Washington (CNN) - Senate Democrats, anxious to reign in what they consider abuse of the filibuster by Senate Republicans, will formally propose changes Wednesday to how and when senators can use the stalling tactic. However, Senate leaders – using their own procedural smoke and mirrors - will postpone votes on the proposals until late January at the earliest as they negotiate possible compromises to the politically contentious issue, according to Senate leadership aides from both parties.
Frustrated by Republicans' escalating use of the filibuster, to stall even routine legislation and nominations, a group of Senate Democrats, led, in part, by first-term Sen. Tom Udall of New Mexico, is trying to build support for a wide-range of proposed Senate rule changes that would curb the use of filibusters but not ban them entirely.
Washington (CNN) - Senate Democrats conceded Thursday they don't have the votes to pass the DREAM Act, a bill that would have offered a path to citizenship for some illegal immigrants who entered the United States as children.
Democrats voted to pull the measure from consideration, a move that jeopardizes the chances for passing the hotly contested bill during the current lame-duck session of Congress that ends in early January.
WASHINGTON (CNN) - Unable to secure needed Republican support, Senate Democrats decided Wednesday to postpone a planned make-or-break vote on starting debate on repealing the "don't ask, don't tell" policy that bars openly gay and lesbian soldiers from the military.
Jim Manley, the spokesman for Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nevada, said the showdown vote was delayed while negotiations continue with Republican senators whose support is necessary to overcome a GOP filibuster. Earlier, Reid said he was talking to one moderate Republican, Sen. Susan Collins of Maine, to try to gain her support.
Washington (CNN) – Senate Democrats may soon follow the House Democrats lead and bring tax cut votes to the Senate floor.
According to Jim Manley, spokesman Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, those votes could take place either Friday or Saturday.
(CNN) – Senate Majority Whip Dick Durbin, the second most powerful Democrat in the Senate, said Sunday that his party does not have the votes they need to pass a tax cut extension for families making less than $250,000 a year.
"I can count, and I know you can too," Durbin told CNN's Candy Crowley on State of the Union. "We have 59 Democrats and not a single Republican in the Senate supports our position."
Democrats need 60 votes in the Senate to overcome a Republican filibuster and pass their tax extension legislation.
Washington (CNN) – With Democrats divided on tax cuts, a Senate vote before the election on extending Bush-era tax cuts for the middle class is looking less likely, multiple Senate Democratic sources tell CNN.
These sources all stress that no final decision has been made, and that Senate Democrats could come to a different conclusion after discussing the issue at a meeting Thursday afternoon.
Still, one senior Democratic senator told CNN that a tax cut bill "isn't going anywhere at this point." The senator spoke on condition of anonymity in order to talk about internal deliberations.
Sen. Tom Harkin, D-Iowa, however, did speak freely, telling CNN, "I think it's headed to after the election."
Washington (CNNMoney.com) - Senate Democrats plan to propose a new legislation this week aimed at cracking down on companies that move jobs offshore, congressional sources tell CNN.
Senate Democrats plan to force a vote on legislation next week that would create a payroll tax break for companies that hire U.S. workers in place of foreign workers. The bill would also raise taxes for companies that move jobs and plants overseas.
Details are scarce on the specifics of the tax breaks and penalties. But Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., set the procedure rolling Tuesday evening, in a move that could force a vote on the issue next week, according to congressional records.
Washington (CNN) – Carte Goodwin was sworn in Tuesday as the interim replacement for the late Sen. Robert Byrd of West Virginia, giving Senate Democrats a key vote for issues such as the extension of unemployment benefits.
A Republican filibuster had prevented Democrats from ending debate on the jobless benefits measure, but with Goodwin's vote and support from two Republicans, Democrats overcame the GOP maneuver in a vote Tuesday afternoon.
Goodwin arrived for work in Washington a day after the West Virginia state legislature approved a plan to hold a special election in November to fill Byrd's old seat.
Washington (CNN) - Senate Democrats outraised their Republican rivals in the month of May, but for the first time this election season, the GOP committee reports having more cash on hand.
The National Republican Senatorial Committee reported Monday raising $3.6 million last month, bringing the organization's total cash on hand to $18.1 million. The committee, charged with helping elect Republicans to the Senate, also reported Monday that it is debt free.
The Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee, meanwhile, raised $5 million in May and has $17.57 million on hand – about a $500,000 less than the Republicans. The Democrats have zero debt as well.
Democrats spent $4.56 million in May while Republicans spent $2.5 million.
Washington (CNN) - Senate Democrats Thursday seized on the environmental disaster in the Gulf of Mexico as a reason to pass climate-change and energy legislation, but internal policy differences will not be easy to overcome and may also leave many disheartened.
Members of the Democratic caucus met behind closed doors to discuss various legislative proposals, telling reporters afterward that no single vision has emerged as the way forward. The difficulty is that any policy change needs 60 votes to be approved in the Senate.
"One of the many lessons of the BP disaster is we can't afford to continue business as usual," said Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid after the meeting. Reid, of Nevada, expressed his goal of voting on one bill that addresses both the BP spill and concerns about global warming before recessing in August, adding that "stalling for political purposes" is unacceptable.