Senate Democrat Reid to retire; favors Schumer to replace him as leader
By Susan Heavey and Susan Cornwell WASHINGTON (Reuters) - U.S. Senate Democratic Leader Harry Reid said on Friday he will retire next year and swiftly threw his weight behind New York Senator Chuck Schumer to replace him as leader. "I think Schumer should be able to succeed me," Reid said in an interview with The Washington Post, referring to the selection of the next head of the Senate Democratic caucus, a post that will be filled after November 2016 elections. Reid's decision muddies the outlook for the Democratic Party as it seeks to retake control of the Senate in 2016. He said the other likely contender, Illinois Senator Dick Durbin, would probably defer to Schumer, according to the newspaper report.
Fri, 27 Mar 2015 14:24:07 -0400
Congo Republic president says expects referendum over third term
The President of Congo Republic, Denis Sassou Nguesso, said on Friday he expected a referendum on a change to the constitution that would allow him to stand next year for a third term at the helm of the oil-producing nation. Sassou Nguesso has ruled the central African country for most of the last 35 years. "We must not link my candidature to the debate over the constitution. The debate over the constitution is going to take place and the moment will come when I will pronounce," he said.
Fri, 27 Mar 2015 13:42:30 -0400
Exclusive: Upset by Warren, U.S. banks debate halting some campaign donations
By Emily Flitter NEW YORK (Reuters) - Big Wall Street banks are so upset with Democratic Senator Elizabeth Warren's call for them to be broken up that some have discussed withholding campaign donations to Senate Democrats in symbolic protest, sources familiar with the discussions said. Representatives from Citigroup, JPMorgan, Goldman Sachs and Bank of America, have met to discuss ways to urge Democrats, including Warren and Ohio Senator Sherrod Brown, to soften their party's tone toward Wall Street, sources familiar with the discussions said this week.
Fri, 27 Mar 2015 07:14:07 -0400
Wisconsin's Walker denies changing stance on illegal immigrants
Likely 2016 Republican U.S. presidential hopeful Scott Walker's stance on illegal immigrants remains unchanged, his spokeswoman said on Thursday, disputing a report that he favored letting them stay in the country and eventually become eligible for citizenship. Kirsten Kukowski, a spokeswomen for the Wisconsin governor, labeled as "erroneous" a Wall Street Journal report detailing what the newspaper called Walker's shift in stance on the matter. "Governor Walker has been very clear that he does not support amnesty and believes that border security must be established and the rule of law must be followed," Kukowski said in an emailed statement. "His position has not changed, he does not support citizenship for illegal immigrants, and this story line is false," Kukowski added.
Thu, 26 Mar 2015 16:32:46 -0400
Republicans ask White House about Clinton's broken charity donors promise
By Jonathan Allen NEW YORK (Reuters) - The Republican Party chairman asked U.S. President Barack Obama's administration on Wednesday to disclose when it first learned that Hillary Clinton's pledge to disclose all donors to her family's charities had been "repeatedly violated." Clinton, the front-runner to become the 2016 Democratic nominee for president, signed on to the transparency agreement with Obama's incoming administration in late 2008 before becoming secretary of state. Reince Priebus, the Republican National Committee chairman, appealed to the White House after Clinton Foundation and Clinton Health Access Initiative (CHAI) officials confirmed to Reuters last week that no complete list of donors had been published since early 2010, a year into Clinton's four-year tenure at the State Department.
Wed, 25 Mar 2015 17:10:55 -0400
Obamacare foe Ted Cruz to sign up for coverage under the plan
Republican Senator Ted Cruz, who has vowed to repeal "every word" of Obamacare if elected president next year, will soon be signing up for coverage under the plan. Cruz, according to media reports, had been covered under the health plan of his wife, Heidi, who is taking a leave of absence from Goldman Sachs to help his campaign. "We will presumably go on the exchange and sign up for health care, and we're in the process of transitioning over to do that," the Texas lawmaker told the Des Moines (Iowa) Register on Tuesday. Under President Barack Obama's signature Affordable Care Act, members of Congress seeking insurance must sign up through an exchange.
Tue, 24 Mar 2015 17:16:42 -0400
U.S. Senator Coats, Indiana Republican, says won't seek re-election
(Reuters) - U.S. Senator Dan Coats, an Indiana Republican, said in a statement on Tuesday that he would not seek re-election to his seat in 2016, saying it was time to hand off the "demanding job." Coats previously served in the U.S. Congress from 1981-1999, when he left the Senate without seeking re-election. He was U.S. ambassador to Germany and worked for a law firm, then returned to the Senate in 2011, according to a biography on his website.
Tue, 24 Mar 2015 12:08:08 -0400
Obama, Clinton meet for hour-long chat at White House
U.S. President Barack Obama met with former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, the presumed front-runner for the 2016 Democratic presidential nomination, for about an hour on Monday, White House spokesman Josh Earnest said. "President Obama and Secretary Clinton enjoy catching up in person when their schedules permit," Earnest said in an emailed statement. "This afternoon they met privately for about an hour at the White House and discussed a range of topics." He gave no further details on what they discussed. Clinton has been under fire for using a private email account for business purposes during her time as the top U.S. diplomat.
Mon, 23 Mar 2015 18:32:47 -0400
Ted Cruz seeks to enlist U.S. Christians for 2016 White House bid
By Gary Robertson LYNCHBURG, Va. (Reuters) - Casting himself as the leader of a grassroots army, Texas Republican Senator Ted Cruz made an explicit appeal to Christian conservatives on Monday as he became the first major figure to jump into the 2016 U.S. presidential race. Cruz's unyielding tactics in Washington have made him a hero to many on the Tea Party right, but he has yet to break into the front ranks of what is shaping up to be a crowded field for the Republican nomination. Speaking at Liberty University, a Christian school founded by televangelist Jerry Falwell, Cruz called for the support of religious conservatives who play a major role in states with early nominating contests. He discussed his Baptist faith in personal terms and urged religious conservatives who have sat out recent elections to get off the sidelines.
Mon, 23 Mar 2015 18:17:48 -0400
Florida Rep. Patrick Murphy announces bid for U.S. Senate seat in 2016
(Reuters) - Democratic Florida congressman Patrick Murphy said on Monday he would run in 2016 for the U.S. Senate seat held by Marco Rubio, a high-profile Republican who is considering a presidential bid. In a statement announcing his candidacy for Senate, he emphasized his background in business and accused Rubio of putting his political future ahead of the state. "For years, Senator Rubio has put the needs of Floridians behind his presidential ambitions," Murphy said. "We need a leader in the Senate whose eyes are firmly fixed on the people of Florida by working together to get things done." A onetime Republican who switched parties after becoming disillusioned over the Iraq war, Murphy has demonstrated strength in a traditionally conservative region in southeastern Florida.
Mon, 23 Mar 2015 14:01:59 -0400
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