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Last week, senators defeated efforts to stop the $500 billion increase. So even though the House went on record Wednesday with a 232-186 vote against the second increase, the action had no real consequence.

Rep. Tom Reed, New York Republican, says the GOP still wanted to make the point that they’re serious about the issue. Democrats said it was a waste of time.


Obama chooses adviser as Russian ambassador

President Obama has nominated his top Russia adviser as the next U.S. ambassador to that country. Michael McFaul helped the administration’s work to “reset” the two countries’ relationship.

Mr. McFaul is considered one of the nation’s foremost specialists on U.S.-Russia relations and has become a trusted policy adviser as the president has sought to ease long-standing tensions with Russia. Among the recent moves to begin the relationship anew was the signing of the New START pact to reduce strategic warheads.

Mr. McFaul’s nomination has been expected since May.

He was a campaign adviser to Mr. Obama on Russia and Eurasia before moving to the National Security Council to become the president’s chief Russia adviser.