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Effort to extend jobless benefits stalls in Senate

Efforts to renew emergency federal jobless benefits for 1.5 million Americans stalled in the U.S. Senate on Tuesday when Democrats and Republicans rejected each other's proposals. Both sides vowed to keep looking for a compromise, but it appeared unlikely they would find one before next week's Senate recess. "It is extremely important that we act, and today we failed to act," said Democratic Senator Jack Reed of Rhode Island. "It is not over," said Republican Senator Rob Portman of Ohio.


Davis, Abbott report big money in Texas race

AUSTIN, Texas (AP) — Fort Worth Democrat Wendy Davis says she raised more than $11 million over the past six months in her race for Texas governor. Republican Greg Abbott reports collecting $11.5 million over three months.

N.J.'s Christie uses address to apologize again, look ahead

By Edith Honan TRENTON, New Jersey (Reuters) - New Jersey Governor Chris Christie offered a fresh apology and vowed to cooperate with an investigation into a traffic scandal rocking his administration, but mostly touted the state's bipartisan cooperation during a key speech on Tuesday. Christie, a charismatic conservative and an early favorite in the Republican bid for the White House in 2016, used his State of the State address to list his conservative policy prescriptions, trying to leave two scandals behind. "The last week has certainly tested this administration. Mistakes were clearly ...


Jolly leads in early returns in congressional race

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. (AP) — David Jolly has taken an early lead in the Republican primary to fill the seat of U.S. Rep. C.W. Bill Young, who spent 43 years in Congress and died in October.

Insurance plan for sickest gets another extension

WASHINGTON (AP) — Health insurance companies can no longer turn away people with medical problems, but the Obama administration isn't taking any chances with thousands of vulnerable patients in a special federal program.

U.S. courts oppose reform proposals for secret surveillance court

By Mark Hosenball WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The U.S. federal court system objects to key proposals by a presidential review panel to reform the secret court that supervises the classified electronic eavesdropping activities of the U.S. National Security Agency, a former chief judge of that court said on Tuesday. Judge John Bates, the former head of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance (FISA) Court, sent the objections in a letter to Sen. Dianne Feinstein, chairwoman of the Senate Intelligence Committee. He said he submitted it on behalf of the federal judicial system as a whole, through an entity called the Judicial Conference of the United States, of which he is secretary. Bates, who is director of the Administrative Office of the U.S. courts, said that Supreme Court Chief Justice John Roberts had asked him to represent the federal judiciary on matters concerning the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act, under which the secret court operates.


Pro-GOP group airs attack ads in Senate races

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — An outside conservative group began airing advertisements Tuesday that attack two Democratic lawmakers seeking Senate seats because they voted for the 2010 health care bill and repeated President Barack Obama's now-discredited assurance that people with private health insurance could keep their coverage if they liked it.

No sign yet Iran sanctions bill will come to U.S. Senate vote

By Patricia Zengerle and Timothy Gardner WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid made clear on Tuesday he has no immediate plan to allow a vote on a bill that would slap new sanctions on Iran over its nuclear program, even as backers promised to keep up their efforts to win more support. Fifty-nine of the 100 senators - including 16 of President Barack Obama's fellow Democrats - support the bill, despite Obama's warning that its passage could jeopardize delicate international negotiations to curb Iran's nuclear program. New Jersey Senator Robert Menendez, the Democratic chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, is a lead sponsor of the measure, which has caused friction between the White House and some Democrats in Congress. Iran warned that it would back away from the negotiations if any new sanctions were passed.


Huge budget bill aims to show Congress' mettle

WASHINGTON (AP) — A chastened Congress is putting aside the crisis-driven budget battles of the past three years, embracing a $1.1 trillion spending bill that restores or smooths the sharpest edges of the automatic cuts imposed as a result of its own dysfunction.


Agreement appears elusive on jobless benefits bill

WASHINGTON (AP) — Compromise talks on a new program of long-term jobless benefits ran aground in the Senate on Tuesday, leaving the fate of the measure in extreme doubt while Republicans and Democrats vied for political advantage in the wreckage.

Pro-GOP group airs first attack ads in Senate race

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — An outside conservative group is airing advertisements beginning Tuesday attacking Democratic lawmakers seeking Senate seats because they voted for the 2010 health care bill.

Dems signal willingness to wait on Iran sanctions

WASHINGTON (AP) — Under pressure from the Obama administration, Senate Democrats who favor a new batch of sanctions on Iran signaled a willingness to hold off on levying penalties to give diplomatic negotiations a chance.

Appeals court sets aside Internet neutrality rules

WASHINGTON (AP) — In a decision that could reshape consumers' access to entertainment, news and other online content, a federal appeals court Tuesday set aside Federal Communications Commission rules designed to ensure that transmission of all Internet content be treated equally.

NJ Gov. Christie: 'We let down the people'

TRENTON, N.J. (AP) — Faced with a widening political scandal that threatens to undermine his second term and a possible 2016 presidential run, New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie apologized again Tuesday, saying his administration "let down the people we are entrusted to serve" but that the issue doesn't define his team or the state.


Analysis: Budget bill locks in conservative gains

WASHINGTON (AP) — At an unlikely-to-be-read 1,582 pages, Congress' $1.1 trillion spending bill is precisely the sort of massive legislation that Republicans criticized when they successfully sought power three years ago in the House.


Bill would restore Egypt aid with conditions

WASHINGTON (AP) — A spending bill in Congress would restore $1.5 billion in aid to Egypt, but only on condition that the Egyptian government ensures democratic reform.

NJ's Christie apologizes again for payback scheme

TRENTON, N.J. (AP) — Faced with a widening political scandal that threatens to undermine his second term and a possible 2016 presidential run, New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie apologized again Tuesday, saying his administration "let down the people we are entrusted to serve" but that the issue doesn't define his team or the state.


Unemployment compensation bill hits new snags in Senate

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Legislation to renew federal jobless benefits for 1.4 million Americans appeared stalled again in the Senate on Tuesday, with Senate Republican leader Mitch McConnell blasting Democrats' latest offer for debating a bill. McConnell protested Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid's plan to allow votes on amendments from both parties, saying it was "ridiculous" to do so in a way that McConnell said would favor Democrats, who control the chamber. ...


RNC ditching role of ad maker, funder

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Republican National Committee is largely getting out of the advertising business and instead will defer to super PACs and campaign committees to have a greater role during this year's midterm election, senior GOP officials said Tuesday.

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