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Senate confirms first openly gay district judge

WASHINGTON — The US Senate late Monday overwhelmingly confirmed the first openly gay male federal judge in US history. Senators voted 80-13 to confirm Paul Oetken to the Federal District Court for the Southern District of New York. Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Patrick Leahy praised Oetken as “a superbly qualified…

Senate plan to avert U.S. debt default takes shape

A bipartisan group of US Senators tried Monday to cobble together a deficit reduction plan that would allow President Barack Obama to avert a potentially catastrophic debt default in return for $1.5 trillion in spending cuts. With two weeks to go until what Obama has termed economic “Armageddon,” the rival…

White House confident of averting debt default

The White House expressed confidence Sunday that a damaging debt default would be averted, but warring US lawmakers appeared no closer to a deal to rein in America’s budget deficit. President Barack Obama has urged rival Democrats and Republicans to strike a “grand bargain” to reduce the yawning deficit by…

Obama, lawmakers press ahead on elusive debt deal

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – President Barack Obama and congressional leaders pressed ahead with private talks on deficit reduction on Saturday, seeking an as-yet-elusive way to lift the debt ceiling and avoid a U.S. default next month. Congress must raise the $14.3 trillion limit on U.S. borrowing by August 2 or the…

Obama walks out of debt-limit talks, tells Cantor ‘don’t call my bluff’

President Barack Obama stormed out of tense debt-limit talks Wednesday with his top Republican foes after declaring he was ready to stake his reelection on the outcome, a Republican aide said. Obama needs the Republican-led House of Representatives and Democratic-held Senate to sign off on a deal to close the…

McCain calls for cybersecurity Senate committee

WASHINGTON — Veteran US Senator John McCain on Wednesday urged the creation of a special Senate committee on cybersecurity and electronic intelligence leaks to cut through legislative delays to crafting a US response. McCain requested the move in a letter to Democratic Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid and Republican Senate…

Wisconsin Democrats defeat fake candidates in primary election

Democratic Wisconsin Senate candidates overwhelmingly defeated their fake rivals Tuesday night in the Democratic primary election. Based on unofficial results, Democratic candidates Nancy Nusbaum won by 65 percent of the vote, Sandra Pasch won by 67 percent, Shelly Moore won by 54 percent, Fred Clark won by 67 percent, Jessica…

McConnell: Stopping Obama’s re-election still ‘single most important’ goal

Even with the country on the brink of default, the Senate’s highest ranking Republican says his “single most important” goal is to make Barack Obama a one-term president. “The single most important thing we want to achieve is for President Obama to be a one-term president,” Senate Majority Leader Mitch…

Senate Armed Services Committee nixes ‘worldwide war’ legislation

The version of the National Defense Authorization Act recently passed by the Senate Armed Services Committee omitted a controversial provision that would have authorized the United States to use military force in any part of the world that was suspected to contain terrorists, including within the U.S. itself. According to…

CA lawmakers pass bill to teach LGBT history

SACRAMENTO, Calif (Reuters) – A bill to require California public schools to teach the historical accomplishments of gay men and lesbians passed the state Legislature on Tuesday in what supporters call a first for the nation. Governor Jerry Brown, a Democrat, has not said publicly whether he supports the bill,…

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