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Republican amendment fight threatens Iran bill in Senate

Senate Foreign Relations Committee Chairman Senator Corker uses the phones before meeting with Secretary of State Kerry on nuclear negotiations with Iran on Capitol Hill in WashingtonBy Patricia Zengerle WASHINGTON (Reuters) - A dispute among Republican senators over changes to an Iran nuclear review bill on Thursday threatened the measure's chances of being passed by the U.S. Congress, leaving Senate leaders scrambling for a way to advance the legislation. Two Republican senators, Tom Cotton and Marco Rubio, used an unorthodox procedural move to try to force the Senate to vote on their amendments to a bill authored by another Republican senator, Bob Corker, that would give Congress the right to review an international nuclear agreement with Iran.


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Illinois governor reverses $26 million in cuts to social programs

Republican Bruce Rauner smiles after winning the midterm elections in Chicago, IllinoisBy Karen Pierog and Fiona Ortiz CHICAGO (Reuters) - Illinois Governor Bruce Rauner on Thursday reversed $26 million in surprise spending cuts that had forced the shutdown of a stop-smoking hotline and ended funding for some autism programs and indigent funerals. Officials at the governor's office said higher-than-expected personal income tax revenue allowed the Republican governor to restore the grants for social services, in the budget that ends on June 30. "The decision caused a sigh of relief on behalf of many parents who are concerned about their children's future," said Mark Schmidt, spokesman for the Autism Program of Illinois, or TAP, which had lost $1 million in a grant after the April 3 announcement. More pain from austerity looms for Illinois, which has the lowest credit rating of all U.S. states.


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Republican state Sen. Parson running for Missouri governor

JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) — State Sen. Mike Parson, who had endorsed Tom Schweich for Missouri governor before the auditor's suicide, announced Thursday that he will seek the office himself — creating at least a three-way Republican primary for the state's top job.

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Dutch anti-Islam lawmaker issues ‘warning’ to America

Dutch lawmaker Geert Wilders during a press conference near the Capitol building on April 30, 2015 in Washington, DCThe far-right populist Dutch lawmaker Geert Wilders issued a "warning" to America on Thursday, saying that mass immigration from Muslim countries threatened the nation's security. "I am warning America. Don't think that what's happening in Europe today will not happen in America tomorrow because it will," Wilders told reporters on Capitol Hill in Washington. Wilders was invited to America by Republican Congressman Steve King of Iowa and his Texas colleague Louie Gohmert.


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Texas religious objection bill follows Supreme Court hearing

AUSTIN, Texas (AP) — The national debate over religious objection laws roiled again Thursday in Texas after Republican lawmakers abruptly pushed a new proposal on the heels of the U.S. Supreme Court hearing historic arguments over gay marriage.

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Obama under pressure to beef up Democratic support for trade

WASHINGTON (AP) — Republican leaders say GOP votes alone won't pass trade legislation sought by President Barack Obama and are urging the White House to put more pressure on reluctant Democrats to lend their support.

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Obama under pressure to beef up Democratic support for trade

Republican leaders say GOP votes alone won't pass trade legislation sought by President Barack Obama and are urging the White House to put more pressure on reluctant Democrats to lend their support. Obama ...

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Indiana lawmakers give Pence much of what he sought

Indiana lawmakers give Pence much of what he soughtThe Republican-dominated Legislature gave GOP Gov. Mike Pence much of what he sought during this year's General Assembly session, leading the governor to declare several triumphs on Thursday. Legislative ...


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Push to axe U.S. crude export ban strengthens in House: lawmakers

Roughnecks wrestle pipe on a True Company oil drilling rig outside WatfordBy Timothy Gardner WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Lawmakers in the House of Representatives who are trying to end the decades-old ban on U.S. crude oil exports said on Thursday they were gaining support after a Democrat joined the Republican-led effort. Representative Henry Cuellar became the first Democrat to sign on to a bill launched in February by Representative Joe Barton, a Republican and fellow Texan. "If we are able to lift the crude oil ban this is going to open up new markets where Texas businesses can create more jobs at home," said Cuellar, whose district includes the oilfields of Eagle Ford, where much of the U.S. boom in light sweet crude has been taking place over the last half decade. The bill has also gained its first support from Republican leadership: Representative Steve Scalise, the House majority whip, the chamber's No. 3 most senior position.


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State Dept says extra Benghazi info does not change facts

Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton reads from a column during her keynote address at the 18th Annual David N. Dinkins Leadership and Public Policy Forum at Columbia University in New YorkBy Susan Cornwell WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The State Department said Thursday that the new trove of documents it has provided Congress from its own investigation into the deadly 2012 attack on U.S. diplomatic facilities in Benghazi, Libya do not change the "essential facts" known about the attack. The facts set out by the State Department's "Accountability Review Board" (ARB) report, released in December 2012, did not find former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton -- now a Democratic presidential candidate -- responsible for security lapses in Benghazi. Four Americans including U.S. Ambassador Chris Stevens were killed when militants stormed U.S. facilities in the eastern Libyan city of Benghazi on the night of Sept. 11, 2012. U.S. Representative Trey Gowdy, a South Carolina Republican who heads the House Select Committee on Benghazi, said earlier Thursday that the State Department had given his panel some 4,000 pages from its 2012 ARB probe into Benghazi.


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