Washington (CNN) - A Democratic measure to temporarily reverse the doubling of interest rates on millions of government-backed student loans fell short in the U.S. Senate on Wednesday, but there was hope a bipartisan deal would be struck soon to remedy the situation.
"We're trying to find some common ground," said Sen. Richard Durbin of Illinois, the No. 2 Democratic leader who spearheaded fresh talks on the dispute. "We don't have an agreement and I can't say when or if we'll come together."FULL STORY
Washington (CNN) - An agreement to stave off the doubling of interest rates on some student loans is unlikely before a July 1 deadline, despite a late push by a handful of lawmakers to reach a compromise, senators from both parties said Wednesday.
“Time is running out but we’re still working on it,” said Sen. Jack Reed, D-Rhode Island.
Washington (CNN) - Sen. Dianne Feinstein and several aides, including a pregnant woman, were stuck in a Capitol elevator for about 15 minutes Thursday afternoon.
"I think we'll do another elevator," the relieved California Democrat said with a smile when she was finally freed after workers replaced a broken fuse.
Washington (CNN) - Backers of a bipartisan Senate immigration reform plan Thursday defeated an attempt by Republican opponents to alter the border security requirements in the bill, which could have significantly undermined support for the compromise legislation.
By a vote of 57-43, senators rejected the proposal by Sen. Charles Grassley, R-Iowa, to delay the legalization process for millions of undocumented immigrants in the United States until the Department of Homeland Security could certify it had effective control over the Southern border for six months.
Washington (CNN) – Procedural maneuvering bogged down action in the Senate Wednesday on the first full day of debate on the immigration reform bill. Senators discussed key amendments but battled over whether and how to cast votes so early in the debate.
At one point, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid pushed for a series of quick votes on Republican amendments, including two significant measures to tighten border security requirements in the bill. But Republicans objected to Democrats' demand that a supermajority of 60 votes be required for passage.
Washington (CNN) - President Barack Obama tried Tuesday to build momentum for an immigration reform bill facing a key Senate procedural vote, saying the measure was a commonsense approach to fix a broken system that has allowed 11 million people to live illegally in America.
At a White House event a few hours before the Senate was scheduled to vote on whether to debate the compromise measure, Obama emphasized that it would increase spending on border security and require undocumented immigrants to pursue what he called an "arduous" path to eventual citizenship.FULL STORY
(CNN) – The Senate on Thursday confirmed Massachusetts Institute of Technology physicist Ernest Moniz to be the next Secretary of Energy, replacing Steven Chu.
The vote was 97-0, with three senators (Roy Blunt, R-Missouri; Tom Coburn, R-Oklahoma; and Jerry Moran, R-Kansas) missing the vote.
Washington (CNN) - Thomas Perez, President Obama's nominee to be labor secretary, was approved by the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions (H.E.L.P) committee on Thursday on a straight party line vote.
Perez has come under heavy fire from Republicans for his actions when he headed the Civil Rights Division at the Department of Justice earlier in the Obama administration.
(CNN) - Republicans on the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee, who last week boycotted a committee vote on Gina McCarthy to be President Obama's administrator of the EPA, will attend another vote scheduled Thursday after getting assurances from the agency that it will answer several questions posed by Republicans, a GOP committee aide told CNN.
EPA "committed to make some effort to follow up on the EPW Republicans five transparency requests," said Luke Bolar, an aide to Sen. David Vitter of Louisiana, the top Republican on the committee.
(CNN) - Thomas Perez, President Barack Obama's nominee to be Labor Secretary, was approved by the Senate labor committee on a straight party line vote.
Perez has come under heavy fire from Republicans for his actions when he headed the Civil Rights Division at the Department of Justice earlier in the Obama administration. Last week, Republicans blocked the committee vote by invoking a rarely used procedural tactic, which angered Senate Democrats.
Now that he is voted out of committee, the full Senate must consider his nomination, which may be scheduled next week. A GOP filibuster – which would require 60 votes to break - appears likely.