restoring jobless benefits for millions of people unable to find work in the frail economic recovery. Wednesday’s vote is a formality after the Democratic-controlled Senate voted 60-40 Tuesday to move ahead on the bill. The measure would then go to the House […]

Dems will try again on unemployment benefits

Dems will try again on unemployment benefits

Millions of people stuck on the jobless rolls would receive an extension of unemployment benefits averaging $309 a week under a Senate bill that appears set to break free of a Republican filibuster. Democrats have stripped the unemployment insurance measure down to the bare essentials for Tuesday’s vote, which is a do-over of a tally […]

Brown, Snowe back financial reform bill

Brown, Snowe back financial reform bill

Sens. Olympia Snowe and Scott Brown pushed sweeping financial legislation to the edge of final passage Monday, both announcing they intend to support the regulatory overhaul despite initial misgivings. Snowe of Maine and Brown of Massachusetts join Susan Collins of Maine as three crucial Republican votes for the legislation. “While not perfect, the legislation takes […]

Obama uses recess appointment for Medicare chief

Obama uses recess appointment for Medicare chief

President Barack Obama appointed health expert Donald Berwick on Wednesday to run the Medicare  and Medicaid programs that provide care to seniors and the poor, bypassing the Senate  to fill a key job over Republican  objections. Obama had nominated Berwick in April to run the vast federal medical programs but his Senate confirmation was held […]

Problem for GOP: Where’s the passion?

Problem for GOP: Where’s the passion?

Republican senators have already blamed the breezy confirmation process for Elena Kagan on simple math, saying Kagan’s confirmation to the Supreme Court is already ensured with 58 Democrats in the Senate. But the GOP has more than just a math problem with Kagan. It has a passion problem — the party, which has used judicial […]

No benefits extension for 1.3 million

No benefits extension for 1.3 million

More than 1.3 million laid-off workers won’t get their unemployment benefits reinstated before Congress goes on a weeklong vacation for Independence Day. An additional 200,000 people who have been without a job for at least six months stand to lose their benefits each week, unless Congress acts. For the third time in as many weeks, […]

Financial reform passes House but Senate delays action

Financial reform passes House but Senate delays action

The U.S. House of Representatives on Wednesday approved a landmark overhaul of financial regulations but the Senate put off action until mid-July, delaying a final victory for President Barack Obama. Still, the 237 to 192 vote in the House marked a win for Obama and his fellow Democrats, who have made the most sweeping rewrite […]

Sen. Robert Byrd dead at 92

Sen. Robert Byrd dead at 92

Robert Byrd, 92, the longest serving Senator in American history, died this morning in a Washington area hospital. The West Virginia lawmaker was admitted last week for heat exhaustion and dehydration but his condition was far more serious. “However, upon further examination by his doctors, other conditions have developed which has resulted in his condition […]

GOP kills unemployment aid extension

GOP kills unemployment aid extension

Republicans on Thursday defeated Democrats’ showcase election-year jobs bill, including an extension of weekly unemployment benefits for millions of people out of work more than six months. The 57-41 vote fell three votes short of the 60 required to crack a GOP filibuster, delivering a major blow to President Barack Obama and Democrats facing big […]

GOP set to keep blocking job benefits extension

GOP set to keep blocking job benefits extension

A Republican filibuster appears increasingly likely to kill long-sought legislation extending jobless benefits and a host of other spending and tax measures, despite a new round of cuts to the measure Wednesday that reduced its deficit impact even further. A senior Senate Democratic aide said Wednesday evening that several days’ worth of negotiations with a […]