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Senate abandons authorization of Libya conflict

WASHINGTON — The polarized US Senate hastily abandoned plans to vote Tuesday on a symbolic resolution authorizing the US role in Libya after a Republican insurrection to demand action on the country’s debt woes. “We’ve agreed, notwithstanding the broad support for the Libyan resolution, the most important thing for us…

Texas Republicans fail to vote on anti-TSA bill

Just as it looked likely to pass, the Texas Legislature failed this week to take a vote on a bill that would criminalize Transportation Security Administration (TSA) agents if they touch the genitals of passengers during security pat-downs. The bill’s original configuration was enough to draw a warning from one…

Obama to hold press conference Wednesday over debt default

WASHINGTON — President Barack Obama will hold a press conference Wednesday amid a dramatic showdown between his administration and Congress to avoid a US debt default, his office said. It will be held at 11:30 am (1530 GMT) in the building’s ceremonial East Room, the White House said in the…

Senate Foreign Relations Committee backs limited Libya conflict

WASHINGTON — A key US Senate panel voted Tuesday to authorize limited US strikes on Libya as part of a NATO-led campaign against Libyan strongman Moamer Kadhafi but to forbid the deployment of ground troops. The Senate Foreign Relations Committee’s 14-5 vote set the stage for what was sure to…

Teapartier told to reimburse Alaska for election challenge

ANCHORAGE, Alaska (Reuters) – Failed Senate candidate Joe Miller must reimburse Alaska more than $17,000 in legal fees and costs incurred during his fight to overturn Lisa Murkowski’s write-in victory, a state judge ruled on Friday. Miller, a Tea Party favorite, beat the more moderate Murkowski in the Republican primary.…

Same-sex marriage passes in New York State

Shortly before 10 pm on June 24, 2011, with the passage of a crucial amendment by a vote of 36 to 26, it became clear that a majority of the New York State Senate was going to approve same-sex marriage. The final tally for the bill itself was 33 to…

New York lawmakers reach agreement on religious exemptions for same sex marriage

New York came one step closer to legalizing marriage equality Friday after Republican lawmakers and Democratic Governor Andrew Cuomo reportedly reached an agreement on religious exemptions. The new exemptions would protect religious organizations from being required to recognize same sex marriages. Senate Republicans met behind close doors Friday afternoon to…

Senate confirms Leon Panetta to head Pentagon

WASHINGTON — The US Senate unanimously confirmed Leon Panetta’s nomination to be defense secretary on Tuesday, hailing his successes as CIA chief just as major challenges await him in Afghanistan and Libya. All 100 members of the Senate approved the nomination of Panetta, a rare move of unanimity for a…

Bill would approve US role in Libya retroactively

WASHINGTON — Two top US senators on Tuesday introduced a bill that would retroactively support America’s military role in Libya, amid a raging debate over whether President Barack Obama flouted the law by not getting prior congressional approval. “I believe we will find a strong, bipartisan majority that is in…

Watchdog: Sen. Vitter tried to ‘bribe’ Sec. Salazar with pay raise

The watchdog group Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington (CREW) says Sen. David Vitter (R-LA) may have gone too far when he demanded President Barack Obama’s Interior secretary approve deepwater oil well permits in exchange for a salary increase. CREW filed a complaint (PDF) Tuesday calling for the Senate…

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