Washington (CNN) - The Senate Foreign Relations Committee Tuesday confirmed Sen. John Kerry as secretary of state. The panel approved the nomination unanimously, by a voice vote.
Kerry, the longtime senator from Massachusetts and 2004 Democratic presidential nominee, has served on the committee for decades and has served as the panel's chairman the past four years.
(CNN) - Democrats and Republicans in the Senate overwhelmingly agreed late Thursday on language reforming filibusters, passing the measures agreed to earlier in the day by Majority Leader Harry Reid and Republican Leader Mitch McConnell.
The two leaders proposed to their caucuses earlier a list of reforms to curb the use of filibusters and streamline other procedures in order to speed up floor action. The measures required the support of each party's caucus.
Washington (CNN) - Senate negotiations over filibuster reform could come to a head as early as Thursday, according to Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, who is threatening to ram through broad reforms unless a deal is struck soon with Republicans.
Reid wants GOP Leader Mitch McConnell to accept a modified list of reforms that would curb the use of filibusters and streamline other procedures in order to speed up floor action.
Washington (CNN) – Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid has put off for another day a potentially ugly fight over filibuster reform, a Democratic leadership aide said Wednesday.
The issue was set to come to a head Thursday when Reid was considering forcing a major change of Senate rules – over the objections of Republicans - that would have made it harder for GOP senators to filibuster beginning debate on measures they oppose or want to amend.
Washington (CNN) - Fiscal cliff negotiations between the staffs of Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid and Minority Leader Mitch McConnell will be led by David Krone, who is Reid's chief of staff, and Sharon Soderstrom, who is McConnell's.
Aides think these talks, which could start Friday night and carry on through Sunday, will be mostly done over the phone or via e-mail. There is a chance of some face-to-face meetings between Krone and Soderstrom if they think those would have value.
(CNN) - Sen. Robert Menendez, D-New Jersey, is expected to become the new chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee if and when the current chairman, Sen. John Kerry, D-Massachusetts, is confirmed as secretary of state, two Senate Democratic aides told CNN.
Menendez is in line to get the high-profile assignment because Sen. Barbara Boxer, D-California, who is the most senior Democrat on the committee behind Kerry, wants to remain chairwoman of the Environment and Public Works Committee, according to a top Boxer aide.
(CNN) - Senators showed broad support Friday for $60.4 billion in emergency funding for victims of Superstorm Sandy, voting overwhelmingly to bring it up for final passage next week.
The motion passed 91-1.
Washington (CNN) - Sen. Barbara Mikulski, D-Maryland, will step up to the helm of the Senate Appropriations committee, three Democratic sources told CNN, and one source said she would be the first woman to chair that powerful panel.
Her assignment to that committee comes after Sen. Patrick Leahy said earlier Wednesday he would not take the post. He chairs the Senate Judiciary Committee and became the most senior Democrat in the Senate after the death this week of Sen. Daniel Inouye of Hawaii, who previously chaired the Appropriations committee.
(CNN) - High-ranking Democratic senators may shift committees following the death Monday of longtime Sen. Daniel Inouye, who chaired the powerful Senate Appropriations Committee.
The senior Democrat on the spending panel is considering taking over as chairman, a Democratic source said. Sen. Patrick Leahy of Vermont currently chairs the Senate Judiciary Committee, a position he would have to give up if he took over Appropriations. If he does, Democratic Sen. Dianne Feinstein of California, currently the chairwoman of the Senate Select Intelligence Committee is poised to take over the Judiciary panel, another Democratic aide said. The Judiciary Committee has jurisdiction over gun control laws, an issue Feinstein has championed.
Washington (CNN) – Sen. John McCain is seeking a slot on the Foreign Relations Committee next year and could be in place to grill United Nations Ambassador Susan Rice at her confirmation hearing if President Obama nominates her to be secretary of state.
The Arizona Republican is one of Rice's harshest critics. He has suggested the U.N. ambassador tried to cover up the terrorist attack on the U.S. consulate in Benghazi, Libya - which killed four Americans including Ambassador Christopher Stevens - as a means to help the president win re-election.