Washington (CNN) - Invoking a rarely used filibuster, Republican senators scored a major tactical and political victory Thursday, blocking a final floor vote for a controversial judicial nominee. California law professor Goodwin Liu has been tapped to serve on the U-S Court of Appeals for the 9th Circuit, based in San Francisco.
A cloture maneuver to end weeks of delays over the nomination failed when Democrats could not secure the necessary 60 votes
to end debate and move ahead with an up-or-down vote.
Liu was the first of President Obama's judicial picks to be successfully filibustered. Republicans complained he was inexperienced
and a partisan ideologue. Democrats countered he was a thoughtful mainstream candidate well qualified to serve.
Washington (CNN)- Wisconsin Democratic Sen. Herb Kohl announced Friday that he will retire after serving four terms in the Senate.
A Democratic source tells CNN, "The DSCC [Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee] has made sure that all these decisions were made and announced very early in the cycle. Democrats are confident that we can keep the seat."
Washington (CNN) - Senate Democrats planned to open debate Wednesday on legislation to cut $21 billion in subsidies from big oil companies and use the money to reduce the federal debt - a move designed to put Republicans on the defensive and capitalize on public anger over rising gas prices.
The bill has virtually no chance of winning congressional approval. Analysts believe, however, that Democrats will try to use the issue to their political advantage in both the run-up to the 2012 elections and the ongoing fight to increase to the amount of money the federal government is allowed to borrow before Washington defaults on its financial obligations.FULL STORY
(CNN) - Senate Democrats are calling oil and gas industry executives to testify next week about the billions of dollars they get in tax subsidies at the same time they are earning enormous profits and consumers are facing steep price hikes at the pumps.
Democrats also will seek a vote on legislation to block the subsidies to the largest oil companies and use the savings to either fund clean energy programs or reduce the deficit, according to a Senate Democratic leadership aide.
Editor's note: Gloria Borger is a senior political analyst for CNN, appearing regularly on CNN's "The Situation Room," "AC360°," "John King, USA" and "State of the Union." Watch Gloria Borger on "The Situation Room," Wednesday at 6 pm ET.
Washington (CNN) - If life (and politics) sometimes seems stuck in the ninth grade, the recent gyrations between the White House and congressional Republicans is a perfect case in point. The topic: averting a government shutdown. The meeting: on Capitol Hill between House GOPers and Senate Democrats.
Not invited to the party (or so they say): The White House.FULL STORY
Washington (CNN) - Mitt Romney's coming to the aid of dozens of Republican members of Congress who he says are trying to cut government spending.
The former Massachusetts governor and probable 2012 GOP presidential candidate announced on Tuesday that Free and Strong America PAC, his political action committee, is contributing $83,500 to 40 House and Senate Republicans.
(CNN) – CNN confirms that Democratic Sen. Jeff Bingaman of New Mexico will announce later Friday that he will not run for re-election next year.
That will bring to 4 the number of Democratic senators not running for re-election next year.
Washington (CNN) - Senate Democrats said Wednesday they would sign on to President Obama's proposed five-year spending freeze as they attempt to wrest back headlines from Republicans' dramatic spending cut debate in the House.
"What we've gotten initially from the Republicans in the House is to whack more than a million jobs, and so our agenda is to create jobs, to do something about the debt," said House Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nevada.
Washington (CNN) - Senate Democratic leaders organized a conference call with reporters Friday to pound away at one of their central political messages - Republicans are risking a government shutdown over spending differences.
Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nevada, and Sen. Chuck Schumer, D-New York, cited comments from House Republican Mike Simpson, R-Idaho, quoted in a CNN.COM story, saying it is a "possibility" that the fight over spending cuts could lead to a government shutdown.
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.