Entries tagged with “Senate” from Kathryn Elliott's News Blog

Gay marriage bill struck down in New York Senate

      After hours of emotional debate, the New York Senate voted down a bill that would have legalized same-sex marriage in the state. The 38-24 decision follows last month's popular vote in Maine that reversed lawmakers' decision to allow gay marriage.
      Gay rights proponents had high hopes that New York would become the sixth state to grant them marriage rights, msnbc.com reported. Before today's vote, the Assembly voted yes and Gov. David Paterson promised his signature on the measure.

      The state's Roman Catholic bishops who have been lobbying hard against passage of the bill released a statement calling the decision "a victory for the basic building block of our society," The New York Times wrote.
To see a map of states' current stances on gay rights, click here

Obama's cautious judicial nominations frustrate liberals

      President Obama has sent the names of 23 judicial nominees to the Senate in the period of time that former President George W. Bush sent 95, The Washington Post said. Only three of those 23 names have been approved. 

      Currently, 75 district judgeships lie vacant with only 10 nominees under consideration to fill them, the Associated Press said.
      Liberals are casting blame on Republican filibusters and other stalling measures, but also on Obama's eager-to-please, indecisive attitude, The Washington Post said.

      Republicans on the Senate Judiciary Committee expressed reservations about a candidate for the California district court, Edward Milton Chen, saying his personal views might unduly influence his rulings, CQ Politics said. This did not prevent the committee from confirming his appointment on Thursday in a 12-7 vote.

    "The White House clearly got energy diverted to the Sonia Sotomayor nomination," said Margery Baker, executive vice president at People For the American Way, the Associated Press reported. "Now that it's over I would like to see them pick up the pace."


Republican vote moves health care reform a step forward

     With its 14-9 vote on Tuesday, the Senate Finance Committee became the last of five Congressional panels to approve Baucus' health care reform bill, The New York Times said.
     The critical backing came from Republican Olympia J. Snowe (Maine) who deviated from the rest of her party in a move that both surprised and gave momentum to the White House agenda, The New York Times said.
     "My vote today is my vote today," Snowe said. "There are many, many miles to go in this legislative journey."
     The bill progresses next to the full House and Senate to debate the implications of requiring health care for all Americans in a measure that will cost $829 billion in the next decade, The Washington Post said.

     Conservatives worry that even with government subsidies, health care will be unaffordable. Another of their concerns is that the federal government would be overstepping its responsibilities in creating a public insurance option, the Post said.

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