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Obama’s Pleas Draw Mixed Reactions From Hill

President Obama made an unusually emotional pitch to Congress and the country Tuesday night, seeking to rally support for a strong American response to Syria’s use of chemical weapons, an attack he cast as horrifying, gruesome, and terrible. … [Read more...]

Obama’s Case for Action Against Assad Comes Down to Just One Thing

President Obama's address to the nation on Syria Tuesday night comes on the heels of a long day full of developments that are quickly changing the conversation. The Syrian government has agreed to give up its chemical weapons stockpile. The United States, along with France and the United Kingdom, has begun a game of tug-of-war with Russia on drafting a U.N. resolution to get those weapons. The … [Read more...]

Congress bestows highest honor on Alabama church-bombing victims

By Verna Gates (Reuters) - Four Alabama girls killed 50 years ago in a church bombing that galvanized the civil rights movement were posthumously awarded the Congressional Gold Medal on Tuesday, the highest honor the nation's leaders can bestow on civilians. On the morning of September 15, 1963, a Ku Klux Klan bomb exploded at the 16th Street Baptist Church in Birmingham, Alabama, killing … [Read more...]

United Technologies/National Journal Congressional Connection Poll Topline Results Sept. 9, 2013

United Technologies/National Journal Congressional Connection Poll, a national poll that tracks the public's priorities for Congress and Washington -- and its opinions on the policies that Congress is debating. Below are the topline results from the week's Congressional Connection poll.Topline Results Sept. 9, 2013 … [Read more...]

Analysis: Mexico’s president lines up reform blitz, legacy at stake

By Dave Graham MEXICO CITY (Reuters) - Mexico's Enrique Pena Nieto has only been in charge nine months, but the success of his presidency depends largely on how he steers divisive economic reforms through Congress with the opposition by the end of this year. Pena Nieto is targeting economic growth of some 6 percent a year - up from an average of barely 2 percent since 2000 - via a number of … [Read more...]

Analysis: Surprise or not, U.S. strikes can still hurt Assad

By Phil Stewart WASHINGTON (Reuters) - It would hardly be a surprise to Syrian President Bashar al-Assad or his military if American missiles start hitting Syria soon. With weeks to prepare for an attack, Assad might benefit in some ways from the delay in any strike caused by President Barack Obama's decision to seek approval from a divided U.S. Congress. U.S. officials and defense experts … [Read more...]

NYC mayoral hopeful Weiner, bakery customer argue

NEW YORK (AP) — Ex-congressman and struggling mayoral candidate Anthony Weiner said Wednesday a video showing him in a shouting match with a bakery customer is just an example of him putting a heckler in his place. … [Read more...]

Obama wins Senate panel’s backing on Syria strike

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Barack Obama's request for speedy congressional backing of a military strike in Syria advanced Wednesday toward a showdown Senate vote, while the commander in chief left open the possibility he would order retaliation for a deadly chemical weapons attack even if Congress withheld its approval. … [Read more...]

Syria adds to uphill battle for U.S. immigration reform

By Caren Bohan WASHINGTON (Reuters) - A heated debate in Washington over possible military strikes on Syria has created a fresh obstacle to the effort to pass U.S. immigration reform legislation, threatening to sap momentum for the effort and further crowd Congress' fall calendar. Looming budget battles with President Barack Obama had been expected to sideline any action on immigration in the … [Read more...]

Obama administration to extend veterans’ benefits to married gays

By Lawrence Hurley WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The Obama administration will allow same-sex spouses of veterans to receive federal benefits currently only available to heterosexual married couples, U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder said in a letter to members of Congress on Wednesday. The decision comes just over two months after the U.S. Supreme Court struck down a federal law that denied federal … [Read more...]

Vote puts Republicans mulling 2016 run on the spot

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Barack Obama's plea to Congress for the go-ahead for military strikes against Syria is forcing ambitious Republicans weighing a White House bid to choose sides, as the party is bitterly divided over the U.S. role in foreign policy. … [Read more...]

Obama Takes Riverboat Gamble on Syria

I had a robust list of topics I was going to write about after Labor Day, but how can one write this week about anything other than President Obama's surprising (to say the least) announcement that he would submit to Congress a resolution to authorize the use of force in Syria? I believe Obama was right that he did not have to go to Congress; for an attack of the sort he has contemplated, there is … [Read more...]

Computer-operated car transports Pa. congressman

PITTSBURGH (AP) — A Pennsylvania congressman caught a cutting-edge ride to the airport on Wednesday. … [Read more...]

Senate panel passes authorization for use of U.S. military force in Syria

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - A divided U.S. Senate Foreign Relations Committee on Wednesday approved a resolution authorizing the use of military force in Syria by a vote of 10-7, with one senator merely voting "present." The panel's action clears the way for a vote on the resolution in the full Democratic-controlled Senate, likely next week. The Republican-led House of Representatives must also … [Read more...]

Syria forces possible GOP candidates to pick sides

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Barack Obama's plea to Congress for the go-ahead for military strikes against Syria is forcing ambitious Republicans weighing a White House bid to choose sides, as the party is bitterly divided over the U.S. role in foreign policy. … [Read more...]

Obama: Congress, world credibility on line

WASHINGTON (AP) — With Congress deep in debate over support for a military strike on Syria, President Barack Obama left open the possibility Wednesday that he would order retaliation for a deadly chemical weapons attack even if the House and Senate withhold their approval. … [Read more...]

Pelosi’s Flawed History Lesson

Rep. Nancy Pelosi mistakenly claimed that President Clinton launched an airstrike in 1999 after the House rejected the use of military force in a tie vote. Actually, U.S. and NATO forces had attacked Serbia five weeks before the House vote. … [Read more...]

Obama: On Syria, US, world credibility is on line

WASHINGTON (AP) — In an impassioned appeal for support at home and abroad, President Barack Obama said Wednesday the credibility of the international community and Congress is on the line in the debate over how to respond to Syria's use of chemical weapons. As Obama made his case overseas, Congress debated whether a proposed resolution authorizing military force would shift the momentum after … [Read more...]