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Aug 20, 2014

Congress can still do deals when it must

WASHINGTON — Washington may be a sea of dysfunction, but the current Congress is offering a few reminders about how a bill becomes a law: compromise. That’s been in short supply as lawmakers have tried to tackle a surge of Central American youths entering the U.S. from Mexico and find a long-term fix to funding […]

Jul 26, 2014

Cellphone unlocking set to become legal again

NEW YORK — Congress passed a bill Friday that makes it legal to “unlock” cellphones so the devices can —at least in some instances— be used on other carriers. The law, which President Obama said he looks forward to signing, undoes a move by the Librarian of Congress in 2012. That made it a copyright […]

Jul 26, 2014

Lawmakers complain Obama too aloof with Congress

WASHINGTON — President Barack Obama’s request for billions of dollars to deal with migrant children streaming across the border set off Democrats and Republicans. Lawmakers in both parties complained that the White House — six years in — still doesn’t get it when it comes to working with Congress. Top GOP leaders got no notice […]

Jul 24, 2014

Congress looking to battle the botnets

Robot computer networks stealing millions from Americans and people around the world are being looked at by members of Congress. Sens. Sheldon Whitehouse, D-R.I., and Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., are putting together legislation to battle the botnets, a network of computers connected over the Internet that can be instructed to carry out specific tasks, often without […]

Jul 8, 2014

Obama seeks $3.7B to deal with border kids

WASHINGTON — Tackling what he has called a humanitarian crisis, President Barack Obama on Tuesday asked Congress for $3.7 billion to cope with a tide of minors from Central America who are illegally crossing the U.S. border, straining immigration resources and causing a political firestorm in Washington. The White House said the money would help […]

Jun 25, 2014

Archivist: IRS didn’t follow law on lost emails

WASHINGTON — The Internal Revenue Service did not follow the law when it failed to report the loss of records belonging to a senior IRS executive, the nation’s top archivist told Congress on Tuesday. “Any agency is required to notify us when they realize they have a problem,” David Ferriero, archivist of the U.S. during […]

Jun 9, 2014

Proposed bill could end cyberstalking

Applications that allow people to secretly stalk others could become illegal under a bill being considered by Congress. “These apps can be found online in minutes,” said Sen. Al Franken, D-Minn. “And abusers find them and use them to stalk thousands of women around the country.” Franken is sponsoring the Location Privacy Protection Act of […]

Jun 4, 2014

Congress looks at mandatory minimum sentences

Mandatory minimum sentences for federal drug crimes are being reviewed by members of Congress — some believe they are too harsh for low-level nonviolent offenders; others agree they are an effective law enforcement tool. The issue was debated Friday when members of the Over-Criminalization Task Force conducted a hearing before the House Judiciary Committee. The […]

May 18, 2014

Schumer pushes bill to cut student loan debt

ALBANY (AP) — Sen. Charles Schumer is calling on Congress to allow current workers to refinance their student loan debt to get the same interest rates now offered to current students. The Democratic is pushing legislation that would let students and former students who took out a student loan before 2013 refinance their debt to […]

Apr 28, 2014

Congress returns to work to do the bare minimum

WASHINGTON (AP) — Congress gets back to work Monday after a two-week vacation, and it’s looking like lawmakers will do what they do best: the bare minimum. Forget immigration, a tax overhaul, stiffer gun checks. They’re all DOA. Raising the minimum wage or restoring lost unemployment benefits? Not going to happen. Forcing government approval of […]

Mar 19, 2014

Congress looks at collecting Internet sales tax

Congress is looking at ways for states to collect sales taxes on the growing number of items being sold online by out-of-state companies. The pros and cons of the Marketplace Fairness Act were discussed last week by members of the House Judiciary Committee, who also heard testimony on alternative solutions. The proposed act, passed by […]

Feb 11, 2014

Republicans set stage for raising debt limit

WASHINGTON — Unwilling to risk spooking the markets, and leading a fractured GOP majority, House Speaker John Boehner on Tuesday stepped back from a confrontation with Democrats to let Congress vote on increasing the government’s borrowing cap without trying to extract any concessions from the White House. The move risks more displeasure from the tea […]

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