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Wednesday, Nov 26th

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Senate plans release of torture report by year's end

waterboardingA Senate committee plans to release its long-delayed report on CIA interrogation practices before the end of the year.

Members of the Senate Intelligence Committee, chaired by Sen. Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif., have said the summary, on the "enhanced interrogation" practices allegedly used during the administration of George W. Bush, could be submitted before the current Senate's last session on Jan. 3.

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Generic drug price spikes of 8,000% draw Senate scrutiny

generc drug price hikeSome low-cost generic drugs that have helped restrain health care costs for decades are seeing unexpected price spikes of up to 8,000 percent, prompting a backlash from patients, pharmacists and now Washington lawmakers.

A Senate panel met today to scrutinize the recent, unexpected trend among generic medicines, which usually cost 30 to 80 percent less than their branded counterparts.

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Republican-led report debunks Benghazi theories and accusations

Benghazi reportAn investigative report prepared by the House Intelligence Committee finds little to support questions raised about CIA actions on the ground in Benghazi, Libya, the night of a deadly 2012 attack on the U.S. diplomatic compound.

The report, from Chairman Mike Rogers, R-Michigan, and ranking member Rep. Dutch Ruppersberger, D-Maryland, concludes there was no intelligence failure prior to the attack, no stand-down order to CIA operatives trying to go assist at the besieged consular building, and found conflicting intelligence in the wake of the attack about the motive and cause, which were reflected in early public comments by the administration.

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House Republicans Pass Bill Forbidding Scientists from Advising EPA on Their OWN Research

GOP stops scientific adviceCongressional climate wars were dominated Tuesday by the U.S. Senate, which spent the day debating, and ultimately failing to pass, a bill approving the construction of the Keystone XL pipeline. While all that was happening, and largely unnoticed, the House was busy doing what it does best: attacking science.

H.R. 1422, which passed 229-191, would shake up the EPA’s Scientific Advisory Board, placing restrictions on those pesky scientists and creating room for experts with overt financial ties to the industries affected by EPA regulations.

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Senate Torture Report Talks Break Down As Administration Pushes For Redactions

Dianne FeinsteinNegotiations between the Obama administration and the Senate over how much of the upper chamber's CIA torture report can be released have hit a major snag, less than a day after the talks appeared to be wrapping up.

On Tuesday, Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.), chair of the Senate Intelligence Committee, said that negotiations had come "down to essentially one item in the redaction. It happens to be a very sensitive and important item. I talked to the president yesterday, I talked to his chief of staff the day before, I expect to hear about it hopefully today or tomorrow."

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Senate blocks NSA phone records measure

NSA data collectionThe Senate on Tuesday blocked a bill to end bulk collection of Americans' phone records by the National Security Agency, dealing a blow to President Barack Obama's primary proposal to rein in domestic surveillance.

The 58-42 vote was two short of the 60 needed to proceed with debate under Senate procedural rules. Voting was largely along party lines, with most Democrats supporting the bill and most Republicans voting against it. The Republican-controlled House had previously passed its own NSA bill.

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Senate defeats Keystone XL pipeline

Senate defeats pipeline billThe Democrat-controlled Senate failed to gather the 60 votes it needed to approve the construction of the Keystone XL pipeline. The Senate's 59-41 vote Tuesday night was a nail-biter to the end.

The Keystone XL pipeline project has been at the center of a major political debate since 2008 when TransCanda applied for permission to construct the 1,179-mile-long pipeline.

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