Reid files cloture on small-business bill

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) filed cloture on the Small Business Administration (SBA) funding bill Monday after he was unable to reach an agreement with Republicans.

Sen. Olympia Snowe (R-Maine) has held up the legislation by demanding a vote on an amendment that would change the way regulations affecting small businesses are issued.

By filing cloture, Reid will force a vote later this week that will determine whether the legislation will proceed for final passage.

“We have had this small-business bill on the floor for weeks,” Reid complained on the Senate floor Monday afternoon. “Each time we think we can see a way to close this, my friends on the other side of aisle come forward with other amendments making it impossible for us to move forward.”

In a deal earlier this year, Reid agreed to allow a more open amendment process on the Senate floor in exchange for a reduction in holds and filibusters from the GOP.


Sen. Sanders to celebrate book of 'Filibernie' floor speech

Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) will celebrate the publication of his new book on Tuesday in Washington, a work based on the historic, eight-hour floor speech he delivered last December known to many by its nickname, the "Filibernie."

Titled, "The Speech: A Historic Filibuster on Corporate Greed and the Decline of our Middle Class," Sanders' book is a transcript of his passionate speech in opposition to President Obama's last-minute tax deal with congressional Republicans, a deal which temporarily extended Bush-era tax cuts.

Sanders' speech attracted nationwide attention, so much so that the Senate TV server was temporarily shut down due to overwhelming demand on its bandwidth. The book was first published this March.

Sanders and his guests will fete the book Tuesday at the popular Washington cafe Busboys and Poets starting at 6:30 p.m.


Lieberman calls for heightened vigilance: ‘If you see something, say something’

Sen. Joe Lieberman (I-Conn.) called on the public to be on guard for any suspicious activity in the wake of the killing of Osama bin Laden, which officials have said could prompt a domestic terrorist attack.

"This is a classic case of 'if you see something say something,’" said Lieberman, quoting a Department of Homeland Security campaign that encourages Americans to report suspicious activity to the government.


Schumer: Osama bin Laden's death a 'thunderous strike for justice'

Sen. Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.) said the killing of Osama bin Laden is a "strike of justice" for those were murdered on 9/11.

"This is a thunderous strike for justice for the thousands of my fellow New Yorkers — and citizens from all over the world — who were murdered on 9/11," Schumer said. "It took close to 10 years, but the world's most wanted terrorist has finally met his deserved fate.

"New York's heart is still broken from the tragedy of 9/11, but this at least brings some measure of closure and consolation to the victims and their families," Schumer said. 


Ryan's GOP budget has 'no chance' of becoming law, says Dem senator

The Republican budget for 2012 has no chance of becoming law, Sen. Herb Kohl (D-Wis.) said Thursday. 

"Its a measure that's decidedly on the conservative side, if not far right, and edging toward the point where, in my opinion, there is no chance it could become national policy," Kohl said in an interview with the Wisconsin Radio Network.

The 2012 plan crafted by House Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) would cut $5.8 trillion in spending over 10 years and transform Medicare into a sort of voucher system, among other measures, to balance the budget by 2040 without raising taxes.