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Congress rejects Obama veto of 9/11 bill; first override of his presidency

9/11 veto overridden by CongressThe House and Senate voted Wednesday to reject President Obama's veto of legislation allowing lawsuits against foreign sponsors of terrorism — the first successful override of a presidential veto since Obama took office.

The president had vetoed the legislation Friday because he said the bill — known as the Justice Against Sponsors of Terrorism Act, or JASTA — would infringe on the president’s ability to conduct foreign policy. It was the 12th veto of his presidency.

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U.S. House panel slams former NSA contractor Snowden

SnowdenA U.S congressional intelligence committee on Thursday issued a scathing report accusing former National Security Agency contractor Edward Snowden of leaking information that "caused tremendous damage" to U.S. national security, lying about his background and feuding with co-workers.

In a report endorsed by both its Republican and Democratic leaders, the House intelligence committee said Snowden was "not a whistleblower" as he has claimed.

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The GOP Shut Down a Program That Might Have Prevented Dallas and Baton Rouge

GOP cut funds for vet studyAs the right-wing outrage machine would have it, the shootings of police in Dallas and Baton Rouge by U.S. military veterans were the fault of President Obama. “How many law enforcement and people have to die because of a lack of leadership in our country?” Trump recently wrote in a Tweet.

But seven years ago, when a little-known division in the new president’s Department of Homeland Security sought to explore the potential violence of returning veterans—one that might have aided local law enforcement with intelligence in Dallas and Baton Rouge—it was Congressional Republicans who succeeded in pushing to shut the program down.

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Dems release parallel Benghazi report ahead of GOP

John LewisDemocrats on the House Select Committee on Benghazi released their rebuttal to the Republican-led committee’s argument on Monday, before the GOP leaders published their own report.

The 339-page Democratic report aims to refute allegations expected to be made by Chairman Trey Gowdy (R-S.C.) in what they have long claimed is a partisan witch hunt.

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House Democrats end gun-vote sit-in

House Dems end sit-inDemocrats ended their sit-in on the House floor at around 1 p.m. Thursday afternoon, after more than 24 hours of stalling proceedings to call for action on gun control legislation.

Civil rights icon Rep. John Lewis (D-Ga.) spoke while surrounded by his Democratic colleagues to close the protest, which lasted through the night after beginning shortly after11:30 a.m. Wednesday.

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Senate Fails To Secure Visas For Afghan Interpreters Who Risked Their Lives For U.S. Troops

Afghani interpreters do not get visas extendedA bipartisan attempt to secure thousands of visas for Afghan interpreters who risked their lives to assist American troops in the war in Afghanistan stalled on Tuesday, when the Senate passed a version of the massive defense spending bill that omitted the amendment backed by Sen. Jeanne Shaheen (D-N.H.) and Senate Armed Services Committee Chairman John McCain (R-Ariz.).

The seemingly uncontroversial amendment, which extends the existing special immigrant visa program for one year and allocates an additional 2,500 visas for the program, never had a vote on the Senate floor. In an effort to force a vote on his unrelated amendment, Sen. Mike Lee (R-Utah), blocked votes on several amendments, including the Shaheen provision, which the Utah senator said he supported.

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Senate passes bill allowing Sept. 11 victims to sue Saudi Arabia

Senate pass bill allowing familiees to sue Saudi ArabiaThe U.S. Senate passed legislation on Tuesday that would allow survivors and relatives of those killed in the Sept. 11 attacks to file lawsuits seeking damages against the government of Saudi Arabia.

The legislation, known as the Justice Against Sponsors of Terrorism Act, or JASTA, passed in the Senate by unanimous voice vote.

If it passes the House of Representatives and is signed into law by U.S. President Barack Obama, JASTA would allow lawsuits to proceed in federal court in New York as lawyers try to prove that the Saudis were involved in the 2001 attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon.

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