Latest Senate Items
  • ** FILE ** New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg, left, speaks to reporters after meeting with senators during a closed door Republican conference on gay marriage, Thursday, June 16, 2011, in Albany, N.Y. Conflicting interests and political maneuvering threatened to stall a vote in New York on whether to legalize gay marriage, viewed by advocates and opponents alike as a pivotal moment in the years-long debate.(AP Photo/Mary Altaffer)

    Senate: More religious snags in gay marriage bill

    Senate Republicans in New York say protecting religious groups that won't perform gay weddings or offer services to gay couples is a major factor in their refusal so far to bring same-sex marriage to a vote.

  • Inside Politics

    A bill requiring 500,000 public workers in New Jersey to shoulder a significantly larger share of the costs for their health care and pension benefits and take the issue off the bargaining table has advanced in the Legislature over staunch objections from organized labor.

  • New York state Assemblyman Daniel J. O'Donnell addresses colleagues prior to their vote on a gay-marriage bill on Wednesday, June 15, 2011, at the Capitol in Albany, N.Y. (AP Photo/Mary Altaffer)

    Gay marriage in N.Y. now up to GOP-controlled Senate

    The legalization of gay marriage in New York now falls squarely on the shoulders of Republican state senators under intense political pressure from the important conservative bloc and internal polling that shows growing, but not necessarily majority, support for same-sex marriage.

  • **FILE** In this April 16, 2010, file photo, Gary Niemeyer finishes planting 1,550 acres of corn on his farm in Auburn, Ill. (Associated Press)

    Senate strikes at ethanol handout

    In a signal that austerity is now the prevailing attitude on Capitol Hill, the Senate voted Thursday to end billions of dollars in annual tax credits for blended ethanol — a once-sacrosanct program that has fallen victim to troubled government finances.

  • Obama proposes 'Plan B' for education reform

    Some congressional leaders on Tuesday said they fear the Obama administration's "Plan B" education-reform proposal could be seen not as a call to action on Capitol Hill, but instead as an excuse for lawmakers to take the summer off.

  • Rod Blagojevich got far more scandal news coverage than Rep. Anthony D. Weiner, New York Democrat, according to a Pew Research Center analysis. (AP Photo)

    Inside the Beltway

    In the scandal kingdom, he's only a duke, perhaps.

  • **FILE** Sen. Tom Coburn, Oklahoma Republican (Associated Press)

    Senate preserves ethanol subsidy, for now

    The Senate voted Tuesday to preserve billions of dollars in government subsidies for ethanol in a vote that showed senators are not yet ready to undo the corporate handouts that have proliferated throughout the tax code in recent decades.

  • New York state Sen. Thomas Libous is part of the critical bloc of Senate Republicans who helped defeat a gay marriage bill two years ago. Democrats' all-out lobbying effort hopes to turn the tide this year. (Associated Press)

    Gay marriage bill again a close call in New York

    The effort to legalize gay marriage in New York is getting an all-out lobbying effort from Democrats and celebrities, but there's still no sign of wavering among a critical bloc of Senate Republicans who led the defeat of the measure and blunted national momentum two years ago.

  • Sen. Marco Rubio, Florida Republican, on Tuesday will become the last of 13 Senate freshmen to deliver a "maiden speech" on the Senate floor, nearly five months into his term.

    Final Senate freshman set for 'maiden speech'

    When Sen. Marco Rubio delivers his first formal address in the Senate on Tuesday, the Florida Republican will be the last of the 13 freshman senators swept into office in January to give his so-called "maiden speech."

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