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Senate continues confirmation votes on Obama nominees, Deborah Lee James new Air Force sec'y

WASHINGTON - The Senate has approved another of President Barack Obama's nominees as it wraps up a week of near round-the-clock confirmation votes. The Senate cleared Heather Anne Higginbottom to serve as a deputy secretary of state on Friday after approving Deborah Lee James, as Air Force secretary.

Senate delays holding up appointing US ambassadors

The State Department on Thursday hit out at delays and infighting in the Senate that have led to a backlog of hearings to confirm new US ambassadors. Two nomination hearings had been due to be held by the Senate Foreign Relations committee on Thursday for 10 nominees to vacant posts, including the next envoy to key Washington ally Saudi Arabia. But the hearings were postponed at the last minute when a Republican senator objected.

Lawmakers hope for vote on compromise defense bill this week

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Leaders of the U.S. Senate and House of Representatives Armed Services committees have agreed on a slimmed-down defense authorization bill and want the House to vote on the measure before it leaves on its year-end holiday recess at the end of this week, Senator Carl Levin said on Monday.

Democrats change U.S. Senate rules to end paralysis

Washington, Nov 21 (EFE).- Senate Democrats on Thursday approved an historic change in the rules of the upper house of Congress so that a 60-vote majority is no longer needed to confirm the nominations of judges and top officials proposed by the White House. With 52 votes in favor and 48 against - three of the latter being Democrats - the Senate's Democratic majority approved the proposal to do away with the traditional unwritten rule that had allowed the Republican minority to systematically delay the approval of nominations made by President Barack Obama.

Senate panel is likely on Thursday to back nomination of Yellen as Fed chairman

WASHINGTON - The Senate Banking Committee is expected to vote Thursday to approve President Barack Obama's choice of Janet Yellen for chairman of the Federal Reserve and to send the nomination on to the full Senate. The timing of a vote in the full Senate is uncertain because some senators have said they planned to hold up her nomination as leverage on other matters. But the Senate is eventually expected to approve Yellen's nomination to a four-year term. Yellen, now vice chairman, would succeed Ben Bernanke, who will step down when his second four-year term ends Jan. 31.

Suspended senators will accrue pension eligibility while banished, Senate says

OTTAWA - Turns out the three senators at the heart of the Senate expenses scandal haven't been booted entirely off the public payroll after all. Mike Duffy, Pamela Wallin and Patrick Brazeau have been suspended without pay for up to two years, but their time in political purgatory will still count towards the six years of service needed to become eligible to collect a pension. That's what the law requires, the Senate said Thursday.

Tough road ahead for change in U.S. military sex assault rules

By Patricia Zengerle WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Lawmakers announced a renewed push on Wednesday to make sweeping changes in the way the military handles complaints of sexual assault, but they face a tough fight attracting the 60 votes they will likely need to get their plan through the Senate.

Tough road ahead for change in U.S. military sex assault rules

By Patricia Zengerle WASHINGTON (Reuters) - U.S. lawmakers announced a renewed push on Wednesday to make sweeping changes in the way the military handles complaints of sexual assault, but they face a tough fight attracting the 60 votes they will likely need to get their plan through the Senate.

Senate seen debating change in military sex assault law this month

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The Senate is expected to begin debate within the next two weeks on legislation seeking sweeping changes in the way the military handles complaints of sexual assault, several senators said on Tuesday, as backers set a last push to win enough votes for passage.

Statement of Sen. Pam Wallin for delivery in the Senate on Wednesday

OTTAWA - Statement of Sen. Pam Wallin prepared for delivery in the Senate chamber on Wednesday: Honourable senators, I rise to comment on Sen. Cowan's motion for special hearings. I have long called for an open, fair, transparent process.
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