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NEWS
June 22, 2016 | By Jonathan Tamari, WASHINGTON BUREAU
WASHINGTON - A partisan divide on Monday blocked the four latest Senate proposals meant to curb gun violence, providing no change in the nation's gun laws but adding to this election year's political fodder. With the Orlando massacre still fresh, the stakes were particularly high in Pennsylvania's U.S. Senate race, where Sen. Pat Toomey (R., Pa.) has trumpeted his support for expanding background checks on gun buyers and Democratic challenger Katie McGinty has attacked him as failing to take real action.
NEWS
June 21, 2016
A bogus hearing staged by the Pennsylvania Senate Judiciary Committee last week suggested some members are determined to protect the Catholic Church and insurance companies instead of securing justice for the victims of pedophiles and the institutions that protect them. Considering a bill passed by the House that would give abuse victims more time to file criminal and civil claims, the committee limited testimony to the question of the measure's constitutionality. That was interesting given that committee Chairman Stewart Greenleaf's law firm represented the Norbertine Fathers, a religious order that was sued by abuse victims, and opposed a similar statute-of-limitations bill in Delaware on constitutional grounds.
BUSINESS
June 17, 2016 | By Andrew Maykuth, STAFF WRITER
The Pennsylvania Senate on Wednesday unanimously approved the nomination of David Sweet, a Philadelphia lawyer and adviser to former Gov. Rendell, to a five-year term on the Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission. Sweet, 67, a Democrat, was nominated by Gov. Wolf last month to replace Pamela A. Witmer, whose term expired at the end of March. Sweet was a senior advisor to Wolf, focusing on energy and economic development issues, and served as liaison to the Philadelphia Regional Port Authority.
NEWS
June 17, 2016 | By Jonathan Tamari, Washington Bureau
WASHINGTON - The debate on gun laws roiled national politics Wednesday, with Donald Trump suggesting that he might be open to a plan to bar suspected terrorists from buying firearms, Sen. Pat Toomey (R., Pa.) offering a plan to do just that, and Sen. Cory A. Booker of New Jersey helping lead a marathon Democratic push on the Senate floor demanding action. But amid a heated political season, a day that began with talk of compromise ended with signs that the Orlando shooting would wind up producing the same intractable and emotional divides that have characterized Congress' responses to previous massacres.
NEWS
June 14, 2016 | By Maria Panaritis, Staff Writer
As he prepares to convene a hearing Monday that could shape the fate of a controversial measure to let Pennsylvania child-sex abuse victims sue over decades-old attacks, Sen. Stewart Greenleaf (R., Montgomery) has declined to publicly take a position on the bill. But the law firm that bears his name has not always been so reserved. In 2008, records show, lawyers for the firm, Elliott Greenleaf, were among advocates who unsuccessfully argued that a similar proposal under consideration in Delaware was unconstitutional.
NEWS
June 13, 2016 | By Jonathan Tamari, Washington Bureau
WASHINGTON - Bob Casey is getting into fighting shape. The soft-spoken Democratic senator, usually found holding press calls on wonky topics such as home heating aid, early childhood education, or the intricacies of Middle East policy, has spent recent weeks at the heavy bag, pounding at the hottest political battles of the moment. He stood alongside Democratic leaders for a smackdown linking Republican senators to Donald Trump. He blitzed Pennsylvania rallying support for Hillary Clinton.
NEWS
June 12, 2016 | By Maria Panaritis, Staff Writer
Citing the effect of lobbying by the Catholic Church, supporters of a change to Pennsylvania's child sex-abuse laws said Friday that they expected the Senate to dilute or defeat a controversial bill that would let victims sue for abuse that occurred decades ago. Two Capitol sources also said Solicitor General Bruce L. Castor Jr. planned to testify at a Senate hearing Monday that the measure is unconstitutional, giving lawmakers on the influential Judiciary...
BUSINESS
June 11, 2016 | By Bob Fernandez, Staff Writer
Responding to years of complaints over customer service and billing practices by cable and satellite-TV companies, the U.S. Senate Permanent Subcommittee is poised to release its findings from a year-long probe into the industry, Sen. Claire McCaskill (D., Mo.) and Sen. Rob Portman (R., Ohio) announced on Thursday. The subcommittee - which also has investigated human trafficking and a U.S.-funded counternarcotics program in Afghanistan - subpoenaed documents from pay-TV companies and solicited comments on customer experiences.
BUSINESS
May 19, 2016 | By Chris Mondics, Staff Writer
In a vote that could greatly complicate relations with a key Middle East ally, the Senate on Tuesday voted unanimously to expand the ability of U.S. citizens to sue the government of Saudi Arabia for its alleged role in the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks. The bill, sponsored by Sens. Charles Schumer (D., N.Y.) and John Cornyn (R., Texas), clarifies that foreign governments can be sued for supporting terrorism acts even when they occur outside the United States. Dozens of insurers and thousands of victims and families are suing Saudi Arabia for its alleged role in the attacks, alleging that Saudi government employees helped form a support network for the 9/11 attackers.
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