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U.S. Senate votes to end $6 billion ethanol subsidy

WASHINGTON — The US Senate voted Thursday to end a $6 billion subsidy for ethanol in a move that appeared largely symbolic but sends a message about the growing unease on support for the biofuel made mostly from corn. In a 73-27 vote, the Senate approved an amendment to end…

Key Senate panel approves Panetta for Pentagon

WASHINGTON (AFP) – The US Senate Armed Services Committee unanimously approved Leon Panetta’s nomination to be US defense secretary on Tuesday, setting the stage for a full senate confirmation. Panetta, 72, who has served President Barack Obama as CIA chief, was expected to sail to confirmation by the full US…

New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo calls for same sex marriage vote

NEW YORK – New York could vote within days on a bill making the state the sixth in the country to allow gay marriage, officials said. Same-sex nups have previously failed to pass in New York but newly-elected Democratic Governor Andrew Cuomo is championing the measure and on Tuesday submitted…

Senate rejects Coburn bill to repeal ethanol subsidies

WASHINGTON – By a vote of 59-40, the Senate on Tuesday afternoon struck down a measure to roll back $6 billion in federal ethanol subsidies. S.1057, dubbed the “Ethanol Subsidy and Tariff Repeal Act,” would have repealed a 45-cents per gallon tax credit for ethanol blended into gasoline as well…

Defense Sec nominee champions significant Afghan drawdown

WASHINGTON (AFP) – US Defense Secretary nominee Leon Panetta said Thursday that he backed President Barack Obama’s call for withrawing significant numbers of American troops from Afghanistan starting in July. US Senate Armed Services Committee Chairman Carl Levin asked Panetta, who has served Obama as CIA chief, whether he agreed…

McCain: Afghan drawdown must be ‘very modest’

WASHINGTON — US President Barack Obama should begin only a “very modest” withdrawal of forces from Afghanistan next month and not bring home any combat troops, senior US Senator John McCain said Wednesday. “I’m in exact agreement with (US Defense) Secretary Gates that it should be very modest,” McCain, the…

Feingold: ‘I am looking at’ a Senate run in 2012

WASHINGTON – Former Sen. Russ Feingold (D-WI) told his home-state paper that he’s considering a run for the Senate in 2012, which liberals are urging him to do. “I am looking at it, but I feel I should take some time to think this through,” Feingold told the Milwaukee Journal…

Illinois Republican Senator Kyle McCarter allegedly punched by Democrat Mike Jacob

A Republican lawmaker claimed that his Democratic colleague punched him Tuesday on the floor of the Illinois Senate. In a statement released June 1, Sen. Kyle McCarter said he was punched by Sen. Mike Jacobs during a debate on Senate Bill 1652, after he called attention to the fact that…

Arizonans look to recall senator behind controversial immigration laws

A Republican state senator in Arizona who authored controversial immigration laws may face a recall election thanks to a group of activists who said Tuesday they had filed a petition for a new vote. State law requires 7,756 signatures to trigger a recall election. Calling themselves “Citizens For A Better…

Ohio Republicans attack state’s minimum wage law

Republicans in the Ohio State Senate are pushing to weaken a minimum wage law that was enshrined in the state’s Constitution in 2006. A provision in the Ohio Senate GOP’s omnibus budget measure aims to raise the eligibility requirements for beneficiaries of the constitutional amendment establishing the state’s minimum wage…

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