Washington (CNN) - Supporters of a move to end filibusters of presidential nominees picked up a key ally Tuesday.
Sen. Dianne Feinstein, a veteran California Democrat, says she has changed her mind and now supports using the so-called "nuclear option" - changing Senate rules over the objections of Republicans to prevent those filibusters. She said she has been persuaded to take the extraordinary step because the public is anxious to have Washington work and "you can't do it if the President can't get a cabinet, a sub-cabinet, judges, commissioners." Filibusters require 60 votes to set aside, a high hurdle in the narrowly divided Senate.
Updated 6:58 p.m. ET, 11/18/2013
Washington (CNN) - For the third time in three weeks, Senate Republicans blocked a nominee of President Obama's to be a judge on the D.C. Court of Appeals, a powerful court often considered second in influence to the U.S. Supreme Court.
On a vote of 53 to 38, Democratic supporters fell short of the 60 votes they needed to break a filibuster of nominee Robert Wilkins, who is currently a U.S. District Court judge in Washington.
Washington (CNN) - Senate Republicans Tuesday blocked the President's second nominee in two weeks to be a judge on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. circuit in continuing the persistent and partisan battle over presidential nominations.
Republicans scuttled the nomination of Georgetown Law School professor Nina Pillard on a largely party line vote just as they blocked Patricia Millett 12 days ago. GOP senators argued the D.C. Circuit has enough judges to handle its caseload and President Obama should nominate judges for other courts that need additional help.
Washington (CNN) - Sen. Tom Coburn is facing his second diagnosis of prostate cancer in two years, his office said Tuesday.
"Dr. Coburn has had a recurrence of prostate cancer and will be undergoing further evaluation and treatment," spokesman John Hart said in a statement.
Washington (CNN) - A Republican senator who suffered a debilitating stroke nearly two years ago spoke Monday on the Senate floor for the time since returning to the chamber.
In halting but clear speech, Sen. Mark Kirk of Illinois spoke briefly in favor of a bill that would ban workplace discrimination based on sexual or gender identity. The Senate is debating and voting on the bill, which is known as the Employment Non-Discrimination Act, this week.
(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.
Updated 10/31/2013 at 5:23 p.m. ET
(CNN) - Republicans blocked two high-profile presidential nominees on Thursday as the bitter fight over appointments escalated in the U.S. Senate, but Democrats held their fire and decided, for now, to forgo a change in rules to limit filibusters.
The GOP mounted filibusters against Judge Patricia Millett, who was appointed by President Barack Obama to the U.S. Appeals Court for the District of Columbia, and Rep. Melvin Watt, who was named to head the agency that oversees housing finance giants Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac.
Sen. Lindsey Graham will appear on "CNN's The Situation Room" Tuesday at 5pm
(CNN) - A top critic of the U.S. response to the terror attack on the Benghazi diplomatic compound said Monday that he would block all Obama administration nominees before the Senate until survivors of the deadly assault testify before Congress.
"I think the story was about the fact that our guys died in a different way than explained by the administration," Sen. Lindsey Graham of South Carolina told Fox News on Monday following a dramatic CBS "60 Minutes" interview with a man described as a British security officer who witnessed last year's attack.
Updated 10/10/2013 at 8:30pm
Washington (CNN) - President Barack Obama has signed into law legislation that continues federal funding of death benefits for military families, the White House said on Thursday.
The issue became an emotional political flashpoint because it had been cut during the government shutdown.
(CNN) - Quick passage of a bill to provide back-pay to furloughed federal workers appeared in doubt on Monday when the No. 2 Senate Republican said it’s not time to address that issue right now.
“I think it’s really premature to be dealing with that until we resolve the underlying problem,” said Sen. John Cornyn of Texas. “We’ve offered a number of bills to try to alleviate some of the hardship and they’ve been swatted down out of hand.”