Saturday, April 13

Tag: United States Senate

Congress passes $1.2 trillion spending package, averting shutdown at last minute
Politics

Congress passes $1.2 trillion spending package, averting shutdown at last minute

Washington — Congress narrowly averted a partial shutdown early Saturday, passing a massive spending package mere hours after a midnight deadline passed. The package fully funds the government through September and ends a monthslong fight over spending that persisted six months into the fiscal year. The Senate approved the $1.2 trillion package, which was unveiled early Thursday in a vote of 74 to 24. Hours earlier, it advanced out of the House in a 286 to 134 vote. The Senate slipped past the deadline after an hourslong standoff on amendment votes. Shortly before midnight, Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, a New York Democrat, announced the upper chamber had finally reached an agreement that would allow them to expedite the bill's passage. Republicans demanded votes on amendments in e...
Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer calls for new election in Israel amid increasing criticism of Netanyahu
Politics

Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer calls for new election in Israel amid increasing criticism of Netanyahu

Washington — Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, the highest-ranking Jewish elected official in the U.S., on Thursday for the first time called for the Israeli government to hold an election, calling it the "only way" to determine Israel's path forward after its war with Hamas. "I believe a new election is the only way to allow for a healthy and open decision making process about the future of Israel at a time when so many Israelis have lost their confidence in the vision and direction of their government," Schumer said. "There needs to be a fresh debate about the future of Israel after Oct. 7. In my opinion, that is best accomplished by holding an election."Schumer's 40-minute remarks, delivered from the Senate floor, come as frustrations with Israel's approach to its war with Hamas hav...
Senators release border-Ukraine deal that would allow the president to pause U.S. asylum law and quickly deport migrants
Politics

Senators release border-Ukraine deal that would allow the president to pause U.S. asylum law and quickly deport migrants

Washington — A trio of senators on Sunday released a bipartisan immigration agreement with the White House that would give the president far-reaching powers to clamp down on unlawful border crossings, including the authority to turn away migrants without allowing them to request asylum.The deal, which has been months in the making, would overhaul American border policy by restricting access to the asylum system during spikes in illegal immigration, making it harder for migrants to pass initial asylum screenings and ramping up deportations of those found to be ineligible for U.S. refuge. The agreement would preserve asylum processing at official border crossings and allow migrants who pass their asylum interviews to work in the U.S. legally.The agreement was negotiated by Republican Sen. Ja...
Dianne Feinstein vows to return but doesn’t say when health will permit it — leaving Senate in limbo
Politics

Dianne Feinstein vows to return but doesn’t say when health will permit it — leaving Senate in limbo

Washington — Will she or won't she be back? That's the question swirling around the Capitol as lawmakers ponder 89-year-old Sen. Dianne Feinstein's potential return this month amid questions about her health. The longest-serving female senator has not cast a vote since mid-February after her hospitalization for shingles.  "I hope, just as she does, that she can come back as soon as possible," fellow Democratic Sen. Alex Padilla of California told CBS News.  The junior senator, who once served as a field representative for Feinstein, keeps in contact with his former boss-turned-colleague through messages and calls while she recuperates at her Northern California home.  "She appreciates the check-ins," Padilla said. "She's eager to get back and jus...
Senate chaplain on prayer after Nashville shooting: “There comes a time when action is required”
Politics

Senate chaplain on prayer after Nashville shooting: “There comes a time when action is required”

Senate chaplain Barry C. Black, who urged lawmakers after the Nashville school shooting to "move beyond thoughts and prayers," told CBS News that he felt compelled to call on them that day because "there comes a time when action is required." "I have been hearing, you have my thoughts and prayers, and that is valid for any person again who has been told, pray without ceasing," Black told Scott MacFarlane on "Face the Nation." "But I also know that there comes a time when action is required."The chaplain opened the legislative session on March 28 with a prayer for lawmakers to "move beyond thoughts and prayers" after the Nashville shooting, in which three children and three adults were killed at The Covenant School, a private Christian school.  Wh...
Science

Bipartisan group of senators unveil bill targeting TikTok, other foreign tech companies

Washington — A bipartisan group of senators unveiled a bill Tuesday that would give the executive branch new powers to take action against tech companies with ties to foreign adversaries and cut them off from the U.S. market, a measure that would allow the Biden administration to eventually ban Chinese-owned TikTok and other tech products in the name of protecting national security.The legislation — titled the Restricting the Emergence of Security Threats that Risk Information and Communications Technology (RESTRICT) Act — would apply to technology tied to China, Cuba, Iran, North Korea, Russia and Venezuela that "poses an undue or unacceptable risk" to national security. "Today everybody is talking about TikTok. But before there was TiKTok, there was Huawei and ZTE. Before that, t...
Politics

Biden nominates Julie Su as next labor secretary

Washington — President Biden is nominating Julie Su, the current deputy and a former California official, as his next labor secretary, replacing the departing incumbent, former Boston Mayor Marty Walsh.Su, a civil rights attorney and former head of California's labor department, was central to negotiations between labor and freight rail companies late last year, working to avert an economically debilitating strike. She also has worked to broaden worker training programs and crack down on wage theft. If confirmed by the Senate, Su would also be the first Asian-American in the Biden administration to serve in the Cabinet at the secretary level.In a White House ceremony Wednesday morning, the president thanked Walsh for sticking by his side, and praised Su and her qualifications.  ...
Politics

Senate clears $1.7 trillion spending bill in sprint to beat winter storm, avert government shutdown

Washington — The Senate on Thursday approved the $1.7 trillion government spending bill, sending the bill to the House as lawmakers scramble to swiftly clear the package to stave off a partial government shutdown just before the Christmas holiday and leave Washington ahead of the approaching winter storm.The bill passed the upper chamber 68 to 29, easily clearing the 60-vote threshold. The House is expected to move quickly to take up the plan before funding for federal agencies runs out by midnight Friday.Final passage in the Senate came hours after Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer announced an agreement to complete work on the package in the coming hours. He urged senators not to stray far from the Senate chamber in order to hasten the process, since they voted first on a slew...
Politics

Schumer reelected Senate leader after Democrats expand majority

Washington — Sen. Chuck Schumer was unanimously elected Thursday for another term as Senate Democratic leader, helming a bolstered 51-seat majority for a new era of divided government in Congress.Senate Democrats met behind closed doors at the Capitol to choose their leadership team for the new Congress that begins in January. As Senate majority leader, Schumer has proven to be a surprisingly steady, if frenzied, force amid one of the more consequential sessions of Congress. He took the helm in the weeks after the Jan. 6, 2021, attack on the Capitol, and led his party through the COVID-19 crisis and unexpected legislative achievements, many of them bipartisan. A former campaign chief, he steered the party to the majority and expanded it to 51 se...
Politics

House approves bill to prevent rail workers strike in bipartisan vote

Washington — Congress is moving swiftly to prevent a looming U.S. rail workers strike, reluctantly intervening in a labor dispute to stop what would surely be a devastating blow to the nation's economy if the transportation of fuel, food and other critical goods were disrupted. The House on Wednesday approved a bill that would impose a compromise labor agreement that was brokered by the Biden administration but rejected by four of 12 rail unions. The unions have threatened to strike if an agreement can't be reached before a Dec. 9 deadline. President Biden had urged Congress to intervene. The House vote to impose the contract was 290 to 137, with 79 Republicans joining 211 Democrats in voting to approve the measure. Eight Democrats and 129 Republicans voted against the legislation....