Content Tagged As senate

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  • Drone bill passes out of committee

    April 15, 2014 12:19 PM

    BATON ROUGE - Unmanned aircraft would be limited on private property around Louisiana, if lawmakers agree to a bill that has received the support of a Senate judiciary committee. Passage without objection Tuesday came over the opposition of the Louisiana Press Association, which said the bill by Baton Rouge Sen.... more »
  • GOP derails gender pay gap bill in Senate

    April 9, 2014 11:08 AM

    WASHINGTON - Senate Republicans have derailed an election-year Democratic bill curbing paycheck discrimination against women. The bill's rejection was widely expected, yet Democrats hope the effort will pay political dividends in this November's congressional elections. They are trying to drive up turnout this fall by women, who historically lean more... more »
  • Senate rejects proposal to water down helmet law

    April 3, 2014 2:02 PM

    BATON ROUGE- Louisiana motorcyclists still must wear helmets, and there will be no exceptions. The Senate Transportation Committee killed a proposal by Republican Sen. Mike Walsworth that would have allowed people 21 and older to ride without a helmet if they complete a safety training course and hold a certain... more »
  • Jobless benefits bill clears first Senate hurdle

    March 27, 2014 2:54 PM

    WASHINGTON- Long-delayed legislation to restore benefits for the long-term unemployed has cleared an initial Senate hurdle. The 65-34 Thursday vote came as the White House issued a statement of support. The measure would restore benefits for five months, back to when they expired Dec. 28. The program generally helps workers... more »
  • Under 18 e-cigarette ban passes through committee

    March 18, 2014 11:25 AM

    BATON ROUGE - A bill to ban the sale of electronic cigarettes to anyone under 18 has passed through a committee of the Louisiana legislature. The bill would add e-cigarettes and other alternative nicotine products to the list of items that can't be sold to minors. It passed through... more »
  • Fact check on raising minimum wage

    February 18, 2014 7:24 PM

    WASHINGTON- The nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office says raising the federal minimum wage would increase pay for more than 16.5 million workers but may cost 500,000 jobs. The breakdown comes as the Senate prepares to debate a plan pushed by Democrats to increase the minimum wage from $7.25 an hour... more »
  • Senate passes bill to delay flood insurance hikes

    January 30, 2014 2:06 PM

    WASHINGTON- The Senate has passed a bill to delay premium hikes for years on hundreds of thousands of homeowners who buy flood insurance from the federal government. The 67-32 vote reflects widespread concern about changes enacted two years ago to shore up the program's finances. The changes are producing... more »
  • Vitter wants food stamp users to show ID

    January 15, 2014 10:55 PM

    WASHINGTON- Senator David Vitter (R-Louisiana) is pushing to require people who use food stamps to show a valid photo ID when buying items. "Using a photo ID is standard in many day to day transactions, and most of those are not exclusively paid for by the taxpayer dollars," Vitter... more »
  • GOP state lawmaker running for US Senate seat

    January 2, 2014 2:02 PM

    BATON ROUGE- The field of Republican candidates for Louisiana's U.S. Senate race is getting crowded, with a state lawmaker from St. Tammany Parish adding his name to the list. State Rep. Paul Hollis, a Republican from Mandeville, filed paperwork with the Federal Election Commission before the holidays, declaring himself a... more »
  • Defense bill deals with sexual assault in the military

    December 13, 2013 6:15 AM

    WASHINGTON, D.C. - A defense policy bill that aims to deal with the epidemic of sexual assaults in the military is heading to the Senate, where it could get slowed by Republican outrage over majority Democrats' limits on GOP power. The House passed the legislation Thursday. The strong bipartisan vote... more »
  • Landrieu launches TV ads

    December 11, 2013 11:39 AM

    BATON ROUGE - Democratic U.S. Senator Mary Landrieu has launched her first TV ads in her bid for re-election. The new ad talks about her push to keep people from losing their health insurance because of the federal health care overhaul. Landrieu takes credit for President Obama's decision to... more »
  • Senate nears historic vote on gay rights bill

    November 7, 2013 7:58 AM

    WASHINGTON - The Senate is pushing toward a historic vote on legislation outlawing workplace discrimination against gay, bisexual and transgender Americans. All 55 members of the Democratic majority and several Republicans are expected to unite Thursday in backing the Employment Non-Discrimination Act. Senate passage would be a major... more »
  • Senate hearing to explore security clearances

    October 31, 2013 7:57 AM

    WASHINGTON - A Senate committee is taking testimony on the federal background check process in the aftermath of a deadly shooting at the Washington Navy Yard. The hearing is scheduled for Thursday morning before the Senate Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs. Federal officials including the acting director of... more »
  • Senators closing in on deal to reopen government

    October 15, 2013 8:12 AM

    WASHINGTON - Senate leaders are closing in on an agreement to reopen the government and forestall an economy-rattling default on U.S. obligations. Congressional aides predicted Majority Leader Harry Reid of Nevada and GOP leader Mitch McConnell of Kentucky would seal an agreement Tuesday, just two days before the Treasury... more »
  • Senate Dems to try passing debt ceiling increase

    October 8, 2013 7:33 AM

    WASHINGTON - Democrats controlling the Senate are planning to try to pass a stand-alone measure to increase the government's borrowing cap, challenging Republicans to a filibuster showdown that could unnerve financial markets as the deadline to a first-ever default on U.S. obligations draws closer. A spokesman said Senate Majority... more »
  • Senate rejects House conditions on spending bill

    September 30, 2013 1:50 PM

    WASHINGTON- The Democratic-led Senate has rejected conditions that House Republicans attached to a temporary spending bill. On the brink of a government shutdown, the Senate voted 54-46 on Monday to strip a one-year delay in President Barack Obama's health care law from the bill that would keep the government operating.... more »
  • Senate blocks effort to strip Obamacare of funding

    September 27, 2013 12:42 PM

    WASHINGTON - The Democratic-led Senate has blocked an effort to strip money from the president's health care law. The party-line, 54-44 vote clears the last obstacle to Senate approval of a measures aimed at preventing a government shutdown on Tuesday. The Republican-run House had included the Obamacare language in its... more »
  • Senate vote expected today on spending bill

    September 27, 2013 10:22 AM

    WASHINGTON - By this afternoon, federal agencies are expected to reveal their shutdown plans -- in the event Congress fails to approve a temporary spending bill to keep the government running. Supervisors at government agencies began meetings yesterday to decide which employees would be considered essential and would continue to... more »
  • Senate clears hurdle on stopgap spending bill

    September 25, 2013 12:31 PM

    WASHINGTON - The Senate has cleared a hurdle on a stopgap spending bill that would avert a government shutdown and unravel President Barack Obama's health care law. The vote was 100-0 and came an hour after freshman Sen. Ted Cruz ended his 21-hour, 19-minute filibuster. Cruz supports the bill but... more »
  • Sen. Cruz ends talkathon against Obamacare

    September 25, 2013 7:44 AM

    WASHINGTON - After 21 hours and 19 minutes, conservative Republican Sen. Ted Cruz has ended his talkathon aimed at dismantling President Barack Obama's health care law. He sat down at noon, Eastern time, the pre-determined time for the Senate to adjourn, as several of his colleagues applauded. The Senate then... more »
  • Senate officials shut complex while shooter sought

    September 16, 2013 2:33 PM

    WASHINGTON- Senate officials say no one is being allowed in or out of Senate buildings while authorities search for a potential second suspect in the Navy Yard shootings. Senate Sergeant at Arms Terrance Gainer said that people could move around the buildings but could not leave or enter. He said... more »
  • McCain opposes current Senate resolution on Syria

    September 4, 2013 10:19 AM

    WASHINGTON - Sen. John McCain says he doesn't support the latest Senate resolution to authorize military force against Syria. McCain is an outspoken advocate of intervention against Syrian President Bashar Assad's regime and wants more than cruise missile strikes and other limited action. The Arizona Republican threatened earlier this week... more »
  • Republican Party of Louisiana plans statewide tour

    July 19, 2013 9:56 AM

    BATON ROUGE - The Republican Party of Louisiana is hitting the road next month, planning a statewide tour as part of efforts to defeat Democratic U.S. Sen. Mary Landrieu next year. The party calls the 100-stop tour "Red to the Roots." Events will begin Aug. 16 in Winnsboro and... more »
  • Senate approves Obama-pick McCarthy to head EPA

    July 18, 2013 2:20 PM

    WASHINGTON - The Senate has approved Gina McCarthy to head the Environmental Protection Agency, hours after it also approved a new secretary of labor. McCarthy was approved 59-40. Minutes earlier, senators voted 69-31 to overcome Republican objections against her nomination, nine votes more than are needed to end filibusters. McCarthy... more »
  • Senate Committee clears nomination of new FBI head

    July 18, 2013 10:23 AM

    WASHINGTON - The Senate Judiciary Committee has unanimously approved the nomination of James Comey to be director of the FBI, clearing the way for a full Senate vote. The 18-0 committee vote will send Comey's nomination to the Senate floor. The soonest a vote could take place would be early... more »
  • Texas Senate convenes to debate abortion bill

    July 12, 2013 2:20 PM

    AUSTIN, Texas - The Texas Senate has convened to begin debate and ultimately vote on a bill to implement some of the nation's toughest abortion restrictions. Demonstrators on either side of the issue filled the Senate chamber Friday afternoon, with state police lining the gallery to stop anyone from disrupting... more »
  • Senators vote against holding veto session

    July 12, 2013 9:15 AM

    BATON ROUGE - Lawmakers won't be returning to Baton Rouge to reconsider Gov. Bobby Jindal's budget cuts and bill rejections. Twenty-six of 39 senators voted to cancel this year's veto session, according to a tally released Friday by the Senate. The session's scrapping came despite a push from advocates for... more »
  • Obama's ATF nomination sent to full Senate

    July 11, 2013 5:34 PM

    WASHINGTON - President Barack Obama's nomination of B. Todd Jones to lead the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives has been sent to the full Senate. Obama picked Jones to lead the ATF following the mass shooting in December at a Connecticut elementary school where 26 people, including 20... more »
  • Top Republican won't delay Senate vote on EPA pick

    July 9, 2013 2:30 PM

    WASHINGTON- Louisiana Republican Sen. David Vitter says he won't delay a Senate vote on President Barack Obama's pick to lead the Environmental Protection Agency after securing a deal to boost transparency at the agency. Vitter, the top Republican on the Senate environment panel, has been one of the biggest obstacles... more »
  • Landrieu, Cassidy report latest fundraising number

    July 9, 2013 10:59 AM

    BATON ROUGE - Democratic U.S. Sen. Mary Landrieu has outpaced her Republican challenger, U.S. Rep. Bill Cassidy, in the latest fundraising cycle for the 2014 Senate race. But both candidates raised more than $1 million in the fundraising period from April through June 30, according to information released Tuesday by... more »
  • Jindal says no to US Senate race in 2014

    July 8, 2013 3:30 PM

    BATON ROUGE - Despite consistent speculation about his interest, Gov. Bobby Jindal said he has no plans to run against Democratic U.S. Sen. Mary Landrieu next year. The Republican governor offered a definitive rejection of the idea that he wanted to return to Congress, saying, "Absolutely not, emphatically no." He... more »
  • Senate passes immigration bill

    June 27, 2013 3:32 PM

    WASHINGTON - The Senate has passed historic immigration legislation offering the hope of American citizenship to millions, while promising a military-style surge to secure the border. The vote was 68-32, far more than the majority needed to send the measure to the House. Prospects there are not nearly as good... more »
  • House votes to cut food stamps

    June 19, 2013 5:34 PM

    WASHINGTON - The House has voted to cut food stamps by $2 billion a year. The chamber rejected 234-188 a Democratic amendment to a wide-ranging farm bill that would have maintained current spending on food stamps and cut farm subsidies instead. The bill cuts the $80 billion-a-year program by about... more »
  • House, Senate on diverging paths on agency budgets

    June 18, 2013 4:04 PM

    WASHINGTON - House Republicans have unveiled slashing cuts to a program that helps localities build community development projects. Their rivals in the Democratic-controlled Senate are moving to restore Republican cuts to international food aid and nutrition help for pregnant women. Senate Democrats are pressing to restore deep cuts to domestic... more »
  • Senate leader won't weaken gun background checks

    June 13, 2013 1:37 PM

    WASHINGTON - Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid says he won't accept watered-down background checks as the price for pushing gun control legislation through the Senate. The Nevada Democrat isn't getting into specifics. But gun control advocates have worried that if Democrats are trying to declare victory on the issue, they... more »
  • Boehner: Congress can do immigration this year

    June 11, 2013 8:51 AM

    WASHINGTON - House Speaker John Boehner says he thinks there's a good chance that legislation overhauling America's immigration system can be signed into law "by the end of the year." The Ohio Republican gives his assessment hours before the Senate casts its first votes on a landmark bill that... more »
  • Senate moves toward votes on immigration bill

    June 10, 2013 4:02 PM

    WASHINGTON - The Senate is preparing to cast its first votes on a landmark immigration bill to remake the system and offer citizenship to millions. Two votes are scheduled for Tuesday afternoon on moving forward with the bill. Ahead of that action, senators are appearing on the Senate floor to... more »
  • Senate defeats Republican student loan plan

    June 6, 2013 10:17 AM

    WASHINGTON - The Democratic-controlled Senate has voted down a Republican proposal to link student loan interest rates to the financial markets. The Senate on Thursday was scheduled to next take up Democrats' proposal that would extend current interest rates on new subsidized Stafford loans for the next two years at... more »
  • Nine lawmakers will "sell" budget compromise Thursday

    June 5, 2013 8:25 PM

    BATON ROUGE- Legislative leaders will do a last-ditch sales pitch Thursday morning, hoping to get a budget compromise passed before time runs out at the end of the day. Governor Bobby Jindal said he backs a deal reached late Wednesday, which includes a $69 million increase in public school... more »
  • Proposed bill would lessen jail time for simple marijuana possession Play Video

    June 4, 2013 9:10 PM

    BATON ROUGE - A proposed bill making its way through the Capitol could mean lighter sentences for simple marijuana possession convictions. Representative Austin Badon (D.) of New Orleans introduced HB 103. It passed the house but still needs two-thirds approval from the Senate. "My bill only addresses the... more »
  • Bills preempting federal gun laws stall in Senate

    June 4, 2013 4:38 PM

    BATON ROUGE - Two far-reaching and controversial House-approved bills that sought to prohibit federal oversight of gun laws in Louisiana have stalled in the Louisiana Senate and won't become law. Promoted as state's rights measures against an increasingly intrusive federal government, the proposals were easily approved in the House despite... more »
  • Senate gives final passage to equal pay bill

    June 4, 2013 2:07 PM

    BATON ROUGE - The Senate has gave final passage to a bill that prohibits employers from paying unequal wages based on gender to state employees for the same job within the same agency. The bill, which doesn't include private companies, heads to Gov. Bobby Jindal for consideration. New Orleans Sen.... more »
  • House rejects budget changes with two days to go

    June 4, 2013 10:51 AM

    BATON ROUGE - The state House unanimously rejected the Senate's changes to the $25 billion state budget bill today as the regular session winds down. The House voted 98-0 to send House Bill 1 to a conference committee. They also appointed six House members to work out a compromise... more »
  • Budget negotiations continue as session end nears

    June 3, 2013 2:25 PM

    BATON ROUGE - Devising the budget in the Louisiana Legislature is often an elaborate game of chicken, with the House and Senate challenging each other to see who will relent to avoid an end of session meltdown. Usually the House yields rather than push work into a special session. Now,... more »
  • Senate panel rejects delay for teacher evaluations

    May 30, 2013 4:37 PM

    BATON ROUGE - Senators killed House-backed education bills that sought delays in the disciplinary effects of a new teacher evaluation system and the use of ACT scores in calculating high school performance grades. The Senate Education Committee rejected both bills Thursday, after facing opposition from Gov. Bobby Jindal and Superintendent... more »
  • Senator calls colleagues racist, dodges questions Play Video

    May 29, 2013 10:38 PM

    BATON ROUGE - Republicans and Gov. Bobby Jindal called for a New Orleans state senator to apologize for her recent accusations that opposition to expanding Medicaid under the Affordable Care Act was based in racism. Senator Karen Carter-Peterson said Monday her colleagues in the Senate opposed President Obama's reform... more »
  • Senators rework $25B budget, reverse House cuts

    May 29, 2013 5:05 PM

    BATON ROUGE - The Senate's budget-writing committee has taken its turn at next year's $25 billion spending plan, adding $350 million in state dollars to reverse many cuts sought by the House. The 2013-14 budget proposal backed by the Senate Finance Committee on Wednesday looks quite different from the House... more »
  • Senate panel approves 2-cents tax on cell phones

    May 23, 2013 5:32 PM

    BATON ROUGE - A new 2-cents monthly tax on cell phones to help provide services for people with hearing impairment has been approved by the Senate Revenue and Fiscal Affairs Committee. The House-backed bill would change the current law by reducing the amount of tax levied per month from 5... more »
  • Senate rejects move to stop Common Core standards

    May 23, 2013 2:07 PM

    BATON ROUGE - The Louisiana Senate has killed a resolution that sought to keep the state from using a set of uniform national standards for public school testing, called Common Core standards. The action Thursday came a day after the Senate Education Committee advanced the proposal without taking action. Senators... more »
  • New state law would clear confusion around surrogacy births

    May 22, 2013 10:41 PM

    BATON ROUGE- Lawmakers are poised to streamline laws dealing with surrogacy births in Louisiana. Some have suggested surrogacy births are currently taking place without clear guidelines on the legal rights of the parents, the surrogate or the child. The topic was of the focus of a News 2 report... more »
  • Senate budget committee stalls Medicaid program

    May 20, 2013 2:11 PM

    BATON ROUGE- A proposal for Louisiana to tap into federal health overhaul money available for expanding Medicaid has been stalled by senators. The Senate Finance Committee rejected the bill Monday, with all but one Republican voting against expansion. The measure would seek federal approval to use the expansion money to... more »
  • Senate panel approves bill to create national ID

    May 15, 2013 6:39 PM

    BATON ROUGE - The Senate Transportation Committee has backed a proposal to use Louisiana driver's licenses to comply with federal law requiring each state to create a national identification card for air travel, including domestic flights. Senators added that language into a bill by Rep. Johnny Guinn, seeking to reverse... more »
  • New challenger enters Senate race

    May 14, 2013 8:22 AM

    BATON ROUGE - A retired Air Force colonel from Madisonville says he plans to run for the U.S. Senate next year, seeking to oust Democratic incumbent Mary Landrieu. Rob Maness, a Republican who said he works for Entergy Services Inc. and owns a family farm, announced his candidacy Monday.... more »
  • Law seeks clarity for surrogate contracts, rights Play Video

    May 13, 2013 6:45 PM

    BATON ROUGE - Surrogacy, an intense and challenging process, is currently up for debate in the Louisiana Legislature. Senate Bill 162 would make clear contracts for gestational surrogacy, which is when another woman carries and delivers a baby after being impregnated by a previously created embryo. The surrogate... more »
  • $25B budget debate shifts to Louisiana Senate

    May 13, 2013 6:02 PM

    BATON ROUGE - Action on crafting next year's nearly $25 billion budget has shifted to the Senate. Last week, the House sent senators a compromise proposal to fund state government in the fiscal year that begins July 1. Senators say they are combing through the details. But the leader of... more »
  • President calls IRS targeting of conservative groups "outrageous"

    May 13, 2013 11:28 AM

    WASHINGTON, D.C. - President Obama is calling the IRS focus on conservative groups 'outrageous,' and says people are 'properly concerned' The IRS apologized Friday for scrutininzing the tax-exempt status of groups with conservative titles such as "Tea Party" or "Patriot" in their applications. The Democratic chairman of the... more »
  • House backs big budget compromise Play Video

    May 10, 2013 6:19 PM

    BATON ROUGE - The Louisiana House voted overwhelmingly in favor of a $25 billion budget today which sways from spending plans recommended by Gov. Bobby Jindal. The House stripped $500 million from Jindal's plan which was either one-time money, or not guaranteed. They instead opted for cuts to state... more »
  • Senate committee takes up immigration bill

    May 9, 2013 7:42 AM

    WASHINGTON - A bill to remake the nation's immigration system for the first time in decades faces its first congressional test Thursday. The Senate Judiciary Committee is taking up the 844-page legislation to secure the border, provide new avenues for workers to come to the U.S. legally, crack down... more »
  • Senators discuss changing background checks bill

    May 8, 2013 7:28 AM

    WASHINGTON - Lawmakers backing gun control say they are discussing how to revise the defeated Senate background check bill in order to win votes they need to resuscitate the measure. Among the changes they said they are considering are limiting the background check fees buyers pay at gun shows,... more »
  • Committee considers gun measures at Capitol

    May 7, 2013 10:39 AM

    BATON ROUGE - Several gun bills are scheduled to be discussed this morning at a Senate Judiciary committee hearing in Baton Rouge. The measures include a proposed lifetime concealed carry permit, a bill defying any future federal ban on semi-automatic weapons, and allowing people with concealed carry permits to... more »
  • Senate committee backs Medicaid expansion model

    April 30, 2013 6:53 PM

    BATON ROUGE - A proposal for Louisiana to tap into the federal health overhaul money available for expanding Medicaid has won approval from the state Senate's health committee, despite opposition from Gov. Bobby Jindal. The committee voted 4-3 Tuesday to send a modified Medicaid expansion bill to the full Senate... more »
  • Committee to hear breakaway school district bill

    April 29, 2013 10:39 AM

    BATON ROUGE - The Senate Finance Committee scheduled a hearing this morning for another attempt to create a breakaway school district in southeast Baton Rouge. The bill, filed by Sen. Mack "Bodi" White, is similar to the measure which failed to get the necessary two-thirds majority in the last... more »
  • Senate rejects caps on free tuition through TOPS

    April 25, 2013 3:04 PM

    BATON ROUGE- An attempt to control the costs of Louisiana's free college tuition program known as TOPS, by establishing a cap on awards, has been rejected by the Senate Education Committee. Legislation to place limits on the popular free tuition program are killed year after year in the Legislature. ... more »
  • Senate mail service to resume on Monday

    April 19, 2013 3:13 PM

    WASHINGTON - Senate offices will begin receiving mail again on Monday, a few days after a Mississippi man was arrested on charges he sent letters containing ricin addressed to President Barack Obama and a Mississippi senator. Senate mail will temporarily be screened at a House mail sorting facility, but that... more »
  • Family of man accused of sending ricin letters speaks

    April 19, 2013 11:38 AM

    OXFORD - The family of a man accused of mailing ricin-tainted letters to the president and a U.S. senator says they have tried for years to get him help for his mental illness. Jack Curtis issued a statement on behalf of the family of his brother, Paul Kevin Curtis, on... more »
  • Jindal won't seek legislative backing on LSU deals

    April 18, 2013 1:19 PM

    BATON ROUGE - Gov. Bobby Jindal says he won't seek legislative approval of his administration's LSU hospital privatization agreements, though both the House and Senate have voted that they want such decision-making authority. Jindal said Thursday that he believes the legislative resolutions that have received support in the House and... more »
  • FBI: Miss. man arrested, accused in ricin letters

    April 17, 2013 7:03 PM

    OXFORD, Miss. - A man in Mississippi has been arrested and accused of sending letters with suspected ricin poison to President Barack Obama and other leaders. FBI Special Agent in Charge Daniel McMullen said Paul Kevin Curtis, 45, was arrested Wednesday. Authorities still waited for definitive tests on the letters... more »
  • Senate rejects expanded gun background checks

    April 17, 2013 3:31 PM

    WASHINGTON - The Senate has rejected a bipartisan effort to expand federal background checks to more firearms buyers in a crucial showdown over gun control. Wednesday's vote was a jarring blow to the drive to curb firearms sparked by December's massacre of children and staff at an elementary school in... more »
  • Bill moves forward for legislative approval of rate hikes

    April 17, 2013 11:48 AM

    BATON ROUGE - Large rate hikes for customers of Louisiana's property insurer of last resort would require legislative approval, under a bill that received Senate Insurance Committee backing. St. Mary Parish Sen. Bret Allain sponsored the measure after residents of his parish who get insurance from the Louisiana Citizens Property... more »
  • FBI: Early test shows ricin in Obama letter

    April 17, 2013 10:23 AM

    WASHINGTON - The FBI says the letters sent to President Barack Obama and Sen. Roger Wicker are related and are both postmarked out of Memphis, Tenn., dated April 8. In an intelligence bulletin obtained by The Associated Press, the FBI says the letters both say: "To see a wrong and... more »
  • Officials: 2nd suspicious letter intercepted

    April 17, 2013 10:18 AM

    WASHINGTON - Law enforcement officials say a second suspicious letter that has been received in Washington was actually directed to the White House, not the Senate. Two officials told The Associated Press on Wednesday that the letter was being treated in the same manner as a separate one sent to... more »
  • Close vote seen on background checks on gun buyers

    April 15, 2013 7:52 AM

    WASHINGTON - Sponsors of a bipartisan Senate proposal to expand background checks for gun buyers say this week's expected vote is too close to call. Arizona Republican John McCain, whose home state experienced the Tucson 2011 rampage that wounded then-Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords, says a lot more needs to be done... more »
  • Gun measures put moderate Senate Dems in bind

    April 12, 2013 4:15 PM

    WASHINGTON - President Barack Obama's push for tougher gun measures and expanded background checks is putting several moderate Senate Democrats in a bind, forcing them to take sides on a deeply personal issue for rural voters. The Senate is scheduled to begin weeks of discussion over gun control legislation pushed... more »
  • Senators wrap up work on immigration bill

    April 11, 2013 3:06 PM

    WASHINGTON - Four Democratic and four Republican senators have reached agreement on all the major elements of sweeping legislation to remake the nation's immigration laws, and expect to unveil the bill next week. Democratic Sen. Dick Durbin of Illinois says the bill probably will be rolled out on Tuesday. After... more »
  • Gun control bill clears first hurdle in Senate

    April 11, 2013 10:42 AM

    WASHINGTON - Gun control supporters have won the first Senate showdown over restricting firearms, rejecting an effort by conservatives to derail a package of gun curbs before debate could even begin. The 68-31 vote gave an initial burst of momentum to efforts by President Barack Obama and lawmakers, mostly Democrats,... more »
  • Dem, GOP senators reach background check deal

    April 10, 2013 10:21 AM

    WASHINGTON - Two pivotal senators have announced a bipartisan deal on expanding background checks to more gun buyers. The agreement could build support for President Barack Obama's drive to curb firearms violence. Democratic Sen. Joe Manchin of West Virginia and Republican Sen. Patrick Toomey of Pennsylvania said their agreement would... more »
  • Democrats bring gun control bill to Senate floor

    April 8, 2013 5:03 PM

    WASHINGTON - Democrats have brought gun control legislation to the Senate floor amid a threat from conservative Republican senators to use delaying tactics to prevent formal debate from even beginning. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid took the first procedural step to begin debate on Monday. He said Republicans owed relatives... more »
  • Fleming won't run for U.S. Senate

    April 4, 2013 11:26 AM

    BATON ROUGE - Republican U.S. Rep. John Fleming says he won't enter the U.S. Senate race against Democratic incumbent Mary Landrieu because he doesn't want to divide GOP support. Fleming's announcement Thursday comes after his fellow Republican U.S. Rep. Bill Cassidy officially announced his candidacy Wednesday. Fleming, a doctor from... more »
  • Cassidy announces Senate bid in online video

    April 3, 2013 7:48 AM

    BATON ROUGE - Rep. Bill Cassidy officially announced his plans to run for the U.S. Senate this morning. Cassidy made the announcement in a video posting to his website, along with his wife, Laura. He will challenge Democratic Sen. Mary Landrieu, who will be running for her fourth... more »
  • Cassidy running for US Senate in 2014

    April 2, 2013 1:29 PM

    BATON ROUGE - Republican U.S. Rep. Bill Cassidy is running for the Senate next year, seeking to keep Democratic U.S. Sen. Mary Landrieu from a fourth term. Cassidy, a Baton Rouge doctor elected to Congress in 2008, will release a video Wednesday announcing his candidacy. The video was provided to... more »
  • Federal lawmakers support Internet sales taxes

    March 22, 2013 8:33 PM

    WASHINGTON- Senators supported a law, giving states the power to collect taxes on purchases you make on the Internet. The Nonbinding vote could pave the way for a proposal later this year. Nationally, states miss out on an estimated $20 billion in sales taxes. Louisiana loses about $800... more »
  • LSU Faculty Senate votes 'no confidence' in board

    March 20, 2013 11:50 AM

    BATON ROUGE - LSU's faculty leaders say they have no faith in the university system's governing board to make wise decisions, and they question the credentials of the contender to be system president. LSU Faculty Senate President Kevin Cope said Wednesday that the group approved a "vote of no confidence"... more »
  • Top Senate Democrat proposes Social Security panel

    March 20, 2013 10:33 AM

    WASHINGTON - The Senate's No. 2 Democrat says he's preparing a plan to create a commission to study Social Security's fiscal problems and send a proposed solution to Congress for guaranteed votes in both House and Senate. Illinois Democrat Dick Durbin says he's got bipartisan backing for the idea, which... more »
  • Assault weapons ban won't be in Dems' gun bill

    March 19, 2013 12:52 PM

    WASHINGTON - The Senate's top Democrat says he wants to bring a gun bill to the Senate with enough support to overcome any Republican efforts to block debate. And Harry Reid says that meant leaving out a proposed assault weapons ban. Reid says even using "the most optimistic numbers," there... more »
  • Senate panel OKs Dems gun background check bill

    March 12, 2013 10:38 AM

    WASHINGTON - A divided Senate Judiciary Committee on Tuesday narrowly approved a Democratic bill expanding required federal background checks for nearly all gun purchases, but put off immediate consideration of an assault weapons ban. The panel approved the measure by 10-8, supported by all Democrats and opposed by every Republican.... more »
  • Senate Democrats prepare government funding bill

    March 11, 2013 4:15 PM

    WASHINGTON - Senate Democrats are preparing a catchall government funding bill that denies President Barack Obama money for implementing signature first-term accomplishments like new regulations on Wall Street and his expansion of government health care subsidies but provides modest additional funding for domestic priorities like health research. The measure is... more »
  • Boustany won't challenge Landrieu in '14 Senate race

    March 5, 2013 2:57 PM

    LAFAYETTE- Count at least one person out of the race for Senate next year. Republican U.S. Rep. Charles Boustany, who represents a large section of South and Southwestern Louisiana, said he would not challenge Democratic U.S. Senator Mary Landrieu. Landrieu will run for re-election. A spokesperson for Boustany... more »
  • Packed house for Senate sinkhole meeting

    February 19, 2013 10:27 AM

    BATON ROUGE - Spectators packed the Senate committee room at the state capitol this morning ahead of a scheduled committee meeting to discuss developments at the Assumption Parish sinkhole. The state Senate's Natural Resources Committee scheduled two meetings, one today and another later in Assumption Parish, to get more... more »
  • Senate GOP blocks Hagel vote for now

    February 14, 2013 7:48 PM

    WASHINGTON - Republicans have, for now, blocked Chuck Hagel's nomination to become defense secretary. The Senate came up two votes short of the 60 needed to move Hagel's nomination forward as lawmakers prepare to leave town for a week's break. Democrats hold a 55-45 edge in the Senate. Republicans had... more »
  • Senators take up immigration in first hearing

    February 13, 2013 7:08 AM

    WASHINGTON - An illegal immigrant and the secretary of Homeland Security will be among the witnesses as the Senate opens its first hearing on overhauling the nation's immigration laws. The Senate Judiciary Committee hearing Wednesday comes amid a concerted push on immigration reform from the White House to the Capitol.... more »
  • Obama tries to unify Senate Democrats

    February 6, 2013 7:24 AM

    WASHINGTON - President Barack Obama is working to sell Senate Democrats on his strategy for tackling immigration, gun control and a host of fiscal dilemmas. The president meets with senators Wednesday at a closed-door retreat in Annapolis, Md. Obama's prospects for enacting his ambitious second-term agenda depend partly on Senate... more »
  • Senate passes bill to improve embassy security

    February 5, 2013 6:59 AM

    WASHINGTON - The Senate has approved legislation that would allow the State Department to transfer up to $1.1 billion to improve security at U.S. embassies in the wake of the deadly assault last year at the U.S. Consulate in Libya that killed four Americans. The measure now heads to the... more »

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