Washington (CNN) – Partisan tempers flared at a Senate immigration hearing on Monday as top Democrats accused opponents of comprehensive reform legislation of using last week's Boston Marathon bombings to slow or even derail the bill.
"Last week, opponents of comprehensive immigration reform began to exploit the Boston marathon bombing," said Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Patrick Leahy, D-Vermont.FULL STORY
(CNN) - Ramping up background checks on gun sales, which is regarded as the gun control measure with the best possible chance of gaining congressional approval, is by no means a sure thing, a key player in gun legislation negotiations said Sunday.
Sen. Tom Coburn, who is among a bipartisan group of four senators working behind the scenes on a bill to expand background checks, said a sticking point had emerged on whether to keep records on gun owners.
Washington (CNN) - Sen. Barbara Mikulski, D-Maryland, will step up to the helm of the Senate Appropriations committee, three Democratic sources told CNN, and one source said she would be the first woman to chair that powerful panel.
Her assignment to that committee comes after Sen. Patrick Leahy said earlier Wednesday he would not take the post. He chairs the Senate Judiciary Committee and became the most senior Democrat in the Senate after the death this week of Sen. Daniel Inouye of Hawaii, who previously chaired the Appropriations committee.
(CNN) - High-ranking Democratic senators may shift committees following the death Monday of longtime Sen. Daniel Inouye, who chaired the powerful Senate Appropriations Committee.
The senior Democrat on the spending panel is considering taking over as chairman, a Democratic source said. Sen. Patrick Leahy of Vermont currently chairs the Senate Judiciary Committee, a position he would have to give up if he took over Appropriations. If he does, Democratic Sen. Dianne Feinstein of California, currently the chairwoman of the Senate Select Intelligence Committee is poised to take over the Judiciary panel, another Democratic aide said. The Judiciary Committee has jurisdiction over gun control laws, an issue Feinstein has championed.
Washington (CNN) – With public approval ratings hovering around a disappointing 20%, Congress could use a super hero in its ranks.
But lawmakers may have to settle on a cameo appearance in a Hollywood action film by one of their own: Sen. Patrick Leahy of Vermont.
Washington (CNN) - Sen. Patrick Leahy added his voice Thursday to calls for embattled Democratic Rep. Anthony Weiner to resign from his seat in the House.
Leahy is the most senior Democrat to date to call for Weiner's resignation. The Vermont Senator ranks second in seniority in the Senate. He joins a growing list of Democrats who have called for their colleague to step down over his involvement in a "sexting" scandal.FULL STORY
Washington (CNN) - A senior senator, who had full-time security after 2001 deadly anthrax attacks, cautioned Tuesday that lawmakers run the risk of becoming isolated from their constituents if they were assigned that level of security.
"I think it puts you in a cocoon and separates you from the people you serve. I think you have to be accessible," Sen. Patrick Leahy, D-Vermont, told CNN. Leahy was reacting to proposals to strengthen security for lawmakers in the wake of the alleged assassination attempt of Rep. Gabrielle Giffords, D-Arizona.
Washington (CNN) - Sen. Patrick Leahy issued a stern warning Tuesday on toning down the rhetoric that many say led to the shootings in Tucson, Arizona.
"The seething rhetoric has gone too far. The demonizing of opponents, of government, of public service has gone too far," the Vermont Democrat said at the Newseum in Washington. "Our politics have become incendiary and we all share the responsibility for lowering the temperature."
(CNN) - Democratic incumbent Sen. Patrick Leahy has won re-election to a seventh term, beating out Republican nominee Len Britton in the Vermont Senate race, CNN projects.
Washington (CNN) - The leading senators on the Judiciary Committee signaled a contentious hearing on Elena Kagan's Supreme Court nomination starting Monday, with ranking Republican Jeff Sessions of Alabama saying a GOP filibuster was possible.
"This nominee does have serious deficiencies," Sessions said Sunday on the CBS program "Face the Nation."
He cited Kagan's lack of experience as a judge and what he called her liberal leanings.
"I think the first thing we need to decide is, is she committed to the rule of law, even if she doesn't like the law?" Sessions said.
Pressed about a possible Republican filibuster against the nomination, Sessions said: "It's conceivable a filibuster might occur."
Committee chairman Patrick Leahy, D-Vermont, responded on the same program by noting that other Supreme Court justices including William Rehnquist and Hugo Black also had no experience as judges before taking their high court seats.