Washington (CNN)–Senate Democratic leaders are increasingly anxious the persistently high unemployment rate poses a long-term threat to the economy, their constituents' well-being, and, consequently, their own political fortunes.
In a strategic shift beginning this week, designed to show their heightened concerns, Senate Democrats will try to put new focus on job creation, so it is on equal footing with deficit reduction, which Republicans have successfully championed. They are promising to do it through a series of high profile bills this summer – some to cut taxes, others to increase spending – aimed solely at job creation.
Washington (CNN) – Vice President Joe Biden said Thursday that he and congressional negotiators have done a “first serious scrub” of the entire federal budget but differences remain over big-ticket items that philosophically divide the two parties in their quest for an agreement that would raise the nation’s debt ceiling while putting in place long-term reductions to the nation’s $14.3 trillion debt.
Those big-ticket items include whether to increase tax revenues – which many Democrats want – and making changes to expensive entitlements like Medicare – which many Republicans support.
(CNN) – The Senate Thursday approved a measure scrapping a controversial $6 billion annual subsidy for the ethanol industry.
The lopsided tally was 73 to 27, marking the first time a supermajority of senators voted to do away with the special tax break, originally designed to bolster the nascent bio-fuels industry but now considered by many on Capitol Hill to be an unwarranted taxpayer expense.
Washington (CNN) – The number two Democrat in the Senate alluded to a quote from former President Woodrow Wilson Thursday when asked about the political scandal involving Rep. Anthony Weiner, D-New York.
"Don't murder someone who is already committing suicide," Sen. Dick Durbin of Illinois said.
"I think he has some serious problems that will not go away soon," he added.
Washington (CNN)-In a rare public display of political and personal acrimony, freshman Republican Sen. Rand Paul of Kentucky squared off Wednesday with the powerful Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid.
Tempers flared on the Senate floor over how many amendments Paul could offer to a measure extending the main anti-terrorism surveillance law enacted after the September 11, 2001, terrorist attacks on the United States.
WASHINGTON (CNN) - Vice President Joe Biden told bipartisan congressional negotiators Tuesday that additional tax revenues must be part of any deal to raise the nation's debt ceiling.
"I made it clear today that revenues will have to be in the deal," Biden said after a nearly three-hour meeting in the Capitol.FULL STORY
Washington (CNN) – The Senate voted Monday to take up legislation extending for four years key provisions of the Patriot Act, an anti-terrorism law passed after the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001.
The vote was 74 to 8, and signals the measure should easily pass later this week, although opponents indicted they may drag out the process.
Washington (CNN) – As U.S. military action in Libya approaches the 60-day mark this Friday, does the Congress need to vote to continue that involvement to comply with the War Powers Act?
Sen. John Kerry, D-Massachusetts, the chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, said Tuesday he is "talking to the administration" about what exactly Congress and the White House might do to abide by the 1973 law which says Congress must authorize any military action that lasts more than 60 days.
Washington (CNN) - Republican presidential candidate Newt Gingrich's criticism of the House GOP plan for Medicare reform has opened a hornet's nest inside the party, but at least two influential Republicans are steering clear of the controversy.
"I don't comment on other candidates," Sen. John McCain, the last GOP nominee for president, said with a grin. "I spent a couple of years doing that."
Washington (CNN) - Senate Democrats will open debate Wednesday on a controversial bill to eliminate several tax subsidies for the five largest oil companies and use the savings to reduce the deficit. While the measure is unlikely to make it through the divided Congress to become law, Democrats hope to score politically with voters frustrated by a confluence of deep budget cuts in Washington, sky-high prices at the gas pumps, and staggering profits on the oil giants' bottom lines.
The debate starts a day before chief executive officers from those five largest companies – ExxonMobil, Shell, ConocoPhillips, BP and Chevron – are to testify on the merits of those tax breaks.