Political News from Yahoo

The Hillary-Haters’ Book Club

It’s open season once again on Hillary Clinton, and lately it seems as if every one of her detractors has written a book.

US pledges additional $380m for Syria war victims

KUWAIT CITY (AP) — The United States pledged Wednesday to send an additional $380 million in aid this year to help victims of Syria's brutal civil war, but warned that international efforts to ease their suffering will fail if Syrian President Bashar Assad refuses to let humanitarian assistance get to people who need it.

Protests at abortion clinics back at high court

WASHINGTON (AP) — The regulation of protests outside abortion clinics returns to the Supreme Court for the first time since 2000 to find the justices seemingly more protective of speech and less committed to abortion rights.

House ready to OK government-wide $1.1T budget

WASHINGTON (AP) — Shunning the turmoil of recent budget clashes, Congress is ready to approve a massive $1.1 trillion spending bill for this year, a compromise financing everything from airports to war costs and brimming with victories and setbacks for both parties.

Officials: Obama likely to OK phone record changes

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Barack Obama is expected to endorse changes to the way the government collects millions of Americans' phone records for possible future surveillance, but he is leaving many of the specific adjustments for Congress to sort out.

Analysis: Budget bill shows conservative restraint

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.

Budget deal expands some early childhood programs

WASHINGTON (AP) — Tens of thousands more young children would be eligible for early childhood programs under a budget deal reached by lawmakers that advocates hailed as an encouraging sign that Congress is committed to early education.

Obama to nominate Calif. businesswoman to lead SBA

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Barack Obama intends to nominate Maria Contreras-Sweet, the founder of a Latino-owned community bank in Los Angeles and a former California cabinet secretary, to be head of the Small Business Administration, according to a White House official.

U.S. Senate hearing set to press for quicker commodity bank curbs

By Anna Louie Sussman WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Members of the powerful U.S. Senate banking committee are set to grill financial regulators Wednesday on their plans to address the risks of Wall Street banks' involvement in physical commodities markets, fuelling pressure for a landmark crackdown. A day ahead of the hearing, the Federal Reserve, for the first time, laid out its heightened concerns that leasing oil tankers or owning power plants could endanger the banking system, and may pose serious conflicts of interest for banks. In a preliminary notice seeking public comment on possible new curbs, the Fed cited real-world risks including the BP Gulf oil spill and last year's Quebec oil train disaster as examples of the multibillion-dollar catastrophes that banks face by being involved in the risky, messy world of commodities. The notice also suggested possible remedies, including limits on assets and revenues as well as curbs on trade of some types of commodities, and posed questions to draw public input.

Report: NSA maps pathway into computers

WASHINGTON (AP) — The National Security Agency has implanted software in nearly 100,000 computers around the world — but not in the United States — that allows the U.S. to conduct surveillance on those machines, The New York Times reported Tuesday.

Iran Sanctions Battle Heats Up

Harry Reid doesn’t seem to want to allow a vote on the Iran sanctions bill, so advocates are shifting tactics and working with House leadership to pass it there first.

U.S. Senate panel to criticize State Department over Benghazi response

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - A report by the Senate Intelligence Committee to be released on Wednesday was expected to criticize the State Department for inadequate security at the U.S. diplomatic post in Benghazi, Libya, when it suffered a deadly attack on September 11, 2012. Sources familiar with the findings said the report, which had bipartisan approval, found that in the previous months U.S. intelligence agencies repeatedly warned about possible attacks in Benghazi, but the State Department paid too little attention. The U.S. ambassador to Libya, Christopher Stevens, and three other U.S. ...

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

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

Young's veteran aide in GOP nod for House race

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. (AP) — A longtime aide to U.S. Rep. C.W. Bill Young captured the Republican nomination Tuesday for a special election to fill the House seat of the late congressman.

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.