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John Mccain

NEWS
April 27, 2013 | By Anne Gearan and Craig Whitlock, Washington Post
WASHINGTON - The Obama administration said Thursday that the Syrian government had likely used chemical weapons on a small scale against its own people, but it stopped short of threatening military action against President Bashar al-Assad. In a letter to lawmakers, the White House said U.S. intelligence agencies "assess with varying degrees of confidence that the Syrian regime has used chemical weapons on a small scale in Syria, specifically the chemical agent sarin. " Despite the caveats, the disclosure puts President Obama under new pressure to respond because it is the first time that the United States has joined other countries in suggesting that the Assad government is likely to have deployed chemical weapons over the course of the two-year-old Syrian civil war. A senior administration official acknowledged that any use of chemical weapons in Syria would cross the "red line" declared by Obama many times in recent months in warnings to Assad.
NEWS
April 26, 2013 | Associated Press
WASHINGTON - Excerpts of the letter sent to Sens. John McCain (R., Ariz.) and Carl Levin (D., Mich.), by Miguel E. Rodriguez, assistant to the president and director of the Office of Legislative Affairs: Thank you for your letter of April 24 regarding the situation in Syria and the allegations of chemical weapons use there. I am responding on behalf of the president and want to offer a prompt response to your question: "Has the Assad regime - or Syrian elements associated with, or supported by, the Assad regime - used chemical weapons in Syria since the current conflict began in March 2011?"
NEWS
April 23, 2013 | By Erica Werner, Associated Press
WASHINGTON - Democratic supporters of a new immigration bill accused opponents Monday of trying to "exploit" the Boston Marathon bombings to hold up the legislation, sparking a testy exchange at a Senate hearing. "I never said that! I never said that!" Sen. Chuck Grassley (R., Iowa) interjected as Sen. Chuck Schumer (D., N.Y.), a lead author of the bill, criticized "those who are pointing to what happened, the terrible tragedy in Boston, as a, I would say, excuse for not doing a bill or delaying it. " Schumer said he wasn't talking about Grassley, who said last week that the bombings, allegedly carried out by two immigrant brothers, raised questions about gaps in the U.S. immigration system that should be examined in the context of the new bill.
NEWS
April 22, 2013
By Robert Menendez As a member of the Senate bipartisan Gang of Eight reflecting on our introduction of a comprehensive immigration reform bill this past week, I'm reminded of the Chinese proverb that says, "A journey of a thousand miles starts with a single step. " Reaching an agreement on immigration reform is that "step," an extraordinary milestone, and I'm proud to have been part of it. This legislation fixes our broken immigration system, secures our national borders, helps the American economy, and preserves our history as a nation of immigrants.
NEWS
April 20, 2013 | By Jonathan Tamari, Inquirer Washington Bureau
WASHINGTON - After two weeks in the national spotlight, Sen. Pat Toomey was ready to move on. Toomey, seeming refreshed Thursday after the deflating defeat of his background-check plan the day before, greeted reporters with a smile as he rode an escalator up from the Capitol's subway platform. But the Pennsylvania Republican did not want to talk much about the fight that had put him at the center of the political and cultural maelstrom on gun laws. "The Senate has spoken on this," Toomey said.
NEWS
April 19, 2013 | By Lolita C. Baldor and Donna Cassata, Associated Press
WASHINGTON - The Pentagon is sending about 200 soldiers from an Army headquarters unit to Jordan to assist efforts to contain violence along the Syrian border and plan for any operations needed to ensure the safety of chemical weapons in Syria, Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel told Congress on Wednesday. The decision to dispatch the First Armored Division troops of planners and specialists in intelligence, logistics, and operations comes as several lawmakers pressed the Obama administration for even more aggressive steps to end the two-year civil war. Hagel and Gen. Martin Dempsey, the chairman of Joint Chiefs of Staff, faced persistent questions from senior members of the Armed Services Committee about efforts to force out Syrian President Bashar al-Assad.
NEWS
April 16, 2013 | By Philip Elliott, Associated Press
WASHINGTON - A bipartisan deal on immigration legislation would need tough enforcement and even stricter penalties for those who came to the United States illegally, a leading Republican at the center of negotiations said Sunday. Sen. Marco Rubio, who's among the eight senators writing a plan expected to come out Tuesday, tried to promote the framework for the emerging overhaul that would provide a path toward citizenship for those who came to the country illegally or overstayed their visit.
NEWS
April 16, 2013 | By Tom Hamburger and Ed O'Keefe, Washington Post
WASHINGTON - In anticipation of Senate votes this week on a proposed expansion of criminal background checks for firearms sales, one gun-rights organization broke with the powerful National Rifle Association on Sunday to urge support for a compromise drafted by Sens. Joe Manchin, (D., W.Va.), and Patrick Toomey, (R., Pa.). The endorsement by the Citizens Committee for the Right to Keep and Bear Arms - which calls itself the second-largest gun rights organization in the country behind the NRA, claiming 650,000 members and supporters - is one of several moves over the last few days that have provided a boost to the hopes of proponents of background-checks.
NEWS
April 15, 2013
WASHINGTON - A bipartisan Senate proposal to expand background checks for gun buyers gained the backing of one Republican and the potential support of a second Sunday as sponsors said the vote expected this week was too close to call. "It's an open question as to whether or not we have the votes. I think it's going to be close," said Sen. Pat Toomey, R-Pa., who co-sponsored the bill with Sen. Joe Manchin, D-W.Va. The plan would "strengthen the background-check system without in any way infringing on Second Amendment rights," Maine Sen. Susan Collins said in a statement explaining her support for the measure.
NEWS
April 11, 2013 | By David Nakamura and Paul Kane, Washington Post
WASHINGTON - A bipartisan Senate group is likely to announce a proposal to overhaul the nation's immigration system in the next several days, and a committee hearing could be held on the legislation as early as next week, people familiar with the negotiations said Tuesday. Members of the group said they were close to completing an agreement on the comprehensive proposal that is expected to include a path to citizenship for 11 million immigrants and could serve as the template for a deal between Congress and the White House.
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