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Obama vows to pass immigration bill

WASHINGTON – President Barack Obama vowed Wednesday to push immigration reform through a divided Congress, calling lawmakers’ failure to pass a White House-backed bill his “biggest disappointment” yet. The so-called DREAM Act would have offered a path to citizenship to young undocumented immigrants who attend college or join the military,…

Justice Department sues BP, eight other companies over Gulf oil spill

The Justice Department on Wednesday sued BP Exploration and Production Inc. and eight other companies in the Gulf oil spill disaster in an effort to recover billions of dollars from the largest offshore spill in U.S. history. The Obama administration’s lawsuit asks that the companies be held liable without limitation…

DREAM Act would cut deficit by $1.4 billion: CBO report

Legislation that would give permanent US residency to the children of undocumented workers if they complete two years of college or military service would cut the federal deficit by $1.4 billion over 10 years, according to a new government report. The Congressional Budget Office (CBO) along with the Joint Committee…

Education Secretary Duncan: We ‘desperately’ need to pass DREAM Act in lame-duck

As Congress prepares to take up the DREAM Act, US Secretary of Education Arne Duncan on Monday said passing the measure is an urgent priority for America that “cannot afford to wait” until next year. On a call with reporters, Duncan depicted the “Development, Relief and Education for Alien Minors”…

BP among companies Obama excluded from US environmental oversight

A number of the nation’s biggest polluters received exemptions from basic environmental oversight for federally funded stimulus projects, according to a published report. While the stimulus bill was being debated in Congress in 2009, numerous companies lobbied for environmental exemptions, but their efforts were ultimately rebuffed by environmental advocates. But…

Oregon Senator Wyden effectively kills Internet censorship bill

It’s too early to say for sure, but Oregon Senator Ron Wyden could very well go down in the history books as the man who saved the Internet. A bill that critics say would have given the government power to censor the Internet will not pass this year thanks to…

2 lawsuits challenge US Defense of Marriage Act

2 lawsuits challenge federal Defense of Marriage Act on behalf of couples in NY, Conn., VT, NH Gay civil rights groups trying to build momentum for a possible Supreme Court showdown filed two lawsuits Tuesday that seek to strike down portions of a 1996 law that denies married same-sex couples…

Newly elected GOP senator may back DISCLOSE Act

Republican Senator-elect Mark Kirk may help push through a campaign-finance transparency bill opposed by Republican leaders during the lame-duck session. Kirk defeated Democratic candidate Alexi Giannoulias for President Obama’s former Illinois Senate seat and is one of three new members of the Senate who will be sworn in to the…

Caught on tape: After saying gay rights is a state issue, Joe Miller says he’d vote for federal marriage ban

Joe Miller is for state control of gay rights issues except when he against it. The Republican candidate for Alaska’s US Senate seat told MSNBC’s Rachel Maddow Tuesday that he supports the federal Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) and would personally vote for a constitutional amendment preventing same-sex marriage. The…

Appeals court blocks Pa. town’s immigration law

Federal appeals court says Hazelton, Pa., cannot enforce its illegal immigrant law A federal appeals court ruled Thursday that Hazleton, Pa., may not enforce its crackdown on illegal immigrants, dealing another blow to 4-year-old regulations that inspired similar measures around the country. The 3rd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in…

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