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Senate Approves Obama's Mission To Train Syrian Rebels

September 19, 2014 There was no banner reading "Mission Accomplished," but Congress completed its last preelection task Thursday as the Senate voted to send President Obama a stopgap spending bill coupled with an authorization to arm and train Syrian rebels for combat against the Islamic State. And then senators joined the House in...

from govexec

Senate Likely to Pass Bill Keeping Government Open

September 18, 2014 It's the Senate's turn now to vote on keeping the government open and authorizing the White House's request to train moderate Syrian rebels. But the measure, though expected to pass smoothly, is merely the beginning of a much tougher conversation that will wait until after Election Day. The House approved...

Congress Has 4 Days To Act on Obama's Syria Plan

September 15, 2014 This was supposed to be easier. Come back to Washington from August recess and pass a temporary spending bill to keep government from shutting down on Oct. 1, then return home to campaign ahead of the midterm elections. That was all Congress wanted to do in September. Instead, lawmakers eager...

from govexec

The Head-On Politics of Going Around Congress on Climate Change

August 28, 2014 On the surface, word that the Obama administration is negotiating a global climate change pact that probably doesn't need Senate ratification is bad news for Republicans. It could amount to a policy setback for the GOP and offers the president a potential legacy item. But beneath the surface, an emissions...

from govexec

The Senate's Scattershot Approach to Ferguson

August 22, 2014 Even before Attorney General Eric Holder and the Justice Department have wrapped up their investigation into the lethal shooting of Michael Brown in Ferguson, Mo., some senators are planning a legislative response for when Congress returns next month. No single measure has so far emerged as a consensus legislation, and...

from govexec

How Jeff Sessions Became a Leader in the Immigration Fight

August 6, 2014 In recent months, Sen. Jeff Sessions has often been the loudest voice in Washington opposing President Obama's immigration policies. In the Senate on Tuesday, his was the only Republican voice. Literally. Five days after his colleagues scampered home for August recess, before a chamber that was empty except for presiding...

from govexec

A Historically Unproductive Congress Inches Toward Finish Line

August 4, 2014 This Congress began with braggadocio about what it would accomplish. But what came in roaring like a legislative lion is on track to go out like a lamb, barring an unlikely burst of lawmaking in September or a lame-duck session. A promise to enact a tax-code overhaul remains an empty...

Senate Clears Funding for Israel's Iron Dome

August 1, 2014 The Senate on Friday passed an emergency spending measure for Israel's missile-defense system, known as Iron Dome. The last-minute, unanimous passage came after the Senate failed to clear a $2.7 billion emergency supplemental appropriation for the crisis at the U.S. southern border and $615 million for wildfires burning in the...

from govexec

Senate Border Funding Bill Goes Down

August 1, 2014 The Senate failed Thursday to write the White House a $3.57 billion check to address the crisis at the border, Western wildfires, and Israel's missile defense system. The bill went down on a 50-44 procedural vote that required 60 votes to carry. The failure and the Senate's impending departure for...

from govexec

House GOP Leaders Pull Votes on Border-Funding Package

July 31, 2014 In stunning fashion, House Republican leaders on Thursday suddenly backed off a planned vote on an emergency border-funding package, meaning lawmakers may head home for the August recess without addressing the hot-button issue. The legislation had been unlikely to advance in the Senate, and already had been ticketed for a...

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