U.S. Congress hopes budget shows mettle

World / Politics Jan 15, 2014

U.S. Congress hopes budget shows mettle

A chastened Congress is putting aside the crisis-driven budget battles of the past three years, embracing a $1.1 trillion U.S. spending bill that restores or smooths the sharpest edges of the automatic cuts imposed as a result of its own dysfunction. The huge election-year legislation ...

Washington's $1 trillion bid to end its fiscal wars

World Jan 14, 2014

Washington's $1 trillion bid to end its fiscal wars

Negotiators from the U.S. Senate and House of Representatives unveiled a $1 trillion spending bill late Monday, eliminating the threat of another government shutdown— at least until October. The high-stakes omnibus spending bill sets discretionary spending limits line by line for each federal agency until ...

Congress revisits mandatory sentencing laws

World / Crime & Legal Jan 6, 2014

Congress revisits mandatory sentencing laws

An unusual alliance of conservative tea party enthusiasts and liberal leaders in Congress is pursuing major changes in America's mandatory sentencing laws amid growing concerns about both the fairness of the sentences and the expense of running federal prisons. The congressional push comes as President ...

Sen. Ted Cruz still a dual U.S.-Canadian citizen

World / Politics Jan 4, 2014

Sen. Ted Cruz still a dual U.S.-Canadian citizen

U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz vowed months ago to renounce his Canadian citizenship by the end of 2013, but the Calgary-born Republican is still a dual citizen. Cruz, 43, recently said in an interview with the Dallas Morning News that lawyers are preparing the paperwork to ...

Obama proposes changes to background checks for gun buyers

World / Politics Jan 4, 2014

Obama proposes changes to background checks for gun buyers

The Obama administration on Friday announced a pair of executive actions aimed at strengthening federal background checks for gun purchasers, with a particular focus on limiting access to those with mental health issues. One proposed rule change aims to clarify terminology used by federal law ...

U.S. Capitol dome renovation starts

World Dec 26, 2013

U.S. Capitol dome renovation starts

A world-famous symbol of democracy is going under cover as workers start a two-year, $60 million renovation of the U.S. Capitol Dome. Curved rows of scaffolds will encircle it next spring, enabling contractors to strip multiple layers of paint and repair more than 1,000 cracks ...

Senate passes deal to avoid new shutdown

World / Politics Dec 19, 2013

Senate passes deal to avoid new shutdown

Congress declared a holiday truce in the budget wars Wednesday, sending President Barack Obama a blueprint for funding the government through 2015. But the next skirmish was already on the horizon: an election-year fight over the national debt. The budget deal that passed the Senate ...

World / Politics Dec 19, 2013

Congressional budget deal should help support U.S. economy

The U.S. Congress did something Wednesday it hasn't done during three years of partisan warfare — pass a budget deal that won't likely hurt the economy. The two-year spending plan all but removes the threat of another government shutdown like the one that slowed the ...

Two U.S. senators vow support in Ukraine

World / Politics Dec 16, 2013

Two U.S. senators vow support in Ukraine

A showdown between Russia on one side and the United States and the European Union on the other drew closer Sunday, as two American senators told a crowd of hundreds of thousands of protesters that Ukraine's future lies to the west, not east. "We are ...