Democrats vow to thwart emerging Republican budget plan
By David Lawder WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Democrats in Congress on Tuesday vowed to reject an emerging Republican effort to split immigration-related funding from a full-year government spending bill that avoids a government shutdown. The plan, being pushed by some conservative Republicans including incoming House Budget Committee Chairman Tom Price, would provide a short-term funding extension only for immigration agencies as a way to exert leverage against President Barack Obama's immigration order last week. ...

John Boehner Forges Ahead on the House Benghazi Probe

John Boehner Forges Ahead on the House Benghazi ProbeWhen the Republican-led House Intelligence Committee released, via a classic Friday evening news dump, the declassified final report of its bipartisan inquiry into the 2012 Benghazi terrorist attack, Speaker John Boehner's office was silent.

Longtime Columbus, Ohio, Mayor Coleman won't seek fifth term
By Jo Ingles COLUMBUS, Ohio (Reuters) - Columbus Mayor Michael Coleman said on Tuesday he would not seek a fifth term next year as mayor of Ohio's capital and most populous city. Coleman, 60, a Democrat first elected in 1999, was included this month in Ebony magazine's "Power 100" list of the most influential African-Americans. "I am eternally grateful to the people of Columbus for electing me to the best job in the world," Coleman said in a statement. Coleman has been mentioned as a possible challenger in 2016 to Ohio Republican U.S. Senator Rob Portman. ...

GOP wisdom shifts on immigration

In a Tuesday, Nov. 4, 2014 file photo, Wisconsin Republican Gov. Scott Walker gives a thumbs up as he speaks at his campaign party, in West Allis, Wis. Less than two years ago, party leaders solemnly declared after an exhaustive study that the GOP "must embrace and champion comprehensive immigration reform." It was critical for the party's survival, they said, to address an issue that was paramount to the nation's surging Hispanic population. But as President Obama issued a sweeping immigration order last week, some of the Republican Party's most prominent governors — likely presidential candidates among them — described immigration reform as little more than an afterthought. (AP Photo/Morry Gash, File)BOCA RATON, Fla. (AP) — The conventional wisdom in the Republican Party is changing.

Fmr. Montco GOP chief Robert Kerns pleads no contest

Fmr. Montco GOP chief Robert Kerns pleads no contestThe former head of the Montgomery County Republican Party entered a no contest plea Monday to sex-related charges.

US Congress skeptical of Iran nuclear talks extension

A traffic light shows red in front of the US Capitol on October 3, 2013 in WashingtonUS House and Senate members reacted coolly Monday to an extension of international negotiations over Iran's nuclear program, with skeptical lawmakers demanding Congress "tighten the economic vice on Tehran" through new sanctions. No sooner had the extension been announced in Vienna and US Secretary of State John Kerry implored US lawmakers not to "walk away" from the negotiations by slapping punitive sanctions on Iran, that several lawmakers advocated just that, setting up a potential White House clash with Congress. "Now more than ever, it's critical that Congress enacts sanctions that give Iran's mullahs no choice but to dismantle their illicit nuclear program," Republican Senator Mark Kirk, who supports new sanctions, said in a statement.

Pro-McConnell nonprofit hit with IRS complaint
A watchdog organization wants the IRS to investigate a nonprofit that spent millions backing Republican Sen. Mitch McConnell.

Iran extension prompts calls for more sanctions in U.S. Congress

File photo of U.S. senator John McCain listening during a news conference in RigaBy Patricia Zengerle WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Several U.S. Republican lawmakers insisted on Monday that the extension of nuclear talks with Iran be accompanied by increased sanctions, setting the stage for a battle with the Obama administration after their party takes full control of Congress next year. Senators John McCain, Lindsey Graham and Kelly Ayotte, three of the party's leading foreign policy voices, said they view Iran's insistence on having any enrichment capability at all as problematic and warned that a "bad deal" would lead to a nuclear arms race in the Middle East. ...

Hagel, under pressure, resigns as U.S. defense secretary

Obama Announces Resignation Of Chuck Hagel As Defense SecretaryBy Phil Stewart and Steve Holland WASHINGTON (Reuters) - U.S. Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel resigned on Monday, leaving under pressure as President Barack Obama faces critical national security challenges, including fighting Islamic State in Iraq and Syria and revising plans to exit Afghanistan. It was the first major change to Obama's Cabinet since his Democrats were routed in midterm elections three weeks ago, and Republicans, who now control both houses of Congress, are looking for a new approach from the White house. ...

Add a new Defense Secretary to the nomination logjam
Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel’s expected resignation is adding another new element to an expected showdown between the Obama administration and Republican leaders over cabinet-level nominations.

Senator Rand Paul calls for declaration of war against Islamic State: NYT

Senator Rand Paul addresses the crowd at U.S. Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell's midterm election night rally in LouisvilleWASHINGTON (Reuters) - U.S. Senator Rand Paul, a possible Republican candidate for president in 2016, is calling for a formal declaration of war against Islamic State militants who control parts of Iraq and Syria, the New York Times reported on Monday. In an interview on Saturday, Paul said his proposal would limit the duration of military action to one year and significantly restrict the use of ground forces, the Times said. ...

GOP hopefuls avoid specifics in response to Obama

Kentucky Senator Rand Paul speaks to the Chase Federalist Society at Northern Kentucky University, Friday, Nov. 21, 2014, in Highland Heights, Ky. (AP Photo/Timothy D. Easley)WASHINGTON (AP) — The rhetoric is barbed, but Republican presidential hopefuls generally fell in line behind the voices of restraint in the wake of President Barack Obama's order blocking deportation for millions of immigrants in the country unlawfully.

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