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Obama's likely choice for FBI chief earns praise, no immediate obstacles to Senate approval

WASHINGTON - Republicans said Thursday they see no major obstacles to Senate confirmation of James Comey, the former deputy attorney general in the Bush administration who is expected to be nominated by President Barack Obama as the next FBI director. Comey, who would replace Robert Mueller as head of the national security organization, is certain to face tough questions about his work as a counsel for a major hedge fund and his ties to Wall Street as well as how he would handle current, high-profile FBI investigations.

Obama expected to pick James Comey as next FBI chief: source

By Steve Holland WASHINGTON (Reuters) - President Barack Obama is expected to nominate former Justice Department official James Comey as his next head of the FBI, a source said on Wednesday. If confirmed by the Senate, Comey, a Republican, would replace FBI Director Robert Mueller, who has led the agency since just before the September 11, 2001, attacks. Mueller is expected to step down this fall.

Angry about immigration plan, some gay donors cut off Democrats

By Rachelle Younglai WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Some disappointed activists say they are yanking their support for the Democratic Party after Senate Democrats opposed a proposal in an immigration bill that would have allowed citizens to bring their foreign-born, same-sex spouses to the United States.

Senator urges 'extreme caution' on SoftBank -Sprint deal

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - An influential U.S. senator expressed strong concerns on Friday about Japanese company SoftBank Corp's <9984.T> plan to buy 70 percent of Sprint Nextel <S.N>, warning it could expose the United States to Chinese cyber attacks. "I have real concerns that this deal, if approved, could make American industry and government agencies far more susceptible to cyber attacks from China and the People's Liberation Army," Senator Charles Schumer of New York said in a statement.

U.S. senator concerned over Softbank bid for Sprint, citing China link

U.S. Sen. Charles Schumer urged federal regulators Friday to use extreme caution in reviewing the bid by Japan's Softbank Corp. to acquire major U.S. telecommunications carrier Sprint Nextel Corp., saying the move poses national security issues because of Softbank's ties to China. The request by the influential Democratic senator could stall the ongoing review by the Federal Communications Commission and the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States.

Landmark immigration bill passes key Senate hurdle

The sweeping overhaul of the US immigration system took a major step towards viability Tuesday when the Senate Judiciary Committee voted 13-5 to approve a landmark bill offering a path to citizenship for millions. "It passes!" committee chairman Senator Patrick Leahy exalted moments after the vote, which followed days of marathon hearings and meetings to consider more than 200 amendments to the bill.

Senate panel OKs changes sought by tech firms in immigration bill

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - A Senate panel voted on Tuesday to make it easier for U.S. companies to hire foreign workers as part of a broad immigration bill being debated in Congress. The Senate Judiciary Committee voted for the amendment, which would loosen requirements that employers recruit Americans ahead of foreigners for high-tech jobs.

Immigration bill gets Senate boost; House effort teetering

By Richard Cowan WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Supporters of U.S. immigration reform are hoping that the smooth and drama-free passage of their legislation through a Senate committee - a departure from almost everything that has happened in Congress over the past four years - will boost the likelihood of the bill winning full Senate approval.

IRS official will refuse to answer questions at U.S. House hearing

By Kim Dixon WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Lois Lerner, an Internal Revenue Service official who revealed that the agency was giving extra scrutiny to conservative groups, will assert her constitutional right not to answer questions from a congressional committee on Wednesday, her lawyer said in a letter obtained by Reuters.

Senators reach deal to ease high tech rules in U.S. immigration bill

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Senators reached a tentative deal with tech companies to ease restrictions on hiring foreigners for high-skilled jobs in the Senate's sweeping immigration bill, sources familiar with the talks said on Tuesday. For about a week, senators on the panel have been in negotiations with each other and with the AFL-CIO union and tech company officials over limits imposed for hiring high-tech workers from abroad.
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