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INSIDE POLITICS

The Washington Times' political blog.

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**FILE** This photo from March 6, 2011, shows then-Deputy National Security Adviser Denis McDonough speaking in Sterling, Va. He is now the White House Chief of Staff. (Associated Press)

McDonough: 'Going to find the votes' on weapons ban

Though Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid is not including a ban on so-called assault weapons in Senate Democrats' legislative package on guns, White House Chief of Staff Denis McDonough said Tuesday that the measure deserves a vote and that "we're going to find the votes."

**FILE** Richard Cordray stands left as President Obama announces in the State Dining Room of the White House on Jan. 24, 2013, that he will re-nominate Cordray to lead the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, a role that he has held for the last year under a recess appointment, and nominate Mary Joe White to lead the Security and Exchange Commission (SEC). (Associated Press

SEC, consumer banking picks clear committee

On a party-line vote, the Senate Banking Committee on Tuesday narrowly voted to confirm Richard Cordray for a full term as head of the new Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, but Republicans still stand in the way of final Senate approval.

**FILE** Cargo ships are unloaded in December at the Port of Los Angeles. (Associated Press)

Lawmakers press NSF to fund home-grown commerce

House members from both parties pressed the National Science Foundation, an independent federal agency that funds projects in science and technology, over its record on steering taxpayer-funded innovation to American companies instead of foreign competitors.

** FILE ** House Speaker John A. Boehner, Ohio Republican, listens on Tuesday, March 5, 2013, during a news conference on Capitol Hill following a Republican strategy session. (Associated Press)

Boehner hails new pope

House Speaker John A. Boehner applauded Tuesday's installation of Pope Francis, calling him a "gracious and faithful servant of God."