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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 ...

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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 ...

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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 ...

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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 ...

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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 ...

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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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Senate Remains Stalled on Spending Bills

July 31, 2014 The Senate is taking up only the second spending bill to reach the floor this year—the $3.57 billion supplemental for the border crisis, wildfires, and the defense of Israel—and prospects for passage are as slim as they were for the first one that died in June. And so without any ...

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Congress Tries to Cram in Border Response, VA Reforms Before Summer Recess

July 28, 2014 With the start of their summer recess later this week tantalizing lawmakers, Congress has a crammed getaway agenda—from dealing with the border crisis, to finalizing a patch for the Highway Trust Fund, to suing President Obama. There also is optimism—but not necessarily confidence—that a House and Senate conference agreement can ...

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Both Parties Looking to Pare Down Obama's Border Funding

July 23, 2014 House Republicans are planning on Wednesday to unveil their own plan to deal with the border crisis that would provide less than half of the $3.7 billion in emergency spending requested by President Obama. In a closed-door meeting at the Capitol, House Appropriations Chairman Harold Rogers is to lay out ...