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US senators strike deal to extend jobless insurance

US senators struck a bipartisan deal Thursday to reinstate emergency benefits for two million of America's long-term unemployed, easing a months-long congressional impasse. A group of 10 senators thrashed out the agreement, which would extend for five more months the benefits that ran out in late 2013 amid congressional bickering over how to pay for the insurance.

US senators strike deal to extend jobless insurance

US senators struck a bipartisan deal Thursday that would reinstate emergency benefits for two million of America's long-term unemployed, easing a months-long congressional impasse. A group of 10 senators thrashed out the agreement, which would extend for five more months the benefits that ran out in late 2013 amid congressional bickering over how the insurance would be paid for.

Canada gets a new U.S. ambassador, Bruce Heyman, after eight-month delay

WASHINGTON - The next U.S. ambassador to Canada has had his nomination confirmed nearly a year after President Barack Obama tapped him for the job. Chicago investment banker Bruce Heyman was approved in a vote Wednesday by the U.S. Senate, where partisan wrangling has slowed down the appointment of dozens of senior diplomats. Heyman was first revealed as the president's choice last spring, but the post in Ottawa remained vacant for eight months following the departure of the last American ambassador.

IMF funding issue delays U.S. Congress Ukraine bill

By Patricia Zengerle WASHINGTON (Reuters) - U.S. lawmakers debated on Tuesday whether to include a shift in funding for the International Monetary Fund in a bill to address the crisis in Ukraine, raising concerns that the measure could be delayed for weeks. The Senate Foreign Relations Committee had hoped to vote on Tuesday on a package that aides said would include aid for Ukraine and sanctions, as well as $1 billion in loan guarantees.

House Republicans seek information on enforcement of eagle and bird deaths at wind farms

WASHINGTON - House Republicans are seeking to compel the Obama administration to turn over uncensored, internal documents related to its enforcement of environmental laws at wind farms where eagles and other protected birds have been killed. The House Natural Resources Committee issued the subpoena Tuesday. Only one wind energy company has been prosecuted for killing eagles and other birds in violation of federal law. Duke Energy pleaded guilty in November to killing eagles and other birds at two Wyoming wind farms and will pay $1 million.

U.S. NSA nominee backs protection for companies in any cyber law

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - President Barack Obama's nominee to head of the National Security Agency said on Tuesday he considered liability protection for corporations that share information with intelligence agencies as a "critical element" in any new U.S. cybersecurity legislation. "My sense is it's a critical element in any legislation," the nominee, Vice Admiral Michael Rogers, said at his U.S. Senate confirmation hearing. (Reporting by Patricia Zengerle; Editing by Bill Trott)

White House economists paint rosier picture under Obama budget; but enactment not in the cards

WASHINGTON - President Barack Obama's top economists say the nation is on track to make economic progress over the next two years, but say it would do even better if Congress would enact the additional spending he proposed in his most recent budget. A divided Congress in an election year is not likely to heed that call.

Obama says he's hearing from business owners who are paying more than minimum wage

WASHINGTON - President Barack Obama says he's hearing from business owners across the country who are voluntarily paying their workers more than the federal minimum wage of $7.25 an hour. In his weekly radio and Internet address, Obama says those actions show that change comes to Washington, not from it. Congressional Republicans are resisting Obama's pleas to raise the minimum wage to $10.10 an hour. Obama recorded the address in Washington before leaving Friday for a weekend in Florida.

Name the next U.S. ambassador to Canada, business group tells Senate

WASHINGTON - A prominent business group says it's time the U.S. Senate appointed the next ambassador to Canada, calling the delay in his confirmation a counter-productive and unnecessary result of partisan games. The Canadian American Business Council said nominee Bruce Heyman is qualified for the job and shouldn't be forced to wait any longer. It sent a letter Thursday to the leaders of both parties in the Senate, Harry Reid and Mitch McConnell, asking them to approve an appointment that has already received the backing of the chamber's foreign-relations committee.

Another delay to Obama health law

The White House on Wednesday unveiled another delay in implementing President Barack Obama's signature health law -- apparently to shield vulnerable Democrats in mid-term elections. The Obama administration said that insurers could continue to market health care plans that do not meet the minimum standards of the new law until October 1, 2016.
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