Washington (CNN) - Sen. Dianne Feinstein, D-California, announced Tuesday a bill to repeal the federal law that defines marriage as a "legal union between one man and one woman as husband and wife" and that allows states to reject legal same sex marriages from other states.
The Defense of Marriage Act, or DOMA, passed both the House and the Senate in 1996.FULL STORY
(CNN) - Two news polls are giving us a better indicator about how voters feel about two Democratic senators up for re-election next year.
According to a Quinnipiac University survey released Tuesday, 45 percent of New Jersey voters say they approve of how Sen. Robert Menendez is handling his job, with 38 percent saying they disapprove and 18 percent unsure.
Washington (CNN) – California Sen. Dianne Feinstein revealed Monday that Osama bin Laden and his family could have lived on a compound in Pakistan for up to six years.
Telling a group of reporters the Senate Intelligence committee has been briefed on bin Laden’s possible whereabouts for some time, she said, “The fact that it didn’t leak is really special and shows that each member is carrying out its duties.”
Washington (CNN) - Senate Intelligence Committee Chairwoman Dianne Feinstein said Thursday that we should not arm rebels in Libya as "we got burned" in previous wars by doing so.
In an interview with CNN's Wolf Blitzer, the California Democrat said, "We did in Afghanistan; we got burned by it. We did in Iraq; we got burned by it. In other words, those weapons cropped up later being used against us, and I don't think that's something we ought to do."
(CNN) – A plurality of California voters say they'd be inclined to vote to re-elect Democratic Sen. Dianne Feinstein next year, according to a new poll.
A Field Poll released Thursday indicates that by a 46 to 42 percent margin, California voters say they'd be inclined to vote to re-elect Feinstein next year when she runs for a fourth full term in office. Twelve percent of those questioned were unsure.
Washington (CNN) - An eight year veteran of the Senate Intelligence Committee has been named the new ranking Republican on the panel.
Sen. Saxby Chambliss, R-Georgia, was appointed by Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell on Thursday.
"It is a priority of mine to ask the tough questions to ensure that we continue disrupting plots from those who seek to do us harm, and that we are giving our intelligence community the tools and resources it needs to keep America safe," Chambliss said in a prepared statement.
Washington (CNN) – The top Republican on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee says that, even after more than nine years of war, there is no clear definition of success in the U.S. military’s operation in Afghanistan.
“If you had to say on this day I will know that the U.S. has succeeded and we can begin bringing troops home, what would that day look like?,” CNN Chief Political Correspondent Candy Crowley asked Lugar in an interview broadcast Sunday on CNN’s “State of the Union.”
“Well, your question implies that we've defined success and we've never got to that point,” Lugar replied. “That's a part of our problem, that we're going to have to, as a government, whether it be the president or the Congress, define success in a way in which the American people find this to be satisfying. Otherwise, we'll continue to argue about the date of withdrawal or how fast or how - whether we surge more or less - without ever having defined exactly what it is we hope from Afghanistan.”
Related: Failure isn't an option, Dem says
In the same interview, the Democratic chairwoman of the Senate Intelligence Committee proposed the kind of definition that Lugar said was lacking. Asked about the Obama administration’s July 2011 benchmark for beginning to draw down U.S. troops, Sen. Dianne Feinstein, D-California, said the situation has to allow the Afghanistan government and people to build their country.
“Failure is not an option,” Feinstein said in an interview broadcast Sunday on CNN’s “State of the Union.”
Related: Success must be defined, Lugar says
Feinstein agreed that the training of the Afghan army continues to face significant challenges, but she said the Afghanistan-Pakistan theater is too strategically important to U.S interests not to continue the U.S. military operation.
“Also, there's one, I think, irreversible truth - the Taliban is on a march,” Feinstein also told CNN Chief Political Correspondent Candy Crowley. “If you lose Afghanistan, Pakistan is the next step.”
She added, “So the question becomes, either the Taliban becomes a force for good, participates in government - we're not there yet - or it has to be defeated.”
Sen. Richard Lugar of Indiana, the Ranking Republican on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee who joined Feinstein during the interview, agreed that training Afghan security forces remains a challenge.
Washington (CNN) - Sen. Dianne Feinstein, D-California, a member of the Senate Judiciary Committee issued the following statement about the Kagan nomination:
“The Constitution grants the Senate the solemn duty of providing advice and consent on nominations to the Supreme Court. I take this responsibility extremely seriously. Solicitor General Elena Kagan has a strong track record as one of the nation’s top legal scholars, and as a leader with a special skill for bringing people together. I look forward to learning more about her judicial philosophy through the Senate Judiciary Committee’s open hearing process, which I believe is an important opportunity for the public to hear directly from the nominee and shape their own views about her judicial expertise and temperament.
I am also very pleased that the President announced his nomination of Solicitor General Kagan in early May. Chief Justice Roberts and Justice Sotomayor were both confirmed in 72 days – that timeline would allow us to consider the nomination on the floor the third week of July. It’s pretty clear to me that this nomination needs to be considered by the Senate in a timely manner because we will need to move on to considering other critical matters like the ratification of the START Treaty, the annual appropriations bills, a new jobs package, food safety, and other pending legislative priorities.
Washington (CNN) – A prominent Democratic senator predicted Sunday that her party will succeed in passing a reconciliation bill that puts the finishing touches on President Obama’s plan for health care reform. But, Sen. Dianne Feinstein, D-California, also said the legislation isn’t “perfect” and that the reform package will likely be altered at a later date to work out any issues that may arise.
“I believe, at the end, more than 51 Democrats will hold firm and will pass the reconciliation bill and we will have health care reform,” Feinstein said on CNN’s State of the Union.
But Feinstein also said, “This isn’t the perfect bill. We all know that. We all know that there are going to have to be fixes down the road just as every major [federal] program has had – Medicare has had, Social Security will likely have because of the explosion of costs.” In defense of the controversial and unpopular Democratic package, Feinstein pointed out that the United States spends more on health care than its European counterparts without achieving better outcomes. “We spend a lot of money but we don’t necessarily spend it in the right way or in the right places.”
And Feinstein continued with a prediction if her party is not successful in passing the legislation after the past year of wrangling on Capitol Hill.