(CNN) – A congressional effort to bypass the White House and approve the controversial Keystone XL pipeline appears likely to fizzle this week, CNN has learned.
The development comes after three Democratic senators, who cast their support previously for the long-delayed, cross-border pipeline, said they would vote against the legislation.
(CNN) – Several Republican senators said Wednesday they were surprised and angered after a news report revealed that their GOP colleague, Sen. Ted Cruz of Texas, made a recent fundraising appeal for a tea party group that is trying to defeat GOP incumbents it doesn't believe are conservative enough.
The senators said Cruz's efforts appeared to violate his own pledge to no longer target sitting Republican senators in favor of tea party-backed candidates in the hard-fought 2014 campaign in which Republicans believe they have a chance to win back control of the Senate.
Updated 8:46 p.m. ET, 1/13/2014
Senate leaders postponed a key procedural vote on Monday on a proposal to extend long-term unemployment benefits for more than 1.3 million Americans.
Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid said he would delay votes until Tuesday afternoon so that bipartisan talks aimed at reaching a compromise could continue.
Washington (CNN) - The Senate's Democratic leadership is expected to offer a debt ceiling bill that would not include any of the policy changes or spending cuts demanded by Republicans, a Senate Democratic leadership aide told CNN.
Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid could file the bill as early as Tuesday, according to the aide.
Updated at 8:18 p.m. ET on 7/16
Washington (CNN) – Senators reached a tentative bipartisan deal to avert the so-called "nuclear option" on Senate rules, a change that would have drawn Republican ire and stalled major legislation.
At issue was what Democrats call unnecessary and lengthy delays of seven of President Barack Obama's nominees.
Washington (CNN) - Senate Democratic leaders are increasingly optimistic they will get enough Republican votes Thursday to overcome a GOP-led filibuster against beginning debate on gun legislation.
With confidence the hurdle can be cleared, Democrats are planning for another two full weeks or longer of debate on the measure before completing action, a Democratic leadership aide told CNN.
Washington (CNN) – When President Barack Obama attended the first of four meetings on Capitol Hill this week, it was clear that many of the Senate Democrats he lunched with wanted to bend his ear.
"There were quite a bit of questions, he stayed for a long time," Sen. Ben Cardin, D-Maryland, said about the meeting that was scheduled for 60 minutes but went for about 90. "Sen. (Majority Leader Harry) Reid gave him ample opportunity to leave and he decided to stay and answer more questions."
Washington (CNN) – In an effort to pressure the Obama administration to answer a lingering question related to the Benghazi attack, Sen. John McCain, R-Arizona, is reconsidering his pledge not to filibuster the nomination of former Sen. Chuck Hagel to be defense secretary, according to his spokesman Brian Rogers.
McCain wants to know if the president ever personally contacted anyone in the Libyan government during the Benghazi attack to seek assistance for the Americans in the compound. McCain, along with Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-South Carolina, and Sen. Kelly Ayotte, R-New Hampshire, have been trying to get the answer for months, said Rogers, and they reiterated their request in a letter to the president on Monday.
Washington (CNN) - A razor close vote is expected in the Senate Thursday on a Republican amendment to bypass the Obama administration's objections and approve the Keystone XL pipeline, Senate aides from both parties told CNN. Democratic aides, however, expressed some optimism the provision would be defeated.
President Obama lobbied wavering Democrats by phone to shore up Democratic support for his position, a senior Democratic source told CNN. It could be embarrassing for the White House if a large number of Democrats voted to overturn the administration's Keystone policy, which has been hotly debated as gas prices continue to rise during this election year. Several Democrats, including moderates up for re-election and those from oil producing states, support the Keystone pipeline but are torn whether to split with the president.
Washington (CNN) – Bipartisan talks to end the budget crisis, which stalled last week, appeared to grind to a near standstill Monday, raising concerns on both sides of the political aisle that large parts of the government could shut down when the current spending measure expires at the end of next week.
"Republicans refuse to negotiate on a final number," Senate Democratic Leader Harry Reid said on the Senate floor. "The infighting between the tea party and the rest of the Republican Party – including the Republican leadership in Congress – is keeping our negotiating partner from the negotiating table."