(CNN) – Senators cast their last votes of the year Friday - confirming a new IRS commissioner and the No. 2 official at the Homeland Security Department - and dashed from the Capitol to start their Christmas recess.
Their final votes, to break Republican filibusters and approve several of President Barack Obama's nominees, seemed a fitting conclusion to a year when the divisive issues of filibusters and nominations were dominant.
Friday wrapped up a grueling week of work for Senate lawmakers, who conducted marathon sessions over stalled nominees. Majority Leader Harry Reid was hospitalized briefly for exhaustion. He was back home and cleared to return to work by evening.
Washington (CNN) - Fallout from the so-called “nuclear option” Senate Democrats triggered last month - when they dramatically weakened the ability of minority Republicans to filibuster presidential nominees - continued to reverberate through the Capitol on Wednesday as GOP Senators threatened to keep the chamber working into the Christmas recess if Democrats insisted on approving a large slate of presidential nominees.
It remained unclear if Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid would press ahead to clear the nominees or pull back from the brink and let senators return home for the holidays.
(CNN) - Conservative radio talk show host Rush Limbaugh used an analogy about rape Friday to blast this week’s decision by the Senate's Democratic majority to change the chamber’s filibuster rules despite the unanimous opposition of minority Republicans.
The so-called “nuclear option” will allow a bare majority of senators – as opposed to 60 - to approve most judicial and executive branch nominations. The Democratic caucus controls 55 of the chamber’s 100 seats.
Washington (CNN) - Senate Democrats voted unanimously three years ago to support the Obamacare rule that is largely responsible for some of the health insurance cancellation letters that are going out.
In September 2010, Senate Republicans brought a resolution to the floor to block implementation of the grandfather rule, warning that it would result in canceled policies and violate President Barack Obama’s promise that people could keep their insurance if they liked it.
(CNN) - Top Obama administration officials involved in the troubled roll out of the Obamacare website got an earful from Senate Democrats in a closed meeting on Thursday.
“There is a lot of frustration,” said Sen. Dianne Feinstein, D-California, as she left the session in the Capitol with White House Chief of Staff Denis McDonough, Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services Administrator Marilyn Tavenner, and former acting White House Budget Office Director Jeff Zients, who is spearheading the administration’s response to the problems.
Washington (CNN) - Senate Democratic leaders emerged from a meeting with President Barack Obama Saturday evening saying they were more cohesive than ever.
Sens. Harry Reid of Nevada, Chuck Schumer of New York, Patty Murray of Washington and Dick Durbin of Illinois had a "very productive meeting" with the President, according to a Senate Democratic aide. Although they did not move forward on any particular deal or plan, they "reviewed a number of the options raised in meetings over the last few days."
Washington (CNN) - The Senate's Democratic leadership is expected to offer a debt ceiling bill that would not include any of the policy changes or spending cuts demanded by Republicans, a Senate Democratic leadership aide told CNN.
Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid could file the bill as early as Tuesday, according to the aide.FULL STORY
Washington (CNN) - Democrats who lead the Senate are expected this week to take up a debt ceiling bill that would not include any policy changes or spending cuts demanded by Republicans, according to a Senate Democratic leadership aide.
Senate Majority Leader Reid could file the so-called "clean" debt ceiling bill as early as Monday, the aide said.
Washington (CNN) – Nobody wants to shut down. Not Democrats. Not Republicans. So why is just such an outcome becoming increasingly likely?
The answer is Obamacare. Republicans won't stand for it. Democrats won't stand without it, not after shooting down more than 40 efforts by Republicans to do so in the House of Representatives.
Washington (CNN) – How do over 500 men and women sworn to uphold and defend Constitutional duties that include "the power of the purse" keep government running after 12:01 a.m. Tuesday?
It appears simple: pass an identical funding bill in both chambers of Congress. Fund the government temporarily and figure the rest out later.