Inside these posts: U.S. Senate

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Obama prepared to veto spending bill if necessary

The White House said on Wednesday it strongly opposed a Republican-backed spending bill and said President Barack Obama will veto a bill if it undermines his priorities or national security or curtails drivers of long-term economic growth.

“The unbalanced bill would undermine the nation’s economic recovery and its ability to succeed in a complex global environment,” the White House said in a statement. Get the full story »

Senate test vote today on Obama-GOP tax deal

Senators get their first chance Monday to vote on the tax-cut deal struck by President Barack Obama and Republicans, but whatever the outcome of the test vote, the White House expects the bill to pass by year’s end.

“Everybody understands what it would mean for the economy if we don’t get this done,” Obama adviser David Axelrod said Sunday. The No. 2 Senate Democrat, Dick Durbin of Illinois, said a “good cross-section” of senators in his party are ready to accept the deal. Get the full story »

Jobless benefits expire for 800K at midnight

A Democrat-sponsored bill to extend unemployment benefits by one year was introduced in the Senate Monday, but it is likely to face stiff opposition from Republicans. The bill’s sponsor, Senator Max Baucus, D-Mont., said in a statement that the proposed legislation would reauthorize benefits for nearly 800,000 out-of-work Americans who are about to exhaust their benefits next week.

It would also extend benefits for 2 million more Americans facing the same fate at the end of the year, he said. Get the full story »

Mitch McConnell says he won’t back spending bill

Senator Mitch McConnell at a news conference on Capitol Hill, Nov. 16, 2010. (Mark Wilson/Getty Images)

Prospects for a comprehensive bill to fund the U.S. government appeared to dim Thursday after Senate Republican leader Mitch McConnell said he would not support the measure.

McConnell’s statement could indicate waning Republican support for a bill that would fund everything from national parks to the military through September 2011.

That could force Democrats to fund government operations on a temporary basis, either for a few months or the rest of the fiscal year, an approach that makes it difficult for government agencies to launch new programs or close out old ones. Get the full story »

Tea Party could challenge Federal Reserve

A sign at a Tea Party rally in September. (Brendan Smialowski/Getty Images)

The popularity of Tea Party candidates in U.S. elections could spell renewed efforts to curtail the power and independence of the Federal Reserve, which has been cast as an emblem of big government overreach.

Outsider candidates thriving on the right flank of the Republican Party have tapped anger at bank bailouts, soaring budget deficits and President Barack Obama’s health care and regulatory initiatives to topple establishment GOP politicians in elections around the country.

Tea Party members have lambasted the Fed for its unprecedented and aggressive steps to bolster the economy in the wake of the 2007-2009 financial crisis, saying the moves have exposed a lack of accountability at the Fed and raise the risk of damaging inflation down the road. Get the full story »

U.S. regulators vow team effort on financial reform

U.S. regulators will put up a united front before a divided Congress on Thursday, promising to cooperate on hundreds of new rules aimed at preventing Wall Street excesses from triggering another financial crisis. Get the full story »

Bill on outsourced jobs fails Senate test

As expected, a Senate bill designed to end tax breaks for U.S. companies that move jobs and manufacturing plants overseas failed a key test vote Tuesday.

With a 53-45 vote, Senate Republicans blocked a Democratic efforts to end debate and ultimately vote on a “jobs” bill. Get the full story »

Lawmaker eyes late-year Senate vote on yuan

The Senate is unlikely to vote on legislation to pressure China to raise the value of its currency until after the November 2 congressional elections, a Democratic senator said on Tuesday. Get the full story »

Key Senator wants to reopen Wall Street bill

Republicans will reopen the broad Wall Street reform law and overhaul the newly created consumer protection bureau if they regain control of Congress after the November elections, a leading lawmaker said on Monday. Get the full story »

Senate passes small business credit measure

The Senate has passed a bill to create a $30 billion U.S. government fund to help open lending for credit-starved small businesses, cut their taxes and boost federal loan programs for them. The 61-38 tally rewards President Barack Obama and his Democratic allies in Congress Hill with a long-sought victory and sets the stage for a final vote in the House, which is likely to approve it for Obama’s signature.

Cybercrime bill on list for passage this year

Capitol Hill staffers have made progress stitching together cybersecurity proposals into a huge bill, aides said, with Senate leadership putting it on their short list for passage this year. Get the full story »

Report: Politics not behind Broadway Bank seizure

There is no evidence that politics played a role in the government seizure of a Chicago bank owned by the family of the Democratic nominee running for the U.S. Senate seat once held by President Barack Obama, a government watchdog said this week.

On April 23, bank regulators seized Broadway Bank, a community bank with $1.2 billion in assets, and the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp arranged for MB Financial Inc. to assume its deposits.

The move then became embroiled in this year’s campaign season because the bank was owned by the family of Alexi Giannoulias, the first-term Illinois state treasurer and the Democratic nominee in this year’s U.S. Senate race. Get the full story »

GOP criticizes Ill. Senate candidate for bank loan

Republicans accused Democratic Senate candidate Alexi Giannoulias of lending money to a corrupt political insider, although Giannoulias said he left his family’s bank before the loan was issued and the insider wasn’t listed on loan documents.

The Chicago Sun-Times reported Monday that Broadway Bank lent $22.75 million to a development company in 2006. One of the company’s owners was Antoin “Tony” Rezko, who was then tied up in a corruption probe that ultimately led to his conviction for shaking down people who wanted to do business with the state.

Senate panel to vote on Fed nominees Wednesday

The U.S. Senate Banking Committee will vote on the three pending nominees to the Federal Reserve’s Board, according to the committee’s website. Get the full story »

Obama urges Republicans to help pass jobless aid

President Obama on Monday called on Republicans to put aside politics and to join with Democrats in approving an extension of jobless benefits. Speaking from the Rose Garden, Obama repeated his recent themes, criticizing the Republicans for refusing to pass the $34 billion extension pending in the Senate.