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Obama signs defense bill despite Guantanamo provisions

Obama signs defense billPresident Barack Obama on Wednesday signed a $607 billion defense policy bill, despite his opposition to restrictions in the legislation that ban him from moving Guantanamo Bay detainees to the United States — a campaign promise that remains unfulfilled.

Obama has opposed provisions preventing detainee transfers since Congress first attached the measures to spending bills in an attempt block his plans. The dispute has taken on added intensity this year, because the White House has launched a final push to close to the prison before Obama leaves office.


Ex-staffer sues Gowdy and Benghazi panel

Gowdy and Benghazi panel suedThe ex-GOP House Benghazi investigator who accused the panel of conducting a partisan witch-hunt against Hillary Clinton filed suit Monday against the committee and Chairman Trey Gowdy (R-S.C.) for wrongful termination and defamation.

Air Force Reserve Maj. Brad Podliska in his court filing alleged he was fired from his post in June because he took leave for active duty. He also says he was singled out because he refused to focus his investigative work on Clinton and the State Department.


Congress Shorted 9/11 Responders By $12 Billion

Congress shorts first respondersWhen Congress rushed to finish a 9/11 health and compensation bill in 2010, just before Christmas, supporters of the legislation were forced to scale back their proposals to win over skeptical Republicans.

Now the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office has revealed how much 9/11 responders were shorted in that deal -- somewhere between $11.5 billion and $14.5 billion.


Senate passes legislation barring transfer of Guantánamo prisoners to US

Senate passes legislation barring Gitmo prisoners from USBarack Obama’s efforts to fulfil his promise of closing the Guantánamo Bay detention centre before he leaves office were dealt a significant blow on Tuesday as the Senate passed legislation preventing the administration from relocating prisoners to the United States.

The National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA), which has the primary purpose of setting the US Defense Department budget, passed the Senate by an overwhelming majority of 91-3 in a faster-than-usual passage through Congress, designed in part to frustrate White House plans to announce a new Guantánamo closure strategy.


Senate legislation would block EPA clean water rules

US SenateThe White House is threatening to veto a Senate bill that would block new federal rules to protect smaller streams, tributaries and wetlands from pollution and development.

Senators are voting Tuesday on whether to consider the bill. Most Democrats are opposed to the legislation, saying that the Obama administration rules will safeguard drinking water for 117 million Americans and should remain in place.


Senate passes sweeping two-year budget deal

Senate passes The Senate passed on Friday a sweeping two-year budget deal that also extends the debt limit through the end of Barack Obama’s presidency — buying lawmakers some fiscal breathing room after years of bitter budget battles.

Shortly before 1:30 a.m., senators voted 63-35 to advance the accord negotiated between top Hill leaders and the White House — the final legislative accomplishment of now-former Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio), who officially handed the reins of the House to Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) on Thursday. And just after 3 a.m., senators passed the budget agreement with a 64-35 vote — sending it to Obama to be signed into law.


Paul Ryan Elected House Speaker

Paul RyanHouse Speaker who was relieved to quit his job handed the gavel to a successor who never wanted it Thursday as the House of Representatives voted to replace John Boehner with Paul Ryan.

Ryan, 45, who ascends to the speakership after a tumultuous several years for his party, was overwhelmingly elected, with 236 members of the the GOP casting ballots in his favor. He pledged to heal the divides in Congress that plagued Boehner for most of his five years in the chair, both in the GOP and the full House.


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