Senate rejects GOP alternative to VAWA

The Senate rejected a GOP substitute to the Violence Against Women Act on Thursday.

Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) proposed an amendment to S. 47 that would have addressed his concerns about violations to constitutional rights and wasteful spending. His substitute failed on a 34-65 vote.


Sessions warns Lew's nomination to Treasury at risk over Medicare trigger

Sen. Jeff Sessions (R-Ala.) on Thursday criticized the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) for failing to answer questions about Treasury Secretary nominee Jack Lew's failure to propose legislation to shore up Medicare, and said this failure could put Lew's nomination at risk.

Sessions wrote to OMB over the weekend asking why it has not proposed a bill to deal with the shortfall in Medicare funding despite current law that requires the administration to propose a legislative fix when funding problems are identified.


McConnell: Replacing sequester with tax increases is 'definition of dysfunction'

Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) said it would be the “definition of dysfunction” if the Senate were to offset automatic spending cuts with tax increases — something President Obama proposed earlier this week.

“I’ll tell you this right now: My constituents in Kentucky and the American people will not accept another tax increase to put off a spending cut that the two parties have already agreed to,” McConnell said on the floor Thursday. “It’s the definition of dysfunction.”


Reid: I will hold Cantor to his word to work on VAWA

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) said Thursday that he would hold House Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-Va.) to his word that the House will take up the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA) reauthorization.

“I say to Leader Cantor, it’s time for Republican leaders to stop talking about how much they care about women and show that they care about women,” Reid said on the floor Thursday. “I won’t be the only one holding him to his promise to swiftly reauthorize the Violence Against Women Act. One hundred sixty million American women are also watching and waiting to see if he turns words into action."


Sessions accuses Obama of ‘secret’ meetings with special interests on immigration

Sen. Jeff Sessions (R-Ala.) said President Obama is shutting out the American people by holding “secret” meetings with special interest groups on immigration reform.

“Once again, our leaders are meeting in secret with narrow special interests to decide the fate of our immigration system while everyday working Americans are shut out,” Sessions said Tuesday.


Senate Dems call for human rights guarantees in immigration reform

Four Senate Democrats called on their colleagues Tuesday to help them seek due process and human rights guarantees during debate on immigration reform.

Sens. Chris Coons (D-Del.), Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.), Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.) and Mazie Hirono (D-Hawaii) sent a letter to members of their chamber Tuesday saying the immigration legislation the Senate will likely consider during the 113th Congress should reflect American values by addressing human rights and ensure due process.


Senators ask Obama to justify his authority to kill US citizens

A bipartisan group of senators asked President Obama for legal justifications for his authority to kill American citizens during the course of counterterrorism operations.

On Monday, Sens. Ron Wyden (D-Ore.), Mike Lee (R-Utah), Mark Udall (D-Colo.), Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa), Jeff Merkley (D-Ore.), Susan Collins (R-Maine), Dick Durbin (Ill.), Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.), Tom Udall (D-N.M.), Mark Begich (D-Alaska) and Al Franken (D- Minn.) sent Obama a letter seeking the legal opinions issued by the Department of Justice, which give the president authority to authorize the deaths of U.S. citizens.


Lautenberg introduces bill requiring colleges to have anti-bullying policies

Sen. Frank Lautenberg (D-N.J.) introduced a bill Monday that would require colleges and universities to have anti-harassment policies.

“The tragic impact of bullying on college campuses has damaged too many young adults, and it is time for our colleges to put policies on the books that would protect students from harassment,” Lautenberg said Monday. “While there is no way to eliminate the cruelty that some students choose to inflict on their peers, there should be a clear code of conduct that prohibits harassment.”