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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…

GOP lawmaker gets drunk, steals truck, wrecks it, then takes nap

A Republican state Senator from Idaho was arrested in the early hours of Sunday morning and charged with grand theft auto and driving under the influence, according to police reports. State Sen. John McGee, currently the majority caucus chair for the Idaho State Senate, had been drinking on a golf…

White House meeting with Cantor on Medicare cuts

WASHINGTON – Medicare will be on the table when Vice President Joe Biden meets with House Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-VA) and other congressional leaders this week to continue the ongoing debt limit negotiations. It’s unclear whether the White House will agree to any cuts for beneficiaries, but other areas…

New York gay marriage bill faces close Senate vote

NEW YORK — New York was one step closer to approving gay marriage after state legislators passed a same-sex marriage bill, even though the measure faces an uncertain vote in the Republican-led state senate. By a vote of 80 to 63, the New York State Assembly approved the Marriage Equality…

Boehner: Congress may cut funds for Libya conflict

WASHINGTON — Top Republican lawmaker John Boehner on Thursday hinted at a potential freeze of funds for military operations in Libya, saying the White House had failed to justify US involvement. Influential US senators meanwhile voiced their support for a bipartisan resolution at odds with such a move that would…

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